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Leaving the Dark Side: Migrating from Outlook to GroupWise

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Updated: 11 Jan 2006

Here are some great ideas from readers who migrated from Outlook to GroupWise and lived to tell about it (excellent decision, btw). If you have other ideas to add, please let us know.

Outlook 2000 to GroupWise Migration

J. Trinity Cosby

GroupWise 6.5 does not list Outlook 2000 as a valid client to import from, although it will show Outlook Express 5.5 if it is on the same box. This severely affects any migration attempts from an Outlook 2000 environment. Never fear -- here is how you do it.

Important notes:

  • Before installing GroupWise 6.5, you can right-click on "Outlook Today", select Properties, Advanced, and see the location of your .pst file.
  • Imported address book entries may be under the heading "Frequent Contacts."

Migrate Mail and Folders

  1. Install GroupWise 6.5 and set up any accounts you normally access.
  2. Test operation and make sure you can grab your email and such.
  3. Close GroupWise.
  4. Go to the Control Panel and open mail settings.
  5. Have Outlook start with the Novell default set.
    (You may not have Apply or OK available. Just hit Close after changing the settings. It should save regardless.)
  6. Load Outlook 2000
  7. Select "file", "import/export", (.pst) file
  8. Browse to your Outlook 2000 personal folder file (usually under Windows or under /documents and settings/user/local settings/microsoft/outlook)
  9. Import the file to your main Novell set.
  10. Grab a cup of coffee, as the import could take a while

Migrate Contacts:

  1. While in Outlook select file, import/export, other file or program, personal address book.
  2. Destination = Contacts
  3. Browse for your Outlook 2000 .pab file (normally in the same place as your .pst file).
  4. Finish the import.
  5. Exit and Log off Outlook 2000.

Finishing up:

  • Open GroupWise and check everything out.
  • There is a good chance that all of your sent items from Outlook now reside in your main GroupWise mailbox. Create a new folder, call it "outlook sent msgs" or something similar, and move all the old sent mail to it from your main mailbox.

Importing Outlook Express Address Books into GroupWise

Jos Kampes

We had a migration from a MS Exchange / Outlook / Outlook Express environment to GroupWise. During the migration we were told that conversion of the Outlook Express address books would not be possible; all the users would have to re-enter their entire address book from scratch.

SOLUTION: It turned out that WordPerfect is able to import the csv-address book OE exports. Also, WordPerfect has an export of its own, into a format that has the same structure as the GroupWise address book. Change the extension after exporting, or when giving the export a name, and suddenly you end up with a .nab Novell Address Book, that you can simply double-click to install into your own address book.

If you have any questions you may contact Jos at

Using Personal Outlook Migration Pack from Advansys

Jason Emery

When moving to GW 6.5 from NetMail 3.1 and Outlook XP we used the Personal Outlook Migration Pack from Advansys. All you need to do is install GW 6.5 as normal. Install Formativ Express and then the Personal Outlook Migration tool. You will then have a button on your GW tool bar to start the wizard. Once you start it you can configure how it will run with dates, types of items, etc. It will work with 2000, XP, and 2003.

If you have more than one Outlook profile make sure you set it to prompt you for the profile to use when starting up. I would also warn you to only run the wizard once for each type of conversion, ie, email, calendar, etc as it will duplicate. One thing that really helps is you can download the free ClickYesSetup.exe which will automatically click yes on the Outlook dialog box which prompts you to allow access to the address book every 10 minutes which is irritating especially on a large mailbox as you won't be able to leave the process running unattended otherwise. One final note, try to keep the conversions limited to 300 items or less per run as once over that it will bog down.

This conversion worked very well for us converting 1000 mailboxes. It is so easy in fact that we wrote up a little instruction sheet and our end users did it themselves.

Here's the instruction sheet (scrubbed of any confidential info), in case you are interested.

Gotcha, and Workaround

Paul Caron

We just got done performing this migration for an external company that we do a lot of business with. Long story short, we had some issues. Particulars are as follows:

Exchange 2003 to GroupWise 6.5.

We found that the Outlook migration tool worked very spotty (no errors reported but it dropped 60-80% of the records). But if you went into the Inbox icon on your desktop or Mail within Control Panel and told it exactly where the specific PST file or Personal Address Book is - you specify it by name (not just the folder), close out of that and launch the migration tool, fill in the info (same as you just specified for the Inbox/Mail item) and start the tool, that it migrates 100% of the data every time.

I can't explain it, but when this method was discovered, it was all that we used.

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