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How to get your POP Mail into GroupWise

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Randall S. Bohn

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Posted: 26 Mar 2000

POP-Forwarding Agent-Global Release 6


When using GroupWise 5.5, which is included with Novell Small Business Suite 5 (NSBS5), you also have the ability to manage POP3 accounts with the aid of the POP Forwarding Agent (PFA). PFA was installed by default when you installed NSBS5. It allows you to use dynamic IP addressing from an ISP to receive e-mail from the Internet. Depending on your configuration, this agent can collect e-mail for one organization from a POP3 mailbox or specific user POP3 mailboxes and forward the e-mail to the local GroupWise users' mailboxes.

This download file contains files necessary to update all previous versions of the POP-Forwarding Agent (PFA) to the Global Release 6 level. PFA G6 fixes some mail delivery bugs in PFA_G5 and earlier. PFA_G5 updates PFA_G4 with additional documentation in this Readme file and includes a revised NWCONFIG install script. PFA_G5 fixes several issues found in previous shipping versions of the PFA.

Specifically, this file resolves the problem where messages from a domain POP3 mailbox piled up in the SYS:\MAIL\GWDOM\PFA directory rather than being forwarded from the server to local users on the network.

The archive file includes this README.TXT file, updated PFA software in PFA.JAR, global PFA language resource files in PFA_RES.JAR, a PFA snap-in for ConsoleOne in PSNAP.JAR, PFA schema definitions in PFA.SCH, and a NWCONFIG install script in PFA.IPS.

Installation Instructions


  • You must have an existing Novell Small Business Suite 5 (NSBS5) server with GroupWise 5.5 installed at the server and on each workstation that will use e-mail.
  • You should also have a working Internet connection.
  • You should be able to use GroupWise to send e-mail to the Internet (GWIA must be running).
  • Your POP3 accounts must be active.
  • The ISP or domain mail forwarding service must be forwarding domain mail to a single POP3 mailbox
  • If you have an existing PFA running, shut it down using the Shutdown button in the PFA web console.

Downloading and Extracting the Files:

  1. Download the PFA_G6.ZIP file to a local drive on your workstation or server.
  2. Extract the files contained PFA_G6.ZIP to a directory on your file server, such as SYS:\PFA.

Installation Options:

You can follow either of two options to install this PFA_G6 update:

  • Option 1--Using NWCONFIG.NLM
  • Option 2--Manually copying the files to the server.

Option 1--Using NWCONFIG:

  1. Insert your Novell Small Business Suite 5 Server CD1 into your CD drive.
  2. At the file server console, enter NWCONFIG.
  3. Select Product Options
  4. If prompted, press Enter to continue.
  5. Select Install a Product Not Listed.
  6. Press F3, then enter the path of the directory where you extracted the PFA_G5 files (SYS:\PFA).
  7. Select the files that you want to install. The PFA files are selected by default.
  8. If you want to use the PFA snap-in to ConsoleOne, select that item on the menu. To use the PFA snap-in, version 1.2b of ConsoleOne, which is included in NetWare 5 Support Pack version 4 or later, must be installed.
  9. Press F10. The install script will copy all of the files to your server.
  10. Exit NWCONFIG.
  11. Remove the CD from the CD drive.

Option 2--Manually Copying Files to the Server:

  1. From a workstation, login to the server as user Admin.
  2. Browse to the directory where you extracted the PFA_G5 archive (SYS:\PFA).
  3. Copy all of the *.JAR files to SYS:\JAVA\LIB.
  4. Copy PFA.NCF to SYS:\SYSTEM.
  5. If you plan to use the PFA snapin to ConsoleOne, copy PSNAP.JAR to SYS:\PUBLIC\MGMT\CONSOLEONE\1.2\SNAPINS. If this directory does not exist, you need to install ConsoleOne. To use the PFA snap-in, version 1.2b of ConsoleOne, which is included in NetWare 5 Support Pack version 4 or later, must be installed.

Additional Configuration Instructions

Configuring the PFA:

Even if you plan to use the PFA snap-in to ConsoleOne to configure personal and domain forwarding, you must configure the PFA for your Organization object using Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT) to ensure that the PFA user exists and that it has the proper access to your NDS tree.

To configure the PFA for your Organization object using NEAT:

  1. At a workstation, log in to the server as user Admin.
  2. Start NEAT.
  3. In the Directory view (left window), select your Organization object.
  4. In the Property view (right window), click GroupWise.
  5. Enter the POP account information for your organization.
  6. (Conditional) If you are not going to use domain forwarding, enter dummy information in each field, such as nowhere, noone, nothing.
  7. Click General to save the settings.
  8. (Conditional) If you are not going to use domain forwarding, click GroupWise and delete the dummy information. Click General again to save the settings.

After completing these steps, you can verify that the user was created and has the proper rights assigned. To do this:

  1. Open NetWare Administrator.
  2. In NetWare Administrator, browse to the Root object of your NDS tree.
  3. Right-click on the Root object.
  4. Click View Trustees of This Object.
  5. Select the pfa.GroupWise user.
  6. Select Selected Properties.
  7. Make sure that the Read and Write rights for the POP Account property are checked.

Now you can set up personal mail forwarding for any user in your tree.

To configure a user to receive POP3 mail using NEAT:

  1. In the Directory view (left window), select the user.
  2. In the Property view (right window), click GroupWise.
  3. Enter the POP information.
  4. In the Property view, click General, then click GroupWise again to make sure that your information was saved.
Repeat this procedure for any users you want to configure.

You can also use the PFA snapin to ConsoleOne to configure personal and domain forwarding. Before doing so, make sure you have Configured PFA for an Organization using NEAT so the PFA user exist and it has proper access to your NDS tree.

You can run ConsoleOne from the server or workstation.

To start ConsoleOne from the server:

  1. Do either of the following:
    • Enter C1START at the server console.
    • Switch to the server GUI > click the servertop > ConsoleOne.
  2. At the login prompt, enter your NDS context, username, and password, then click OK.

To start ConsoleOne from a workstation:

  1. Map a drive to the volume where ConsoleOne is installed.
  2. Browse to and double-click SYS:\PUBLIC\MGNT\CONSOLEONE\1.2\BIN\CONSOLEONE.EXE.

If this is the first time you have run ConsoleOne from this workstation, you might need to install the client DLL files and restart the workstation.

To configure the PFA for your Organization object using ConsoleOne:

  1. Browse to your Organization object.
  2. Right-click the Organization object then select Properties.
  3. Select POP Account.
  4. Enter the required POP account information for your organization.
  5. Click OK.

To configure the PFA for a user using ConsoleOne:

  1. Browse to a User object.
  2. Right click then select properties.
  3. Select POP Account.
  4. Enter the required POP account information for the user.
  5. Click OK.
Repeat this procedure for each user.

Starting the PFA at the Server Console

When Novell Small Business Suite was installed, the PFA.NCF command to start PFA was entered in the AUTOEXEC.NCF file. This command was disabled with a # symbol.

To enable the PFA to be started automatically each time the server is restarted, remove the # symbol from the PFA.NCF command in the AUTOEXEC.NCF file and save the file. This command will take effect the next time the server is restarted.

If the server is already running, you must start the PFA manually. To start the PFA manually, enter PFA.NCF at the server console prompt.

Authenticate by Logging In the PFA User

When PFA is enabled, you must authenticate the PFA user by logging in each time the server starts or when the PFA is restarted manually.

When PFA starts, it will bring up a login dialog on the X Server--Graphical Console (GUI).

To log in the PFA user:

  1. Leave the Context field blank.
  2. Make sure that the username is '.PFA.GroupWise'.
  3. Enter the password for the PFA user. The default password is admin.

If the login was sucessful, a small window in the upper-left corner of the GUI console will show you the name of the PFA user and a message stating Login OK.

If the login was not sucessful, click the Please Login the PFA User button in the bottom of this small window. The login dialog will reappear, allowing you to try logging in again.

Warning: Closing the small window will stop the PFA.

To restart the PFA at the server console:

  1. At the console prompt, use the Ctrl+Esc keys to toggle to the PFA text screen, then press Enter to close the screen.
  2. At the console prompt, enter PFA.NCF.

Managing the PFA Using the Web Interface

After the PFA is started, you can manage the PFA using the PFA Web interface. This interface allows you to shut down the PFA or adjust the PFA schedule from a Web browser. You can use any browser that supports the UTF-8 character encoding, such as Netscape Navigator version 4 or later or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4 or later.

To access the Web interface, enter the following URL into your browser:

If you did a custom installation of the Novell Small Business Suite 5 server and changed your server's IP address from the default, replace the '' section of the above URL with your server's IP address.

Entering this URL will take you to the main PFA Web interface status page (Home) which contains the status of the PFA and includes the following options:

  • Shutdown: This button signals the PFA to shut down. Click this button to shut down the PFA. After clicking Shutdown, a message will be sent notifying you that the PFA was shut down. After the PFA is shut down, a Home link will be returned that will take you back to the main status page in the web interface. The Home link will not work until you restart the PFA from the server console.
  • Start Forwarding Scan: This button signals the PFA to check for downloaded messages in the queue that are waiting to be forwarded. Click this button if the GWIA is down while the PFA is running.
  • Schedule: This link connects you to a page where you can customize the PFA schedule. For instructions, see Customizing the PFA Schedule.
  • Reload Schedule: This button signals the PFA to load the schedule from yours server's hard disk. After you save a modified schedule, you will need to reload the schedule before the PFA will start using it. You can view the new schedule on the PFA text screen on the file server console.
  • Set Log Level: This form allows you to change the PFA logging level to the following settings: None, Low, Medium, and High. Medium is the default level. The High level is intended for debugging only and will slow down the PFA operation. Use the High level to make sure that the PFA is working. Then you should change the level back to a lower level for normal operations. This form does not indicate what the current log level is. This form is only for changing the current log level. You can view the current log level on the PFA text screen on the file server console.

PFA Log Levels:

  • None: only critical errors are reported.
  • Low: minimal operational information.
  • Medium:
    • Some POP dialog messages.
    • Forwarding of messages recorded.
    • Web connections are noted but not identified.
    • PFA Heartbeat enabled.
  • High:
    • POP Accounts recorded as processed.
    • Complete POP dialog messages.
    • Forwarding of messages recorded.
    • Web connections noted and identified.
    • PFA Heartbeat enabled.

When the log file reaches the maximum size 64 KB, it is copied to PAF.LOG.BAK. Any existing PAF.LOG.BAK file will be deleted.

Customizing the PFA Schedule

Using the default schedule, the PFA will check for mail every 30 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 6:59 p.m. each day. You can customize the PFA schedule to meet your specific needs. When you set the schedule for the PFA, you configure starting and ending hours and how long to wait between mail download cycles.

The PFA will follow the same schedule every day of the week. If you don't want the PFA to run on a particular day, you must shut it down manually and restart it later.

To adjust the schedule:

  1. Enter the cycle time. This is how many minutes the PFA will wait between download cycles. You can enter any time from 2 to 120 minutes.
  2. Enter the starting hour. Values are midnight (0:00 a.m.) to 11:00 p.m. The first download will occur at the start of the hour you specify.
  3. Enter the ending hour. The ending hour must not be earlier than the starting hour. The final download will occur near the end of the hour you specify.

    You can choose to run the PFA all day long, during your working hours, or for a few hours each morning or evening. You cannot start the active time late on one day and end early the next day. Start and end times must be within the same day.

  4. Click Submit to save the schedule to the server's hard disk.
  5. To use your new schedule, select the Home link and then click the Reload Schedule button.

PFA Operations and Troubleshooting

How PFA Works:

  1. The PFA scans NDS for organizations and users with POP Accounts.
  2. When the PFA finds a POP account, it queues a download task for that user.
  3. The download task connects to the POP server (ISP), authenticates for the user, and downloads any waiting mail items.
  4. The downloaded items are stored in a queue on volume SYS at SYS:\MAIL\GWDOM\PFA.
  5. For each message downloaded, the download task queues a forward task.
  6. The forward task reads the stored message from the queue, then opens an SMTP connection to GWIA.
  7. The message is forwarded through GWIA to local GroupWise users. Messages from personal POP3 mailboxes are forwarded to the corresponding local user. For a domain POP3 mailbox, local usernames are extracted from the messages. The PFA uses the local usernames to tell GWIA where to deliver each message.

When you start the PFA and switch to the PFA text screen on the server console, you will see the following PFA greeting messages:

POP Forwarding Agent
Novell Small Business Suite
NSBS PFA 9date code here)
( SMTP: localhost

The line with SMTP should show your domain name instead of the information in the angle brackets. If it does not, check the foreign ID on your GWIA. If line says null, make sure that the GWIA is running.

The PFA gets the local domain name from the GWIA when it starts. If need to change the GWIA foreign ID, you must restart the PFA after changing it.

If you have set up the PFA to download Internet e-mail and you attempt to shut down the server while the PFA is in use, your server might abend. Shut down the PFA before you shut down the server.

If you are running GroupWise 5.5 with Service Pack 3 you should enable the GWIA correlation database. In some cases this will reduce the number of duplicate messages delivered to GroupWise users. More information on using the correlation database can be found in the GroupWise documentation.


Domain Forwarding: Mail for a domain, such as, is routed to a mailbox.

Forward Scan: The process where the PFA scans the downloaded message queue for messages waiting to be forwarded.

GWIA: GroupWise Internet Agent. The GroupWise SMTP Gateway, it also includes LDAP, IMAP, and POP3 servers.

ISP: Internet Service Provider. They connect your network to the Internet.

NDS: Novell Directory Services. The PFA uses POP Account information stored in the directory.

NSBS5: Novell Small Business Suite 5.

Personal Mail Forwarding: Mail from an individual's mailbox is forwarded to a different mailbox.

PFA: POP Forwarding Agent. Forwards messages from a POP3 mailbox to the local GWIA.

POP: Post Office Protocol. An Internet messaging standard.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transport Protocol. An Internet messaging standard.


The Origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information. However, the information provided in this document is for your information only. Novell makes no explicit or implied claims to the validity of this information.

Any trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. Consult your product manuals for complete trademark information.

dated 2000-02-22.

About the Author

Born in Utah and raised in Tennessee, Randall S. Bohn now makes his home in Orem Utah, with his wife and three kids. Randall writes code in EMACS and started using Java in 1997. He was the lead engineer on PFA. He likes to spend his time off in the mountains with his family.

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