As I promised in my last blog I wanted to share with you what we are doing in GroupWise 8 SP2. This blog is actually based on a session that Dean and I presented at GWAVACon Berlin, and plan to include at Brainshare next year.
Typically we release a .0 product and then follow it up with an SP1 which contains a quite a number of features, as well as bug fixes. After the SP1 release we never put features into the subsequent support packs. We followed this pattern with GroupWise 6.5, and GroupWise 7, however, with GroupWise 8 we are stepping away from this ‘standard’.
GroupWise 8 SP1, which released in August, did not contain many features at all – for a recap, Dean blogged on what those few features were here. Where we are really entering new territory though is with the GroupWise 8 SP2 release. With this support pack we are adding features that fall within a couple of different themes.
First of all – the disclaimer – we make no guarantee that the features I am about to describe will be included in the product when it ships.
With that done, the themes under which the features will fall are Teaming Integrations, Conferencing Integrations and Access Control. The teaming and conferencing integrations are important as they help our users, many of whom spend the majority of their day in the GroupWise client, access the new collaboration methods that teaming and conferencing provide. This allows them to gain value from those products in a much more inuitive manner. The access control features are aimed at administrators and center around some of the features that we have been asked for the most.
So what are the features?
Drag email to a Teaming folder The driver for this feature is that many of our customers use Teaming to track projects and they want to store all of the emails concerning a project with the project content itself. This feature will allow a GW user to be able to drag an email to a Teaming folder in the GroupWise client.
Save email to Teaming This is related to the requirement above, but instead of dragging a dropping one of the browse targets on the File | Save dialog will with Teaming.
Attach file from Teaming Similarly a browse target on File | Attach will be Teaming, so that a user can attach a file stored in Teaming to an email. In future versions we will add the ability to just attach a file reference instead of the actual file, so that any modifications to the file are stored in the central repository.
Teaming feed panel in Homeview This will be a panel that shows just the most recent updates in Teaming, which is a very popular feature of Teaming 2.
Schedule a conference from within GW This will allow a user to schedule a conference, including sending recipients unique PINs where necessary. It will simply be another option on an appointment.
Start a conference from within GW If you are the conference owner then the concept of ‘starting’ exists, which essentially allows people to enter the conference, and see/hear the content being presented.
Join a conference from within GW As a conference recipient you need the option to join, which is essentially starting the client and logging you in.
Start an ad hoc conference This is very simiilar to the other features I just described but, instead of it being a pre arranged conference, it is the ability to start a conference right away from various points in the interface. For example, on a contact or group, or from within a received email.
Search GWIM history The driver for this one is that we know many people remember that they had a conversation about a particular subject, but often don’t remember what medium that conversation was in. This means that they have to search their email, IM conversations and other places to find what it is they were looking for. Most of the work for this requirement is actually on the GWIM side of things, and involves GWIM storing it’s conversation logs in GroupWise. Once done this will allow those conversations to be searched alongside emails, and will appear on the history tab of a contact. It will also mean that those conversations can be replied to, forwarded etc.
Access Control List for distribution lists Simply put, an administrator will be able to limit which users are able to send emails to any particular distribution list. What companies are trying to facilitate here are the ALL distribution lists, but keep them from being generally available. There are various ways to achieve this, but they are more workarounds than solutions.
Filter attachments of specific types This is for both internal and external mails. Customers want to be able to limit the kinds of attachments that can be added to emails – the plan is to allow for either a white list (only these kinds of attachments) or black lists (anything except these attachment types).
Limit number of recipients a user can send a mail to This has been a pretty popular request over the years, though many companies deal with it in their corporate policies. The idea is that you can, for any particular set of users, limit how many people they can send an email to at one time. It will likely be found in the Client Options interface for administrators.
Search on additional fields This last one is for WebAccess specifically, and will allow users to search on a few more fields. At this point it will not be equivalent of the Windows client, but that is our long term goal.
This is what we have planned for SP2, but we are also planning features for SP3. I will cover that closer to the time. I am planning my next blog topic, but I anticipate it to be around entering enhancement requests, and how I, as the GroupWise Product Manager deal with them (and no, they do not go into a black hole).