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A 16-bit Backround

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Pamela Ann Pawlowski Kubricky

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Posted: 3 Jun 1999

Let's start with what the 16-bit Client can do. For one, it can run under Windows 3.1 as well as Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0. So if you want to move to GW 5.x, but your office has a mix of operating systems, 16-bit allows 3.1 users join in the GW 5.x party without having to pay the cover charge (for Win95). For those of you who speak fluent techno-babble, here's a translation of the above: You can leave Windows 3.1 users on a GroupWise 4.1 domain that can be connected to your GroupWise 5 domains. Or, if this doesn't work for you, you can have your Windows 3.1 users move to the GW 5 16-bit Client and put them on a GW 5 domain. Ooh. Doesn't that give you chills?

Also, if your office only has Windows 3.1 your back-end can still get a boost (heaven knows, most of our back-ends could be boosted), because with the 16-bit Client on your Windows 3.1 system, you can take advantage of centralized administration (emphasis on centralized) by using Administrator and NDS to set up your GroupWise accounts instead of having to use the GW 4.1 Administrator NetWare program and database. (FYI: for the acronym-impaired, NDS stands for Novell Directory Services which is a relational database that is distributed across your entire network and which provides access to all the network resources you have rights to, no matter where they are on the network.)

What's so intense about 16-bit's Client/Server capability? We'll tell you what (like you even thought we wouldn't). First of all, with a file sharing system you have to have a direct mapping to the drive where the post office is, while with Client/Server you can use IP addressing instead of drive mapping. This lets the network take care of finding your P.O. Also, with IP addressing you will not only have an easier time administering GroupWise, but you'll have tighter security because without rights, users can't go snooping around the drive where the P.O. is and accidentally or purposely (depending on whether they're being dense or rude) delete stuff.

Another stylin' thing about Client/Server is that it allows for cross post office proxying. In other words, you can now proxy for someone on another post office, as well as for someone on your own P.O. There is a sad side to this dream-come-true though: in order to subscribe to the alarms or notifications of the person you're proxying for, you do have to be on the same post office.

Where the Wild Things Aren't
Essentially, using the 16-bit Client gives you a lot of back-end advantages (especially if you're staying with Windows 3.1 for a while), but it also gives you some new front-end stuff like resizable item views, a personal address book, a new folder scheme, more Out Box properties, and a new Notify. If, however, you want more grooviness than that, moving to the 32-bit Client (if you have Windows 95 or NT) or checking out WebAccess might work better for you (although WebAccess also has some limitations that the 32-bit Client doesn't).

So if you're the kind of person who wants the wilder features of the 32-bit Client (for example, document management, shared folders, query folders, Hit the Road, Conversation Place, and stand-alone address books like Frequent Contacts), you might just want to migrate on over. Otherwise, the 16-bit can cover your back-end with the greatest of ease?and that's not always as easy as it looks.

Now let's talk BIF files and shared code. No, even better: let's not.

One more thing: as far as the interface goes, if you use the 16-bit Client, you'll have a different interface than 32-bit users. But like we've said before, the good news is that if upgrading to new hardware, Win95, and the 32-bit Client is not a possibility (because your budget's already doing the squeezing-water-from-a-stone thing), 16-bit can still give you all the cool back-end spiffs of GroupWise 5.x without making you leave the comfort of your own OS.

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