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Team Commitment

Novell Teaming 2.1 Delivers on Its Customer and Partner Commitments

Written by Ken Baker

While the recent release of Novell Teaming 2.1 has a number of new capabilities that can make your novell Teaming experience better than ever before, a key message with this release is delivering on commitments. Since the inception of Novell Teaming, Novell committed to listen to what its customers and partners wanted to see in future releases. As part of their feedback, one of the things customers wanted was shorter release cycles. So after the release of Novell Teaming 2, Novell committed to being more aggressive in the delivery of new features and versions. As a result, just a little over six months later, Novell Teaming 2.1 has arrived with responses to your wish list in the areas of mobility, landing pages and new workspace population.

Teams on the Move

For on-the-move users, Novell Teaming 2.1 delivers an all-new lightweight, secure and easy-to-use mobile user interface (UI). To achieve its lightweight, simple feel, the mobile UI incorporates about 70 percent of the functionality in the standard Novell Teaming interface. The included functions tailor specifically to the needs of mobile users. But to appreciate its overall ease and functions, you really have to give the Novell Teaming mobile UI a try on your own smart phone.

The mobile UI sports a specialized view of your Novell Teaming workspace, which includes a home page with quick links to the most commonly used aspects of Novell Teaming, such as your workspaces, favorites, micro-blog, teams and what’s new. (See Figure 1.) Just as with the standard interface, you can access any workspace or folder to which you have rights. The mobile UI enforces the same security and access controls that the regular UI does. When viewing a workspace, you can see or go to any sub-workspaces or folders within that workspace. You can also return to the mobile starting page at anytime by clicking the Home button on the interface’s top left corner.

The mobile UI also presents an Action menu that provides a quick list of the options that apply to your current entry, folder or workspace. For example, it will give you the option to see what’s new or unread in the current workspace. It also gives you a tracking option, allowing you to start or stop tracking a person, folder or workspace. Finally, it can take you to your recently visited places.

Some of the other features supported by the mobile UI include searching, viewing file entries and attachments, accessing your calendar and scheduled events, viewing YouTube videos, viewing the workspace tree, calling Novell Teaming users with one click (iPhone only), transitioning entries from one workflow state to another and using folders.

While optimized for iPhones and Blackberry devices, the new interface works with any mobile device with an HTTP/HTML-based interface that supports HTML 4 and JavaScript. To take advantage of the new mobile UI, you simply access your Novell Teaming workspace from your mobile device’s browser. In most cases, Novell Teaming will automatically detect that you’re on a mobile device and launch the mobile UI. (If for some reason it doesn’t, simply append /mobile to the end of your workspace’s main URL. This is typically necessary for phones that don’t inherently declare themselves as mobile devices when browsing.)

Novell Teaming 2.1 has arrived with responses to your wish list in the areas of mobility, landing pages and new workspace population.

Landing Pages Made Easy

Whether it’s to enhance an existing intranet or to create a streamlined set of powerful, yet nice looking Web pages, customers have latched on very quickly to the landing page functionality introduced in Novell Teaming 2. Landing pages in Novell Teaming give you the ability to put a custom, personal face on workspaces and folders, while still providing the team-focused, collaborative functionality inherent to Novell Teaming. They also help you manage the information that is most critical to your team or organization—so you can easily see the things most important to you. Landing pages allow you to bring important entries or entire folders to the forefront of workspaces, enabling your users to access their most vital information in a quick, efficient manner.

Even though customers appreciate what Novell Teaming landing pages do for their organizations, they indicated that the previous, menu-driven creation process was too cumbersome. With its commitment to provide a timely response to its Novell Teaming customers, Novell took this feedback to heart, readjusted some of its development priorities, and created a new graphical editor for landing page creation in Novell Teaming 2.1.

The new landing page editor has a working canvas where you drag and drop the various elements you want to add to your landing page. Located on a palette to the left of the canvas, these elements include tables, lists, references to existing entries, references to existing folders, graphics, URL links, workspace or folder links, references to custom JSP files your Novell Teaming administrator has created, and utility elements. (See Figure 2.)

In addition to the palette elements you can drag onto the canvas, you can choose to show or hide certain standard layout features on your landing page. For example, you can choose whether or not to hide the Masthead, Sidebar, Main Menu Bar or Footer. Likewise, you can choose if you want to show the Branding Area, links to My Favorites and My Teams, or Navigation Breadcrumbs. You can also edit any of the elements you drag onto the canvas.

To build a landing page, you either need to create a new workspace as a landing page or configure an existing workspace as a landing page. To configure an existing workspace, navigate to the desired workspace, click Manage from the menu bar and select Configure. When the Configure Default Settings page displays, select Landing Page as the default view. Once that workspace is configured as a landing page, you can begin to set it up by clicking Manage from the menu bar, and selecting Modify this Workspace, which will bring up the Novell Teaming landing page editor.

For on-the-move users, Novell Teaming 2.1 delivers an all-new lightweight, secure and easy-to-use mobile user interface.

Teaming Specialists

In another show of commitment, Novell Teaming 2.1 introduces a new workspace export/import feature that addresses a very specific need partners voiced to Novell—the need to quickly populate a workspace. This need often arises for partners that want to create a Novell Teaming space customized for a specific vertical market, such as healthcare, manufacturing, education or government. In the past, every time a partner would create one of these specialized Novell Teaming environments for a customer, they would have to start from scratch. Now partners can create a populated workspace model for a vertical market and leverage it for multiple customers using the export/import feature.

For example, a partner specializing in the pharmaceutical industry could create a Novell Teaming workspace and use their industry expertise to populate it with knowledgebases, wikis, forums, electronic forms and automated workflows tailored to the unique needs of their customers in the pharmaceutical industry. Once the model is created, the partner can export the workspace to a zip file by doing the following: (See Figure 3.)

  1. Log in as the Novell Teaming administrator.
  2. Navigate to the workspace to be exported.
  3. Click Manage from the menu and then select Export/Import.
  4. When the Export/Import page displays, choose the Export This Folder or Workspace option and click OK.

To import a workspace, from the Export / Import page you simply choose the option Import into This Folder or Workspace, browse to the location of the exported zip file and then click OK.

It’s important to note that the export/import process does not preserve all types of data. Export and import do preserve the hierarchical structure of the workspace, all folders in the workspace (unless you specifically exclude certain folders), all content in exported folders, landing pages for workspaces or folders, entry definitions associated with any folder content, workflows associated with any workspace content, custom forms associated with any workspace content and wiki links.

The export/import process does not preserve access control information, accessories, permalinks, activity data (i.e., who visited the place, edit history and workflow history), entry ratings, entry definitions not associated with folder content, workflows not associated with workspace content, e-mail notification settings, default folder columns, global filters and custom JSP files. (Note: Custom JSP files must be exported as part of an extension. Workspaces that leverage custom JSP files still retain the settings that point to the custom JSP files.)

To give you an idea of how you can take advantage of the export/import feature, Novell will be posting short video demos that show how to create a model or baseline workspace for your users or customers. You can find these demos in the Teaming Library. Even though Novell created the export/import feature in direct response to partner feedback, users can also take advantage of its functionality if they want to move workspace content between different workspaces.

The new landing page editor has a working canvas where you drag and drop the various elements you want to add to your landing page.

Committed to the Team

Novell Teaming 2.1 also delivers enhancement in other areas, such as calendars and tasks and the introduction of Teaming feeds. Teaming feeds provide real-time updates on the activity within your Novell Teaming site. To help you learn more about these and all the other new features provided in Novell Teaming 2.1, Novell has posted a series of articles on the Cool Solutions community. If you’re planning on attending BrainShare®, you can get even further insights from Novell Teaming product managers and developers who will be hosting a number of sessions on Novell Teaming. (See Team BrainShare)

In another show of commitment, Novell Teaming 2.1 introduces a new workspace export/import feature that addresses a very specific need partners voiced to Novell—the need to quickly populate a workspace.

The more you find out about Novell Teaming 2.1, the more you’ll discover how committed the Novell team is to its Novell Teaming customers and partners.

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