Cool Solutions

GroupWise Ascot Details


April 12, 2010 1:43 pm





Alex Evans and the Product Management team have decided to deliver some features of the Windermere product release sooner. The idea is partly to deliver the Windermere feature set in smaller, quicker releases while maintaining the overall objectives and vision of the next release of GroupWise. The version number for Ascot and, for that matter Windermere, has not been determined. Ascot refers to a set of functionality and a schedule that supports the overall direction and strategy for the product.

The current schedule is to ship Ascot before the end of 2010, meaning that BETA would be this fall.

Engineering has already been involved in designing and engineering several features for Windermere. We are now taking all of that engineering progress, focusing our efforts on a few particular areas and pushing to code complete. We have had a several competing projects in the works, but as we see those projects come to a close or more clearly approach final release, it will become easier to focus the entire team on the Ascot deliverables.

There are some bold initiatives associated with Ascot. Given the fact that we can never do all the things that Product Management would like or that Engineering has the time for, we had to make several difficult decisions. These decisions allow us to reduce scope for both engineering as well as testing. They also help our support organization and increase quality because of the increased focus on what we ARE delivering….

– Ascot will NOT support NetWare. NetWare entered extended support in March. NetWare does not support 64-bit.

– Ascot will be 64-bit ONLY. We are talking about servers/agents. The Windows Client will still be 32-bit.

– The GWINTER agent will be eliminated. WebAccess will be architected to talk directly to the POA via SOAP.

– Administration will continue to be ConsoleOne. Although some infrastructure work will be completed in Ascot, the move away from ConsoleOne to a Web-based administration model will not be delivered until Windermere.

– Linux and Mac Client will not be enhanced. We will focus our efforts on providing full feature functionality and rich experience on all platforms through WebAccess.

Having now communicated these overriding considerations, let’s now take a look at a few of the other enhancements and changes that are planned.

GroupWise Windows Client – Calendaring

– New design for how recurrence is presented to the end user.
– Busy search on-the-fly – as names are added to an appointment – not a separate dialog.
– Changes to multi-user calendar. Allow them to also work like the sub-calendars using aggregation.
– Add the ability to fully modify an appointment that you have created/sent
– Add Favorite resources automatically
– Auto-select first available time
– Make additional changes to Auto-accept
– Add Messenger History to the search results

GroupWise Windows Client – Contacts

– Add year on Birthday field
– Pictures in the System Address Book Update: This will NOT be in Ascot.
– Dynamic contacts – allows users to manage information in their system address book entry Update: This will NOT be in Ascot.

GroupWise WebAccess

– Recurring appointment support
– HTML Signatures
– Consolidate signatures between clients
– Sort Columns
– New install for both WebAccess as well as Calendar Publisher


– Allow Active Directory for authentication purposes
– Remove dependency on a mapped drive…client/server administration model

There is not an overwhelming list of features associated with this release, but there are some infrastructure changes that facilitate a more rapid development style and a more focused effort. This will allow the engineering team to release more often and provide more incremental improvements while the overall direction and strategy materializes.

I remind you that the Collaboration Strategy at Novell involves several products and technologies. All of these technologies will go through updates and enhancements to provide all of the necessary pieces to a finished portrait. Novell GroupWise 8.0.2 with some enhancements as well as the Mobility solution will ship this summer. Novell Teaming will release ‘Durango’ this fall. Novell DataSynchronizer will have several new connectors and an update to the sync engine and the GW connector before the end of the year. Novell Conferencing will release in the coming weeks and is also scheduled for updates later this year. Novell Pulse is also making progress towards its schedule and will add another dimension to this overall story and direction.

I am sure you want more details on each of these features and I just did not want to write an entire book trying to explain it all. 🙂 I have given you the highlights and we will discuss each of them in more detail as we gauge interest.


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  1. By:FlyingGuy
    • Linux and Mac – Well isn’t that special, they get left in the dust while you guys try and emulate GMail? Come on guys!
    • Add Messenger History to the search results as in Novell Messenger? I thought that was getting dumped in favor of T & C? Is it being dumped, is it being enhanced? Will their be a native client for the 3 basic platforms ie: Windows, Linux and OSX?
    • Dropping support for NetWare. That was expected. The question is of course, will we now have to run it ONLY on SLES or can those be run on OpenSuse or Red Hat for that matter. Will there be a way to have the ALL agent screens up and running?
    • Will there be a 64bit Windows Client? Most of the shops I deal with are still running XP-Pro since almost no one wants to deal with the idiocy of windows past that release, but even given that, almost all new systems I see for even general users are shipping with 64bit Win-7
    • Will you guys ever figure out a way to have a calendar multi-view in something other then just a Day View? ( this may have been accomplished in 8.x but I haven’t really looked that hard)
    • You guys need to quit screwing around and get this product tightened up like Yesterday. You dodged on bullet, how many more do you think are lined up behind that one?
    • By:dlythgoe

      As always – it is a pleasure to hear from you 🙂 Let me provide some clarification…

      – Messenger History. This is from the GroupWise Windows Client. As you search in GroupWise, you will also get hits from conversations you had in Messenger. You will be able to access those histories directly from the query results. We are doing a similar thing in 8.0.2 with Teaming. Searches in GroupWise will also search Teaming and you will be able to access documents, blogs, comments, etc that match your search criteria.

      – Supported Server platforms will be OES, SLES and Windows.

      – The Windows Client will remain 32-bit for Ascot. However, 32-bit desktop applications can already run on 64-bit desktop OS platforms. In fact, GW8 can already run on 64-bit Operating Systems like Windows 7.

      – The enhancements for Multi-User Calendar will include all of the views…Day, Week, Month (in all of their incarnations). Year really is not applicable. They will work just like Personal/Shared/Main calendars work today. Think about adding a Proxy calendar in that list and you will understand exactly where we are headed.


      • By:FlyingGuy


        Nice to hear something from you too I hope your doing well.

        But as usual I find myself never really enjoying what I hear. So I asked if Messenger was getting enhanced or trashed and you didn’t answer, should I have been surprised? So what is the truth? If you are going to trash it then please Open Source it. I do seem to remember signing an NDA for you guys and never receiving what I signed form specifically the complete SDK so I could write to the lib and have it hook into other things and I am betting right now you are thinking I forgot about that. Not a chance my friend.

        Hmm OES = SLES, so why are we chained to SLES? I though NDS installed everyhere? I gotta say I am liking OpenSuse a lot more then I am liking SLES these days. I just ordered a BIG damn server and although it pains me to say it I would rather installed OpenSuse on it, but I have to install SLES because I want to VM Netware on it.

        I poked at you about x-plat clients in a another reply re:state of linux, but dude I know there are BIG software projects that work beautifully across all three platforms so it can be done. So here is the deal. If you guys are going to trash Messenger then Open Source it, I will fork it and I will realize it in Linux Windows and OSX. It is a damn fine little bit of software that does exactly what the people that want it, want it to do: Tight, Compact, single purpose, fast with no extra fat.

      • By:dlythgoe

        Thanks for pushing me on that. I had it in my ‘mind’ to elaborate more on Messenger and it never made it from thought to print 🙂

        Messenger: We do continue to enhance and update Messenger. Messenger 2.1 will release in May and include integration touch points with Novell Conferencing. It is true that we have not put a ton of effort into this feature. It will continue to be a feature in our overall collaboration strategy. We plan to also add some Teaming integration enhancements to Messenger later this fall – part of Durango. Somewhat related inquiry: Would you be willing to pay extra or separately for Messenger?

        Single Client Discussion: We realize that there are technologies that facilitate write once, run many places functionality. Simply running on different platforms vs working exactly like people expect are two very different things. Our best example is the current Linux/Mac Client. Java runs everywhere, but the look and feel, performance, desktop integrations are not as good as a native client on a particular desktop OS.

        Always a good debate…one that is not unique to GroupWise, Novell, etc.


      • By:FlyingGuy

        Why mess with Messenger at all?

        And in direct response to your question yes my clients would happily pay for messenger, with he following proviso:

        You guys don’t screw it up by bloating it with everything in the universe!

        I am sorry to appear to shout but I cannot stress this hard enough. It is the perfect corporate tool to do exactly what it does which is to allow a secure, small, tight, fast and light weight IM tool that satisfies the legal requirement that it be archived and searchable.

        I does not require any other supporting software like Apache, Tomcat , MySQL or any other software layers and it just works. If you don’t want to build the Mac client I will.

        This could be a stand alone product with very little additional effort. If you market it as exactly what it is and you provide the ability to authenticate through LDAP then you have a winner on your hands.

        The ONLY other possible addition I can see ( and even this is questionable ) is the ability to move a file through the server so no P2P file movement is required and thus this to is logged so that it can be discovered.

  2. By:sveld

    I was pleased to hear you’re delivering small and more frequent!

    Some q’s:
    “Consolidate signatures between clients”
    Meaning we have just one signature to maintain that’s used on all clients?

    “Pictures in the System Address Book”
    Thanks, thanks, thanks for listening – customers will be verry pleased:)

    “We will focus our efforts on providing full feature functionality and rich experience on all platforms through WebAccess”
    I believe most of us will be happy if WebAccess would be more like the Windows client. That brings me to the point address book – will this be enhanced to look and feel like the Win32 address book, exposing all that we depend on? This would be my (customer)nr 1 request for webaccess.

    • By:dlythgoe

      Hi Sebastiaan,

      “Consolidate signatures between clients”…

      This means that a signature created/edited in WebAccess will be the same signature in the Windows Client and vice versa. Plain Text as well as HTML. As well as support for Multiple-Signatures….same for all clients. Currently, WebAccess signatures are stored separately and it creates problems for people who use both clients frequently.

      “Full Featured WebAccess”

      This is an interesting distinction and one that does warrant some debate. Some users expect WebAccess to look ‘more’ like a Web Application – they complain that if it looks too much like the Windows Client that it is antiquated and not Web 2.0ish. We have other users request that WebAccess look and feel just like the Windows Client so that training and transition between the two clients is easier.

      We are committed, first, to provide full functionality and feature set. We will then make the best decisions we can on look and feel.

      Hope that helps!


  3. By:jsessler


    When you state “Linux and Mac Client will not be enhanced” does than mean those clients are dead going forward, or just for this release? Either way, I think it’s lack of parity in those clients that’s driving my campus to look at alternatives, and it’s a shame that more it not being done to bring them equal to the Windows client. The lack of full quickviewer support is also a problem. I would be more than happy to see development on the windows client slow down and more resources devoted to the Mac client. My campus and those around me are becoming very Mac-centric, to the point that my student base is 75% Mac.

    Webaccess – Please tell me that this new version of Webaccess will support the iPhone/iPad in a proper way. Novell could be a leader here with a version customized to take advantage of the iPhone and iPad. It was unfortunate that GW 8 WA only functions with the simple layout, yet the full layout on GW 7 worked great. It’s these seemingly small and insignificant points that keep edging GroupWise out of my campus.

    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for your comments.

      We have only committed as far as Ascot. Markets can change and we may adjust our priorities accordingly.

      The lack of parity between clients is a common criticism of the GroupWise product. The only real way to get complete parity is to only have one client 🙂 One that works on all platforms. We have explored several technologies that claim to fulfill this dream. However, they all seem to fall short.

      We are seeing our users open up a lot with the use of alternative access clients – like Mobile devices. They use clients that are specific for that platform and they do not mind that it is different from their other clients.

      In addition, we have seen a lot of progress in the Web technologies arena. We expect that a full featured cross-platform client may be possible using some of these toolkits. GWT, Silverlight, Adobe Air are all possible candidates.

      For Ascot, we will be enhancing WebAccess – first to move the architecture and second to position it for faster growth and more features.

      In Ascot, we are planning on making changes to WebAccess to allow it to work properly with the iPad. You will also be able to use the new Novell DataSynchronizer technology to get GroupWise data on the iPhone,iTouch and iPad devices.

      Let me know if you have more questions…


      • By:FlyingGuy

        Well I guess you haven’t really looked that hard.

        The lack of parity between clients is a common criticism of the GroupWise product. The only real way to get complete parity is to only have one client 🙂 One that works on all platforms. We have explored several technologies that claim to fulfill this dream. However, they all seem to fall short.

        Have a look at this link :

      • By:dlythgoe

        Thank you for the feedback and the suggestion. We have reviewed this technology and others like it. There are, if course, several considerations besides just the technology. Those considerations include licensing, support, roadmap for the technology, robustness for current and future UI widgets, SDKs, distribution, etc.

        We also must always consider how open source will affect the licensing and pricing for our product, which continues to be proprietary. Legal crawls all over us when incorporating some technologies and licenses.

        Hope that provides some perspective on just one of the issues that must be considered.


  4. By:mww

    As a full time linux desktop user, I wont miss a native linux client.

    I know there are still some old Novell red’s still stuck on 1990 tech 😉 but the move to web apps is clearly the future. And all of our clients are clamoring for web 2.0 apps.

    And its much easier to simply bundle an embeded webserver into an local client…sorta like Mobile iManager.

    So, thank your for taking these first steps…I look forward to whats next.

    • By:FlyingGuy

      While I appreciate the sentiment you are building a house of cards. Just how many “little web servers” can any one machine afford to run? This is the fundemental problem with the whole notion of “the web is all”.

      We can never be hooked in all the time and there are plenty of times when you cannot get hooked in and yet you still want to be productive. Now you may indeed be one of those people that have an unlimited budget and can buy the latest MBP with 12igs of ram and a hard drive the size of Montana but the vast majority of people do not have that luxury they have basic laptops and a couple of gigs of ram at most.

      The need for a local client that can contain its own data ( a small snapshot of that data ) and still do everything that needs to be done is a requirement that will never go away.

      Also it is painfully clear that web 2.0 will never reach parity with a desktop application, at least until my 1st stable release of AppWeb and then it won’t be a web 2.0 thing it will be an Application Interface and not subject to the utter stupidity that is HTML 5, CSS and the DOM.

      • By:dlythgoe

        One assumption that many on this forum are making is that they compare the current functionality, technology and feature set of WebAccess to the current feature set of the other clients.

        When we state: Full functionality and rich user experience – this includes the features of caching mode, archive, pop/imap, certificates, etc.

        The reasons that these types of features have not been available in the past are not the same today. There are lots of technologies that allow for ‘full’ functionality. We need to architect WebAccess first to position it to take advantage of these changes/advancements. This is the focus of Ascot.


      • By:FlyingGuy

        based system with all the limitations that brings to the table. Browsers are, by definition not supposed to have access to the local machine via the DOM or via JavaScript.

        Even with HTML5 and local storage it is still a not ready for prime time player. AJAX requires a web server to fulfill all those calls. So what are we going to have a web server running when we are not connected? Some “light” weight sql server? I mean where does it end? How much more junk is it going to take to be installed on machines that are already choking on a gig of running processes to make this dream come true?

        I can see it now, a laptop is going to have to have a complete Apache and Tomcat stack running just to make this work and aw heck lets throw is a MySQL stack while we are at it!

        I can also just see the browser stalls when you run AJAX calls through Synchronously, because doing them Asynchronously will totally hose things when the “server” is preempted by the MP3 player.

        I just don’t understand your position I don’t understand your strategy I don’t understand why you guys fail to grasp this! Help u out here, speak some truth tell us how you are going to get around all these things when no one else has.

      • By:dlythgoe

        Once again, all valid points against current web technology.

        Actually – there are companies and technologies that would argue that they have already gotten around these problems. In addition, some others are simply discounting the problems altogether…meaning that what you have deemed ‘essential’, many are saying…not anymore.

        I am not trying to get in an argument or discount the points you have made. I am only trying to represent other points of view in addition to the one you have shared….which is valid and true.

        Struggling with the ‘me too’ technology vs trying to get out ahead of the competition. Analysts and other market leading opinions would argue that we need to leap frog to the edge in order to remain relevant. That influences ‘some’ of our decisions and direction.


      • By:FlyingGuy

        Hey Dean,

        Yes that is a lot of what has been happening. The technology pundits simply think to themselves, “Well if we can’t implement it, then you don’t need it, you must worship at the feet of web 2.0″

        While you ponder that notion ponder this one. Can Novell afford to frog jump to the bleeding edge? I have watched market share decline every time development puts out a product that is both buggy and lacking in function.

        We are losing Linux/Mac customers because the clients for GW are sub-par. We are losing windows customers because the Client has not evolved or even taken a a shot at cloning the functionality that Outlook provides.

        We have almost irretrievably lost any business affiliation because we cannot get our act together for companies that directly interface to Outlook? Why because we don’t make it easy like Microsoft does?

        We don’t need to jump to the bleeding edge we need to, we must get what we have up to date and working on all the platforms. Web Acess needs to talk to Archives, Web Access needs to be fast fast fast Web Access MUST have ALL the functionality that the fat client has, but the fat client needs to never ever be leap-frogged by the web client.

        The Browser Model is weak and easily broken, don’t believe me just google for “NSI HACKED”.

  5. By:dbalcar

    Really? I know I am not the only one that wants a native MAC and Linux client. Webaccess does not have caching mode. (see your seat back for for your nearest exit) MAC people like a pretty client. (we need good ammo for the battle with other email systems) Be the first the offer a native iPad / iPhone app. I think hiring 2 collage kids to write xcode for a MAC client can go a long way….

    • By:FlyingGuy

      You are not alone in your desire.

      The problem with Novell these days seems to be that they just don’t listen. People like you and I have been begging for them to get parity between the clients but they just don’t listen.

      I had a client seriously considering moving to a pure linux desktop but they pulled the plug when they had a look at the GW client for linux. My guess is this: They had some kids writing the enhancements to GW win and they started creating their own little controls or drank the cool-aid and started using controls that are strictly windows and tightly bound to Visual Studio and either they cannot afford or are unwilling to re-engineer that functionality in a x-platform way. But it really does not matter since it appears they are not going to take care of that anyway.

      They are sacrificing all on the alter of “Web 2.0” and just don’t get that the browser is not the end all be all of computing. While V8 and some other JS interpreters are reasonably fast they are nothing compared to native code.

    • By:jsessler

      This is Déjà vu from twelve years ago when Novell killed the Mac client in favor of webaccess and what they professed would be a better “full featured” experience… Well, I don’t have to tell you that the promise of a “full featured” GW web experience has yet to materialize. The stink was so bad from the Mac people that in 2003, the xplat client was born.

      So I treat the claims of Ascot with great skepticism. If Novell couldn’t produce a “full featured” web client after 12 years of development, what magic will do it now? Will mail merge work? Will notify? Archive? Will they take shortcuts and base the client on plug-ins such as Silverlight? If so, they’ll create another client with dependencies and differences depending on the OS it’s running on.

      A full-featured Mac client is important to Novell customers (at least in education). With MS releasing a full Outlook client for Mac (that actually integrates with OSX core services such as spotlight), it’s going to be difficult to defend against it if Novell is now abandoning one of the few reasons my campus still has GroupWise.

      Sure, Mac users can go to a IMAP client, such as Apple Mail, but there is no calendar, shared folder, shared address books, etc. All of the features that are important to my community go up in a puff of smoke.

      I have to wonder… Does anyone within the GroupWise team actually talk with their customers? Ever talked with an education customer to get their perspective? Have any of the key GroupWise management ever abandoned their Windows client for a month and tired to work exclusively in Webaccess or the xplat client? I think not.

      Abandonment of the xplat client is a stupid move. It puts me right back to where I was in 1998 with the release of GW 5.5, only this time there are lots of alternatives.

      GroupWise management should be embarrassed with this announcement. As a customer, the xplat piece of this announcement signals the need to reevaluate my commitment to the product.

    • By:dlythgoe

      See my comment above….the intention is to provide caching mode in WebAccess – along with archive,etc.

      Desktop integrations is the next frontier…easy one way, but not as easy the other way…


      • By:jsessler


        You couldn’t make it happen before, so what’s changed now? If I were you, I’d keep investing in the xplat client until such a time you can actually deliver on your promises for WebAccess. Novell and the Groupwise unit made the same promise in 1998, and again at each GW release.

        I’ve got to say, the change in architecture of Webaccess scares the pants off of me. Webaccess has been far the weakest link, and only now is it getting to the point of being called reliable. By changing architecture instead of just investing in improving the UI, Novell may find itself with a great UI but a new and buggy backend. The last thing I need is another fiasco like GW 8 where it was difficult to keep Webaccess up. It was a nice improvement for some clients, but only when functioning.

        What I’m trying to say here is simple. Focus on the polish of what you have (including xplat) before trying to re-engineer what’s under the hood. Don’t abandon something until you ship a replacement for it that is at least equal. You tried that when you abandoned the Mac client after GW 5.2, and you’ve yet to fully recover.

      • By:dlythgoe

        I refer you to some of my other comments/posts as to why we think we can do it now and have not been able to do it before. We, of course, have to deliver before you believe me this time…I’ll give you that 🙂

        Focus is what we are trying to do. However, it is probably not exactly where some think the focus needs to be.

        We are focusing on a smaller set of platforms, fewer clients and fewer features. That focus is not only business driven from a cost vs revenue opportunity perspective, but also from a market analysis perspective. It is difficult to disclose all of our reasoning without giving away too much. Maintaining current technologies at the expense of future/strategic steps puts our product and our business at risk because we become less relevant. We continually battle the ‘new’ horizons vs the current use and need.

        Good example….not focusing enough on new mobile devices early enough because we were trying to maintain the status quo.


      • By:jeffb

        Fewer platforms, fewer clients, and fewer features mean fewer reasons to use GroupWise and so will mean fewer customers. Is that honestly Novell’s intention? I know I’ll certainly be thinking twice before upgrading GroupWise at my site or recommending it for any of my clients if that’s the case.

        The 64-bit only requirement will be painful but not as serious a problem as the lack of cross-platform clients. Given a choice between being forced to use a GroupWise Web Access front end and switching out GroupWise for an entirely web-based approach like GMail, most of my clients would chose the latter despite my best efforts to convince them otherwise.

        Their argument would be something along the lines of “if we’re forced to use web browsers to get our email, why do we even need a server?” What they really want is a local server with clients installed at the workstations and for those clients to be functionally equivalent across platforms (something that is currently _not_ the case with the current xplat clients though they’re better than nothing and better than Web Access).

        Again, is losing market share over this really what you’re looking for at Novell?

  6. By:skapanen


    those are nice improvements you have listed!
    Hopefully schedule and quality will meet these.

    At the end you wrote, “Mobility solution will ship this summer.”
    Has the final release been delayed again?


    • By:dlythgoe

      Release of Mobility is still scheduled for this Summer. We have stated several times that the authorized beta would be in either March/April. It shipped last week and we had our first BETA call yesterday.

      Things are moving in the right direction. The Technology Preview as well as the BETA are progressing as expected. The Technology Preview did not dig up very many issues that we were not already aware of. In my mind, that means that the majority of the work left to do is ‘known’.

      Our schedule is to push to deliver in June. That is Summer. It could push to July – there is that possibility and risk, but I am fairly confident in where things are today.

      We publish our schedules and do everything we can to meet those schedules. We also try to communicate when we know those schedules are no longer realistic.


  7. By:dewita

    Hi Dean,

    This is great news on several fronts. More frequent delivery of smaller sets of customer-driven enhancements will be fantastic!

    I’m in the camp that thinks WebAccess needs to be more Web 2.0 and cutting-edge usability instead of seeking parity with the Windows Client. This is with a view to having the Web Client as the user’s best and only GroupWise experience on full-screen devices. Good ActiveSync, IMAP, and BES support is sufficient for smartphones, I think, and I hope WebAccess will work well on iPads and netbooks with in-between screen sizes. RIM’s laggardly release of BES for GW updates is a pain for us, by the way.

    The user-editable System Address Book sounds great. We’re just building something that allows users to edit their extended attributes in eDirectory right now. Will the System Address Book be able to expose arbitrary eDirectory fields and let users edit them? We’ve added fields for quite specific things like “Recent publications”, for example.

    The calendar enhancements you mention will be very welcome. Can I suggest a new kind of Year view though? Something like the re-writable wall-planner people use to mark out weeks they’re away with a big long line or greyed-out would be great. This would have a small box for each day, one row per month, with multi-day events drawn across the relevant days and single/part-day appointments colouring all or part of their day’s box. Hovering over an appointment would pop up its name and clicking would bring up the edit window for that appointment. This “year at a glance” would be really useful for many staff, e.g., for finding holes in their schedule for fieldwork, holidays, etc.



    P.S. Good to see you again at BrainShare — thanks for listening!

  8. By:kjhurni

    For us anyway, we’re almost finished with our migration in our regions from NetWare to OES2 Linux. Unfortunately the requirement of 64-bit only is a killer for us since there was no compelling reason to go 64-bit on OES2 for us.

    I’m not sure that GW would really benefit from 64-bit on a server with only 1.0 or 2.0 GB of RAM.

    If we’re going to have to travel and replace 35 servers with newer hardware and completely reinstall the OS, our management will simply decide to migrate to Windows and we’ll go to Exchange instead.

    • By:dlythgoe


      Going to 64-bit and going to 64-bit only was a decision based on a couple of things. 32-bit hardware has not been available for over 3 years….you can not purchase it. 64-bit operating systems are now the standard. We simply need to move forward with the times.

      In addition, trying to maintain both 32-bit and 64-bit versions would only delay delivery and increase our QA cycles while decreasing our quality results.

      The decision that you suggest may happen with your company has the EXACT same effect. Meaning – Exchange is only 64-bit. So, whether you update to Ascot or move to Exchange, the newer hardware and complete reinstall of the OS is identical. You will pay essentially the same cost (effort, time, resources). Yet, I would say the migration would probably be a lot more expensive than simply upgrading to a new version of GroupWise.

      If 64-bit is too soon for some of our customers and they were planning on waiting for Windermere – then this scenario works as well. Windermere will also be 64-bit only. That will be another 12+ months after Ascot, which will allow some of our customers the right amount of time to plan the upgrade.

      What do you think?


      • By:Hspeirs


        What does GroupWise gain by being 64 bit? Why not just have 32 bit only? It’ll run on 64 bit versions of SLES/Windows and won’t cause the pain to your customers that 64 bit only will. I know Kevin is not the only customer that has “upgraded” their 32 bit NetWare server to 32 bit SLES/OES2 servers. What functionality is added by being 64 bit only that makes it worth putting the customers through the pain of now having to migrate again to 64 bit SLES/OES2

        Microsoft may have the stranglehold on the industry that it can make the 64 bit only decision and tell their customers they have no choice. Novell is not Microsoft, does not have a stranglehold, and the customers do have a choice – go to Microsoft. And a lot of them will. It may be more expensive to migrate to MS than “upgrade” the Novell solution, but more and more of my clients, your customers, are making that decision.

        My current client is preparing for “Operation Visine” – To get the Red out of the data center. Decisions like this don’t help to try and keep Novell products in at clients, it just accelerates them out the door even faster.


      • By:dlythgoe


        Technologically, you could argue that GroupWise gains very little moving to 64-bit. However, if I were to tell you that GroupWise was only a 16-bit application in today’s 32-bit world – you would either laugh me out of the building or refuse to ever even consider purchasing my product.

        What we gain is relevancy… If we do not support the latest platforms like Vista/Windows 7 or mobile devices like iPhones/iPad, we quickly become outdated and insignificant.

        You would probably then argue that we should do both. Very good argument and a defensive suggestion. We simply do not have the labs, personnel, time, internal rollout capability, etc to essentially double our support/testing matrix.

        For example, instead of taking 6-9 months to release a support pack, it would take 12-15 months. That is just one small, small piece of the work that needs to be done on each platform/architecture.


      • By:Hspeirs


        16 bitness and vista/win7/iPPhone support is a strawman argument. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be supporting those. What I’m talking about is the pain you’re going to cause your customers by forcing them to go 64 bit on the backend. You’re causing them pain, you’re causing them un-necessary expense, you’re forcing them to change to architectures they may have no compelling reason to migrate to, and they’re not gaining anything by it. You’re causing them expense and pain for no good reason. Why do that ?

        You leave the backend at 32 bit – stay compatible with their platform whether they’re 32 or 64 bit. Going 64 bit on the backend won’t make you more relevant, it’ll make you more irrelevant. Causing your customers pain is a great way to get them to evaluate their options – and many will choose to migrate to the competition than go through the pain Novell is causing them.

        I’m working with one of those clients this weeks – 2,200 more ex-Novell clients ……


      • By:dlythgoe


        I understand that this can be painful. We also understand that some customers will struggle with this step forward. This is an industry step, not just a Novell step.

        Please consider these facts:

        – There are no new 32-bit hardware platforms being sold
        – There are no new 32-bit server OS or even desktop OS platforms being sold
        – Although GW does not necessarily have a huge benefit today with 64-bit, it is only a matter of time before it will be an absolute….think Cloud or Hosted offerings
        – Every one of our major competitors already has a 64-bit solution available; most no longer offer a 32-bit solution

        I also would argue that if a customer chooses a competitor’s product, they will absolutely choose 64-bit as a dependency. For the most part, if they do decide to migrate to the competition, they will almost certainly move to 64-bit anyway.

        When do you think your customers would be ready to move to a 64-bit architecture? OR What do you think will be the deciding factor that ultimately forces them to move?

        Interested in your feedback….


      • By:joebrug

        “- Although GW does not necessarily have a huge benefit today with 64-bit..”

        I’m not against going 64 at all, already have the back-end for all of it, but just curious.. if there is no real benefit to running GW on 64bit, Why ‘force’ the customers to upgrade? Is it basically so GW team doesn’t have to support 32 and 64? Now, if ya said “groupwise will run 10x better on 64-bit”, then I’d understand

      • By:dlythgoe

        It is simply a matter of cost….

        – Cost of doubling our support matrix
        – Cost of increasing our engineering efforts
        – Cost of doubling our infrastructure to fully test…both within our own BETAs and Novell’s IT shop as well as superlabs and other infrastructures
        – Time it takes to validate and ensure quality on that many different platforms

        The benefits will come as we architect toward these new platforms.

        Hope that helps…


      • By:jsessler

        Here is the fault with “- Although GW does not necessarily have a huge benefit today with 64-bit, it is only a matter of time before it will be an absolute.”

        GroupWise is still around in various organizations because it has traditionally been thrifty with resource use. Instead of being forced to upgrade hardware at each new version, GroupWise has been happy on 1-3 generation-behind hardware.

        I can’t tell you how much that “feature” of GroupWise is appreciated by the CFOs. If that’s going to change, it’s one less advantage that GroupWise has maintained over it’s competitors, and could be the tipping point in moving from GroupWise. For my campus, it wasn’t until GW 8 that I had to seriously look at replacing my 5 year-old hardware. Even then, had I just switched from Netware to Linux, I suspect I could have continued on.

        By forcing a customer to upgrade existing 32-bit systems to 64-bit, or even a OS reinstall/migration to get from 32-bit to 64-bit, I have to imagine one of three outcomes are possible:

        1) Customers will stick with GW 8 until the end of time, and you’ll see no future upgrade income.
        2) With the hardware thriftiness gone, is moving to ascot any less painful than exchange? Could this be a tipping point?
        3) customers will upgrade, but only at the normal life-cycle of the hardware.

        Dean, given the state of GroupWise, would it not be in your best interest to invest in retention of your current (and loyal) customers rather than chasing some future customer with a wiz-bang new feature? I’ll tell you, I think it would be much easier for you to retain me as a 20+ year GroupWise customer if you’d put resources toward improving the xplat client (or building a native client). A better Webaccess is a nice thought, but my users aren’t interested. They need a fully integrated client that is reliable.

        If you continue on this course of “engineer’s delight” it will come at the expense of your long-time customers. Once gone, there is no hope of ever getting those customers back.

        Perhaps you need to form a customer advisory board so that you can better understand your existing customers, and more specifically, where they’d like to see the product go.

      • By:bluecc

        Couldn’t have said it any better.

      • By:Hspeirs

        > There are no new 32-bit server OS or even desktop OS platforms being sold

        This is a joke right ?

        So when did Novell stop selling 32 bit OES/2? When did Microsoft stop selling 32 bit Windows 7, 32 bit Windows 2008 server ? There are plenty of server and desktop OS’s being sold that are 32 bit – hell, NOVELL sells one – it’s called OES/2, and if Novell’s customers are like the majority of my clients, then they’ve installed the 32 bit version – NOT the 64 bit version.

        Everyone of those clients, running your 32 bit OS, are the ones you’re going to cause pain to with this decision to go 64 bit only for the GW backend. And when they hit the pain point, it’s going to be a decision of:

        – Do we migrate to the new version of GW, and go through the pain of having to migrate our OS as well, or
        – Seeing as we have to migrate our OS, maybe it’s time we revisited the whole platform and email strategy again.

        > For the most part, if they do decide to migrate to the competition, they will almost certainly move to 64-bit anyway.

        And if you force them to migrate to 64 bit, you’re giving them the motivation to go to, or at least consider going to, the competition.

        64 bit is not a requirement for cloud or hosted applications – it’s an option, and what Novell needs to do is give their customers options. They have the option of running OES/2 and SLES as either 32 bit or 64 bit. Don’t take that option away with GW, or you’re likely to find that a lot of them stop being customers.

        Novell sells 32 bit OES/2, the majority of your customers are going to be running the 32 bit version of OES/2 – why,oh, why would you force them to 64 bitness? Because you think it makes you more relevant? Because Microsoft forced their customers to 64 bitness, it’s a good idea for Novell to do the same thing? MS had to go 64 bit for exchange, Novell doesn’t.

        It’s not a good idea to force this issue, it’s the worst possible thing you could do. Support your existing platforms (OES/2, SLES – on 32 bit and 64 bit), and specifically support the lowest common denominator of that plat form – 32 bit.

        When will my customers be ready to make the change to a 64 bit platform? When they have a compelling reason to. If I have any Novell customers left in that time frame – make OES/3 a 64 bit only platform, and then after that has become well established, bring out a 64 bit only version of GW. Don’t bring out 64 bit GW when the bulk of your customers are NOT running a 64 bit OS platform.


      • By:dlythgoe

        I got a little carried away…

        You are right…I meant to leave my comments to the hardware and not include the OS platforms. There are, of course, several 32-bit OS that are being sold and delivered today.

        I will ‘edit’ my previous post.


      • By:Hspeirs


        I’m sure you’re going to get around to correcting the 32 bit OS comment, but still, you haven’t addressed my issue – you’re targeting the next release of GW to an OS family (64 bit) that the minority of your clients are deploying, You’re ignoring the bulk of your customers. Playing “me too” against your competition won’t work, it won’t cause people to convert to GW, causing pain to the bulk of your users is just going to cause them to re-evaluate GW altogether

      • By:dlythgoe

        For some reason, I can’t edit my comment once it is submitted….So the only way to edit my previous comment is to add a new comment. Or at least I have not figured it out yet.

        In addition, please note I have been out of the office on business – so I am just getting back to respond to comments and take my beatings 🙂 I have not been intentionally ignoring this conversation. I was in Orlando all last week at WES – Blackberry’s annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium.

        Just to expand on my correction….or dig myself into a larger hole 🙂

        I stated: “There are no new 32-bit server OS or even desktop OS platforms being sold”

        What I was trying to say is:

        There are no new 32-bit ONLY server OS or even desktop OS platforms being sold. Meaning no one is producing just a 32-bit option.

        For several reasons, already stated – the cost of producing a 32-bit AND a 64-bit option for GroupWise is prohibitive. Therefore, we felt we needed to choose the best forward looking option.

        Contrary to your feedback, it is not a minority of GroupWise clients who are deploying the 64-bit OSs – and arguably – this will only increase and accelerate.

        As we have carved up the Ascot/Windermere deliverables – the end goal is that Windermere meet certain market objectives. Windermere is still 18 months out. Putting off the 64-bit decision until after Ascot, would make delivering Windermere infeasible in the time frame given.

        It is challenging to provide all of the background and research that goes into these decisions. It is not something we do haphazardly or just shooting from the hip.

        I do find all of these comments helpful and sincerely appreciate your feedback and interaction. I hope you feel I am being as transparent as possible and that I am providing valuable insight into what is going on….although you may disagree with our conclusions.


      • By:kjhurni

        Thanks Dean.

        Perhaps my main issue/concern is that this was not announced publicly (that I can find) a while ago when it could’ve been prevented (meaning being an issue). I fault MS when they did not give a “heads up” (if you will) that Exchange 2007 was going to be 64-bit only (I know LOTS of places that are still having problems with that because they had installed 32-bit versions of the OS for their previous Exchange servers). So I hold the same standard for Novell.

        It would be one thing if, at the time OES2 SP2 was released, Novell had mentioned that it was going to be the LAST 32-bit OS they were going to release (like MS announced probably a year prior to 2008 being released that it was going to be the last 32-bit OS they were going to make. This gives their customers about 3-5 years “heads up” to plan for 64-bit only).

        But to have the app preceed the OS, AND only what, 9 months (maybe) lead time?

        I realize that some people think that anyone “should have” installed 64-bit OS only, but lets get real here. Even just recently there were third party apps that either weren’t “supported” (ie, it would work but no tech support for you) on 64-bit linux. Not to mention a lot of people wouldn’t bother putting a 64-bit OS on a machine with 1-2 GB of RAM (does Novell ever look in their NOWS forums??)

        As such, you’ve alienated your existing customers who now have to look forward to “no” groupwise upgrades after 8.0.2 until they can migrate (not upgrade) to 64-bit OS.

        At my main customer site, this is at least 2 years away. Had Novell announced such an intent a year or more ago (publicly) we probably would’ve installed 64-bit OES2.

        But I’m obviously not going to change any minds on this, so it’s been a nice run while it lasted.

      • By:dlythgoe

        This is certainly a valid concern. Giving customers enough lead time is certainly important and something that should always be considered. Our inability to predict or even see 24 months into the future, let alone 3-5 years is probably the largest obstacle.

        I can’t even imagine the push back I would have received even 3 years ago, if we had announced then, what we have announced now. I would have been called the biggest fool ever. We would have been just on the cusp of the hardware changes that completed in 2007.

        It is our thoughts that this type of change has been announced/socialized in so many broader ways that our announcement would be really fairly minor in comparison. Like we have already stated. Hardware is already there, OS manufactures are providing the option, applications, including almost every one of our competitors, has already switched. It is, in my mind, a difficult argument to say that no one knew this was coming or that there was not enough lead time.

        As much criticism as I receive from the same voices on this blog about Novell’s and GroupWise’s inability to look forward, keep up with the competition or anticipate upcoming market demands – I am surprised about the criticism now voiced by some that Novell is being too aggressive in its adoption of technology 🙂

        I guess the old adage is true….You can’t please everyone!

        Sometimes, no mater what you do, you can’t please anyone 🙂

        We want our customers to move with us on every release. For some, Ascot may be too much. We understand that….so we encourage them to prepare and be ready for Windermere. That gives them plenty of time to upgrade their infrastructure and get the full benefit of Ascot and Windermere.


  9. By:chinkai80

    XP is ceasing, C1 don’t work well in Vista and Win7 systems. Why do C1 still have to be around?

    With C1 still around, it does means eDirectory have to be installed in the server to run C1, even we have can have AD as the authentication source.

    Since NOWS-SBE provide web-based administration functionality to GroupWise.
    Why can’t we have that on the upcoming release but still have to keep C1 around?
    Perhaps something like iManager workstation will be good enough to do the trick.

    • By:dlythgoe

      The only reason C1 will still be part of Ascot is because we do not believe we will have the time to cut over to our new Web-based administration model.

      NOWS-SBE is great for small organizations – hence the name. Not as good for large enterprises that need all of the functionality of ConsoleOne.


      • By:bbecken

        Management of GroupWise with ConsoleOne will be a bigger problem when all Support workstations are on Windows 7. Our infrastructure is already moving to Windows 7 and Support folks have to keep up with the end users platforms and upgrade to Windows 7 as well.

        In order to manage GroupWise, Support has to run a vmware instance with ConsoleOne on a Windows XP machine. And I have to tell Support that they will still have to run ConsoleOne via Windows XP even when Ascot is released.

        A quick look at this Novell blog on OES and Administration is really disheartening:

        The blog above mentions that ConsoleOne development has been transferred to GroupWise the development group. If that is true, then is GroupWise the last product that “requires” C1?

        For others reading this blog:
        The place to voice our suggestions is at the below Novell web link. The request will be routed to the GroupWise product manager.

      • By:aevans

        GroupWise 8 SP1 shipped with a version of ConsoleOne that runs on Windows 2008, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is bundled into the support pack, as we only support GroupWise administration functions with this version.

  10. By:trzuskot


    I came upon an issue when you share address book with groups in it. For instance I have 10 users sharing one address book which contains 30 groups. The address book itself has close to 5000 contacts then we created groups from them (just to have it more organized). The problem we run into is when you delete a contact from the address book it never checks if that contact is also part of any group, then what happens is you have to go into each group and check if that contact was there. This takes enormous amount of time to accomplish. My question is would there be an enhancement to this, let’s say if I delete a contact from the address book it would also check the groups at the same time for the same record asking me if I also want to remove it from there. I already opened a SR for this with the following #10603859051, if you want to check. The solution they provided isn’t efficient.

    than you

    • By:FlyingGuy

      They have never really gotten the Address Book right.

      Groups should be nothing but a set of stored queries to the address book the groups member’s reside in. This makes life easy. If it gets deleted from the source address book then it quite simply no longer appears in the group.

      The only time this should change is when you take the client remote in caching mode. At that point the “hit the road” feature should then snapshot the data in the address books based upon those queries so you can do your cached email. When it next connects to the PO those are all refreshed as long as you stay in remote mode. When you go back into on-line mode those are ignored and the address data comes from it’s normal sources.

      But I doubt this is going to be resolved anytime soon and that is a pity.

    • By:dlythgoe

      Unfortunately, this is not currently on our Ascot priority list. It is something we will consider for a future release – probably Windermere.


      • By:sylvala

        Not before Windermere!! If I read between the line : We have to wait for 2 years! Before that will be fix! come on. Is a joke. Please do a field test release or something like that. That the kind of annoying thing still there from a long, very long time.

  11. By:leraly


    I’ve made this request already a few times and according to me it should be trivial to implement but can this new version (That has Linux as main platform) finally have decent logging of the agents etc… via syslog ?

    Kind regards,

    • By:dlythgoe

      This is not currently on our list of things to resolve in Ascot….Sorry. I have to agree that we could/should do this better. It has simply not risen on the priority list yet.

      If we can get to it, we will, but currently it is not planned for Ascot.


  12. By:bluebeagle


    I appreciate the update.

    I’m disappointed to see that you aren’t removing dependencies more aggressively (ConsoleOne, Novell Client, eDirectory). A web-based admin tool will help get you there but a windows-based admin client similar to MMC is what we prefer these days. It is pure torture doing any kind of large-scale user management with web overhead and response times.

    As an example, while we initially viewed ZCM’s admin interface migration to the web as a positive thing, we eventually discontinued use of the product because of poor response times in the admin interface (and problems encountered when trying to edit and implement group policies). Removing dependencies was great but the performance hit was equally great.

    I’m also concerned that updates to Apache/Tomcat have the real potential to break the management interface. It’s better to develop both client and server components for administration in-house. As an added benefit, a client/server model (using SOAP for example) is going to be more readily embraced by third-party developers.

    • By:dlythgoe

      I know we have not moved quickly enough on some fronts. We are working on it.

      Thanks for the input and feedback on our admin direction. It is always helpful to hear ideas, suggestions and frustrations.


  13. By:skapanen

    Just to comment that the platform decisions presented are ok for us;
    * 64bit server platform is ok, no issues with that.
    * Win client and WebAccess are the most important, no need for mac/xplat.

    Will the dist.list ACL functionality come in 8.0.2 like mentioned previously?


    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes, Access Control for Distribution lists are part of 8.0.2. We plan to have a public BETA of 8.0.2 mid-May.

      That feature list is set and is not changing. You should be able to kick the tires on that in just a few weeks.


  14. By:bunnbox

    You’re seriously considering discontinuing the Linux/Mac clients for GroupWise, again? We had to wait many years stuck on the GroupWise 5.5 Client for Mac, when further versions were Windows only. The same argument was given, that WebAccess functionality would be improved to match the Windows Client. Obviously, that never happened.

    So, what will happen to the staff at N-iX who develop the GroupWise Cross-Platform Client? If you think it’s simply not cost effective, you’re wrong. Both Lotus Notes and Exchange have full featured fat clients on Mac, and Lotus also do on Linux. And what’s going on with Evolution? Development on the Linux releases has stalled, and the Mac release hasn’t been updated for ages. Why would Novell acquire a product they didn’t intend on using and integrating into the GroupWise product?

    Remember way back when:

    • By:FlyingGuy

      It is not just that, they are starting base everything they do around the LAMP stack and other “newer technologies” that will make it so much better to have a massive load of LAMP bloatware on your workstation, and let us not forget that SOAP is the answer to everything!

      Someone at Novell needs to be fired. Thank your favorite deity that the CTO left to go work for IEEE or wherever he went because as far as I could tell he wasn’t doing anyone any favors by hanging around.

      They just do not get it. There is plenty of new technology that makes X-Plat very very doable these days and they just wont go down that road and that is the road they need to walk. But as the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”.

      It seems as though they have forgotten how to be engineers instead of kids who play with Lego’s ( with apologies to the makers of Lego’s).

    • By:bluecc

      I have to add that this dropping the Linux/Mac client is horrible news. If I could even explain how frustrated our clients that are migrating to Macs are…. We explained it existed in 7 but they new it was unusable. They get it in 8 and are seeing promise now and it’s usable. So now what? It’s going to disappear and they’re stuck with web browser. Which leads me to:

      There is no possible way that the webaccess improvements will match even the existing Mac client. Can you tell me that users will be able to have mail, and any other window such as calendar or address book open at the same time? I can’t imagine this not being a step backward. If I’m wrong, please point out the enhancements that prove so. Then some of us can rest easy and not begin migration plans.

      I know I probably sound rather upset and it’s just a matter of frustration. For example, did I read that while the new sync solution is free for those with maintenance you can’t use your Groupwise SLES license to install it? You have to seriously buy a separate SLES license? How in the world is that free with existing maintenance?

      • By:dlythgoe

        I realize that some of the frustration expressed have to do with customer’s current experience with WebAccess. I know that the only way we can overcome that is to deliver something that is better.

        Hope this helps…

        We are solving the ‘only one window open’ problem. That was demo’d at one of our milestone reviews last month.

        SLES License required for Mobility. Yes – that is currently true. However, stay tuned for information on a resolution for that issue.


  15. By:joebrug

    I happen to like most of the things that you mention here, Dean.. more frequent (bug tested!!!!!!!) releases are great. Please make sure the quality aspect of this decision is at a very high standard. I know I’m not alone when I say that its frustrating to have to wait for hot patches, after an SP comes out.

    Pictures in system address book.. great!!!

    One thing I’d like to mention. Installing the groupwise client via Zenworks Config Management. We’re *supposed* to be putting all install files into the zenworks repository. Well, the way groupwise is setup, theres hundreds of files that need to go into the repo. This results in an extremely slow installation because all of these small files need to be copied to the workstation first. Can you please investigate into having a large groupwise.msi file containing all other files instead of a ton of seperate ones reliant on a setup.exe? Really wish the ‘installers’ would agree on some standard. Too many setup.exe+files, or single msi files, or setup’s+msi’s. Confusing and a pain.

    • By:bunnbox

      Not to belay the point, as I’d love to see the same thing, but here’s a simple solution:

      Make a zip or cab of the client32 folder, upload that to the ZCM repo, and tell ZCM to copy that down to the workstation and spawn a script to decompress the archive to a temporary folder and spawn the installation.

      An alternative (and this is how we do it), would be to have ZCM get SetupIP.exe from the repo to download the rest of the installation files and do the same thing. This would, of course, require a web server already set up properly for SetupIP with regards to things like case sensitivity.

      • By:joebrug

        Currently I just launch groupwise.msi from a network share and created a mst file using GWTuner. Ideally, it’d be great to run in the repo so I could then automatically replicate it to satellite servers. Even the zip/cab thing makes the process longer, as it copies the zip/cab down, then has to extract it, then install… just like to see some kinda standard.

    • By:skapanen

      Good point!

      GW client deployment/upgrading has been a pain. It _should_ be easy to do with Novell’s own tools, but no.. even Zenworks distribution for GW is difficult.

  16. By:frnkblk

    I haven’t been a GW admin for 5+ years, but I still try to follow the GW community as I have time.

    It’s disappointing to read that Novell is considering to not improve the x-platform client (again). It’s ironic, because AFAIK, the use of Mac and Linux clients (as a percentage) has grown over the last few years.

    I’m sure Novell would continue development if it “made money”, but I find myself compelled to concur that it will never find justification on a stand-alone basis. Nevertheless, it needs to be an element in the feature mix for the product to sell to the broader market. If Novell follows through with their plans, what they’re essentially telling their market is that they only want Microsoft Window shops as their customers.

    And if someone from Novell says that WebAccess can fill in the gaps, let me point out that even Gmail has connectors for Microsoft Outlook — they recognize that desktop client support is necessary in the enterprise market.


  17. By:ecyoung

    Dean, any word on Microsoft Office 2010 integration? Web viewers, filetype associations, document integrations, etc. Office 2010 RTM’d last week, and volume license customers will be able to grab it next week already. Expect an enhancement request soon 🙂

    • By:dlythgoe

      As most of you probably know, we license our viewer technology from Oracle. We have an ongoing contract with them to provide updates as new viewers are needed. We get updates from Oracle about twice a year. We do not expect to update the viewer versions with 8.0.2, but we do expect to update them for Ascot.

      2010 support is on the roadmap and will most likely be in the update planned for Ascot.


      • By:kjhurni

        About the Oracle licensing that is. Still waiting for updated viewers to stop the crashing of the GWINTER (you can only restart the address space so many times before it kills the server anyway). And since they won’t be updated in 8.0.2 and Ascot is 64-bit only we won’t see a fix. (By “we” I mean particular customer, not “we” as in everyone).

        Also I don’t think the security vulnerability reported back in May of 2009 was fixed yet either (Oracle apparently did fix it in some of their code but not necessarily to what was provided to third parties like Novell). But I never heard back from Novell when I inquired about this. The security patch I believe is this one mentioned here:

  18. By:dewita

    Hi Dean,

    I’ve been following this thread and it’s still not clear to me whether the decision is that the Ascot release will include no enhancements to the Mac and Linux clients or that no future release will enhance those clients. They are two very different interpretations. The work done in GroupWise 8 to improve the cross-platform clients was much appreciated by our users and it would be a real shame to cut it off completely (and a showstopper for some, as previous comments indicate).

    Could you please clear this up for us?

    Thanks again for your blog posts — it’s good to hear what’s happening and have the chance to respond. I admire your constructive replies to what are sometimes quite passionate (and arguably too direct) comments made here. Keep the lines open!



    • By:dlythgoe


      We are only discussing Ascot at this point. I would not completely rule out future work on the Linux/Mac Client. At the end of the day, it is about revenue, costs and market growth and opportunity. If the Linux and/or Mac markets increase and have specific demands and there is real revenue opportunity, then directions can be shifted or adjusted.

      Hope that helps… and thanks for your comments 🙂


  19. By:jlodom


    I’ve asked for a lot on the Mac side for a while. However, I see where you are going with Ascot and let me ENCOURAGE you to continue in that direction. Using the current Java-based client, you will never have a fully Mac-Like GroupWise application that integrates with OS X’s system services. So, it makes much more sense to build up WebAccess until it is better than any current client (including Windows). GroupWise has always seemed to be a few steps behind advances in communication technology and I see your current focuses with Gradenko, Teaming, and GW Ascot as very good steps towards changing that. I came to Novell technologies relatively late (2001) and have a much younger perspective. Whatever efforts failed in the past should not stop you from forging ahead.

    I assume that WebAccess will be making heavy use of the HTML5 client-side storage that most modern browsers are implementing (including Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari). If there were any way to have an “offline” mode for the web client, that would be pretty awesome. Even though I have the “full” Mac GroupWise installed now, I still just use WebAccess on OES as it is always faster and more pleasant to use.

    Enhancements to GroupWise to make it play nicer with OS X’s native applications — a less kludgy IMAP implementation for, support for CalDAV for OS X’s, etc. would be very nice and go a long way to soothing the deprecation of the native client.

    And then of course there is iPhone and the iPad. Please be sure to keep on top of the Mobility connector, and make use of cutting-edge practices to deliver a superior WebAccess experience on these devices. If you could incorporate touch controls into WebAccess as several vendors are doing with iPad/iPhone optimized sites, that would be pretty awesome.

    As for the next-generation administrative interface — PLEASE get that up and running as soon as possible. I only need C1 now for GroupWise and Zen 7, otherwise everything Novell-related is done on my Mac. If you could deliver even a small subset of web-based admin functionality as a “preview” admin center for Ascot (perhaps user account maintenance), that would be a huge gesture and prepare us for the full admin solution when it comes.

    Again, I’ve been very happy with your recent direction and please keep it up. Teaming 2.0 demonstrates that you guys “get it” more than you have in the past (much better interface and installation) and have the technical resources to deliver on web applications. As long you keep going this way as fast as you can, I think you’ll ultimately make it through.

    • By:dlythgoe

      I appreciate your feedback.

      The admin comments are very appropriate. I’ll see what I can do on that front 🙂

      I really want to start providing something new in the admin area ASAP. Our dependency upon C1 is a difficult challenge and one we need/want to rectify soon.

      Once again – thanks and hope you enjoy what we finally deliver!


  20. By:dshrum

    I am a Novell Partner and have been for over 16 years.

    Several points for your review.

    1. 64 Bit versions. Anyone migrating from an older OS ie Netware to OES2 that has new hardware should only install the 64 bit version. This makes the Groupwise discussion on 32 vs 64 mute. However, if you are using existing hardware that is only 32 bit, then a 32 bit option is needed. It will force them to remain at 801HP1 or the latest release for 32 bit. At some point the hardware will die and require replacement and at that time only install the 64 Bit OS. Not a perfect solution, but would work. Management of Groupwise with consoleone will be a bigger problem when all workstations are on Windows 7.

    2. Clients –
    Webaccess is too slow, not enough features and my clients will only use it when forced to. I agree with all previous posts that we have been hearing that it will have all the features and be fast for 12 years and it hasn’t happened yet, not holding my breath.
    Linux client – I have enough problems trying to move users to a Linux client because their software won’t run on linux without having to tell them that Novell’s products won’t work the same either. This is not just a Groupwise problem, but a problem overall. (i.e. – platespin and other Novell products) I deal with a lot of small businesses 100 users or less and they only want one server. This was great during the NSBS 6.6 days where I could get everything they needed on one server, Netware, Groupwise, ZENWorks, and Bordermanager. Now, I am trying to move them to NOWS and I find that OES2 works fine, Groupwise works fine, ZCM want’s it own server (May work on the one server with a lot of tinkering) and Bordermanager ????? nobody nows whats happening. Even in this environment, I have MAC users that love the windows client, but want the same features on the MAC. Many of them won’t even use the client and use the apple client instead.
    For 10+ years I have kept 100% of my clients on Novell products, but it is getting harder each year. The biggest complaint I always got on Groupwise was the contacts didn’t look like Outlook. You finally got that fixed on the Windows side and now it appears that you are going to not deliver that on the other clients. Any loss of the current windows features or not getting these features on the rest of the clients will just make it almost impossible to maintain Novell in my clients.


    • By:dlythgoe

      Thank your for the feedback! We want to support your efforts – keep up the great work in helping us grow our footprint.



  21. By:dfw66


    Thanks for your comments.

    On the client for Linux/Mac issue it is obvious that is what clients want but for some reason Novell refuses the listen. The ZCM time is adding support for Linux in it’s platform why can’t the GroupWise team? You say that it is not a revenue producer. Isn’t it easier to maintain a client that find a new one?

    Since Novell has outsourced so much if its development and support to India, how much is cost really a factor?

  22. By:earok

    Coming from a branch where the vast majority of staff members are using Mac, this is disheartening news indeed.

    I don’t think the users here would be too displeased if they didn’t quite have ‘full feature parity’ with the Windows clients, but there are obvious improvements to be made to the functionality of the cross platform clients. It’s still literally impossible for a Mac user to see how much of their mailbox quota they have used, and without the ‘check mailbox size’ tool on the Windows client, it’s a lot more difficult for a user to locate and delete the largest emails.

    I am skeptical that simply providing a better version of Web Access alone would provide a better user experience, given that there’s no possible way for our users to be on the network all of the time, and I haven’t yet seen an internet mail system that can match the experience of a desktop client.

    • By:dlythgoe

      We have heard lots of times about the disk space quota limitations on Mac/Linux. We realize that this is a burden.

      One question – what are your current disk space limits for your organization? How do you see this changing and how are you managing it today?

      Thanks for the info…


  23. By:mpierce_tamu

    I read every comment, and all I can say is Good Grief…Good points by both sides and bad points by both sides. The 64bit is not an issue. If you think because Novell has decided to do a 64bit only app push that you will then go to Microsoft for Exchange, well good luck. What’s the point? You might as well stay on GW with the knowledge of teh app you know and less time, money and effort into learning a new app, Exchange, which will also only be on 64. Stupid arguement. Hopefully it’s over.

    Mac/Linux Client – Here it is. I know other groups on my campus that would love for Novell to get off their butts and design a Mac client that was as reobust as the Windows Client. I am a Windows user, not a Mac fan, but I tell you this. In an environment such as Education, K-12 and in my case, Higher Ed, Macs are a big part of most colleges on Campus with Faculty and students. But here’s my biggest beef with Novell.
    LINUX!!!! You guys go out and purchase SuSE. You then have a BrainShare that screams and shouts nothing but the fact thatyou just bought these guys and pour out many machines with NLD9. Then switch to SLED10 and the very next year have machines up with SLED10. HERE IT IS! If Novell is SOOOO committed to Linux on the backend and the desktop, then why aren’t you focusing on GW for Linux client? What about all the dang Web management tools that still require Internet Explorer in some fashion. Why have ConsoleOne if you aren’t updating it to work with the latest Windows versions? You made it work in Linux. You say that GroupWise will still be dependant upon it with it’s next two releases, and then possibly out to a web mgmt interface, but that’s not now. Let me tell you something, Windows 7 is NOW. SLED is not a reality, so Novell has to market their products towards Windows.
    With all this said, I am still a Novell user and administrator. Fan, well, that part of me is slowly dying.
    What everyone here is trying to say, I think, is Novell, step up to the plate and put something into play that will not take montsh on end (IE The Mobility Solution) to get to the users, and give us updated tools to manage the products we purchase from you. ConsoleOne… Didn’t that mean One console to manage everything? That was a joke too as you had to still use NWAdmin to do NDPS printing and licensing and more….Then iManager, but you have to use C1 for Zen7 and below and well as GW up to current. iManager is getting better, and I like it to a point, I’m still more of a GUI person than a web person, but I can adapt, if it doens’t take forever. And in forever, I have enough time to learn Exchange and the new AD and what Microsoft is doing these days with their newer products like Sharepoint and Forefront Identity Management and so on… GIVE US REASONS TO STAY!!!! And gives us the ammo to make a point with our Upper Mgmt Teams that Novell is still a viable solution today and in the future.
    Right before Brainshare, and friend of mine told me, “Watch, at the keynote, they will be announcing that they are being bought out.” Well, he wasn’t too far off the mark was he? It almost happened….. Please, show us you want to keep us… The long timers…. Thanks for your time….

    • By:dlythgoe


      Thank you for your comments, support, criticism and suggestions. We want to give you reasons to stay as well. We certainly appreciate our ‘long timers’ 🙂 I am one of them – 20 years with Novell this month.

      I want and need Novell/GroupWise to succeed and we are trying hard to do just that. Thanks for your patience. We will get there!



  24. By:thedevastator

    Hi Dean,

    What happend to the “all in one product “? company’s bought groupwise as an upgrade to wordperfect because it had everything .. where is the total sollution now ?

    we have been using groupwise for 15 years now , and ongoing using the product , however

    we have been displeased the way document management has been dropped , older issues are still active and no newer features are beeing thought of , our libraries getting massive( and of customers) , and there is no good sollution to swap over to something else nor a product suitable for our needs… yet the groupwise client is getting worse .. im sure if im honest im looking at a nice interface .. but no solid foundation for the documents..nor crossplatform or client for a wireless device..

    ( id like to see universal document implementation , with all the current devices ., scan to libary etc etc etc )

    to get back on my post.. .. i feel the groupwise system is getting outdated ( and im running on suse/ gw8.1 ) and with this new beta , im not feeling like upgrading anymore . because of lack of features concerning document management ..

    and lets be honest .. which feature is soo revolutionary since Groupwise 5.5 EP ?

    • By:tmstone835

      I agree with you 100% regarding document management. GroupWise was ahead of its time with DMS technology. Early adopters either got religion and understood the importance of document management or they were too dense to “get it” and became frustrated. Competitor’s products have the same problem because it really is a culture shift within the organization that migrates to a DMS strategy.

      Now everyone touts their document management features even though they are not really document management. GroupWise would not be starting from scratch. The underlying technology is sound. It is the administration and front end that need some investment in order to make it as easy as possible.

  25. By:wdewey

    You are kind of getting beat up with the cross platform support. I personally think that it is costing Novell a lot of money and I haven’t seen any products that provide full functionality on all platforms. Microsoft was using entourage to provide an email client on the Mac platform and it had lots of incompatibilities with Outlook (winmail.dat). I am not holding my breath that Outlook 2010 will solve all of these problems. I personally don’t think the web platform is the silver bullet either, but that is not why I am commenting.

    The biggest compliant I get from users about Groupwise deals specifically with Notify. I personally like how outlook provides two different UI’s for email notifications and appointment notifications. Getting a popup for immediate notification and then going away to a little envelope is great for email, but not for an appointment. An appointment I want to stay up until I interact with it. I also have to manually check if the envelope is one of many new emails or if it is an appointment. I like how when I open an email in Outlook the envelope icon goes away. Letting me know I have new email is great, but making me clear notify manually or open all my email just to have the envelope go away is not necessary. Also, why is the maximum sleep time for an appointment 15 minutes? With Outlook I would set my alarm days in advanced some times. If I had to tell it to sleep every 15 minutes then I would go crazy.
    Probably the most problematic issue is that I get regular reports from power users that Notify didn’t let them know about an appointment until AFTER the meeting was over. Big issue. My supervisor has missed several appointments this way. I didn’t see anything specific about change to Notify in the blog or comments so I thought I would add my 2 cents. I have seen requests similar to this in other blogs, but I haven’t noticed any changes to Notify since version 6.5.


  26. By:richardgiroux

    I moved my firm to Linux desktops five years ago. The last hold-outs I moved to Mac this January. I finally moved my own machine to Linux this year as well. With the development of improved remote management (web and otherwise), cross platform VM solutions and the Groupwise Linux client, I found I had a MUCH better experience on Linux than Windows. The killer app for me was the GW Linux client. I for one, LOVE the linux client. It is robust and stable. Groupwise was the last application that I needed to break away from Windows even though I manage a some 18 windows servers and (2 SLES) servers. It seemed that Novell was moving heavily in the direction I believe many companies are heading yet…they’ve lost their direction again. By looking at today’s bottom line, Novell is missing the opportunities of the future. By dropping non-windows support, they give non-windows users little reason to choose anyone other than MS.

    Here is what Novell should do:

    Provide a 25 user version of GW for FREE for non-profit. – Both Native and Web based clients. – Small non-profit organizations would jump at the chance to have a robust email solution. – There is no money there just opportunity to prove GW is an enterprise solution and there is nothing in this area to compete with.

    Continue to develop on Mac clients. Opensource if you have to. MS will never have a robust client on Linux or Mac. This is your opportunity to be the only real enterprise option on that platform. Goodness gracious look around! Although only 10% of our network is Mac it just happens to be the top 10% or the organization (the partners). Theses guys make the decisions for the entire company. A young lawyer told me last week that out of her entire law class only ONE person had a Windows PC. The market is changing, now is not the time to bail.

    Continue Linux client development: Opensuse is VERY good but don’t stop there. Give away the Groupwise client for Linux for both IMAP, POP and other common protocols. – Groupwise is the best client I have every used on Linux. KEEP GOING! Get the Groupwise client the default choice for email on every major Linux distribution including Ubuntu.

    Strengthen ties with GMail: Gmail lacks a real client but otherwise is a good service. Make a limited version of the GW client fully integrated with Gmail services. Make a Gmail client before Google does and “re-brand” their service while your at it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be talking to a CFO or CTO and have him tell you he’s been using Groupwise with Gmail for years? Think about it. With tighter integration with Gmail, organizations with Groupwise could include and manage Gmail users as part of their organization. A sort of stub for is eDirectory for Google users.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • By:dlythgoe

      You and others have made excellent points. I am making those same points within the organization. Thank you for your feedback and passion. We are listening!


  27. By:ejacobus_allscope

    I have to agree with a lot of people here – – I am very disappointed in the direction this product is moving.

    As more people are branching off to other platforms – – Linux, Mac, etc, you guys are CUTTING investing in a client for those products. Do you really think that someone who sits in an office all day is going to want to use a web-based client on their Mac or Linux computer? Don’t get me wrong – – it is great for when you are on the go, but to use 8 hours a day? I don’t think so. Not when you are used to using a full featured client.

    Also, even though I am not a Linux user, I find it odd that you guys invested a ton of money in this transition from Netware to Linux, and have now stopped improving off all things the Linux GW client, when you are pushing a Linux desktop and server OS as two of your main products! It’s as if the right hand at Novell has no clue what the left is doing.

    I also think the issue people have is not so much the transition to 64-bit, but that you guys somehow found that to take immediate priority over the real issues that should be improved on first. Look at the new features you outlined – – Adding a birthday year and pictures? – – come on, those look like they would be included in a service pack!

    Lastly – – someone a few posts up said it the best – – the decisions come from the top down. And do you know who the Mac users are at most of my clients? – – the CEO and Managers. Each year with several clients I face the same question – – move to Exchange or renew GroupWise – – and the ONLY compelling reason they each want to migrate is because the Mac Client & iPhone support stinks. I’ve told them its not as reliable. I’ve told them there will be a high cost to migrate and possibly more downtime for patching, etc. But there comes a point where they say that they are willing to sacrifice a little, to gain a lot of what they are looking for. And sadly I am starting to agree with them, since what they are looking for is obviously not coming to GroupWise any time soon.

    You guys really need to find a new leader, to take you in a new direction, because as someone who owned stock in your company when I first started using your products, based on these decisions I am thankful I cashed out. I never thought I would actually recommend one of my GroupWise clients to move to Exchange, but based on this it looks like the day is coming soon.

  28. By:clarkef

    That keeps getting requested – can we have the option of global / OU based holiday entries? Marking off new years/Christmas etc as well as regional holidays has been a staple of other systems for a bit now.

  29. By:blntskul

    I’ve asked for this for a long time, and over many Brainshares. Please improve name completion. Use Outlook or any modern mobile phone and you’ll see how it should work. Don’t make users pick books, don’t make it a per computer configuration like it is now. I mean do people really want for their name completion to behave one way on one computer and another way on a different computer? Find by last name or first name, or maybe other data elements as well. The client still behaves inconsistently when there are multiple name matches across different books. It generally only finds the name from the book higher in the list. Maybe a bug, but it’s been the case with every 8.x release so far for me. I love Groupwise, but the address book needs an overhaul.

  30. By:andersonlee1102

    Hi Dean,

    That’s great news for exist GroupWise customers.
    But I also afraid disappointment will happen,

    Most of customers are use the Chinese-Traiditonal language GroupWise Client and Webacess in Taiwan,
    We meet too much invalid or garbage character problem before.
    Althoug the GroupWise 8 imporve the Double-bytes decode ,we still meet some addree book search problem so far.

    We hope that GroupWise Ascot can do more testing before release,

    *1.Double-byte characters display and searching enhancement.
    *2.Multi layer address book support (as same like Outlook)
    3.User list can be removed from the shared list of folder when user deleted.
    (Also in Address book)
    *4.Multi Layer folder share support
    *5.Address book and Folder share centrally and forcement.
    6.Allow mutli Archiving folder support (Avoid the archived message be lost when archive foder changed)
    7.Catagory label and rule can assigend and management centrally.


  31. By:andersonlee1102

    Hi Dean,

    That’s great news for exist GroupWise customers.
    But I also afraid disappointment will happen,

    Most of customers are use the Chinese-Traiditonal language GroupWise Client and Webacess in Taiwan,
    We meet too much invalid or garbage character problem before.
    Althoug the GroupWise 8 imporve the Double-bytes decode ,we still meet some addree book search problem so far.

    We hope that GroupWise Ascot can do more testing before release,

    *1.Double-byte characters display and searching enhancement.
    *2.Multi layer address book support (as same like Outlook)
    3.User list can be removed from the shared list of folder when user deleted.
    (Also in Address book)
    *4.Multi Layer folder share support
    *5.Address book and Folder share centrally and forcement.
    6.Allow mutli Archiving folder support (Avoid the archived message be lost when archive foder changed)
    7.Catagory label and rule can assigend and management centrally.


  32. By:WalterH


    we need an working Outlook connector! We have so many 3. party application that relay on Outlook! To satisfy this customers we need an working OL connector!

    Do we get an properly working OL connector with Ascot?


  33. By:chapindad

    What is the update on Groupwise?