Cool Solutions

GroupWise Instant Messenger


March 11, 2010 1:55 pm





By SVV Satyanarayana

GroupWise is a product from Novell that provides for team collaboration like email, sharing documents in a team, instant messaging, scheduling meetings, reminders, etc. It comes under category of “Collaboration Software”.

The beauty of GroupWise is that its client as well as server is supported on different OS platforms. A GroupWise client is available on Mac, Windows and Linux, as well as the web. The GroupWise Server is supported on Windows Server, Linux and NetWare. So users have many options.

This article is about the instant messaging feature of GroupWise. Novell GroupWise Messenger is a corporate instant messaging application that ships with every GroupWise client, including the WebAccess client.

GroupWise Instant Messenger:

In any corporation, there must be a lot of communication options. They can be anything from oral communication, sending emails, talking over the phone and sharing data.

Above all, corporate communication must be done in most secured fashion such that it can’t be hacked by anyone. GroupWise Messenger provides this for us.

The next thing is “Authentication”. It only connects to a user database available on Novell eDirectory. Novell eDirectory provides an efficient and secure way of authentication of GroupWise Messenger users.

The following are a few features that I like most:

  1. Support for multiple languages: Supports more than 20 international languages. If your company is spread across different parts of the globe, especially in countries like Japan where English usage is minimal, users feel comfortable to use applications in their native languages.
  2. Changing passwords is made easy: There are many companies that implement security policies and force employees to change their passwords regularly. So, in a company that uses eDirectory as their authentication server, there is a simple way for employees to change their GroupWise Messenger password. If the same password is applicable to access other applications in their company, it is reflected in them as well, immediately.

    Just click Tools -> Change password in menu (Preferences -> Change Password on Mac) to change the password of eDirectory. GroupWise Messenger client implements LDAP SDK to access eDirectory.

  3. Archiving and retrieving chat messages: (This option has to be set on the server.) Users don’t have to mention explicitly that they want to store their chats. Just enable the option on server and it works on your client. You can even search the archived content also.

    This image shows chat history in a conversation window

    This image shows how to search archived logs:

    Click File > Search Archive.

    This image shows how to disable history:

    Click Tools > Options, then click History. For Macintosh, click Preferences > Options, then click History and deselect display history in conversation windows.

  4. Using command line/terminal and browser to set options: Obviously all the applications that let users set preferences/options related to that application are available to the end-user only when the application is started. But what if a user wants to set options to the application before it starts? (Something like running the application in the background.) GroupWise Messenger offers options like running the application in background, setting GW server details before starting the application itself, etc. All these options can be set from command line/terminal or from the browser.

    It’s simple to do.

    The following are the command line options that we can set when starting GroupWise Messenger:

    Startup Option What It Does
    /l-xx Sets the user interface language. XX is the two-letter ANSI language abbreviation.
    /background Starts GroupWise Messenger without showing the mainwindow.
    /u-xxx or /@u-xxx Specifies what user ID to log in with. XXX is the user ID.
    /ipa-xxx Specifies the IP address to log in with. XXX is the IP address.
    /ipp-xxx Specifies the IP port to log in with. XXX is the IP port.
    /import-filename Imports a specific contacts list. filename is the .nmx file.
    /multi Starts multiple instances of the GroupWise Messenger client.
  5. Integrating GroupWise Messenger with GroupWise Client: (This functionality is available only for Windows environments.)

    As discussed in introduction, GroupWise has a full-featured mail client too. In a corporate office, GroupWise is connected to Novell eDirectory server, and you can take some actions from within both email and Messenger programs.

    GW mail client offers:

    1. GW mail client application has the option to send instant messages to other users
    2. GW mail client allows you to see the status of other users
    3. GW mail client allows you to see the contact list
    4. You can start GroupWise Messenger along with GW mail client
    5. You can change preferences of GroupWise Messenger from GW mail client

    GW Instant Messenger offers

    1. Sending GroupWise email from GroupWise Messenger
  6. Support with other protocols: Other applications and protocols like iChat, Adium, Pidgin (Gaim previously), mobile clients like Blackberry, etc., are configurable to use the GroupWise Messenger client without hacking anything.

    I actually use Adium to connect to GW server instead of using Novell’s Java-based Messenger client. The fact that Adium integrates with Growl for notifications, appling themes, colors, etc., made me to use it. Still I get all the functionality of GW instant messenger. Configuring Adium with GW server is also easy.

Note: GroupWise Instant Messenger is a feature of GroupWise, and is not sold separately. GroupWise Instant Messenger comes with the WebAccess version of GroupWise – which is a less-expensive alternative to the full GroupWise Client for Linux, Mac, and Windows. You can buy the WebAccess version from here.

More Articles about GroupWise Corporate Instant Messenger

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Micro Focus. 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.


  1. By:bvalaski

    While your comments on the benefits of corporate messaging are pertinent, you do a disservice by not mentioning that 1) eDir is not used for Messenger authentication (you can only update the password – it won’t read it from eDir) and 2) the last update to Messenger is now 15 months old. For a product that is fairly tightly integrated with GroupWise (it’s an option to load on GW startup in Windows), this really falls short in today’s environments.

  2. By:ghoskins

    Works wonderfully for us, using e-Dir authentication.
    When a users password is changed in e-Dir, their Messenger password is their new e-Dir password.