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Internet Addressing Made Easy

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Daren Deadmond

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Posted: 21 Apr 1999

Internet Addressing is a mystery. We’re here to unravel it for you. Daren Deadmond, tech writer by day, professional fly-fisher, well, also by day, has created a brand new guide called, appropriately enough, Internet Addressing Guide. Here’s what we’re going to do: We’ll tell you what’s different about GroupWise 5.5 Internet addressing, we’ll give you a taste of the new guide by previewing Chapter One, then we’ll send you over to the guide proper. Fair enough?

Addressing Rules

Addressing rules related to Internet addressing are ignored in GroupWise 5.5. Any rules that search for the at (@) sign and insert as colon (:) are ignored, so that GroupWise 5.5 clients can use the new Internet addressing functionality while leaving addressing rules to function at the 5.2 level. For this reason, do not remove your addressing rules until all of your clients are converted to GroupWise 5.5. Addressing rules are not necessary in GroupWise 5.5 because it understands the Internet addresses without any conversions instigated by addressing rules.

Dot Order of an Internet Address

GroupWise has always used DPU (Domain.PostOffice.User) addressing. The address becomes more specific from left to right. Since Internet addresses become more general when read from left to right, GroupWise 5.5 has reversed the dot order to match the Internet dot order. GroupWise 5.5 uses UPD (User.Postoffice.Domain). All addresses are first interpreted using this order. If no matches are found, GroupWise 5.5 considers the DPU order for backwards compatibility.

Backwards Compatibility with GroupWise 5.x

Internet addressing is largely backwards-compatible with GroupWise. GroupWise 5.5 will accept all old address formats, and the GroupWise 5.5 message transfer agent (MTA) will always look for routes to domains and use them before it attempts to route by way of GroupWise message transfer protocol or to the GroupWise Internet Agent. The DPU format lets previous GroupWise versions ignore the IDomain field. Also, if the previous GroupWise system replies to or resends a message using the newer DPU address, the item will be routed to a 5.5 MTA. Finally, personal address books maintain two e-mail address fields: one in the DPU format, the other in the previous format. GroupWise hides the field deemed unnecessary by the system's configuration.

Internet Addressing, Chapter One

By default, GroupWise 5.5 is configured to use a proprietary address format consisting of a user's ID, post office, and domain (userID.postoffice.domain). However, GroupWise 5.5 also supports native Internet-style addressing (userID@Internet domain name).

With Internet-style addressing, users have the same address within the GroupWise system as they do outside the GroupWise system. For example, if John Smith's address at Novell is, this address can be used by both users within the GroupWise system and users external to the system.

In GroupWise 5.5, Internet addressing is the preferred addressing mode. If you choose not to turn on Internet addressing, your system will not suffer any adverse effects. However, if you turn it on and afterwards decide to turn it off, your system's performance may be altered.

Select a Default GroupWise 5.5 Internet Agent

You must install the GroupWise 5.5 Internet Agent and select it as the default Internet Agent for outgoing messages. NetWare® Administrator will allow you to select a 5.2 Internet Agent, but the 5.2 Internet Agent does not support Internet addressing.

If you have more than one Internet agent installed, you must select a default GroupWise Internet Agent to handle messages from the Message Transfer Agent that have failed in a GroupWise Message Transfer Protocol transfer. The default GroupWise Internet Agent will try to deliver the message by way of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Determine Internet Domain Names

One of the new features of GroupWise 5.5 is the use of the Internet Domain (Idomain) record type. IDomain records allow you to label your system as "," "," "," and so on. GroupWise will deliver mail addressed to any one of the IDomains. You should add your IDomain in the domain name service (DNS). Once you have added the IDomains, all the users in your system can be addressed through any of the IDomains. The user IDs can be used both internally and externally.

While there may be many IDomains that will deliver items to a user, you will select one as the preferred IDomain. This preferred IDomain will be the one used when GroupWise constructs the preferred e-mail address. A preferred e-mail address is the address that is published in the system address book and in the To field of sent messages. The preferred IDomain and address format can be overridden on the domain, post office, and user objects.

Choose an Internet Addressing Format

Internet addressing in GroupWise 5.5 allows you to choose from several different addressing formats. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. Choose the one you feel will work best for your system.

Keep in mind that you set the addressing format at the system level. This format is inherited by all domains, post offices, and users in the system, and it can be overridden at any of these levels.


<UserID.Post Office.Domain@Internet Domain Name>


  • Reliable format. GroupWise guarantees that each address is unique.
  • Identical usernames can be used in different post offices.


  • Addresses tend to be long and hard to remember.
  • Addresses may change over time as users are moved from one post office to another.


<UserID.Post Office@Internet Domain Name>


  • Guarantees uniqueness if all your post offices have unique names.
  • Identical usernames can be placed in different post offices.


  • Addresses tend to be long and hard to remember.
  • Addresses may change over time as users are moved from one post office to another.


<UserID@Internet Domain Name>


  • Addresses are short and easy to remember.
  • Backwards-compatible with previous versions of GroupWise. (Users won't need to update their business cards.)
  • Addresses will not change as users are moved.


  • Since GroupWise cannot guarantee unique user IDs, the system administrator is responsible for guaranteeing that the first and last names are unique.


<FirstName.LastName@Internet Domain Name>


  • Addresses are intuitive and easy to remember.
  • Addresses will not change as users are moved.


  • Since GroupWise cannot guarantee unique first and last names, the system administrator is responsible for guaranteeing that the first and last names are unique.
  • Probability of conflicts increases if any user's first and last names match any GroupWise domain or post office name, if any two users have the same first and last names, or if any two users have the opposite first and last names (such as James Dean and Dean James).

Editor's Note:

For an additional tip about Internet Addressing, see this Tip.

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