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Migrating from NetMail 3.1 to GroupWise 6.5 while maintaining functionality for NetMail Legacy Users

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jason Emery

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Posted: 12 Aug 2004


Migrating from NetMail 3.1 to GroupWise 6.5 while maintaining functionality in the NetMail system for legacy users.


My company has been a long time user of NetMail 3.1. We recently decided to switch to GW 6.5. The problem we ran into is, our migration was going to be a slow process as we have many business units that use different Internet email domains so we needed to maintain NetMail functionality over the course of the 8 month migration process.

Handling incoming mail was easy as we simply changed the MX record on our DNS server for the domains that were switched to the GW box to point to the address of the GWIA. The issue we ran into is NetMail insisted on servicing the migrated domains even though I have removed all record of them. So for instance unit A migrated to GW and unit B was still on NetMail; when unit B sent email to a user in unit A it ended up in their NetMail mailbox.

To solve the problem we set a forward on the mailbox for each migrated user in unit A in the NetMail system to forward to the GW system. The trick we had to do was modify the email address a little to trick NetMail into thinking we were forwarding to a completly different domain. Here is how we did it:

When setting the forward on the NetMail mailbox we had to use the fqdn of the GWIA in their email address. For instance say email came to we set the forward to be - "" is the fqdn of the GWIA box for GW. At that point NetMail thinks it is going to a completely different domain and therefore forwards to the Groupwise mailbox appropriately.

To get the GWIA to accept the mail I added the as a valid Internet domain in the GW system. Once all users are migrated we will take NetMail down and remove the extra Internet domains from the GW system.

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