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GroupWise: GroupWise/Exchange Coexistence

Dean Lythgoe

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January 2, 2013 12:07 pm

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Novell will release a new capability and replacement technology that facilitates GroupWise and Exchange coexisting in the same organization. This capability will be part of GroupWise 2012 SP2, which is currently undergoing Lighthouse deployments and scheduled to ship in early 2013.

Coexistence replaces the Exchange gateway technology that was released several years ago and may still be in use by a few current GroupWise customers. Coexistence will only be available in GroupWise 2012 SP2 and beyond…including Windermere. Therefore, coexistence requires Exchange 2010 and GroupWise 2012 SP2. Previous releases of either product are not supported.

Existing Capability

Coexistence is specifically targeted to organizations that have both GroupWise and Exchange as part of their data center. This is generally due to acquisition or merger. While easy interchange of email and appointments is already supported with current versions of GroupWise and Exchange, this new capability will provide two additional and significant pieces of functionality for your users and communities. As stated, a user can already send and receive email and appointments between GroupWise and Exchange seamlessly, whether those two systems are internal to an organization or more commonly – external. This is facilitated by both products’ improved support for SMTP and iCalendar standards. Almost all of this existing functionality is part of the GroupWise Internet Agent service (GWIA) and your organization is, mostly likely, already utlizing the latest GWIA. Besides running the latest version of GroupWise, your organization does not have to do anything extra to provide this level of interoperability. For best results, the Exchange system you are communicating with should also be running the latest versions and support packs.

New capability

With GroupWise 2012 SP2, companies can purchase and configure the following additional coexistence functionality. System Address Book synchronization between your GroupWise and Exchange systems and Free/Busy Search between systems. While this new coexistence functionality must be enabled and configured, it is built right into existing GroupWise agents and components. So deployment is simple…just upgrade your GroupWise system to 2012 SP2. The address book synchronization code is part of the familiar Message Transfer Agent (MTA). Free/busy capability is also built into the GroupWise Windows Client and WebAccess Client. The end-user experience is identical whether you are busy searching a GroupWise user or busy searching an Exchange user. In fact, most users will be completely unaware of which system the address book contact originated. The end-user simply name completes or selects a contact from their address book and then performs a Busy Search….the rest is magic!

Deploying this capability on the GroupWise side is easy…just upgrade. Deployment for the Exchange system is equally painless. Administrators will simply install a small service for their Exchange/IIS system to facilitate Outlook users being able to free/busy search GroupWise users. No additional installation or configuration is required for the address book synchronization. That is all handled by the GroupWise MTA.

So – coexistence requires no additional servers, no additional agents and no changes to your data center network topology. Slick and elegant!

Just a support pack!

GroupWise 2012 SP2 will simply be a support pack for most of our GroupWise customers. Organizations will upgrade to it the same as always. There is no additional cost or procedural changes in order for an organization to download, deploy and utilize this support pack for the additional stability or specific bug fix your organization needs. Customers simply need to be current on their GroupWise maintenance.

For those customers who do need coexistence, simply download and deploy GroupWise 2012 SP2 when it becomes available and then contact your Novell Sales representative for pricing and configuration assistance.

Dean

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Categories: Announcements, GroupWise, Technical

5 Comments

  1. By:sveld

    Hi Dean,

    What’s the ‘planned’ release date for sp2?

    Thx, Sebas

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    • By:dlythgoe

      A specific date has not been set. Engineering wants to make sure that we have enough deployments and experience with coexistence before it is released. We do expect a beta later this month and the general time frame is March-May.

      Dean

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  2. By:oosterhoff

    What about the comparison with Quest coexistence tools?

    Kind regards,
    Tim

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  3. By:ghoman

    The Quest Co-existence Manger for GroupWise (CMG) is a very messy product.

    MODE 1 – uses a single GW mailbox account that uses a Shared Personal Address Book that is Shared to ALL existing GW user’s to represent all the Exchange users to the GW users. Each GW user has to accept this Shared Address Book and ALSO add this Shared Address book to their Name Completion Search Order. Its a big burden to put on your GW end users just to get this solution in place. Then when the Shared Address Book ACL is modified (new or removed GW users), all current GW users with the Shared Address Book has to be updated. This could be thousands of transactions which puts a big load on the GW system each time. Its a mess.

    MODE 2 – This mode does not use a Shared Address Book approach, but adds the Exchange users to the GW System Address book (GAL) via an External Domain with an External PO. Much nicer approach where the GW end users just see the Exchange users show up in the GW System Address Book. This mode uses a GW v4 API gateway under a v7 GW Domain on a NetWare 6.5.8 server with a “proxy” v4.X GWIA which also needs a “real” GWIA v7.0.1. The Quest CMG application then copies from the “proxy” v4.X GWIA 1 thru 7 queues to the “real” v7.0.1 GWIA’s 1 thru 7 queues. The 0 queue of the “proxy” GWIA is a Free/Busy request which is then copied to the GW v4.X API gateway to crack open the encrypted file so the Quest CMG can figure out what Free/Busy Search is originating from a GW user to an Exchange user. You also have to do some Link Configuration for the External Domain that holds the Exchange users to make sure its routed to the “proxy” GWIA. Also, you need to use the GW Gateway Alias utility at http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tools/13520.html to define a Gateway Alias behind each Exchange user that is represented in the External PO in GW.

    BUT for the BEST co-existence, Novell’s new GW 2012 SP2 solution blows away the Quest CMG solution by a long shot

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    • By:chadlindley

      This information regarding Coexistence Manager for GroupWise contains inaccuracies and unnecessary complexity. However, the more important aspect is the comments are based on architecture designed to provide coexistence despite limitations in the APIs and access available in GroupWise 7 and GroupWise 8. There is a reason Dean’s post specifically states “coexistence requires Exchange 2010 and GroupWise 2012 SP2. Previous releases of either product are not supported.”

      As described in “MODE 1″, CMG provides an option to use a shared address book in GroupWise 8 environment. The shared address book option is provided, because GroupWise 8 does not support a Free/Busy URL within the GroupWise (System) Address Book.

      A second architecture was developed at the request of customers asking for GroupWise 7 support, because GroupWise 7 does not support the Free/Busy URL attribute at all.

      It sounds like GroupWise 2012 SP2 addresses some of the limitations of previous versions, which is great. In fact, these modifications were formally requested by the CMG team on June 2, 2011. However, it would be advisable to reserve comparisons until GroupWise 2012 SP2 releases and a version of CMG supporting the new free/busy access methodology is available.

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