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What GroupWise Has that Outlook Doesn't ...

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Lori Quinn

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Posted: 28 Aug 2007
 

Problem

A Forum reader recently asked:

"Help! We are long-time GroupWise users (dating back to 1992 with WordPerfect Office). Now it appears that managment may get swayed to switch over to Exchange/Outlook. Is there a GREAT article that lists side by side the features that Groupwise HAS that Exchange/Outlook DOESN'T? Thanks!"

And here's the response from Lori Quinn ...

Solution

Yes, there are features that Outlook/Exchange has that GroupWise does not, and we hear about those all the time. What we don't hear is the dozens of client features lost when you go to Exchange/Outlook. Let's face it, the people asking to go to Outlook are end users, not IT people. So it's the features that matter to them.

Here's a few highlights of features lost when moving to Outlook ...

1) Cannot silently retract messages. Outlook can retract, but whether successful or not, the recipient knows that the attempt was made (and the attempt includes the subject line).

2) Tracking sent items: Outlook sends copies of messages to every recipient; it is not a link as it is in GroupWise. Therefore, if you want to know if someone opened or received your email, you must ask for a receipt at the time you send it. However, not getting a receipt back does not mean the email delivery failed. It could be that the recipient's system doesn't want to give you back a receipt (Outlook users can make that choice themselves, separate from their server). Additionally, GroupWise users often track a message to see that it was deleted and never opened - or that the message had been replied to. You'll never be able to tell that with Outlook.

3) Viewing attachments: In Outlook, attachments must be opened or saved. There are no viewers. So if you get an attachment made with a program you don't have, you are out of luck. Well, IT-savvy folks will figure a way around it, but regular users won't know to save it, then Open With a compatible program. BTW, there is no "Open With" in Outlook.

4) Reminder Notes: No such thing in Outlook. There are notes, which are dated, but they are not related to the calendar and therefore cannot recur. The equivalent in Outlook is an All Day Event. All Day Events appear at the top of the calendar day before 8 a.m. (or whatever is set for the work time).

5) Recurring appointments: Not all recurring appointments are a pattern (every Monday, the last Friday of the month, every 14 days, etc.). Some are random, like taking vacation days. GroupWise has a calendar where you can just point and click the dates you want to recur. Outlook does not. To use the recurring feature in Outlook, there must be a pattern.

6) Calendar PopOut: In any GroupWise calendar, you can hover your mouse over an item (appointment, note or task) and a yellow popout will display giving you all the details except for the message (from, to, cc, place, time, subject). In Outlook, there is no popout. So a lengthy subject or a place or the from or the due date of a task is viewable only when you open the item. Yes, it's a few seconds - but when you do it dozens of time a day, that adds up.

7) Sending Appointments: When an Outlook appointment is sent, a copy of - not a link to - the appointment is sent. Therefore, when the organizer changes the appointment, an additional message is sent to the original recipient to alert them. If the recipient deletes that email notice, the calendar item is not updated (yes, it's true, folks!). Ditto when deleting an item: the recipient must click "Remove from Calendar" or the item will stay on there forever. Also, for any update, if the recipient acknowledged the update on the calendar, the matching email that arrived stays in the inbox until the user deletes it. If you do a lot of calendaring in GroupWise, the Outlook calendar is very painful. There are several more issues regarding calendaring in Outlook that I won't take space to go into here.

8) Recurring appointments: if you delete a recurring appointment in Outlook, it does not go to the Trash. It is not recoverable - and you are out of luck.

9) Tracking calendar items that were sent: There is no sent item when an appointment/task is sent. The organizer of the appointment automatically gets a copy of the appointment put on their own calendar. That *is* the tracking copy (it makes for a very busy calendar for a secretary who does a lot of scheduling, and she's probably not even attending any of the events herself!). If that tracking copy is deleted (also out of Deleted Items), there is no way to manage that item. If an appointment/task needs to be changed or removed, it must be done on each recipients account.

10) Recipients of meetings can move the item: It's hard to imagine that this is permitted, but it's because the structure of Outlook is that copies are sent to recipients, not links. You can understand why it is possible for a recipient of an appointment (group meeting) to be able to accidentally drag that appointment to a new place/time on their own calendar. Yep, just click and drag the appointment is all it takes. They get no warning they've done it. The organizer gets no warning they've done it. And in opening the item, there is no way to tell what the original date/time was. The only fix is for the organizer of that appointment to send an update (how would she know she should?).

11) Tasks: Unbelievably, Outlook tasks sent to multiple people cannot be managed by the person who sent them (called the Organizer). Remember, a copy of the task is sent to the recipient and changes to tasks require an update message to be sent. For tasks, apparently Outlook is unable to update tasks if sent to multiple people. Therefore, if you sent a task to 2+ folks and then you need to change the task or recall it, you cannot. That change (or removal) would have to be done individually for each recipient.

12) Viewing Tasks in the Calendar: If you want to see future tasks on your calendar in Outlook, you cannot. The task list that appears on the Day or the Week view is a static list of tasks as of today. Clicking on a day in the future changes only the appointments, not the tasks. Therefore, to see future tasks, you must look at the task list (where there is no calendar).

13) Losing attachments when changing type: Just like GroupWise, Outlook can change an email to an appointment by just dragging from the mailbox to the calendar. However, in Outlook when you do this, if the email had an attachment, that attachment is gone. Only the contents of the email stay intact. A difference from GroupWise is that Outlook keeps the email in the mailbox (GroupWise converts it, Outlook copies it).

14) Discussion threads: The relationships of posted items in a discussion thread are lost when converted to GroupWise and cannot be reestablished.

15) Dragging contacts to an email: In GroupWise (I think this began with 6.5), you can drag contacts from the Contacts folder and drop them on the mailbox to begin a new email message. This is very convenient when needing to select several people. In Outlook, you cannot.

16) Resources: What GroupWise considers resources, Outlook generally would set up as a public folder. But there are many resources that need an actual account for a variety of reasons. All accounts in Exchange require a license, even those tho are not real people. Thinking of all the fictious mailboxes you set up for groups or pseudnyms, those will cost $. Even conference rooms often need an account, having a public folder may not be sufficient.

And oh by the way ...

17) Document Management: GroupWise is the only DMS that allows you to send a document from the library in an email that is addressed to both internal and external folks - and each party gets what they need. Internal folks get a link to the document so any changes they might make are updated in the actual document. The external folks get a copy of the document as it existed at the time the email was sent. All other DMS' will do both things, but they must be done in separate emails. (I hear the groaning now). Yes, the workaround is for an internal person to receive a copy of the document - one email to internal and external with a copy of the document. Why is that so bad? This is why ... because one of the favorite features we hear about for Outlook is the ability to modify an attachment and the changes stick. Yes, they do ... to the file that is attached to that email. We all know the danger of modifing an attachment in an email. But in this scenario, the internal person thinks they are making changes to the document in DMS and they are not.


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