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GroupWise: Enabling Checkboxes in WebAccess!

Dean Lythgoe

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October 11, 2010 9:50 am

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We want to make GroupWise WebAccess as easy to use and as productive as the GroupWise Windows Client. It is to this end that we began with GroupWise 8 our transition to Web 2.0 technologies and interactions.

Web 2.0 technologies today allow the end user to do things in a browser that before were not available. Simple interactions like drag and drop items from one list to another. Ability to scroll infinitely with long lists…mailboxes and contact lists with lots of items no longer need to be navigated 20-50 items at a time. The ability to multi-select using familiar keystrokes like ‘Shift-click’ and ‘Ctrl-click’. All of this functionality was introduced in GroupWise 8!

For some set of our users, these changes were more difficult to adjust to than we expected. There were some performance issues related to these changes – particularly with low-bandwidth connections. Some users simply ‘liked’ having the ability to see/check boxes next to each mail item in order to perform some action.

So – when we released GroupWise 8.0.2 – back in July 2010 – we re-enabled the ability to have ‘checkboxes’ in the WebAccess Client. This change really brings the best of both worlds to our user base. All users will still be able to take advantage of ‘ALL’ of the Web 2.0 technologies. We have not disabled any of them. However, we have provided a configuration option for the Administrator to optionally re-enable checkboxes along side these Web 2.0 interations.

This change will allow you to have a virtual list style interaction – still no ‘Next 20′ feature – but allow you to check the boxes next to items in that list and perform actions on the checked item – just like before, but better. The check boxes act across the entire virtual list, not just on the items that are currently displayed.

Check boxes are available in the message list and in the contact list controls.

Instructions

To enable this option, please follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open webacc.cfg in edit mode
  2. Add the property that has been highlighted in the image to this configuration file (if it does not exist already). This change will be automatically loaded after the specified number of minutes (the value set to Config.Update.check in this very same file)
  3. To activate this setting instantaneously, Tomcat must be restarted.
  4. Once the setting is active, the users logging into WebAccess will see the checkboxes in the message list and the contact list.
  5. Once the changes shown above are made, a user will be able to interact with the list using these checkboxes or using the richer keyboard option for a more desktop look and feel.

Note: We have found a small bug, since releasing 8.0.2, that will sometimes select the last item in the list when selecting the first item. This only affects certain versions of IE and will be resolved in the first Hot Patch release of GroupWise 8.0.2. The Hot Patch will be available in the next 4-6 weeks.

That’s it! Let us know if this is something you enable.

Dean

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

7 Comments

  1. By:ecyoung

    Any solution for the following behavior:
    http://forums.novell.com/novell-product-support-forums/groupwise/groupwise-8x/gw8-web-access/423247-checkbox-behavior.html
    ?

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  2. By:dlythgoe

    Here is the problem as described in the forums post.

    We re-enabled them using the webacc.cfg file, but now the default checkbox behavior is to automatically check off the first msg in your inbox. This causes users to accidentally delete that msg…

    This was the original design. We are working on a solution. Stay tuned.

    Dean

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    • By:ryanmonroe

      It is NOT limited to certain versions of IE. It effects chrome, and Firefox as well.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        We need to clarify…

        There are two issues.

        Ryan is referring to the comment and my response to that comment. This is NOT a bug and DOES affect all browsers. It was a design choice. We are working on the design and a solution for this design.

        The ‘Note’ that is part of the original blog post is a bug. This ONLY affects IE.

        Both of these issues are similar, but are actually two different problems. We plan to resolve both of them.

        Hope that is clear :)

        Dean

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  3. By:ryanmonroe

    I stand corrected sir :)

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  4. By:gbatuyon

    How about optimizing the interface to work better on smartphones and touch devices? The page rendering would be much faster on, say an iPhone, if the detected displayport was adjusted for mobile resolutions. This may sound annoying but take GMail Google Calendar for example. Fully optimized for mobile, feature parity almost identical to the desktop interface. HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript can do wonders…

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  5. By:dlythgoe

    Great feedback!

    As part of Ascot, we are creating a set of templates specific for tablet size devices with ‘touch’ gesture interfaces. Especially for things like the Apple iPad and Blackberry Playbook. This will bridge the path to providing a Web Solution for other mobile devices.

    I will stress – the best solution for Mobile devices is native applications on the device synchronizing to the POA via Novell Data Synchronizer and RIM BES.

    Dean

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