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.
– Recurring appointment support
– HTML Signatures
– Consolidate signatures between clients
– Sort Columns
– No GWINTER
– 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.