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Exploring GroupWise WebAccess, Part 2

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Rich Ballard

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Posted: 19 Apr 2001

Current Version: GroupWise 5.5 EP

In Exploring GroupWise WebAccess, Part I we ran you through the basic WebAccess paces. Things like sending, reading, accepting, declining. Well, there's a lot more to WebAccess than that. So this time we'll talk about more advanced stuff, like attachment adding, address booking, calendaring, and foldering. And we'll try to get someone soon to write another WebAccess article to tell you all about setting up a WebAccess system from the back end -- real administrator-type stuff.

Using the WebAccess Address Book

As is often the case with Web products, the Java-Enhanced version of WebAccess has an Address Book that's a little easier to use, and a little easier to look at than the HTML version. Both versions, however, let you look up addresses. In fact, both address books let you do all sorts of cool things. You can decide how much information you want to see about selected entries, and you can use wild cards if you're not sure how to spell Kornikova or the name you want. We're partial to Java around here, so that's where we're going to concentrate our attention in this article.

Using the Address Book

The Address Book provides easy access to the system address book as well as to all your personal address books.

To look up names in the Address Book:

  1. Click the Address Book icon in the left Navigation bar.


    If you are looking up names from an item you are sending, click the Address Book graphic at the right of the item.

  2. To display all users in the Address Book, leave the name fields empty.


    To search for a specific name, type the user's name in the boxes.

  1. Click Find Matching Users.

  2. If you are adding a name in the list to a message you are sending, click the name in the Names list, click To:, CC:, or BC: (do this for each user you want), or you can double-click the name and it will automatically be placed in the To: list, then click Mail.

    The fewer names you display, the faster the Address Book works. I think this falls under the Duh category, but hey, it's something to think about if you're on a slow connection.


Robert Magid wrote: Rich, the most satisfying part of the address book is that you can use the * as a wild card, since we don't always get those last names correct. Plus you don't need both a first and last name to find people.

If you type R* in the first box and Bal* in the last box (in case I can't remember if your last name has one or two ls in it) it lowers the number of responses.

But a good article, none the less...

Working With Attachments

You can attach any file type (for example, text, audio, image, video, and application) to GroupWise WebAccess messages. However, you can send attachments only if your browser supports them. And really, who's using browsers that don't support attachments these days?

In previous versions of WebAccess, you might recall, it was very important that you specify any attachments as the last thing you do before sending any message (for mystifying server reasons you don't need to know about). Worry no longer, those days are over. Specify attachments whenever you darn well feel like it, at the beginning, middle, or end of writing a message. Here's how it's done:

  1. Open any type of message (such as e-mail, appointment, task, or note).

  2. Click Attach.

  3. Click the Browse button next to an Attachment, or type a filename in the box if you already know it (yeah, right).

  4. Click Add.

    And so on for each attachment.

  1. Click OK to return to the message you're sending. Now wasn't that easy?

Viewing Attachments

Your browser can display some file types automatically, including text, html, and GIF image files. Place the mouse pointer on each attachment in the Attach box to see the options available for attachments of that file type.

Available options may include View File for viewing the attachment, Save As to save the attachment so you can view it later in a compatible application, or Play File to play an audio file.

Other file types require helper applications to open them. When you click an attachment that your browser cannot open directly, you are either prompted to save the file or to select a helper application that can open it (depending on the default action specified in your browser for that file type). See your browser documentation for information about selecting helper applications.

Saving Attachments

GroupWise leaves the job of saving attachments up to your browser. For example, in Netscape you could save an attachment using the following steps:

  1. Place the mouse pointer over an attachment, then click Save As.

  2. Click Save File if you have specified Prompt User in General Options for this file type.

  3. Select a folder to save to, type a file name in the File Name box, select a file type, then click Save.

Using the WebAccess Calendar

WebAccess uses a calendar that reflects its Java nature. That is, the Java-Enhanced calendar offers an easier-to-use interface.

While the HTML version of WebAccess doesn't have the slick look and feel of the Java-Enhanced version, it still offers calendar options that let you do the same thing: keep track of appointments, tasks, and notes while you're away from your main 32-bit Client. And it offers a mini month view calendar without having to open another window, which is nice.

Using Calendar

The Day view calendar is a Java applet. You can't resize each section, but you can hide or display them, and you can scroll within each section.

  1. Click the Calendar icon in the left Navigation bar.

In the day view calendar, you can do lots of interesting things. Click Appointments, Notes, or Tasks to hide or display each item type. Click Go To Date to open a small calendar and select a specific date. Click the arrows to move forward or backward one day. That sort of thing.

Using the Month View Calendar

The Java-Enhanced version of WebAccess gives you a bonus calendar: The Super-Sized Month View calendar, which conveniently opens in a separate browser window and can be manipulated independently of your main window, and just think, we won't even add $.39 to the price. Be warned, however, it can take a minute for this puppy to open. But what do you expect when displaying over four weeks of info?

  1. While in the Calendar, click Launch Month Calendar in the bottom left corner.

Once you're in the Month View calendar, you can easily navigate through your calendar-type stuff. Click the arrows to move forward or backward one month. Double-click any calendar item to open it. Click a calendar item to see its information directly in the Month View window. Click until you've run out of things to click.

Working With Folders

All folders in your Folder List are subfolders of the user folder. The user folder represents your user database, and contains all of your GroupWise information (remember, your WebAccess main window is merely a manifestation of your user database, simply a different look than you would get from your 32-bit Windows interface). Under the user folder you'll find all the folders you have in your main Windows Mailbox. Things like your Sent Items folder, the Calendar folder, and the Cabinet. And, since this is the latest version of WebAccess we're talking about, you'll also find your Trash, (a privilege you can't appreciate unless you've lived without it).

Moving an Item to Another Folder

In WebAccess you cannot drag items from folder to folder. Also, because of the limitations of Web browsers, to select and act on multiple items at the same time, you need to select the little check boxes next to the items. I know that this is kind of a pain but it's way better than it used to be, so quit your whining. Let's move on and show you how.

  1. Select the little check box next to the items you want to move.

  2. Click Move at the top of the Item List.

  3. Click the folder you want to move the item to.

Using the Sent Items Folder

The Sent Items folder is a find results folder that displays everything you've sent from GroupWise. You can open the folder and simply view the list of items you've sent, you can check the status of sent items to see if recipients have acted on the item, and you can even retract messages you have sent. You know that resignation message that you sent to your boss before you actually read the letter from Ed McMahon? You can get it back (if you're quick), even from the WebAccess client.

To check the status of sent items, follow these steps,

  1. Click the Sent Items folder in the Folder List.

  2. Click any item to open it.

  3. Click Info.

In the status window, you can see exactly what the recipient has done with your message. Remember, you can also use Options in a full network version of the client to determine the level of information displayed in the Status window. If you don't have access to a full network client, your system administrator can change the status information level for you.

To retract a message you have sent, do this:

  1. Click the Sent Items folder in the Folder List.

  2. Click any item to open it.

  3. Click Delete.

  4. Click Delete from All Mailboxes.

When you retract a message, GroupWise removes it from the recipient's Mailbox. You can retract a mail or phone message as long as the recipient has not yet opened the message. You can retract an appointment, task, or note at any time.

Printing from WebAccess

Printing from WebAccess depends on the printing capabilities of your web browser, but it's usually just a matter of the old File, Print. But we'll put some steps in just to be official.

  1. Click any message in the Item List to open it.

  2. Click in the message text to make sure the focus is in the message.

  3. Use your browser's print feature to print the message.
    For example, to print using Netscape Communicator, click File, Print.

Hey, Even Superman Has a Weakness

Even though WebAccess can do the majority of the tasks that the big daddy Windows client can do it still has some limitations. We want to tell you what those are so you don't waste your precious (golfing) time having to figure them out yourself.

Can't Use Proxy

The Proxy feature which lets you perform various actions, such as reading, accepting, and declining items on behalf of another user is not available in WebAccess. What, do you think we're crazy enough to let you manage your boss's mailbox when you could be sitting on a beach in the Bahamas sending that scathing letter to the CEO from his mailbox? We know WebAccess is powerful but we also want you to keep your job.

Viewing Items in a Find Results Folder

While you cannot create new Find Results folders using WebAccess, you can use one you created using the GroupWise client for Windows. However, to ensure that you are viewing the most recent information in the folder and not a cached copy, you should click Reload in your browser before opening a Find Results folder.

  1. Click your browser's Reload button.

  2. Click the Find Results folder to open it.

Using Shared Folders in WebAccess

While shared folders are not fully supported in WebAccess, you can view the contents of shared folders you have previously accepted using the Windows client. The messages are not displayed by discussion thread, and if you reply to a shared folder item, you can send a reply to the message sender only, and not to the shared folder. Also, to ensure that you are viewing the most recent information in a shared folder and not a cached copy, you should click your browser's Reload button before opening the shared folder.

  1. Click your browser's Reload button.

  2. Click the shared folder to open it.

The Future of WebAccess

Because Web communication is so interesting, compelling, and, yes, cool, we have some of our top developers working on WebAccess. Well, all of our developers are tops, but these are some of the toppest. And the things they have planned are also tops. The Bulletproof WebAccess stuff is something we're all very excited about. Stay tuned, because it's gonna be good.

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