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Exploring GroupWise WebAccess, Part 1

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Rich Ballard

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Posted: 1 Feb 2001

Current Version: GroupWise 5.5

GroupWise WebAccess is your easy Internet communication solution. If you have access to the Internet, you have access to your e-mail. But you don't just have the ability to send and receive messages like the ones your buddy sends with all those Britney Spears attachments. Hey, any primitive e-mail program can do that. With GroupWise WebAccess, you have your very own Master Mailbox in front of you. That's right, you can check your calendar, schedule appointments, and send tasks, just as if you were at your desk back at the office instead of that comfortable lounge chair you're sitting in.

Before we get too far along, you should know that WebAccess comes in two "flavors," Frames, and Java. We suggest you only use the Frames version of WebAccess if you have a seriously underpowered browser, or you have some kind of philosophical problem with Java. Because the real, kick-butt version of WebAccess is Java-based, and we're writing this article based on the Java version. But either way, WebAccess is so intuitive and easy-to-use that you'll soon be discarding this article anyway (print, wad up, and throw in trash can), so don't stress about any minor differences.

Because this is an article for end-users and not an administrator manual, we won't bore you with the details of how the WebServer works, or what your administrator had to do to set everything up. If you are interested in that stuff, go to the GroupWise WebAccess Guide. There you'll find everything about how to set up a WebAccess system, how to maintain the agent and database, and more.

But if you're looking for details about how to use WebAccess once your administrator has it up and running, you've come to the right place. Let's get started.

Getting Started

You start GroupWise WebAccess as you would any other web page on the Internet. You simply use your web browser to go to the url your administrator gave you. The url could be a simple one, like, or a hard-to-remember IP address, like Either way, it's your system administrator's responsibility. Don't blame us.

Once you reach the WebAccess login page (once again, this page is designed by your administrator), enter your username and password just as you would for your GroupWise user account.

Tip: You must have a GroupWise password on your Master Mailbox (the one at the office) in order to use WebAccess. If you don't have one, go set one now, like this:
  1. In the Main Window, click Tools,Options.
  2. Double-click Security, and click the Password tab.
  3. In the New Password text box, type the password.
  4. In the Confirm New Password text box, type the password, and click OK.
  5. Close.

Remember that Passwords are case-sensitive (for example, Wednesday is not the same as WEDNESDAY).

Here is a sample WebAccess login screen. Yours might look slightly different. Notice how it asks for a Password? It's not kidding. You can't get any farther than this without one.

Here's what your main window will look like.

Reading and Writing

Whether you're reading e-mail, appointments, or tasks, reading messages is as simple as clicking your mouse to open the item. In fact, in WebAccess, everything (e-mail, tasks, appointments, and notes) is opened the same way. From the Item List, click the subject of the item. Of course, the available buttons vary depending on the item type you have open. The Java-Enhanced version displays a message box and an attachment window. Regular WebAccess displays messages as simple text.

Remember, appointments, tasks, and notes require some sort of action on your part in addition to simply reading them. You must accept, decline, or delegate them. To accept, decline, or delegate an item, simply click (you guessed it) Accept, Decline, or Delegate in the message view.

Accepting, Declining, or Deleting Stuff

When you accept an appointment, task, or note, WebAccess removes it from your Item List and places it on your Calendar. When you decline an item, WebAccess deletes it. Deleted stuff goes, of all places, in your Trash. (With version 5.5 you can now see your Trash in WebAccess. That may not sound too exciting, but we know how delete-happy we can get around 5:00, and you might just want to see something you chucked at the office...) Declining an appointment, task, or note is the same as deleting it.

Here's how to decline, gracefully:

  1. Click the item in your Item List to open it.
  2. Click Accept or Decline.
  3. Type a comment to the sender (use your imagination).
  4. Click Accept or Decline.

Deleting e-mail is even easier:

  1. Locate the item you want to delete.
  2. Click Delete in the Actions column on the right side of the Item List.

If you want to delete more than one item at a time all you have to do is click the check boxes next to the items and then click delete. Can you feel the power? And it didn't even require a strict diet and a personal trainer.

Sending Messages

Sending messages is almost as easy as reading them. You can send many different kinds of messages, such as simple e-mail, appointments, tasks, notes, and even phone messages. In this article, you'll learn how to send each of these types of messages, but you'll want to check out Part 2 of this series (coming soon) for details about more complicated related tasks, such as using the Address Book, checking your spelling, using your calendar, and dealing with attachments. But, before we get into sending, remember one thing: the Compose icon (the dog-eared page with a pencil on it) is used to send mail messages, appointments, tasks, notes, and phone messages.

Also, any time while you're composing your message you can change your message into something else without losing any of the text you've already typed. Simply click one of the Change To buttons at the top of the message, then mumble abracadabra, and WebAccess changes the message you're creating into the type you want, no extra charge.

Okay, on to sending stuff. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Compose Icon.

  1. Type addresses in the To box. Remember to separate each address with a comma. You can also use the Address Book to find addresses.
  2. Type a subject in the Subject box.
  3. Type a message in the Message box.
  4. If you're using the Java-Enhanced version and have the same spelling skills as I do, you should click Spell Check to tidy up your message.
  5. Specify any attachments in the Attachment boxes. Click browse if you're unsure of the name or location.

  1. Click Send.

Replying to Messages You Receive

When you reply to a message you've received, WebAccess opens a new mail message already addressed to the sender of the original message (does this remind any of you of the regular Windows client?). If you want, you can also send your reply to all other recipients of the original message.

  1. Click the message you want to reply to in the Item List to open it.
  2. Click Reply.
  3. Click Reply to Sender, or click Reply to All (Sender and All Recipients).
  4. Type your message.
  5. If you want to include the sender's original message in your reply, click Include Sender's Message.
  6. Click Send.

Forwarding Messages You Receive

You can forward messages you get to other users. When you forward a message, WebAccess opens a new message and includes a copy of the original message as an attachment to the new message. Some people don't like this "forwarded message as attachment" thing. All we can tell you is, we know. Anyway, the original message remains in your Mailbox. Here's how you forward:

  1. Click the message you want to reply to in the Item List to open it.
  2. Click Forward to open a new message.
  3. Fill out and send the message as you would any message. If you don't remember how to do this, go back to Sending Messages.

Delegating Appointments, Tasks, and Notes

If you get an appointment for a 4:30 meeting that is scheduled for 30 minutes, but you know it will run way into the night, here's your way out. You can assign another user to attend an appointment, complete a task, or own a note you've received. Did you know this? You may never have to work after five, or, even better, do a lick of work, again. When you delegate an appointment, task, or note, GroupWise sends it to the recipient you select.

  1. Click the item you want to delegate in your Item List to open it.
  2. Click Delegate.
  3. Type an address in the To box.
  4. If you want, modify the Subject and Comment. You can't modify the original message. That would be cheating, and GroupWise doesn't allow it.
  5. Click Send.

Remember, you can also delegate appointments, tasks, and notes that you've already accepted (apparently before you knew this cool Delegate feature existed). Simply find the item on your calendar and click it to open it.

Scheduling Appointments

You can schedule appointments without regard for other people's schedules, like my manager, or you can use Busy Search to find out when people are free. This probably depends on what kind of mood you're in. Here's how to do it either way.

Without Regard for Others (Not Using Busy Search)

  1. Click Compose Icon, then click Appointment to change the message to an appointment.

  1. Type addresses in the To box. Separate each address with a comma. (Note: this is different from the way it works in the regular client. Don't be fooled.) Don't worry about scheduling yourself, GroupWise will take care of that by placing your name in the To field.
  2. Type a location in the place box.
  3. Specify a Date, Time, and Duration.
  4. Type a subject in the Subject box.
  5. Type a message in the Message box.
  6. Click Send.

Scheduling Appointments the Polite Way (Using Busy Search)

  1. Click Compose Icon, then click appointment to change the message to an appointment.
  2. Type addresses in the To box, just like always.
  3. Type a location in the place box.
  4. Specify a Date, Time, and Duration. Although, since you're about to use Busy Search, the date, time, and duration you place here are purely speculative.
  5. Type a subject in the Subject box.
  6. Type a message in the Message box.
  7. Finally, click Busy Search.
  8. Click Start Busy Search.

Under the available times column GroupWise will list times that all recipients are available and allow you to click on a time, which will automatically fill in the Date:, Time:, and Duration: fields.

  1. Specify a date and time based on the available times shown.
  2. Click Send Appointment.
  3. Or Click Return to Appointment.

Assigning Tasks

Assigning tasks to other users is fun and easy. That is, you can easily assign your work to other people and go have fun instead. Tasks work better than simple e-mail for assignments because you can set a priority, a start date, and a due date. Tasks also let the recipient accept, decline, or delegate a task. You can even find out what the recipient did with your task (hopefully completed it) by checking the task's status information.

  1. Click Compose Icon, then click Task to change the message to a task.
  2. Type addresses in the To box. (If this is a personal task, this would be you.)
  3. Specify a Start Date and a Priority.
  4. Specify an End Date.
  5. Type a subject in the Subject box.
  6. Type a message in the Message box.
  7. Click Send.

Writing Notes to Other Users

A note is a message that, if accepted, appears in the recipient's Calendar on the day you specify in the note. Because a note appears in the recipient's Calendar on the day you specify, it is useful as a reminder of a specific event. For example, you could send a note to your boss asking for a day off. If your boss accepts the note, it appears in his or her Calendar on the day you specified.

You can see if a note you sent has been accepted, declined, or delegated by checking the status information for the note.

  1. Click Compose Icon, then click Note to change the message to a note.
  2. Type addresses in the To box. For a personal note, put your name in the To box.
  3. Specify the date you want the note to appear in the recipient's calendar.
  4. Type a subject in the Subject box.
  5. Type a message in the Message box.
  6. Click Send.

Sending Phone Messages

When you receive a phone call or visit for another user (you didn't duck into a cubicle fast enough), you can send the user a phone message (rather than a mail message) to let him or her know about the call or visit. A phone message includes boxes for the caller's name, company, and phone number.

  1. Click Compose Icon, then click Phone to change the message to a phone message.
  2. Type addresses in the To box.
  3. Type a name in the Caller box.
  4. Type a company in the Company box.
  5. Type a number in the Phone box.
  6. Type a message in the Message box.
  7. Click Send.

In other words, fill out the phone message and send it.

Sending or Receiving an Internet Location

When you find a good web site (such as, you may want to send the location (for example,, or URL, to another user. WebAccess interprets any URL (like, say, in the Message box into a shortcut to the web site. The recipient who opens your message in WebAccess can click the shortcut displayed in the Attachments box to open a second browser window that shows the web site (Subtle advertising, huh?)

For More Info

Check out Part 2, for a discussion of more advanced stuff, like working with attachments, using the Address Book, using your calendar, and spell-checking. Of course, by advanced, we mean if you've never used WebAccess. Remember, this stuff is easy, just like it should be.

If You Get Stuck

If you get stuck while you're using WebAccess, click for Help. It's very, well, helpful.

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