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Consultant’s Corner: Upgrading to GroupWise 8 – Part 3: Post Offices

Gregg Hinchman


February 19, 2009 5:30 am




This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Consultant's Corner: Upgrading to GroupWise 8

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” Yoda Doesn’t it just amaze you the things Yoda says! In this case, most find upgrading a post office to be a scary event, mainly because it’s SO user facing and any failure is exposed to all. Well, now that I have named the fear, let’s see if we can get past it and banish it from your mind.

As you may recall from part 1 and 2 we upgraded our ConsoleOne, extended our eDirectory Tree schema, and upgraded our domains -Primary first, and any/all secondary domains. This follows our upgrade process and leads us to the next logical step -upgrading post offices. Please review the upgrade process below then we will get to it.

NOTE: In the writing of this series Novell released GroupWise 8 Hot Patch 1 to fix some security issues with GWIA and WebAccess. I highly recommend the reader use this version to upgrade to GroupWise 8.

Upgrade Process

Here is the Best Practice process for upgrading GroupWise, in general. Here is my process outline for upgrading. Note those items in BOLD are what is covered in this article.

  1. Install new ConsoleOne 1.3.6H
  2. Install the GroupWise 8 Snapins into ConsoleOne 1.3.6H
  3. Update eDirectory Schema.
  4. Create a new GroupWise 8 SDD
  5. Upgrade the Primary Domain
  6. Upgrade the Post Office(s) Secondary Domain(s)
  7. Upgrade the Post Office(s)
  8. Upgrade the WebAccess Gateways Domain(s), if you have them.
  9. Upgrade the WebAccess Gateway (s) -Agent and Application (Webserver)
  10. Upgrade the GWIA Gateway Domain(s), if you have them.
  11. Upgrade the GWIA Gateway(s)
  12. Upgrade the GroupWise Client

Upgrade Post Offices

Upgrading a post office is as easy as upgrading a domain. In fact, using the GroupWise 8 wizard would be a waste of time so I am only going to show you the fast manual method. There are few things that are best to do before you upgrade and in fact they are Best Practice for post offices. Keeping the post offices databases clean and corruption free will ease the upgrade process, not to mention it tends to eliminate day to day issues. Here is my check list:

Post Office Agent(s)(POA) Scheduled Events:

  1. Disk Space monitoring: with Trigger at 1000MB available disk space and 500MB Stop Processing email. This will limit the potential of a full disk causing the GroupWise system databases from being corrupted and shut down.
  2. Structure/Index Daily Check and Fix: Running this daily will keep the GroupWise databases structure healthy. This is a pro-active event.
  3. Weekly Contents with Update User Disk Space and Statistics and Fix: Running this weekly will keep the GroupWise message stores and user databases running smooth. This is a proactive event.

These Scheduled Events should be set and run as stated all the time, not just for upgrades. When it comes to upgrade specific events, performing a Validate Database is advised. Validate the Post Office in ConsoleOne, doing the following:

Post Office| {Right Click}|GroupWise Utilities| System Maintenance| Validate Database

Next up, backup important files and make sure there are NO FILE LOCK’s on the files before you back them up. The files to back up:

  • PODirectory/wphost.db
  • PODirectory/wphost.dc
  • PODirectory/ngwguard.db
  • PODirectory/ngwguard.dc
  • PODirectory/gwpo.dc
  • PODirectory/OFViews/WIN –These are not crucial, but nice to have a copy ‘just in case’.

Now that we have a clean, backed up post office let’s upgrade. As stated, I will only show you the manual process to upgrade the post office.

Here is the manual process:

  1. Backup: Make sure you have a backup of the old *.DC/DB files before you start this method.
  2. Copy: All *.DC files from SDD\PO directory to the Post Office directory and overwrite. The files are: GWPO.DC, WPHOST.DC, NGWGUARD.DC
  3. Copy: All files from sdd\client\win32\ofviews\win directory to the Post Office directory\ofviews\win directory and overwrite.
  4. Copy: All files and directories from SDD\Agents\NLM to your ‘load’ directory such as sys:\system\gw8. This is the location where the POA agent for the Post Office will load from and where its configuration file will be located. NOTE: If you have the Domain and Post Office running on the same server and you did this step when you upgraded the Domain, then you can skip this step.
  5. Copy: STRTUPEN.POA from SDD\Agents\Startups\Language to your ‘load’ directory such as sys:\system\gw8.
  6. Rename: STRTUPEN.POA to an 8 character name for your domain such as PO.POA. Keep the *.POA extension.
  7. Configure: The *.POA file with all your custom parameters that you used in your old *.POA file.
  8. Create: A load file. This is the same file that you used to load your Domains. If the Post Office is on the same server as the domain then just ‘add’ a line to load the post office. If the Post Office is on its own server alone, then you will want to create a new file. GRPWISE.NCF is the system default. You can create this file in your ‘load’ directory using a text editor. I like to use a name like: GWUP.NCF to load my agents. And I use GWDN.NCF to unload agents. In this file if you are NOT using Protected Memory for GroupWise Agents, you will type the following:
    load sys:\system\gw8\gwpoa @demopo.poa

    Of course, this assumes you are loading from sys:\system\gw8. If you are not, then use your ‘load’ directory where the GWPOA.NLM file is located.

    Now if you are going to use Protected Memory for your GroupWise Agents, you will type the following for NetWare 6.5 sp4 to sp6, and sp8:

    load restart address space=demopo sys:\system\gw8\gwpoa @demopo.poa

    This assumes you call your address space demopo and assumes the ‘load’ directory on sys:\system.

    If you are using NetWare 6.5 sp7 then your lines will be:

    load address space=demopo sys:\system\gw8\gwpoa @demopo.poa
    protection restart demopo

    The reason for the difference is in the syntax that was left out in NetWare 6.5 sp7.

    Finally if you load in Protected Memory, then you need to make sure to ONLY unload the POA agent using the following command:

    unload address space=demopo
  9. Load: Run your *.NCF file from the NetWare System Console like this:
  10. sys:\system\gw8\GRPWISE.NCF
  11. Verify: On the POA Agent screen in Verbose logging mode that you see the following:

    Recovering the Admin Database for Post Office PostOffice.Domain

  12. Verify: In ConsoleOne look to the properties of the Post Office for version “8”.

    Below I have a few screen shots that show you the messages you will see during the Post Office upgrade process.

    Click to view.

    Figure 1: POA Verbose Mode Logging: Recovering Admin DB for the Post Office

    Click to view.

    Figure 2: POA Verbose Mode Logging: Completed Recovery of Admin Database

    Click to view.

    Figure 3: ConsoleOne Properties of the Post Office: Version “8”

    Note: If after about 10 minutes you do not see the recovery statement, then you will want to look to the Log file. Most Post Offices will finish in 10 minutes, but some may take a bit longer. If you verify in ConsoleOne and the version still has not changed to 8. You may need to back out and start the upgrade over again. This is why we did a backup of all the files before we started. DO NOT DO A BACKOUT IF THERE HAVE BEEN CHANGES TO YOUR GROUPWISE SYSTEM, OR MORE THAN 1 HOUR HAS PAST. If a new change like adding a user is done, and then you revert back to an old wphost.db -that user account may well be lost.

    Ok all that remains is to add the GRPWISE.NCF to the AUTOEXEC.NCF for auto start up of the POA Agent, unless the GRPWISE.NCF loads the domain MTA in which case it should be in the AUTOEXEC.NCF.

Changes to the Post Office

If you look at the screen shot below you will see on the left side my old GroupWise 7sp3 HP1 Post Office directory. On the right side of the screen shot is my new upgraded GroupWise 8 Post Office directory. First, do not get freaked about the dates. Remember GroupWise 8 was in ‘lock down’ for quite some time. What matters is that I used the correctly dated GroupWise 8 DC files from the SDD. Just make note of them.

Click to view.

Figure 4: Compare Post Office BEFORE (Left Side) to Post Office AFTER (Right Side) Upgrade

GWDCA: Document Convert Agent

GroupWise 8 has a new Agent that works with the POA to convert documents. It’s the GWDCA. It does not have an agent screen similar to the WebAccess Document Viewer Agent (GWDVA). The GWDCA does 1 thing that folks have been waiting for a long time. It indexes PDF files! Great news for searching. However, the GWDCA has some issues on NetWare causing an ABEND. The release of GroupWise 8 Hot Patch 1 may have resolved this, but if you find your NetWare server ABENDing after an upgrade to GroupWise 8 then you will want to implement the /nodca switch in the POA configuration file. Simply place this switch at or near the end of the *.POA configuration file. This switch will turn off/no load the GWDCA. Below are 2 screen shots that show the GWDCA loading as well as the GWDCA’s worker threads. You will see the GWDCA load on the Logger screen of the NetWare server at the time the POA loads.

Click to view.

Figure 5: New GroupWise 8 GWDCA: Document Convert Agent

Click to view.

Figure 6: New GroupWise 8 GWDCA: Worker Threads


I ask you, was that anything to fear? Of course not. Upgrading the Post Office is really a simple process, when things go correctly. And when they do not, you need to stop and consider your options and maybe just repeating the upgrade process again, checking your plan and process document. Ok, in the next article, I will show you how to upgrade GWIA. In the meantime, “Mind what you have learned. Save you it can!”

Got comments or article ideas? Need help with GroupWise? Drop me a line at: “The Force is strong in this one.”

Series Navigation<< Consultant’s Corner: Upgrading to GroupWise 8 – Part 2: DomainsConsultant’s Corner: Upgrading to GroupWise 8 – Part 4: WebAccess >>
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