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Higher Levels of Collaboration

Novell Data Synchronizer: Connecting Disparate Systems

Written by Ken Baker

Configuring Connections

While a single synchronization engine will be able to host multiple connectors, Novell Data Synchronizer allows you to deploy multiple synchronization engines to give you the flexibility and scalability to manage the product’s workload. After you install a synchronization engine, you can manage it and its connectors through the product’s centralized Web interface by entering the server’s IP address or domain name, and port 8080 (e.g. mydomainname.com:8080). While the management interface defaults to port 8080, you can change it as needed to avoid any conflicts that you might have with other products using that port.

After you log into the Web interface using the admin user name and password that you established during the install, you’ll be presented with the main management screen that gives you the option to manage your synchronization connectors or manage your synchronization engines. (See Figure 2.) To add a connector, simply click the Add Connector button and you’ll be presented with three options: give your connector a name, assign it to a specific engine and choose the type of connector. (See Figure 3.)

Once you add a connector, you’ll be prompted to configure its settings. While the settings dialog will vary for each connector type, the first settings you’ll configure for the GroupWise connector will be its trusted application name and trusted application key. This trusted name and key are crucial for providing the necessary authentication credentials to access your GroupWise system. If you’re running GroupWise 8 SP1 or later, you can easily create this trusted name and key in ConsoleOne. (See Figure 4.)

The next setting you’ll need to configure is the SOAP server, which is essentially the IP address of your GroupWise POA. You have to have SOAP enabled on your POA since the GroupWise connector relies on the GroupWise SOAP interface. You’ll also need to enter the port number that you want the GroupWise connector to listen, meaning that you or your administrator will need to know what ports are available.

The settings page is also where you indicate the general type of GroupWise items you want the connector to synchronize. This can include address books, groups, organizations, tasks, appointments, mail, phone messages, folders, contacts, notes and resources.

If you click the Advanced button on the settings page, the interface presents you with additional configuration options. One of the advanced options allows you to indicate events that you want to synchronize—in addition to the default events. These additional non-default events would include items such as the addition of proxy accesses, folder modifications or personal group item additions. The Advanced button also allows you to delete or modify the events being synchronized. (See Figure 5.)

By leveraging the Novell Data Synchronizer software development kit and its open API, organizations and Novell partners will be able to create custom connectors for their own systems as well as third-party solutions.

Customizing User Synchronization Needs

In addition to configuring a connector’s settings, you can specify which users and groups will use that connector, and how they will be able to use it. Through the interface, you can perform an LDAP query to pull all or a subset of your users and groups from your GroupWise system. It also provides a convention called application name that allows you to specify an alternate name for users that might be referenced in other systems by a different user name than they use for GroupWise.

Additionally, Novell Data Synchronizer lets you create profiles for your users and groups that allow detailed customization on how and what will be synchronized for different sets of users. For example, even though most of your users might want to synchronize all the events you specified in the general connector settings, you might have a group of users that only need to synchronize a subset of those events. Additionally, you might not want bi-directional synchronization for all events. As an example, you can specify that if you add an appointment to your mobile device, you want it synchronized with GroupWise, but when you add an appointment to GroupWise, you don’t want it synchronized with your device. (See Figure 6.)

Novell Data Synchronizer lets you create profiles for your users and groups that allow detailed customization on how and what will be synchronized for different sets of users.

Bringing Together People, Tools and Interactions

One of the fundamental beliefs at Novell is that the formula for success within any organization is rooted in the ability to bring people, tools and interactions together in simple and secure ways. By bringing these three elements together successfully, you can drive new innovation and new levels of productivity in your organization. That’s the whole point of the Novell Data Synchronizer offering: to raise your collaboration efforts to even greater heights by connecting your disparate collaboration software, business-critical applications and mobile devices. Furthermore, Novell Data Synchronizer plays a key role in the overall Novell collaboration vision to bring together people, tools and interactions in a way that empowers you to collaborate as one and achieve the highest levels of innovation, productivity and success.

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