Cool Solutions

Dispelling One Bonsai Myth – Platform Support


May 20, 2008 10:24 pm





I have no idea how this rumour/myth/urban legend started but it keeps coming around. In the last week I have been asked this question 3 times – there was even an article on it in the Belgian IT press late last year (I doubt that’s the source, as I am sure the readership is not that large outside of Antwerp).
The question is ‘will Bonsai be supported on NetWare?’
The answer is an absolute ‘yes’.

In actual fact we are currently working through our platform support matrix so he is the plan so far for the server side:

NetWare 6.5 with the latest support pack
Windows 2003 Server
Windows 2008 Server

Does that fit with what you are running and planning on supporting?

Whilst we are talking about platform support we had planned on dropping IE6 as a supported browser. Well, at a visit with a partner today they pointed out that they still had a lot of customers running IE6 – are there more of you out there that have mandated no IE7?

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  1. By:muleboy9t9

    Yes…we are one of the organizations that currently has a mandate of No IE7 / No Vista. (Local Gov’t in the Pacific Northwest across the water from Microsoft).


  2. By:kennonk

    A large state agency here in California that I support has a no IE7 mandate as well. No idea when it will be lifted.

  3. By:tse7147

    Dropping IE6????? You gotta be kidding, right?

    Ok, all levity aside, that would be a very baaaaad decision. The mandate at my current customer is IE6 only. So much so they have their inventory scanner nag the living daylights out of the user if it finds IE7, assuming they can somehow get it installed in the first place.

  4. By:ukdtom

    75 % of my customers are running IE6

    The remaining 25 % are the good guys, that upgraded to Firefox

  5. By:jtanen

    Errr… was dropping IE6 a joke?

  6. By:thsundel

    It will be a problem for us if IE6 isn’t supported, and we ain’t gonna push out IE7. We are in the process of implementing Firefox but I guess it will take about a year before everybody uses it as their default browser.

  7. By:jhaynes

    I’m confused is OES 2 an operating system. I thought it used SLES 10 as it’s operating system. If maybe you were trying to indicate supported file systems then I can understand you putting OES 2 in your list(maybe).

    • By:aevans

      OES2 is based on SLES10, however, from a testing and supportability standpoint there are sufficiently different that we need to individually validate them and state support for them

  8. By:edp

    90% of our clients use IE6! And probably will shift by mid-2009…

  9. By:preycor

    IE6 is still widely used by our customer base. Dropping support for it would be a very bad idea.

  10. By:RogerIThomas

    The platform OSes are just fine, but the idea of dropping IE6 is a step to far. While only a small company or standard platform is still IE6 and don’t have IE7 installed as an upgrade on any system.


  11. By:tbp

    I dont get it. Netware is clearly not an OS you wanna support in the future, so why let GW8 run on it?

    Lots of customers are still hanging on to Netware because thats what they know from the past, but you’ll never get people to migrate if you keep putting out new products that still supports it. I found GW8 an excellent opportunity for Novell to help people migrating to SUSE. Its where people will need to go very soon anyways.

    Only thing you’ll accomplish with it, is people still hanging on to netware and then suddenly getting migrated to microsoft because netware has no future. Okay a bit harsh, but you get the picture 😉

    Its still not too late since its only in beta, so please drop Netware support 😉

    • By:ukdtom

      Ever considered, that if Netware wasn’t a supported platform, that people might migrate to Windows instead, and maybe Exchange ?

    • By:joebrug

      Dont even think about dropping Netware support.. bad idea!

      • By:aevans

        Just to be clear – we are not dropping NetWare support. We need to support what our customers need and right now many still need NetWare

      • By:ukdtom

        Deep down…there was a nice kid….. 😉

        ThanX Alex

        Best Regards

        Tommy M

    • By:skapanen

      Netware and GW works – it’s that simple.

      OES2 has problems and problems.. if it would do what it promises, we could consider using it.

      For now, it is good that we can keep running GW on Netware. Otherwise we would need to look at other options. Althought, the constant delays on release dates are having the same impact..


    • By:svollhardt

      We use Netware because it is stable and works well. We have several servers that run Netware. We hang on to it not because it is what we know but what works well for us. No Netware support here would clearly mean a move to Microsoft.

  12. By:salisburyk

    Still using IE6 here. IE7 causes us significant grief.

    We will re-consider FireFox 3 after it comes out of beta.

  13. By:aevans

    Ok, so from the comments on here it is clear that the world is not ready for us to drop IE6 support. We will look at adding it back into our support matrix.
    Thanks for all the comments


    • By:RogerIThomas

      Over the last 6 months I have seen a growing number of staff purchase Macs so it will be worth you considering testing against Apple#s browser.

      The number of Mac users is still small, but a year ago I did not have to worry at all about servicing MAC users.


      • By:aevans

        Absolutely – I didn’t mention the Mac because nothing was changing there – we continue to support it and recognize it’s growth, especially in the Education arena.

  14. By:MFaust

    I don’t think it is a big community but some people want to check their Webaccess also from a public Internet access like an Internet Cafe.
    A lot of the public Internet stations are not up to date and depending on the country the hardware can’t even run IE7… If IE6 is dropped some people at remote location who need to answer an email for whatever reason will be stuck and normaly these people make decissions if GroupWise is ok or not…

  15. By:kees51

    You should make sure that webaccess works on any browser. It may not work at full capacity, but it should at least show something usable to the user, even if only the small smartphone/pda interface. There are people using Opera, using Macs, using a smartphone that doesn’t talk to GMS, or want to check their mail while they are visiting a friend who only has an old computer, you don’t want to shut any of them out.

    Thanks for keeping Bonsai running on Netware. We want to migrate to Linux eventually, but we want to do it on our own time, not being forced to it because Netware support is dropped too soon.

  16. By:KeithCraig

    I would second Roger’s comment about Mac support. The site where I work is 80% Mac at the desktop and we are trying to reduce the Windows workstations. Non-windows client platforms have taken second priority in the past with Groupwise – things have improved recently, especially with Novell now focusing a lot of attention on Linux. At a client level Mac outnumbers linux but given the similarities of the OS’s leveraging the work done on one can help with the others.


  17. By:georgearmstrong

    As a k-12 school system we have 2000+ Macs. Most use the webaccess because of the mac client. We are just starting to push IE7 but many PC’s still have IE6.

    Running GW on SLES 10 OES1 will that be supported or do we need to jump to OES2?

    • By:aevans

      OES1 was based on SLES9. OES2 is based on SLES10. Right now we don’t plan to validate Bonsai on OES1 or SLES9. If you are indeed running SLES10 then you have no issue.

  18. By:stideswe

    I can’t help but feel that continued support of NetWare is a BAD thing.

    Don’t Novell want to drop that legacy platform asap? Don’t you want to provide strong incentives to your customers to move to Linux? We run GroupWise on Linux and it has improved stability over NetWare 5.1 immeasurably.

    Wouldn’t it benefit Novell to rationalise their platform support a little so that they can focus on improving their code and functionality instead of spending time trying to support multiple platforms? If I was in charge I’d be aiming to provide platform support for SLES 10 and nothing else. I’m sure Microsoft don’t waste programmers by trying to support even Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2003 for instance, why would Novell handicap themselves by being the good guy and giving the customer all sorts of options that they don’t really need?


    • By:johnstob

      Improved stability over NetWare 5.1??? I should hope so, 5.1 has been out of support for how long? I run GW 7 on NW65 and that is solid as a rock. I admit I run WebAccess and GWIA on Linux.

      Groupwise aside, the file services provided by NetWare are the fastest I’ve seen anywhere for it’s type. I point Windows servers at Netware NSS volumes for increased speed for file services. NSS on Netware absolutely screams. How can Netware be dropped before these types of services perform at the same or greater level on linux?

      Just saying is all…

  19. By:RogerIThomas

    >>Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2003 for instance

    Microsoft does just that, Exchange 2007 is supported on Windows Server 2003 (64bit version).

    As for why Novell would support NetWare, simple they need people to upgrade their current email environments not debate the rollout of new environments. Any such debate will result in alternatives being discused which would be a bad thing for Novell.

    As for stability many people are very happy with NetWare 6.5 as its a far better platform that the 5.1 environment you had to maintain in the past.


  20. By:paulvandercruyssen

    Hi Alex and all other readers,

    indeed a rumour/myth/urban legend, that I (via Erno) did send to the GW-team last year (and sorry Alex, people cannot read in Antwerp :-), but in the rest of the country they can) but, this year that rumour/myth/urban legend was also in the press in The Netherlands (not sure if they can read… 🙂 )

    My plan was to contact the author to ask him where he did get that info… but never did it. Now you’re opening the debate again, so maybe I still have to get the answer,
    BUT I think he/they just made a mistake with ZCM, because that was launched at the same time as the rumour (no NetWare, no eDir, only LDAP, ….)

    If the author sends me a reply, … you’ll get it!

    see you!


  21. By:jmarton

    I really think Novell needs to consider supporting RHEL in addition to SLES. Let’s face it, in the US, Red Hat has the biggest chunk of the Linux market share. It would be easier to get GroupWise into the door of Linux-only shops if RHEL was supported in addition to Novell’s own version of Linux (SLES). Heck, GroupWise 6.5 I believe was supported on RHEL. I know RHEL support was dropped in GW7 but there’s no reason to not pick it back up in Bonsai.


  22. By:heikkikyles

    No IE7 here, our Student Info. System does not support it.
    also, would like to see a better Mac OSX client.


  23. By:dspoole-novell

    Got a no IE7 mandate in our company as our core business application does not support IE7. Funny thing is, the company that wrote the app is a Microsoft Solutions Partner.

  24. By:jwillia1

    Another representative of State government here, and I am glad to hear the news. NetWare is a very, very stable platform for GroupWise and I am absolutlely loath to give it up in the future, although we do have plans to migrate over to Linux one day. The ease of remote management, the ability to automatically reboot on Abend, knowing when I go to sleep at night that I will not be awakened at night because a server has “blue screened”, all help this administrator stay cool, calm and collected 24/7.

    Thanks for the product and the update.

    I think just about everyone here has moved on to IE7, although a handful of the more stubborn admins insist on running Firefox, myself included.

  25. By:mdeering

    We are a very large school district who needs to use IE6 for our web-based apps…especially our student management system. Dropping IE6 support would be deadly.

  26. By:paul_woodward

    You support Netware, Windows, and Linux. Thats good.

    Only supporting one flavour of Linux, well, that’s bad. RHEL has a large installed base, and is broadly similar to SLES (RPM based, similar release cycle). Why limit GW that way?

    Our organisation has issues with a few “web” apps which are in fact only able to run with IE6, this has prevented a switch to IE7. Having said that, webaccess use in the office itself is very limited, and home users often use Firefox anyway.

  27. By:DAFoxFL

    As a small consulting business, we run Netware on our two servers and I’m very pleased with the performance and stability (routinely get nearly 300 days without reboot). But I’m looking into SLES when I replace one of the older boxes.

    We have stayed away from IE7 mainly due to some vendor software compatibility issues. We think VISTA is just another WinMe and will try to hold out with XP until the Next Big Thing comes out of Redmond … then reconsider. I’d love to make the jump to all LINUX/OpenOffice workstations but with the wide variety of software used by our different clients, that looks impossible for now.


  28. By:sixminutemile

    Please dispell the myth that there is no release date for Groupwise 8 and the Outlook connector. When will the next version of Groupwise be generally available?

  29. By:ppatterson

    We too are one of the organizations that currently has a mandate of No IE7 and Vista as a last resort. Many of our users have adopted FireFox as their default browser (thank goodness).