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By Jaelynn Williams

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Posted: 3 Jun 1999
 

Don't you hate terms like integrate--especially when they show up in the friendly interface of your favorite application? Integrate conjures up all kinds of images but none of them are too pleasant. In fact, it's terms like integrate that cause otherwise adventurous people to cover their eyes, run the other way, and miss really cool stuff. So, we admit it. Integration is a gruesome name, and we apologize. Really...we do, but as Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other word would smell as sweet." and GroupWise Integration is cool and easy-to-use in spite of its name. So, if you've been reluctant to use GroupWise Integrations, read on! Or, if you've already ventured out into the GroupWise Integrations forest and feel like you're wandering in the dark or dying a slow death, read on! We've got stuff for you too.

What are GroupWise Integrations?
So just what are GroupWise Integrations and what will they do for you? In a nutshell, GroupWise Integrations make it possible for your applications, such as Word, WordPerfect, Excel, and so on, to communicate directly with GroupWise. This mini-detente between the apps provides a bunch of advantages: First, you can see the documents in your GroupWise folders (Mailbox, Cabinet, and so on) from the Open dialog box in the application. With this type of cooperation, you don't have to go back to GroupWise to open a document because you can open it right from your application.

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Second, once you're finished mucking around in an existing document or creating a new one, you can save it in the GroupWise Library using the application's Save feature. Cool, huh? Third, if you've made oodles of changes or if you're a bit anal retentive and like to have a copy of everything, you can save it as a new version of the document. Just click Save As in the application and viola! You've got a new version. Even Cooler, don't you think?

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What Applications
Can Be Integrated With GroupWise?
In a perfect world, every application would talk to ODMA (Open Document Management API), the standard industry protocol for document management, and as a result, all applications would be able to integrate with GroupWise; however, the world is not perfect, (we're sure this really catches you by surprise) and not all applications (very few in fact) have incorporated the ODMA standard, which means a bunch of applications can't integrate with GroupWise. Applications that can't integrate with GroupWise are called--you guessed it, non-integrated applications. Now, just because an application can't integrate doesn't mean you can't use it to create documents in the GroupWise Library. It just means the application will look and behave differently than an integrated application, and sadly, you won't be able to take advantage of integrated Open and Save As features.

In the case of most non-integrated applications, GroupWise shrugs its shoulders and moves on. However, some of these applications are very popular, such as Word and Excel, and are bought by lots and lots of people. (Perhaps you've purchased a copy yourself.) So with your best interest in mind, GroupWise has gone the extra mile to create integration macros for Word 95 and Excel 95. (Integration macros for Excel 97 are on the way.) It's Darwin's law in action (more or less): survival of the richest. These macros are officially called point-to-point integrations. Why? Perhaps to scare normal people like you and me or maybe to keep up the gruesome naming conventions initiated by integrate and ODMA, who knows? The important thing is point-to-point integrations make it possible for you to enjoy the benefits of integration when you're using Word and Excel with GroupWise.

No doubt, you're wondering which applications can integrate with GroupWise--you want a list. Well, say no more. GroupWise 5.2 can integrate with all of the following applications: Word 95, Word 97, Excel 95, PowerPoint, Binder, WordPro, WordPerfect 7, WordPerfect 8, Corel Presentations 7, Corel Presentations 8, Quattro Pro 7, and Quattro Pro 8. Now this is a list of the applications that can currently integrate with GroupWise and is by no means the definitive list for ever and ever. As more and more applications implement ODMA, this list will grow, and the really great part is that you'll be able to integrate these applications with your current version of GroupWise--no need to update. GroupWise is primed and ready for anything that comes along.

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Setting Up GroupWise Integrations
Okay, so you agree GroupWise Integrations sound cool, and you'd like to give them a try. Well, it's a snap to get them set up and running--no knowledge of ODMA, NetWare, or C++ required. Whew! The only tricky thing about setting up GroupWise Integrations is figuring out that you have to do it during Setup. (And because you're reading this article, you don't even have to figure that out.) Now, if you've already set up GroupWise on your machine, don't worry. You can run Setup again, and it won't disturb your Mailbox or anything in it. Here's what you do:
1. Click Start on the Windows Taskbar, then click Run.
2. Type the path to the GroupWise Setup program, SETUP.EXE. (If you can't find it, ask your system administrator.)
3. Click Next to accept the license agreement.
4.  Click either Workstation or Standard install, then click Next.
5.  Click Next three times to accept the default settings for program folder and language and to begin copying files.
6.  When the Software Integrations dialog box displays, make sure all the applications you want to integrate with GroupWise are checked.

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7.  Click Next.
8. Click Finish to exit Setup and open GroupWise.

Don't be alarmed if all the applications on your machine don't show up in the Software Integrations dialog box. In fact, it's normal to have just one or two entries in this dialog box. Here's why: To integrate with an application, the application has to be ODMA enabled or it must be one of the applications for which GroupWise supplies a point-to-point integration macro. As a result, GroupWise integrates with a specific group of applications. During Setup, GroupWise checks the Windows registry to see if you've installed any of these applications. If you have, GroupWise displays the application in the Software Integrations dialog box so you can integrate it with GroupWise--if you want.

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Getting Documents Back
to the Library from Your Applications
You're integrated and you love it, but from time to time you see some funky things: warnings when you close GroupWise about documents still being open, and messages when you open GroupWise about documents that need to be returned to the library. Perhaps you've even noticed the Reset Status option tucked away in your right-click menu. What's up? Well, all these messages and options have to do with what happens to your document while it's away from the library and how it gets back into the library after you've opened it.

If you're using an integrated application, GroupWise returns the document to the library (which is a lot like returning a book) when you close the document window in the application. If you're using a non-integrated application, GroupWise returns the document to the library when you close the application. This is because GroupWise can't monitor what's happening in a non-integrated application while the document is open. Overall, this works pretty well. However, if you close a document in a non-integrated application but you leave the application open, the document is not returned to the library until you close the application. If you try to exit GroupWise before you close the application, GroupWise displays a message telling you that you still have a document open. At first, you may think, "What? I don't have a document open." However, as far as GroupWise is concerned the document is still open because GroupWise hasn't gotten the signal (the closing of the application) to return the document to the library. As a result, your document, which isn't open anymore and appears to be tucked away safely in the library, is really languishing in the staging directory. (The staging directory is the big waiting room in the sky for documents coming and going from the library.)

So what happens if you exit GroupWise without closing the application or your application crashes while a document is still open? In either case, GroupWise leaves the document in the staging area, and the status of the document is Open. (To check the status of the document, click the document, then click File, Properties, the Version tab.) This means that no one, including the person who had the document open originally, can open the document until it is returned to the library. Everyone is locked out--no exceptions. Definitely, not a good thing. This is where Reset Document Status comes in handy. If a document that is not really Open has a status of Open, you can use Reset Document Status to manually return the document to the library and change the document's status. Once the document is back in the library, you and your co-workers will be able to open the document and carry on. Here's all you have to do to change the status of a document:
1.  Right-click the document reference for the document that is in limbo.
2.  Click Reset Document Status.
3.  Click Return Document to the Library to return the document to the library with your changes, or click Make Document Available Only to change the document's status without copying the document in the staging area back to the library.

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Turning Integrations On or Off
Depending on your organization, you may use GroupWise document management a little or a lot. If you work in a company that uses GroupWise Libraries a little and you find yourself working on documents on your hard drive more than you work on documents in the GroupWise Library, you can turn off GroupWise Integrations. It's easy to do--too easy to get any real respect. To turn off GroupWise Integrations (after you've installed them during Setup), click Tools, Options, and then double-click Documents. Click Enable Integrations with Other Applications to uncheck the box. As easy as that, you're not integrated.

When you turn integrations off, GroupWise turns integration off for all applications. You can't pick and choose. It's an all or nothing proposition, but it's easily reversed. When you're ready to use integrations again, click Tools, Options, and then double-click Documents to open the Documents Setup dialog box again, click Enable Integrations with Other Applications, and easy as that you're integrated again.

There are just a couple more things you should know about this Integrations check box. It may seem small and insignificant, but it carries a lot of weight. Once you've installed integrations during Setup, both GroupWise and your applications (WordPerfect, Word, and so on) check this box each time you run them to see if you have integrations turned on. If integrations are on, then your application displays the integrated Open and Save As dialog boxes. If integrations are turned off, then your application displays its regular Open and Save As dialog boxes. It's the check box that's in control.

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What's Up with the
Dimmed Close Button in Word and Excel?
No doubt, if you have Word 95 or Excel 95 and you integrated one or both of these applications with GroupWise, you've found yourself asking "Why is my Close button dimmed?" Some of you may have been asking "Why the #@&!! is my Close button dimmed?" An honest question which deserves an honest answer. GroupWise's point-to-point integration macro, which integrates Word and Excel with GroupWise, de-activates the Close button on purpose. Now, GroupWise doesn't do this to wreak havoc on your otherwise blissful life. Quite the contrary. GroupWise does this so you won't inadvertently wreak havoc on your documents. Here's the scoop: Microsoft doesn't provide any method for the point-to-point integration macros to control the Close button. If the Close button weren't de-activated, you could close the application and your document would not be returned to the library. As a result, GroupWise de-activates the Close button and forces you to use Exit to close the application so your documents will always be returned to the library. You're forced to use Exit to close the application; however, you don't have to use Exit to close a document and return it to the library. Word and Excel are integrated (by the very macro that de-activates the Close button in the first place) which means you can return your documents to the library by closing the document window--no need to close the entire application.

If you are more attached to an active Close button then you are to GroupWise Integrations and you don't use document management much, there is a way to breathe life back into your button. You may have already discovered that unchecking the Integrations check box doesn't do the trick. Instead, you'll have to get your hands dirty and do a little manual labor to get rid of your Word and Excel integrations. You need to remove the GroupWise point-to-point integration macros, GWNORMxx.DOT (where xx refers to the language code) for Word and GWXLUS.XLA for Excel, from the Word and Excel startup directories. Once these macros are gone, Word and Excel won't be integrated with GroupWise and your Close button will be active once again. If you decide to do this, proceed with caution. Once you remove the macros, you'll have to run GroupWise Setup to get them back.

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Under the Hood of GroupWise Integrations:
The GWAPPINT.INF File
Whenever you double-click a document in GroupWise, GroupWise checks the GWAPPINT.INF file to see if the application associated with this document is integrated. If the application is integrated, then GroupWise gets additional information about the type of integration, whether it is a point-to-point or ODMA, from the application's entry in the GWAPPINT.INF file.

So what's in this magic file that GroupWise checks with all the time? Not much, really. The GWAPPINT.INF file is a text file that GroupWise copies to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory (if you're running Windows 95) or your C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\ directory (if you're running NT) during Setup. If you run Setup again, GroupWise checks to see if a copy of this file exists in one of these directories. If you already have a copy of this file, GroupWise does not install an updated version of the GWAPPINT.INF file. Why? Because GroupWise doesn't want to write over changes you may have made to this file. Isn't that nice?

The GWAPPINT.INF file contains a section for each application you integrated with GroupWise. In each of these sections there is an entry called Integrated. The numbers associated with the Integrated entry are what tells GroupWise whether the application is integrated or non-integrated. Here's the legend: If the entry is Integrated=0, the application is not integrated. If the entry is Integrated=1, the application is integrated using point-to-point integration macros. If the entry is Integrated=2, the application is integrated using ODMA.

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Heads Up
Here's a bunch of things we've discovered about how different applications really integrate with GroupWise using ODMA. It's kind of a smorgasbord, but we've tried to include some of the most common obstacles people are running up against as they use integrations. We've divided it by application to help you find your way, and we've included possible solutions where they're available. So, dig around and see if you can't find something that's just right for you.

Corel WordPerfect 7
After WordPerfect has been installed, you must select Open from the File menu before trying to do any other ODMA action. You don't need to complete the open process, (feel free to use the Cancel button on the dialog box) but in order for the ODMA integration to be fully implemented, you must first select Open.

WordPerfect does not support all of the extended characters supported by GroupWise. This can cause a problem in the document ID. For example, if GroupWise creates an ODMA document ID with extended characters that WordPerfect doesn't support, WordPerfect will "translate" or modify the unsupported characters into characters it does support. As a result, when WordPerfect passes the document ID back to GroupWise and asks GroupWise to open the document, GroupWise can't identify the document because WordPerfect modified the document ID.

In the initial release of WordPerfect 7, if WordPerfect was already running, you couldn't open GroupWise, select another WordPerfect document, and then open the document. If you did, nothing happened. Corel is aware of this problem and a fix should be available soon.

Lotus Word Pro 96
When the document management system does not wish to handle an operation such as Selecting a Document or Saving a Document, the error ODM_E_APPSELECT is returned to the application. This is an indication to the application that it should display its own Open or Save As dialog boxes. Lotus does this properly in the Open dialog box case. However, in the Save As case, Lotus ignores the error and does nothing. As a result, the Lotus Save As dialog box can't be displayed when you select the Save Document Using Application Dialog check box.

Word Pro does not properly close the ODMA documents when you exit the application. This generates an error because GroupWise can't return the document to the library. In order to avoid this problem, you must close every open document before you exit Word Pro.

Microsoft Word 97
Word 97 does not properly close ODMA documents. The end-result is that GroupWise can stage the document changes back to the GroupWise Library, but Word does not release the file handle correctly so GroupWise is unable to delete the document from the staging area. This is also a problem when you exit Word 97 and one or many ODMA documents need to be closed.

When creating a new version, Word 97 does not properly close the old version of the document. As a result, GroupWise can't complete the New Version process.

A user can't use both the Word 95 point-to-point integration that ships with GroupWise 5.2 and the ODMA integrations available with Word 97. The Word 95 integration must be removed before the ODMA integrations will work correctly.

Microsoft Power Point 97
Power Point has the same problem as items one and two mentioned in the Word 97 section above.

Microsoft Binder 97
Binder has the same problem as items one and two mentioned in the Word 97 section above.


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