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GroupWise: Ascot Demo Report and Schedule Update!


November 12, 2010 3:13 pm





Our 4th internal demo of GroupWise Ascot was presented yesterday by the Engineering team! Get the latest details, updated schedule and latest plans!

The GroupWise Engineering team continues to work very hard on Ascot. Ascot is the code name for the next major release of GroupWise. (Note: A version number has not been selected yet. Marketing will handle those details as we approach public beta.)

Throughout the development process, we have milestones and check points. So far we have have four such check points. At each of these, we hold an internal demo of the features and present the progress that has happened since the last milestone. Our first demo was held in May and subsequent demos have occurred in July, September and the latest was on November 11th.


Let’s start by providing the latest information on the schedule. As with most software projects, schedules, scope and requirements have a tendency to change as the project moves a long. Ascot is no exception. 🙂 We have changed all three of these variables since our last public update and especially since BrainShare in March.

So here is the latest on schedule.

Feature complete is scheduled for February 2011, followed shortly by authorized BETA. The public release is planned for the summer of 2011.

There are two major components of the Ascot release that are the long poles. Converting WebAccess to no longer depend upon GWINTER and creating WebAccess templates for the Apple iPad and other similiar tablet devices. A lot of the other features and planned requirements are either already complete or will complete over the next 6 weeks. The team is fully engaged working towards this major milestone. I will continue to provide status on this blog as we approach that date.


The scope of the Ascot release has also shifted a bit. We have removed several requirements of the release and have added a few new ones. We have also dramatically changed the requirement for 64-bit agents.

What’s New!

Integrations between our products and others has taken on slightly more focus. We are adding integrations in the GroupWise Windows Client for 3rd-Party applications like Skype. Giving the user the ability to easily Instant Message, Dial, SMS and see Presence for their contacts directly from within the GroupWise Client.

Integrations with Novell Vibe is also taking shape. I will give more details about that when the feature appears in our next milestone demo.

What Changed!

We have removed a few requirements, but the most significant change has to do with our support of 64-bit agents. We have determined that there is still a significant number of our current customers who have not transitioned to 64-bit server platforms. Therefore, we have decided to ship as our reference platform 32-bit versions of our agents for Linux and Windows.

We are still working on the 64-bit versions and we do plan to release them. Depending upon the amount of validation and real-world exposure we get on the 64-bit agents will determine in what form we will allow customers to use them. It may be in a beta or tech preview deliverable.

The Windows 64-bit POA and MTA were part of the demo yesterday. It is installable and is now beginning to be tested by our QA team. Linux versions will quickly follow.

Note: Although we are bringing back 32-bit support in the agents, we are not bringing back support for NetWare. The supported server platforms will be OES Linux, SLES and Windows

The Demo

So, now back to the demo. Let me share the latest set of functionality that was demonstrated by the team on Thursday. The demo lasted all afternoon and was attended by management, NTS and product management.

The WebAccess iPad Templates were the first demo of the day. I remind you that the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack already supports the iPad with its native mail, calendar and contact applications. However, the solution being developed for Ascot is a WebAccess/Browser version. It will allow the user to utilize the iPad’s web browser to access their GroupWise mailbox. Several aspects of this experience were demo’d including:

– Compose email, note, task and adding attachments
– Actions like reply, forward, delete, retract, resend, undelete, purge, accept, decline and mark complete
– Name Completion
– Search

Windows Client

The Windows Client had a few new features as well. Appointment Modify was a big hit. The capability to modify not just the recipients as you can today, but be able to modify a scheduled appointment to add attachments, change the message body, change the subject, time, location, etc. Every aspect of the appointment can now be modified after the appointment is already sent. This will allow users to schedule an appointment and then later add the agenda without having to do a ‘resend’, or correct their spelling or update the message body – all without having to do a ‘resend’ and without having to force the recipients to ‘re-accept’ the appointment.

The team also fixed two use cases of the Auto Accept feature of GroupWise 8. Both of these changes were also demo’d. First use case is if you send an appointment as a ‘proxy’, the proxy account will not auto accept the appointment. The appointment will have to be manually accepted. Second use case…if you schedule an appointment that conflicts with your own calendar, you will be prompted as you send so that you will know of the conflict and be able to decide to change it or accept it anyway.

The team added the field ‘Year’ on your birthday and anniversary fields for a Contact. The concept was introduced in GroupWise 8 and after some feedback, the ‘Year’ field can be entered and displayed along with th Month and Day fields.

Multi-User Calendar has a few new things. When you are viewing your multi-user calendar or the ‘new’ aggregate calendar of ‘Proxy’ users, you can easily create a new appointment that automatically addresses the appointment to all of the users.

The team has also added Calendar Navigation controls to Calendars displayed in a Panel.

One last thing – we have now added ‘Distribution Lists’ to the the QuickFinder index. Now when you search for an item to/from a particular contact and the item was actually sent to a distribution list – the item will now appear in the find results.

In previous demo’s, the team has demonstrated changes like: replacing the Speller technology, a new Save As dialog, Sharing a Folder Tree, sending a modified attachment and updating the appointment ‘Place’ properly.


WebAccess is not only transitioning away from GWINTER, but is also adding new features. Some of these things already exist, but have now moved architecturally to use the POA SOAP interface instead of GWINTER. The demo included categories, streaming attachment support and retracting sent items. Previously, WebAccess has also demo’d completion of HTML signatures, consolidating signatures, sorting columns, new address selector, Pictures in Contacts and improved Group Management.

The demo also included an update on the Mobility Pack and its next release and road map. In addition, the team demonstrated a process/build change in how our multi-images are created and packaged. We are migrating from one tool to another and although not terribly interesting to our customers, I include it simply for completeness 🙂

The team also demonstrated the tremendous progress being made on the new Adminstration Console design. Although, not an Ascot deliverable, we are beginning the work to remove our dependency on ConsoleOne. We are moving to a Web Interface for the Admin console. We are also removing our dependency upon eDirectory and adding support for ActiveDirectory as well as eDirectory. No more mapped drives, using REST and GWT. More details will come as the design and implementation move forward.

Great progress is being made and we plan to have several sessions at BrainShare this year showing all of this new functionality, ideas and progress.

Let us know if you have questions or comments!


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  1. By:warper2

    I would like to say that I have seen GW come a ways. I just can’t figure out why the main focus only seems to be the windows client for enhancements for the end users. There are more macs out there than ever before. I know even inside Novell there are quite a few. The number of them will just continue to grow and to just wait and not try and attract seems to be short cited. Keep asking for the mac client to be enhanced with features that windows has but it just stays similar to what it was. I hope that you don’t keep putting your head in the sand on the potential for the market. I think going after Ipad is awesome but that does not mean the desktop market can’t be there. I do realize you have to pick your battles but it seems time to pick some directions and keep going instead of changing the path over and over.


    • By:dlythgoe

      You make some great points. We have discussed them many times internally as well. We still want to service the Mac desktop market in the same way that many other email vendors do…through a browser. I realize that there are features missing, but our plan is to close that gap. We want our WebAccess Client to be as good as any desktop client. We are seeing that some of our competition has been successful with this thinking.

      Although we are not ruling out a Mac Desktop client or further enhancing the current Mac/Linux Client, it is not a priority for Ascot.

      Thanks for your input and feedback.


  2. By:ad1az

    Related to the Appointment Modify feature, have they taken into account appointments sent to non-groupwise systems? There have been some issues with this (Especially, with recurring appointments). For instance, we get complaints from M$ Ex ; –>Change ( 🙂 ) users all the time about getting a new appointment and a cancellation. This, I think it’s normal, except that the new appointment sometimes arrives first (which, again, may be normal for smtp comm, but still an issue) followed by the cancellation and recipients get confused.

    Another complaint is that users from external systems get multiple instances for recurring appointments. As crazy as this might sound, I have users that schedule recurring appointments to take place twice a week for the entire year (and more), and you can imagine how much love we get from those users.

    In regards to the Auto Accept feature, it’d be nice if the user was given the option of whether they want auto-accept (via checkbox, eg). I know you mentioned before that there were people complaining about autoaccept, but most of my users think that it’s a great feature.

    In line with the evolution of the WebAccess application, perhaps a future version might consider doing a similar thing with GWIA, ie, making it independent from a particular Domain/MTA. I imagine this would be a big challenge, but I think it’s crazy that you need to add a new domain and mta just to add an additional GWIA.

    One last thing, sometimes it looks to me as if Novell were too focused on listening to existing customers (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong) that they forget to look at what the competition is doing and to focus on features that appeal to new customers too. I might be wrong on this, but that’s the perception my company got from a comment by one of your colleagues (who shall remain nameless, but whom I still respect as the great GroupWise Expert that person is). Basically, our CIO was looking for a way to keeping recipients from inadvertently leaking company information via email (ie, marking an email as “For Your Eyes Only,” not just a label as it is currently available, but a functionality that that disables forwarding, replies, copy to clipboard, etc). We understand that it is practically impossible to achieve this 100% (he who really wants to leak company information will find ways of doing it), but Lotus Domino has had something for this for a while and the new security features in Windows (Windows Rights Management allow something like this in that Other product. However, that person’s response to our request was that not many Novell customers have asked for this and “This is very low in our priorities.” I certainly understand that, but I hope Novell understands that Novell customers may not have asked much about it, but business is not about only keeping the existing base, but to expand it to include new customers, and a feature only needs to be available for people to start wanting to use it (and guess what? if the competition already has a feature you better evaluate it and ask whether this might attract new customers, and prevent existing ones from looking elsewhere). This may not even be the best example to make my point, I have used it only because it happened to me, but I say this just as a constructive criticism, as the GroupWise fan I’ve been for about 15 years, wishing your continued success.

    Keep up the good work!


    • By:dlythgoe


      Your strategy is very effective…sweet talk us first and then tell us all the things you would like us to change. Nice 🙂

      We have considered external system in our appointment designs. It would require us to move to a rule based recurring appointment model. Possible, but expensive and not backward compatible. We realize that this would solve other problems as well…3rd-party integrations, mobility solutions, etc. However, it is not something we are doing for Ascot. Still on our road map – however.

      Auto – Accept will remain as is – except for the two use cases mentioned. For those who like the convenience of auto-accept – the functionality will remain the same.

      Good feedback on the GWIA. I will look into that option and see what is holding us back.

      Your last point is very good. One that divides us constantly. Existing customers vs attracting new customers. The biggest curse of having a successful product is that it can be difficult to innovate once people are used to how something works. Retraining, new processes and efficiency disruption must all be considered.

      We routinely look at not only our competition, but our current customer base, emerging markets and innovative ideas. All of these compete for resources and priority. It is true – current customers have been winning this battle a lot. Bird in the hand….

      Thank you for your feedback and insight. It is very much appreciated and heard.


  3. By:pwachs

    Hi Dean,

    Thank you very much for the insight of the development process.

    While you are still open for new feature requests, our users are missing the feature to search for the ‘my notes’ field. This option to persanolize messages is used much here but isn’t really usefull if I can’t search for it.

    Thanks, Peter

  4. By:pwachs

    Hello Dean,

    thank you for your regular updates on the development process.

    I hope you are still in the feature request stage. I have one which bothers our users. They intensively use the ‘My Notes’ feature. However, they are unable to search for that entry.
    Can you please add a ‘My Notes’ search option in the advanced search?

    Thanks, Peter

    • By:dlythgoe

      Hi Peter,

      Your message has perplexed us some. Searching ‘My Notes’ should already be working. It should have been working since we added the feature. The ‘My Notes’ field is simply an attachment under the covers.

      So any of the following searches should successfully find matches (we tested today)…

      1. Search from the ‘Quick Find’ entry field
      2. Search using ‘Full Text’ from the ‘Find’ dialog
      3. Searching using ‘attachment’ field in the Advanced Find dialog

      The ‘My Notes’, ‘My Subject’ fields are indexed and should return hits. If this is not happening, my guess is that your indexes are ‘messed’ up and need to be regenerated using GWCheck.

      Let us know…


      • By:pwachs

        Hi Dean,

        thanks for doing support here!

        I have checked your tips but it doesn’t work. I will contact Novell support for this.

        Thanks, Peter

      • By:pfronteri

        Hi Dean,

        Thanks for adding support and training to your blog 😉

        Searching My Subject/Notes works fine for me as well. Though I would like to add that as a column to my folder view…


      • By:JBSIS

        Just a note that I’m running the GW8SP2HP2 client (and NetWare backend with the POA using the nodca option) and the search now turns up results from what’s in MY NOTES – it didn’t for me before either (GW8SP1HP1 client).

        However… I’d like an option to have the contents of MY NOTES be printed if I print the email (it would have to be an option as opposed to always printing). Hopefully this can make it into the next release?


  5. By:aw

    How about federation/integrations with Microsoft OCS/Lync?
    This is becoming a big issue for us, and might eventually reguire us to replace our GroupWise/Messenger system.

    Arnstein 🙂

    • By:dlythgoe


      Great question! We have been working on several integrations using the Novell Data Synchronizer product. Unified Communication providers are always a target. Our first look into this is Skype, but we are also working with all of our partners on providing more/better options. Avaya, SkyPro and Callware all have solutions in this space and we are planning to expand our support in this very important area.

      I’m sure Microsoft OCS/Lync is on Product Management’s radar as well.


      • By:wadrian

        Please can you write some words about the progress/plans to integrate Avaya and Groupwise?



  6. By:soundsolutionsinc

    I’ve got a number of users who don’t use Busy Search to book appointments for the executives, as they’ve got full calendars to begin with. They use the Multi-user calendar view. The problem they encounter is that they will bring up the view and select 5-7 executives and schedule a meeting (after moving appointments around to make room for their appointment). Then they will switch to a different grouping of users for the multi-user calendar view.

    Is there any chance that Different views can be saved from the Multi-User Calendar view that would bring up different users? A distribution list or group for the calendar view?

    Keep up the great work!

    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes!! and yes…

      You can do this today by creating multiple ‘multi-user’ view calendars. You can create as many as you want already today that save your groupings/members and they all appear on your bar above the calendar.

      However, Ascot will make this even better….

      Much like you can create multiple personal calendars and group/aggregate them and create sub-calendars, etc. You will be able to do this with ‘Proxy’ calendars – giving you limitless possibilities in grouping, saving, and ‘viewing’ different combinations of ‘Proxy’ calendars.

      Multi-User calendar will be one of the views available on each aggregate calendar, along with Day, Week, Month, etc.

      I think it is really cool!


      • By:pfronteri

        Hi Dean,

        Thanks for the update.
        I’m glad very glad for all the stuff you are doing with the calendars, and I hope you can also improve the multi-user calendars.

        The way we can create multiple ‘multi-user’ views today is too complicated and well hidden and they work only in the main calendar view of the client (both for creating and viewing)

        My suggestions to improvement would be:
        1) Making the multiple ‘multi-user’ calendar views available in the Calendar drop-down menu. Then would be able to have multiple multi-user calendar views/windows open at the same time – and still keep your GroupWise client within your mailbox or favorite panels.

        2) Making it easier to create the multiple ‘multi-user’ calendars. E.g. by having the option to Save the view as a file (just like new mail/appt views etc.)
        – and this will probably solve my first point and also making it easy to copy a setup to other users 🙂


  7. By:svendoehler

    Hi Dean,

    thanks for the update on the GW future, I am looking forward to it. I think it is a great idea to have a special app for IPad and similar products. However, I do not have a good feeling about not developing the MAC/Linux Client anymore or doing a similar front-end like you are developing for the IPad. At our campus MAC users are growing quickly and they already represent 10% of the total PCs especially Notebooks and Laptops. I really appreciate a new webaccess with (almost) full functionality of the Windows Client, but this way you lose the ability of caching mode and therefore the possibility to work offline! In fact Apple is more popular then ever. On the Linux side Novell (Suse) is the second largest Linux distributor in the world and right now it seems like they are not going to publish a GroupWise Client for their own operating systems like SLED or SLES for example.


    • By:dlythgoe

      Your feedback is very valid. Thank you! We will continually evaluate this decision.

      Thanks for your contribution to the discussion and for giving good data to back it up – that helps a lot.


      • By:maria_warren

        while I perfectly understand the need to optimize resources, I would like to second Sven’s opinion: the number of MAC users are growing, especially among the decision makers. My suggestion would be: develop the cross-platform client for windows also, make it feature equal with the (now existing) windows client and eventually drop the windows client. Not only will that cut down development time, it will also eliminate the differences between what is possible in the different versions of the client.


      • By:warper2

        I think this is an excellent suggestion. If you look at all the info out in the market the reality is that the Apple mac market is growing very quickly. I realize that the windows market is still rather large but over all is not a growing market as it once was. A lot of decison makers are now looking at Apple as a very good alternative for many reasons. I know a few years ago it was thought to be a fad. But lets face it that the underlying os (similar to linux) is much more secure which is driving this as well. Novell needs to stop waiting for the next big thing and start creating it and defining the market as it was many years ago.

      • By:dcasux


        I understand your point, and I agree with Novell’s descision on the Mac issue. Some would contend that the mac is secure because it runs linux. This sounds good in theory, but in the pwn2own competition, the mac falls, security-wise first, every year…(less than 10 seconds, btw…last 3 years).

        Yes, they are “kewl” and yes, you can do stuff..and yes, people are buying them more now, but really…are businesses? I don’t think so..they cost whay too much for what you get, and any network security guy would never want on on their network.

        I do believe, though, you could possibly be losing market share by not making a client for it, because those people who have and love macs often are the people that are NOT network security guys, and they usually sign the checks. 😉 And, really, they don’t care about security..or they wouldn’t own Macs in the first place. 😉

        This reply may sound contradictory, and perhaps it is. Often the people at the top get what they want, in spite of the advice given. 🙂 Us IT folks are stuck “Making it work”, and when it doesn’t work we are told to change EVERYTHING to make it work….e.g. going AD because apps work there and not on eDir…OR, heaven forbid, switching to exchange, because GroupWise is old and rather clunky, (security and stability aside), and, did I forget….No Mac Client?

        Often, then..the tail wags the dog….


  8. By:Eric2001


    Will there be the ability to use Outlook 2007 and 2010 with GroupWise?

    As you know from our other discussions, we have a key application that integrates with Outlook 2003. I have been unsuccessful finding anyone to integrate this app with GroupWise, and I recently learned that they will be dropping support for Outlook 2003 next year. Outlook 2003 works well enough with GroupWise, but 2007 does not.

    Even if you include the ability to save messages in the .msg format (as well as .eml) that might help us solve this problem. Are there any plans to work with Outlook 2007/2010 either directly or using Data Synchronizer?

    As you know, I think the GW8 client is great, and I wish it integrated with this application. But if something has to give, it’s going to be the email system, not this key application.



    • By:dlythgoe

      We are not planning any further development on the Outlook Connector. We may explore some of your other suggestions, but nothing is currently in play.

      We understand the need and the request. It is simply a very challenging and expensive solution for us to implement. The GroupWise server and the Exchange server are just different enough in a few key areas that have made this type of integration difficult.

      Novell Data Synchronizer is our direction and we have had discussions with several of our partners on creating an Exchange connector. Let us know what the other application is that you are integrating with Outlook – possibly a Connector for that will also work.


      • By:WalterH


        >> We are not planning any further development on the Outlook Connector.
        This is the sentence of death for GroupWise. Many of my customers need a working Outlook connector to integrate there business software.
        But with current 802hp1 the Outlook and MAPI Connector is already broken, so again one customer is on the way to leave.

        I also have the same problems, and my question is, why to waste time with an product that do not perform as my employees expect?


      • By:dlythgoe


        I wish I had a better answer for you.

        The simple facts are these: We built the Outlook Connector three times. It failed all three times and addressed a very small set of our customer’s needs with exactly zero revenue. This was done at the expense of features, new enhancements and product advancement for the vast majority of our customers. It also had a very limited strategic value. How do you continue to convince customers to pay our competition for our solution and vice versa.

        The promise of the Outlook Connector has far greater value than the actual solution. Exchange and the GW POA are simply too different to make this solution viable for things like rules, proxy, multi-user calendars, shared folders, shared calendars, shared address books, recurring appts, backward compatibility and cross client functionality.

        Worse – the main reason for the Outlook Connector continues to be 3rd-party integrations. How could we possibly validate and support all of the 3rd-party applications that work with Outlook and make sure they work with the Outlook Connector. Usually, the end-user’s experience was lacking and in the end, they were just as dissatisfied because their application did not work ‘exactly’ like it did with Outlook/Exchange. This actually further hurt our position in certain accounts as the argument was then made…”we have already rolled out the client and are paying for it, why don’t we just switch the server and be done’. In other words, we just simplified their migration away from Novell and GroupWise.

        I understand the issues and the requests. Like I said, I wish we had a better/different answer. We have discussed this topic extensively – even several times on my blog – but there just is not a silver bullet.

        Hope that provides some perspective…


      • By:Eric2001


        To say that you got zero revenue is incorrect. You kept GroupWise customers, including us, for years longer than you would have if Outlook didn’t work with GroupWise (Just an aside, but we don’t install the connector. We install the full GW7 client, and that works with Outlook 2003. Can’t install GW8 though). Businesses are getting Office which includes Outlook anyway. So we get the integration that makes our business more efficient, and the stability, low maintenance, high uptime, security of GroupWise for the server, giving us an advantage over our competition that spends more money for Exchange that is less stable requires more hardware and/or virtual servers, and requires more IT staff time than our GroupWise/Outlook set up. And for most of us there has been the factor that we are being innovative, running on Linux, supporting the underdog company, and believing in that company. Good business decision, short-term anyway, even if there is some risk that it may not exist in the future.

        But, the point is, you kept customers because GroupWise worked with Outlook. Contrary to your third paragraph, you didn’t make it easier for people to leave GroupWise because you were trying to work with Outlook. Customers stayed because of that. They would have left earlier if you had not done that. They wanted to keep the GW server. If you had solved the issue of third party product integration, they would have used the GW client.

        You have the technical inside scoop on this, but how can all these other third party apps integrate successfully with Outlook, version after version? Take Apple’s MobileMe for an example.

        The GroupWise client can use Word, WordPerfect, or OpenOffice as its editor. That’s fantastic. Kudos to you for giving us choice. Do the same thing with GroupWise server. If you make the best server product, then provide it, be happy. The GW client is an excellent product with some features that are better than any version of Outlook, and you can have a 10 GB mailbox that performs the same as a 1 GB mailbox. Still can’t do that with Outlook can you? BUT, the decision is about integration. Integration is critical, it’s what every business will eventually look for.

        GroupWise can provide that integration, or work with Outlook to provide the integration, or be a standalone email product. But, GroupWise has not shown that it is able to do third party integration to any large extent, let alone rapidly enough. What is the future market for a standalone email product? I’m sure the answer to that depends to a certain extent on whether you are talking about the U.S., Europe, Asia, etc. Can you provide some insight into where you see the market for GroupWise as an email product with little third-party integration and no Outlook support? Is it that you no longer see the U.S. market as a viable market for GroupWise. You are ceding that to Microsoft? Or do you see another way to be successful in the U.S?

        As I write this, I wonder if what has happened, and is happening, is that email has become so critical and complicated that it is now like a public utility, like water or electricity, where a standard form of delivery is essential, and Exchange/Outlook has become the standard. It is what third parties integrate with, from business phone systems to CRM apps, which everyone is eventually going to want. Maybe it is no longer a choice of taking the path of least resistance (Exchange/Outlook), versus the path of more resistance (GroupWise, LotusNotes) for the sake of stability, choice, and keeping competition alive. But rather there is simply one path to the efficiency of integration. I don’t like that idea, but is that the reality? In other tech areas the world seems to be opening up to broader choice.

      • By:WalterH


        I agree with Eric, we always install GroupWise client and use Outlook on top. But we need a working Outlook integration or my customer move to an true Outlook mail system. So many programmers do not accept GroupWise client or do not have enough resources to program for GroupWise, the only program against Outlook!

        btw: there are one strange issue with GroupWise Windows client:
        This defect: Bugzilla [Bug 634699] GroupWise client is unuseable on systems with hyperthreading enabled
        For this customer we need Outlook because GroupWise client can’t be used – and all current computers contain multicore and / or hyperthreading processors. Very odd: ESC told us Novell will not fix this defect! So GroupWise can’t be used on any current computer! Is this the strategy to keep GroupWise customer? I guess this is the wrong strategy!

        So we tried to tell the customer to use Webaccess – unfortunately we found an bug in Webaccess that renders Webaccess unusable for most of my customer!
        “Actually in GW 8.0.2 is a bug (632811) , when having the override option selection enabled with “preferred email ID” the user is not able to move items to his folders in Webaccess.” 802 HP1 did not fix this bug!

        All of this bugs and the missing / poor Outlook integration is a pain for me and my customer!

        Dean, any plans to fix this 3 issues?


      • By:gburg

        I agree with Dean here. Outlook support has been tried and it didn’t work. Didn’t work means here IMO that it’s taking too much resources to keep it working. Certainly knowing how Microsoft changes its code, both for Windows as for Outlook.

        People thought by the time GW7 had the Outlook Connector that it would stay. IMO it was a big success for GW7. Novell and resources is however a story that comes around every time. Why I dunno, but it does. Therefor Dean has to be honest about not having enough resources. As much as I don’t like it, it is a fact.

        This brings us to a question: where does this bring GroupWise? GW8 was a push for the client. Added a lot of features. A better Linux/cross platform client.

        It seems Novell has to chose every time what to take and what to let go of when it comes to making the next GroupWise version. Due to its resources. Dean knows perfectly what that means since he IS the Director of GroupWIse Engineering.

        I hear professionals in the field repeat that if Novell had the resources or a more decisive approach, GroupWise would be a much stronger product than it is.

        It must be difficult to tell a customer that the next version of GroupWise will be better yet not as good as it could be. Or should be. Novell seems like the feeling I get in the winter every morning: turn left, turn right and still not really knowing how to get out of bed. Wake up, Novell.

        Novell, be sure what you want with GroupWise and tell that to your customers AND to your support people. Whereever they are. They are the closest to the customer. They are loyal people, and so are a lot of their customers. Don’t count on them to stay just for being like that. Anita Baker wrote a song that says “just because I love you, it doesn’t mean I won’t disappear”.

        Being a Novell Knowledge Partner I know GroupWIse. Novell should know its customer base and give them what they want. At least more than they do. That is my opinion. I am not able however to change Novell.


        BTW I support Dean for his words and decisions. The 32 bit agents is a good decision. Then again I start to frown when I read that it’s not certain there will be 64 bit support.

  9. By:PVerberne

    Although GroupWise supports IPv6 today (although with some restrictions) I was wondering if you’re able to comment if there’s any work being done on Ascot and IPv6.



    • By:dlythgoe


      The only restrictions that I am aware of is that we support IPv6 using the DNS name only.

      In the IPv4 world , you can specify DNS or dot format, such as

      Because of the nature of IPv6 addresses, we just keep it to the DNS name. In order for IPv6 to work, you will need to have an IPv6 network router enabled. GroupWise will detect if the IPv6 address exists and use the IPv6 address if available. This is the same preference as most browsers.

      Is there another limitation that you are experiencing? Currently, we do not have any work defined to make any changes to IPv6 in the Ascot time frame.


      • By:PVerberne


        I’ve just copied a paragraph from the GroupWise 8 documentation which states:


        2.3.1 IPV6 Support

        The POA, the MTA, the Internet Agent, and the Monitor Agent support the IPV6 protocol when it is available on the server. If it is available, the agent detects it and supports IPV6 by default, along with IPV4. The WebAccess Agent and its accompanying Viewer Agent do not support IPV6.

        As you configure your GroupWise system and specify the network address of an IPV6 server in ConsoleOne, you must specify its DNS hostname. IP Address fields in ConsoleOne do not accommodate IPV6 address format.

        IPV6 support is available on Linux and Windows. IPV6 support is not currently available on NetWare.


        That Novell does not support IPv6 for GroupWise on NetWare is understandable. The only “issues” that remain are:

        1. Webaccess agent and viewer agent do not support IPv6;
        2. Because of the fact that the snap-ins in ConsoleOne (and perhaps the underlying technology) does not support entering IPv6 addresses, DNS has to be used.

        So if it’s true that there is no work defined to make any changes to IPv6 in the Ascot time frame I still hope Novell considers fixing the above mentioned “issues”.


      • By:dlythgoe

        Good point!

        So – the GWINTER agent is going away in Ascot. Therefore this agent, although not IPv6 enabled, will no longer exist. Further more, the viewer agents will move as well because of this change and therefore will also expand to IPv6 support.

        ConsoleOne will still be our administration model for Ascot, but for Windermere – the Admin model will change dramatically and will become Web Based Administration. These will all be IPv6 enabled and will further allow for IPv6 addresses.

        Great questions and I hope this provides a better understanding of how this technology will be affected by these changes.


      • By:PVerberne

        Hi Dean,

        Thank you!!!

        Now I have some useful information to share with my audience (if any :)) during my session regarding IPv6 and GroupWise in Vienna (Open Horizons EMEA summit).

        Best regards.


  10. By:mww

    I’m excited about living in webaccess. All I want is an awesome web based client.

    One feature we must have is the ability to forward a message in webaccess inline….not as an attachment.

    Forwarding as an attachment is so 90’s and our fancy new androids don’t like the “eml” attachments generated by the new mobility sync.

    • By:dlythgoe


      Simple Forward is coming to WebAccess….I should say – it is already implemented and has been demo’d to the team. We are already code complete on this particular feature of WebAccess.

      So…Ascot is your answer!


  11. By:kjhurni

    First and foremost get the viewer code fixed and stabilized so it stops crashing the servers (Yes I realize you use Oracle Viewers, but come on. You know how many times I’ve had an OWA 2007/2010 server crash due to viewer problems? ZERO!!) The only “workable” solution at this point is to disable viewing completely.

    Message preview pain (like OWA)–AND having the ability to enable/disable this (again, ala OWA)
    Notifications (like OWA)

    Clickable/sortable columns. (nice to see this is FINALLY being included since this is basic web functionality that has existed for years in virtually every other platform).

    Signatures( will be nice to see this finally fixed, so thank you)

  12. By:svendoehler

    Hi Dean,

    I really appreciate you are reading, commenting and thinking about all the comments made by customers/users. I also have some more thoughts I would like to ask about Ascot.

    – Will there be an “reply to” field or will resources be usable for external communication with correct free-form-name?

    – Will you force Quota settings when connecting via POP/IMAP?

    – I would love to see the possibility to move nickname objects

    – I would like to see the GW-Client in a more modern look with some modern features like an undo last setp butto and the possiblity to autoarchiv a specific folder not just the whole mailbox. Printing features also need an upgrade. Right now you cannot print just page 1 or page 1-2 of an eMail.

    Thank you,

    • By:dlythgoe


      I like your list of suggestions. I really like the ‘undo’ idea and the auto-archive for a specific folder. Better yet – I want to ‘NOT’ archive or ‘Clean-up’ a specific folder. For all of the data that is forever persistent.

      Currently, these requests are not part of the Ascot plan, but certainly will be added and considered for a future release. Really appreciate your input. Maybe you have a screen shot on how you would like some of these things to work? With your comment on improving our modern look – maybe you can help! 🙂



  13. By:dlythgoe

    We have received some feedback and questions about NetWare.

    Some have asked:

    – Now that you are supporting 32-bit agents again in Ascot, does that mean that you will continue support for NetWare?

    Unfortunately, the answer is NO. NetWare will NOT be a supported server platform beyond GroupWise 8.

    Just wanted to be clear….


  14. By:FlyingGuy

    Novell sold off to a venture capitol firm and its “Intellectual Property” to be sold off to a Consortium with Microsoft as a member.

    I wonder what kind of golden parachute there will be for Hovsepian.

    Management has sold you guys down the river to the highest bidder.

    Ray Norda is spinning in his grave.

    Goodnight Novell, alas we knew you well.

  15. By:strainm


    I was hoping for some plans for handling large attachments outside of GW with ASCOT. We have discussed this issue a few times with your developers but have not gotten much traction on this. I would like to see a option to off load the delivery of large attachments to a web-based server and just send a link in the actual email or something similar. Any thoughts on this possibility ?


    • By:dlythgoe


      We are working on a feature like what you have described. Off-loading attachments to an FTP server or Novell Vibe OnPrem for example. We are still working on some of the user interaction and then the administration of it.

      We will also be reviewing this type of functionality with our GroupWise Advisory Council.

      In the demo, the attachment was streamed during sending to another server and just a link was sent in the email.

      Some of the questions that remain…

      1. What to do for a recipient who does not have access to the server? How to tell?
      2. What controls does the admin need for this to be effective? Size requirements, type requirements, outside delivery requirements, etc.



    • By:bbecken

      We use Zendto for large files that exceed SMTP size limits. It works with LDAP/Auth for internal users, provides notification of downloads and automatically maintains the disk space. It’s not a “seamless” hand off from GroupWise, but the price is right (free).

      From the Zendto Website:
      It is a classic problem: you need to transfer files to someone, or they need to transfer them to you, and there’s no way except email. But they are too large or your administrator won’t let you transfer the files by email at all.

      This is a web-based package that will let you provide a secure and easy-to-use method for your users to be able to exchange files with other people, even with people on other sites that do not have any login rights at your site.

      Unlike other commercial services, you do not have to trust your files or login rights to any other services; you run all of it yourself. It integrates with your existing authentication system if you have one, or else it can use its own secure SQL-based user authentication system. It will integrate with any Active Directory, LDAP or IMAP system you already have in place.

      It was originally based on the “Dropbox” package written by the University of Delaware.


    • By:skapanen

      not in Groupwise, but works with Netware/OES NSS volumes – DocXchanger from Condrey corp. works well, we use it for sending and receiving large files. Uses weblinks, “tickets” stored in eDir.

  16. By:nanathlor

    I have to also put my support in for better development of the Mac/Linux client.

    Unless you can produce a WebAccess that has an offline caching mode so no clients are required for any platform anywhere we need Mac/Linux clients.

    As said by others it does not make sense that a Linux company would not enhance it’s own Linux client for it’s own Linux based email system so it can run on it’s own Linux desktop.


  17. By:maria_warren

    quote from your original blog entry:
    The WebAccess iPad Templates were the first demo of the day. I remind you that the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack already supports the iPad with its native mail, calendar and contact applications.
    end quote

    Does that mean an apple User will be able to use her native ical application to directly write to her appointments?
    Will this have a broader perspective (open protocol such als webcal or http+ical)/vcal), so a user can access her calendar with an application of choice that supports the protocol, eg Thunderbird/Lightning? – Parallel to IMAP for mails?
    This would be really cool, since we do have quite some users who do not like the GroupWise Client, but need a little bit more than just plain mail. They would be happy to use Apple mail and ical – working in the environment they are used to is more important than having all features. I know they will lose proxy access, multi user calendars etc.


    • By:dlythgoe


      I think we are mixing clients. Novell Data Synchronizer is a mobility solution. It synchronizes data to/from mobile and tablet devices. It is not a solution for browsers, desktops, laptops, etc.

      You asked: Does that mean an apple User will be able to use her native ical application to directly write to her appointments?

      Unless I am missing something, I appears you are asking about a native Mac desktop application that talks iCal. The Mobility solution talks ActiveSync not iCal. It is designed for mobile devices not Mac desktop applications. The WebAccess iPad templates talk the same ‘GroupWise’ specific protocol as the main WebAccess templates. The iPad templates are specific UI for the iPad, not a specific protocol.

      However, our agents already talk/understand iCal. Not sure what the interaction would be for your apple users that uses a native iCal client on their Mac to just do appointments to GroupWise. Its a good question, but not something we have spent a lot of time validating.

      So – to move to your next point – which is the WebAccess templates. Although iCal is a supported protocol, it is not the protocol that the WebAccess application uses to communicate with a GroupWise post-office. This protocol has a very narrow scope that would not support the feature set and functionality expected by an email application. Thunderbird/Lightning, I believe, talk several standard protocols to achieve their functionality.

      We have considered an ONLY ‘open protocol’ or ‘open standards’ approach and we do support and talk many of them. However, the challenge has been in claiming support for any particular client talking these protocols. There are so many and they all work slightly differently and all would require some testing and QA and at the end of the day, they only support a fraction of the features we are trying to expose and deliver.

      Simply speaking, the costs of this option far out weighed the benefits. IMHO, We would be far more successful and focused, if we simply implemented those features, interactions, interfaces that are appealing to those people who do not like the GroupWise client. The cost of doing that is, once again, a fraction of trying to support so many different options.

      How to accommodate all users….its a challenge!

      Hope that helps…


      • By:alesaux

        Hi Dean,

        Will the calendar interface be modernized at all? Really hope some of the recent UI refreshes in vibe are applied to at least the windows client.

        Also, While I agree with your points re: supporting too many protocols, I believe the question re: iCal protocol is actually based on the exchange web services APIs. Has any consideration been given to novell datasync gaining this protocol? Or working with apple to add this plugin to mail/iCal programs?



      • By:dlythgoe

        Hi Aaron,

        My assumption is that you are comparing GW to the Vibe OnPrem product and its ‘brand’ and ‘look’ – right?

        We are going to bring that branding and usability changes to GroupWise, but not in Ascot. However, we are modernizing the calendar experience in a few other ways for both the Windows Client and for WebAccess. This includes how we deal with recurrence, multi-user calendar, Modify Appointments, etc.

        Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Connector is based solely on the ActiveSync protocol. We will continue to expand our support of that especially newer versions of the protocol. Whatever features are in that version of the protocol will become supported as we move from version to version.

        Hope that helps….


  18. By:skapanen

    Hi Dean,

    “Feature complete is scheduled for February 2011, followed shortly by authorized BETA. The public release is planned for the summer of 2011.”

    Still running with this schedule?


  19. By:floort

    Same question here,

    What’s the schedule for ascot?, only find old news items.