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5 Easy Pieces: GroupWise WebAccess

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Doug Anderson

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Posted: 17 Apr 2002

Current version: GroupWise 6

Since the beginning of GroupWise Cool Solutions back in 1996, the most downloaded, and perhaps most beloved article just might be 5 Easy Pieces ( The original article gets new users up and running with the Windows version of GroupWise-kind of a first day primer sort of thing. It explains five basic tasks that every new user faces the first day using GroupWise. Judging from how many of you access it, the original article is either very helpful or most of you think you are downloading the Jack Nicholson movie of the same name.

Because we get lots of requests for this sort of thing for GroupWise WebAccess, we decided to make the sequel. So here are the five tasks (give or take a few) that will make you the envy of your co-workers. Or, better yet, let you access your GroupWise account from home, a hotel room, a client's office, or wherever you have Internet access.

Just because you are out of the office doesn't mean that you stop getting e-mail. Or that you don't need to access your GroupWise Mailbox. Here's where GroupWise WebAccess comes in. Once your administrator sets it up, wherever you have access to the Internet, you have access to your GroupWise Mailbox. You can send and receive e-mail, schedule meetings, assign tasks, create folders in the Cabinet and move items into them, view your GroupWise Calendar, and even use the Proxy feature to access a co-worker's Mailbox. If you are an administrator type who needs to set GroupWise WebAccess up, see the GroupWise WebAccess guide for all the technical details (

Accessing Your GroupWise Mailbox Using GroupWise WebAccess

You access GroupWise WebAccess as you would any other home page on the Internet. Ask your GroupWise administrator for the URL (for example or the IP address (for example for your GroupWise WebAccess system. Using any Web browser, access the URL or IP address.

This is what you'll see:

To log in to GroupWise WebAccess, enter your username and password just like you would at the office using your Windows version of GroupWise > click Login. That's all there is to it.

The GroupWise main window looks similar to the Windows version of GroupWise.

The Item List on the right side displays all items in the selected folder (when you first access GroupWise WebAccess, items in your Mailbox will be displayed, which is a good thing). Icons next to each item indicate its message type, status, and priority (unopened/opened mail, unopened/opened appointment, unopened/opened task, and so forth). To read an item, click it.

The Folder List appears on the left side. Click a folder to display its contents in the Item List on the right side of the main window. Click Add Folder to add a new folder. Click Delete Folder to delete a folder. Pretty simple stuff, right? You can even move items into folders: click the check box next to the item in the Item List > click the Move button at the top of the Folder List > click the desired folder.

The Toolbar appears at the top and left of the main window. Using the buttons, you can compose items, search the Address Book, open your Calendar, search for documents in the GroupWise library, use the Proxy feature to access other users' Mailboxes, view Help, customize your GroupWise WebAccess options, and exit GroupWise WebAccess. If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, remember this: place your mouse pointer over any button to view a handy message box that explains the button's function.

Sending a Mail Message

Okay, let's start sending stuff. GroupWise lets you send five different item types: mail messages, appointments, tasks, notes, and phone messages. Most people use e-mail programs to send mail messages, so let's start there and we'll cover appointments later in this article. That's not to say that tasks, notes, and phone messages aren't important. We're just here to get you started.

To send a mail message:

  1. Click the Compose Message, Appointment, Task, or Note button on the toolbar of the main window (long name for a button, but it's the one that looks like a sheet of paper with a pen). This will open the Compose Message window.

  2. Click the Address Book button to help you fill in the To, CC, and BC boxes. You can also type the recipient's GroupWise user ID, GroupWise full name, or external e-mail address in the boxes.

  3. Type a subject and message.

  4. Click the Spell Check button to fix any spelling mistakes. Make sure that your Web browser is Java enabled. If it is not, you can't use Spell Check. Talk with your GroupWise administrator for help with this. Either that or proofread your message carefully. After all, you don't want the Spelling Police knocking on your door.

  5. If you want to attach a file to your message, click the Attach button > browse to the desired file > click Add > click OK. If you don't want to attach anything, skip to Step 6.

  6. Click the Send button.

Viewing Your GroupWise Calendar

GroupWise WebAccess provides two versions of the Calendar: HTML and Java. Don't be confused. Both versions contain the same thing: appointments, tasks, and notes (whether you've accepted them or not). When you click the View Calendar button, the HTML Day view is displayed by default.

To access the Calendar, click the View Calendar button on the toolbar of the main window.

The Day View displays all of your appointments, tasks, and notes scheduled for a given day. To change dates within the current month, click the desired date in the monthly calendar. To move forward or back one month, click the arrow buttons next to the month header in the monthly calendar.

You can also view a weekly calendar (click the Week button) and a monthly calendar (click the Month button).

Scheduling an Appointment

The steps to send an appointment are similar to those for sending mail messages: after you click the Compose Message, Appointment, Task, or Note button in the main window, click the Appointment button at the top of the Compose Message window. Appointments require that you specify the location, date, and time for the appointment. If you don't, attendance will be sparse.

Here's how to send an appointment:

  1. Click the Compose Message, Appointment, Task, or Note button on the toolbar of the main window (paper and pen button) > click the Appointment button to change the mail message into an appointment.

  2. You can also open an appointment from the GroupWise Calendar. From the HTML calendar, click Create Appointment. From the Java calendar, double-click the Appointment list.

  3. Click the Address Book button to help you fill in the To, CC, and BC boxes. You can also type the recipient's GroupWise user ID, GroupWise full name, or external e-mail address in the boxes. If you want to create a personal appointment that will only display in your calendar, don't put any other names in the To box (your name is automatically added).

  4. Type a location for your appointment. This is the meeting room, restaurant, etc., where you want people to meet you.

  5. Specify the date for the appointment > specify the time and duration for the appointment.

  6. Here's a cool bonus tip: click the Busy Search button to search for available times for your appointment. Busy Search looks at the schedule for every person listed in the To box and lists the times that are free for everyone. This prevents you from double-scheduling someone. It's the polite thing to do.

  7. Type a subject and message.

  8. Click Spell Check > fix the typos.

  9. Click Attach > attach the meeting agenda. Or not, it's your appointment. Do what you want.

  10. Click Send.

Managing Other Mailboxes using Proxy

Proxy is a new feature to GroupWise WebAccess 6. Although some might not consider it one of the five easy pieces, it's cool enough to warrant a mention. And useful enough.

In a nutshell, the Proxy feature allows you to grant someone rights to access your GroupWise Mailbox or to let you access someone else's Mailbox. A proxy can read messages; view the calendar; schedule appointments, tasks, and notes; accept or decline appointments, tasks, and notes; delete stuff; and so forth.

To act as a proxy for someone else, that person must grant you rights to his or her Mailbox. For someone to act as your proxy, you must grant him or her access rights to your Mailbox. So you either trust that person explicitly, are fully insured, or you choose to limit what that person can do.

To proxy another user's Mailbox:

  1. Click the Proxy button (the one that looks like two people) on the toolbar of the main window.

  2. Click the user whose Mailbox you want to access.

Understanding What's Up with Timing Out of GroupWise WebAccess

This is another topic that may not be considered one of the five easy pieces, but we'll include it anyway. WebAccess automatically logs you out after a set amount of time (default is ten minutes) passes without any activity. Activity is stuff like typing, mousing, and generally stirring things around in WebAccess. This is a very good security thing, since people often forget to log out when they run down the hall for a minute or two. And the rule of thumb is: while your Mailbox is open and you're not there, you are vulnerable. You never know when a passer-by might want to seize control of your Mailbox and do damage to your professional image, or, worse, get their hands on top-secret information in your folders. This is more likely to happen with WebAccess, because people can and do use it all over the place (airports, restaurants, hotels, remote offices), where there are often strangers around.

Now the amount of set time is up to the system administrator, so if this is really hampering your productivity, you could ask your administrator for a longer time-out period.

Where Do I Go From Here?

You are probably thinking that you have a good handle on this stuff. And you do. However, there's lots more you can do with GroupWise WebAccess. Here are some places you should look to find out more and to become a WebAccess power-user:

GroupWise WebAccess Users Guide:

WebAccess section of GroupWise Cool Solutions Vault:

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