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GroupWise: Mobility Public BETA Ships!



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July 14, 2010 5:41 pm

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The Novell Data Synchronizer product has now entered public beta! Support for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and other ActiveSync enabled devices is now in the final stages of engineering.

Download the Mobility Public BETA!

We have had over 1600 customers download the Mobility Technical Preview since we made it available in March. With the help of these customers, our authorized beta sites and internal roll out efforts, we our now transitioning the product from Alpha/Preview stage to the very important Public Beta stage.

Check out the product page!

This will be your final chance to provide input and feedback on the functionality, quality and reliability of this technology before our planned final release.

The Novell Data Synchronizer for Mobility Connector supports all ActiveSync enabled devices. It will require GroupWise 8.0.2 be deployed in order for full functionality. GroupWise 8.0.2 was released as well today – July 14th. See the related blog post.

There are several resources to help you with deployment and expectations.

  • Data Synchronizer documentation – Check out all of the in/outs of the products, technical specifications, configuration options and deployment best practices.
  • Device Wiki – this web page will help you understand the device specific configurations, limitations and features sets. Please consult this page for all of your device specific needs, support and feedback.
  • Public Beta forums – The Support forums are now active and available for you to participate with the GroupWise community.

As per other blog posts and our messaging to our customers, our current release schedule remains the following:

…. we’d like to announce that we are planning a product launch in the fall, with a public beta beginning in July….

We also previously made this announcement:

I wanted to provide another update on our plans and timetable for Novell Data Synchronizer. The timing of the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack is just as we communicated it in our previous update: September. But we’ll be releasing the engine, the GroupWise connector and the initial set of third-party connectors in July. As I’ve stated many times previously, the development schedule and process for these components have been completely independent of those for the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack. And the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack release schedule has in no way been adversely affected by releasing these other components earlier than expected. Details on our plans are provided below. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Availability Details

We have decided to ship Novell Data Synchronizer in two phases. First, we will release the Novell Data Synchronizer engine, the GroupWise connector and connectors for SharePoint, SugarCRM and salesforce.com. These components will be available in late July. Please note that these connectors are being developed by a separate team and have IN NO WAY delayed the release of the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack.

As we communicated earlier, the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack will ship in the September timeframe, with a public beta available in July.

Purchasing Details

As a reminder, Novell Data Synchronizer is not supported on GroupWise 7, and GroupWise 8.0.2 will be required to enable its full functionality. Customers current on GroupWise, Novell Open Workgroup Suite or Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition maintenance will be entitled to GroupWise 8.0.2, as well as the Novell Data Synchronizer engine and the GroupWise connector. Customers current on Novell Teaming maintenance will be entitled to the Novell Data Synchronizer engine and the GroupWise connector. Connectors for third-party applications must be purchased.

Platform Requirements

Remember that the initial release of Novell Data Synchronizer will only run on the 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 platform. While the SLES entitlement provided with GroupWise cannot be used to meet this requirement, the shipping version of Novell Data Synchronizer will include its own SLES entitlement. More details will be available in the product’s end-user license agreement.
Please download and deploy GroupWise 8.0.2. We also encourage you to download and check out the Public Beta of our Mobility Connector.

Dean

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22 Comments

  1. By:mpierce_tamu

    I noticed that in order to get documentation on how to setup my devices I had to click the Wiki Link and read through the sections to find another link to get to setup information for my particular device. Why is there nothing available in the DOCUMENTATION section for this. Yes, I get that devices change quite often, but if you have good documentaion staff, it would constantly be update and accurate. So, PLEASE, put this needed info in with teh documentation for the installation and administration guides. THANKS!!!

  2. By:cvdbank

    Hi:

    Would one be able to install the data synch product on sles10 with oes2 32-bit once the final release becomes available? (I tried :) but it obviously failed.

  3. By:dlythgoe

    Thank you for your request.

    This is an issue we have discussed at length internally. We had a dilemma with how best to proceed.

    We have chosen a WIKI approach instead of documentation for the following reasons. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of each device manufacturer to provide documentation for their product. We did not and can not become the ‘authority’ with regards to devices.

    As you also point out, devices change quite often and would be way too difficult to maintain up to date information for over 400+ different devices.

    The WIKI approach allows our customers to participate in the documentation, feedback and validation of the information.

    Dean

    • By:mpierce_tamu

      Dean,
      This sounds like a cop-out to me. The devices manufactures could care less if NOVELL makes a “Mobile Sync” product or not. I don’t see how it’s in their best interest to make sure their device is compatible with “your” mobility solution? You have “paying” customers who have been “scremaing and shouting” at you for over a year to get a solution out, which is still not 100% and with a promise of September. (We’ve heard that before)(And with more than one product) You should be bending over backwards to get the vendors to provide you a device so you can test and produce documentation. It is in Novell’s best interest to do so. These kind of actions are what are moving IT departments away from Novell on a daily basis. It’s not like you produce Video cards for a computer system in which want to work with multiple OS’s. But then look at someone like DELL for example. The use Nvidia, ATI, Intel NICs for their systems, yet they are the ones who produce for us the drivers. I’m sure there is collaboration there between the companies, which is what NOVELL should do. NOT THE CONSUMERS!!!! Maybe I’m way off base here, I can’t see how at this point, but NOVELL should hold some of the responability for their product. Too suggest that the “customers” test their devices and figure out how to get them to work with the “NOVELL” provided solution and then submit documentation is “NUTS”! Again, my humble opinion.

      • By:sveld

        The new Mobility pack uses Microsoft ActiveSync for device synchronisation, so the quality of the ActiveSync -client- implementation (version, features etc) on the device determines if all features work correctly. The device connectivity setup is the same for Microsoft Exchange as it is for the Novell Mobility pack and the device would not know if it talked to either Exchange or the Novell Datasynchroniser ActiveSync agent.

        The WIKI solution allows all of us to see what others ran into using different devices. It’s very unlikely that even -if- Novell would be ale to test a large part of all existing ActiveSync enabled devices they would also be able to find and document all tiny things they ran into. It’s a matter of using these devices on a day to day bases and finding out on not so nice working or missing parts – some things one would today Google on and finding out you’re not the only one:) Besides that this doc’s would need to be maintained, having in mind 450+ devices and regular software updates would mean almost impossible to keep up with. When you would update one of your devices in your company for testing and would find out after a few days something that is not working anymore or as expected, even if it works great the WIKI allows you to share this with the rest of us. Just Goole on ActiveSync you’ll find out a ton of things can go wrong…

  4. By:iww-novell

    Will it be possible to sync mobile devices oder cradle/cable? Other methods of synchronisation (e. g. over-the-air) are highly unusual here in Europe.

    • By:dlythgoe

      Cradle sync is not the focus of the Mobility solution. The focus is the over-the-air ActiveSync protocol metaphor.

      When we talk about ActiveSync, we are referring to the protocol, not the desktop activesync cradle solution.

      Sorry…

      Dean

      • By:iww-novell

        Perhaps this isn’t the right place to ask, but are there any cradle sync solutions for Groupwise 8 at all (besides of expensive third party products)? All I could find was some abandoned software for Groupwise 6.x.

      • By:dlythgoe

        I’m sorry, I am not aware of any.

        In general, I believe the industry in general has moved more toward ‘over-the-air’ solutions.

        Good question for Product Management…I will request that Alex jumps in and makes a comment or two.

        Dean

      • By:sveld

        Not tested this yet, but what you can do is connect you device using the cradle and activesync to your pc. Just configure it to sync nothing, but just to create a connection using the activesync protocol with the pc. The device uses your pc then as a proxy for connecting to the network, which should allow you to sync your device with the new GroupWise Mobility (ActiveSync) connector.

        I’ve used this setup in the past with the (old/Intellysyc) GroupWise Mobile server’s client on devices that had no wireless on them. I believe this should also work if you would configure your current device to use a ‘Exchange server’ (In this case that would be your GroupWise Mobility server) to sync with.

  5. By:jhaynes

    Ok so I am cold on this product but I am confused by the update by Dean.
    SO a Data sync product is public beta for July release date Sept buuut Novell Data sync is released with a gro8upwise connector and others now. So is it beta or released. And has it anything to do with syncing email/calendars/contacts to an iphone.
    quote “Please note that these connectors are being developed by a separate team and have IN NO WAY delayed the release of the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack.”

    How confusing it is separate to what you are releasing . You really need someone outside your group to peruse the naming etc because this is a mess.
    Secondly will my iphone get my email and appointments.
    Seems like this sync thing is an aircraft carrier instead of a rib.

    • By:dlythgoe

      Sorry for the confusion…

      Mobility is in Public BETA.

      There are 3 other connectors that have officially released. Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and Sharepoint. These connectors released yesterday – 7/26/2010.

      All of the connectors, including Mobility, rely upon two other infrastructure pieces. The DataSync Engine and the GroupWise Connector. Those infrastructure pieces also released yesterday in order for the 3 Connectors to work.

      When Mobility finally ships, it will also ship as part of it, these two infrastructure pieces…Datasync Engine and the GroupWise Connector.

      The official names for all of these are:

      Novell Data Synchronizer – released
      Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for GroupWise – released
      Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for Microsoft SharePoint – released
      Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for Salesforce.com – released
      Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for SugarCRM – released

      Still to be released as part of our Mobility solution (Activesync enabled solution)

      Novell Data Synchronizer
      Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for GroupWise
      Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack

      Hope that helps…

      Dean

      • By:hv-novell

        Now I am confused.

        You say:
        Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for GroupWise – released

        But you all so says:
        Still to be released as part of our Mobility solution (Activesync enabled solution)

        Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for GroupWise

        Is it released or not?

        Magnus

      • By:dlythgoe

        Magnus,

        >sarcasm< I simply can't believe you are confused - this stuff is so simple :) >/sarcasm<

        Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for GroupWise has ‘released’. We will release/update/refresh that component again when we release mobility.

        Any better?

        Dean

      • By:hv-novell

        Ah,

        Now I understand. Thanx for the clarifycation

        Magnus

  6. By:tmstone835

    Dean,
    The WIKI containing information regarding smart phones is a good idea. I think it would be much handier if each phone entry was marked with the last modification date so we can easily tell what has been edited or updated. The overall page has some last updated information at the bottom but there are no change markings to let us know which items have changed. I foresee this as being constantly modified so it will be hard to track new information that is pertinent to each phone.

    Regarding the format. I am confused by some of the poor quality updates that only contain a cryptic note about a problem but no other information about the phone. Are these just bad contributions to the WIKI and is there a moderator to weed out the stuff that doesn’t make sense?

    Tom

  7. By:Eric2001

    Dean. I know this is one of your favorite subjects : ) And I always preface these remarks with: GroupWise is a great email/calendar/task/contact client, and should have a public version. BUT, people still use a lot of products that integrate with Outlook and Novell no longer provides the GW Connector, and even GW7x does not work with Outlook 2007. (as an aside, how can we prove how great GW8 is if we can’t install it on a user’s workstation because they have to have Outlook for integration, so they have to have the old GW7?)

    We recently implemented Data Sync and I have an iPhone syncing with my GW account. I will have to withhold judgement on long-term stability right now, but so far it is great, and the implementation and administration is fantatstic. The flexibility of multiple address books and calendars is much better than my BlackBerry Storm on BES. Which leads me to this question: If you can sync all this data with these devices, can you use the Data Sync to sync GroupWise with Outlook 2003/2007/2010?

    Eric

    • By:dlythgoe

      Eric,

      It is one of my favorite subjects :) It is actually a great question. If you just want data in Outlook – any version of Outlook – you can use Outlook with POP/IMAP protocols to the GroupWise agents and you will have all of the ‘data’. Contacts don’t have a simple solution – from that respect, but you could certainly import/export. Most of the Contacts would originate from your client after the initial sync anyway – so not really important probably to sync them back to GroupWise.

      The other problems with this include Calendar, Free/Busy, Rules, Settings, Authentication, SPAM, Shared Folders, Shared Address Books, Status Tracking, Administrator control for things like Disk Space limits, clean up options, archive policies, etc.

      If none of these things are needed…then Outlook with POP/IMAP/iCal and importing Contacts would probably work. Note, almost all of those things are also not needed or used often enough from a mobile device, either.

      Conceptually, could you create a DataSyncrhonizer Connector for Outlook and install it on your client and have it push things to a PST file from GW POA? I may have to think about it some more, but I can’t see why you couldn’t – technically. You just need a business case…how much would it cost and how much would customers being willing to pay to get it? What would you pay?

      To your side note: You said…how can we prove how great GW8 is if we can’t install it on a user’s workstation because they have to have Outlook for integration, so they have to have the old GW7?)

      Not sure I completely understand. If we had an Outlook Connector for GW8, the customer would never install the GW8 client or want to use the GW8 client – therefore they would never see the benefits of GW8 and how great it is anyway…..- they would be using Outlook – right?

      Back to our previous topic…Are you interested in creating an Outlook DataSync Connector? Love to see it…. Maybe one of our partners is already working on it…I’ll double check.

      Dean

      • By:Eric2001

        Dean,

        My thoughts were prompted by the fact that DataSync seems to work so well, including multiple address books and calendars, including alarms. This was tied in with the knowledge that Apple’s MobileMe synchronizes with Outlook. So, DataSync sends data to the device (iPhone), the device sends data to MobileMe, and MobileMe syncs with Outlook, and it all works great, is there a way to cut out the middle for organizations that have to use Outlook for third-party application integration that doesn’t exist with GroupWise?

        The business case is that organizations could keep their GW backend while using Outlook 2003/2007/2010 for 3rd party app integration. You have said you had to put your best engineers on the GW Connector. Now you don’t. Whoever is doing DataSync is doing a great job and seems to have this figured out. Use them. Right now because of the 3rd party integration, organizations have to use Outlook. They are moving to Outlook 2007 and 2010, but can’t use GroupWise for the backend anymore because there is no way to connect Outlook 2007 or 2010.

        Regarding having GroupWise and Outlook installed at the same time, I should start with the fact that we found that having the full GW7 client installed worked better with Outlook 2003 then just installing the Connector. But the nice side-effect of that was that people learned how to use GroupWise for Proxy and to set Rules because some rules need to run from the server and Proxy works better in GroupWise than Outlook. So they get some positive exposure to GroupWise that would reduce resisitance if we could ever get third-party application integration with GroupWise. Unfortunately I can’t show them GW8’s great Home View and Contacts handling, and let them try it because Outlook won’t work with GW8. (I have VM Player with a machine set up with GW7/Outlook for our 3rd party app integration, but my main machine is GW8.)

        This is the same argument as for a public version of GW8, like Thunderbird. Get people to try it, get them hooked on the Home view.

        We are looking into custom work to integrate GW8 with a 3rd party application. We have contacted RDA (Robert Diaz) but haven’t gotten anything going yet.

        Thanks.

        Eric

      • By:sveld

        “This is the same argument as for a public version of GW8, like Thunderbird. Get people to try it, get them hooked on the Home view.”

        There’s a GroupWise version for home usage at http://www.mygwmail.net/

  8. By:mannisto

    Thanks,

    Now the testing is to be done by us.

    Can the connectors be found a bit easier ?

    J

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