Cool Solutions

GroupWise: The Next Chapter!

Dean Lythgoe

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July 29, 2011 2:52 pm

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Bob Flynn is the new President and General Manager for the Novell Business Unit. He posted a blog on July 28th outlining the ‘Next Chapter’ for Novell. See Blog here.

The day before this blog was posted, Bob and Jeff Hawn – Attachmate Group CEO – addressed the engineering team in a BBQ lunch meeting at the Provo campus. It was a call to action! In my opinion, Attachmate Executives have done an excellent job in just a few short weeks of streamlining the portfolio and focusing our efforts, resources, energy and future in all of the right directions – finally!! The simple statement: “Novell is hiring more R & D resources in Provo, UT and reinvesting in our core products with more frequent releases” is music to my ears. I have also heard from our customers and partners that this is an awesome and a welcomed message. Furthermore, this is immediately affecting the GroupWise engineering resources– positions have been posted, recruiting and re-recruiting has begun.

Not only is it important, from my perspective, to increase the investment in our core products, but it is equally important how the “focus and portfolio management” will allow us to be able to cleanly execute. We finally having a collaboration strategy that is business focused, customer driven, product and marketing managed and engineering aligned will make such a huge difference!

In addition, I have been asked to take on a new project where I will be spending my time executing one of our new taglines: create a direct line of sight from our customers directly to our engineering teams. Our customers have always been very loyal and now we need to help you be loyal. It will obviously take some time to satisfy each and every customer, but with the added investment and the renewed executive interest in wanting to make the Collaboration business a success, this will get done!

In addition, we still have a very dedicated and talented engineering team – the absolute best. I have full confidence they will deliver.

Now I don’t want to over promise or make anyone believe that ‘tomorrow’ we will provide solutions for everything. But our commitment is:

  • Deliver higher-quality solutions and greater customer value faster
  • Enable customers to upgrade to latest versions at their own pace
  • Enable and secure a portable workspace across wired and mobile devices
  • Consolidate and leverage social experience across our collaboration portfolio

Here is a list of categories (some are very big buckets, I know) where our customers expect solutions. Help us prioritize! Give me your top 3 out of this list and any specifics you want to include. Have we missed any? Are there any of these that you are not as interested in?

Note: They are not in any particular order.

  • 3rd-Party Integrations
  • Mobility (RIM, ActiveSync)
  • Quality
  • Windows Client Features
  • WebAccess Features (Tablet/Simple Templates, Web IM)
  • Co-Existence (Exchange/GW)
  • Currency (latest platforms, fresh look, latest architecture)
  • Active Directory Support / Administration Model
  • Unified Communications
  • Security
  • Instant Messaging/Conferencing
  • Document Management
  • Cloud / Hosted
  • Mac
  • Outlook

Of course, this list is very high level. In several of these areas there is currently a solution or a partial solution.

Well – It seems like I have said enough….Thoughts?

Dean

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Categories: Expert Views, GroupWise

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80 Comments

  1. By:mcurrie

    Hey Dean,

    I absolutely agree that there should be priorities, but just exposing the questions via such small (relatively) forums that are generally frequented by techies in my opinion may give a biased view. I think what is needed is to encourage a wider base of users, tech staff etc to vote on the what should be hot and what is not so hot via an intuitive easy to use interface (the enhancement portal is not!). I would suggest using a voting / user feedback forum such as uservoice (http://uservoice.com/feedback). While Novell has the enhancement request system, it only allows a single customer to request an enhancement, so does not give exposure of that enhancement to other users where they can vote with their feet so to speak. I have seen companies such as Astaro use the Uservoice feedback product with great effect. I would also recommend giving exposure to the voting via a high-profile position on the main Novell web site, so that a wider audience of users will have the opportunity to voice their opinion. Another good thing about the uservoice feedback product is that it is ready to roll and only needs a bit of setup.

    As fair as my priorities go, and based on feedback I get from customers:-
    1.AD and Administration
    2. Server side Outlook Connector (no Groupwise stuff required client side)
    3. Full Activesync HTML support
    4. Groupwise Client Feature matching across platforms
    5. Web Access features – Bring it in line with Client features.
    6. New Groupwise client connection protocols (PO over HTTP, SOAP etc) so that the client can work thru Firewalls and Proxies without having to punch holes in security.

    Sorry a few more than the top 3 as they as all pretty much even!

    Cheers, Mark Currie

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Mark,

      Thanks for the feedback. I will check out the uservoice tool. Sounds promising! This is not the only place we will be soliciting feedback, but it would be nice to get a lot of end-user feedback as well and so a tool like the one you suggest might work out great.

      I sent you a private message through Cool Solutions to ask a few demographic questions – watch for it.

      Dean

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  2. By:rbartsch

    Dean,

    Good to hear about the call to action from Bob and Jeff and your new project. Kick it!

    Regards,
    -Randal

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  3. By:jlodom

    Dear Dean,

    Well, I think you certainly know what my first priority is:
    1. Mac — While you are hiring, pick up someone who is familiar with Cocoa programming. I still don’t think you’ve got the right roadmap vis a vis the Mac.
    2. Webaccess Features — Your biggest competition is Gmail at this point. Better WebAccess will counter that in my organization and in others.
    3. Instant Messaging / Conferencing — The main drag here is that you have no solution for video chat. Google Chat, iChat, Skype all do it well, so I’d love to see something fully integrated with GroupWise to allow convenient internal and external video chat.

    What I Don’t Care About:
    1. Co-Existence (I imagine your large corporate customers will feel differently.)
    2. Unified Communications (As a concept. In practice we generally get there.)

    What I Care About That Isn’t On Your List:
    1. Improvements to the IDM Driver. (Moves don’t work. That’s a real problem in school environments.)
    2. Web-Based Administration. Yes, it is on your roadmap but it is actually the biggest feature I am waiting for right now.

    Glad to see you are getting more developers!

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for the vote and the additions!

      I sent you a private message looking for a few demographics…watch for it.

      Dean

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  4. By:FlyingGuy
    • 3rd-Party Integrations – I know I had said it over and over but it is worth repeating NOW. C and C++ API access on both the server and the client side, OLE must GO! The API’s have to be cleaned up eg: newMessage_1(), newMessage_2(), etc. has to go!
    • Mobility (RIM, ActiveSync) – Get these bullet proof it is the ONLY way we will regain corporate penetration.
    • Quality – Goes without saying…
    • Windows Client Features – We MUST out Outlook, Outlook feature for feature and then some but do it better, faster, cleaner.
    • WebAccess Features (Tablet/Simple Templates, Web IM) – I care less about this then getting a native iOS and Android client.
    • Co-Existence (Exchange/GW) – GW behaves just fine, the problem may be solved in Win 7 and forward since OL is no longer a base component but when it is installed it attempts to take over everything and I am not sure how you will get around that.
    • Currency (latest platforms, fresh look, latest architecture) – DUMP Java and get with C and use the tools that allow a SINGLE code base for ALL platforms and you can be truly X-Plat.
    • Active Directory Support / Administration Model – If we are going to do AD then do it better then MS ever thought about. We have to make that POS look good.
    • Unified Communications – GW does this already since you can use the client for native GW as well as POP, IMAP and various other standards.
    • Security – Pretty darn good I would say, tighten up what needs to be tightened up.
    • Instant Messaging/Conferencing – GW Messenger is already damn near perfect. Lets use it like it should be sued and lets market it. If you want to include other protocols then the interfaces we build have to be bullet proof AND ALL must be stored in the archive so they are auditable and discoverable ie: ANY message stream going through the client gets recorded. by default.
    • Document Management – Get on this while we still have law firms as clients, pretty pretty please.
    • Cloud / Hosted – It is pretty simple to do a hosted solution just using GW AS IT IS. What more do you want to do?
    • Mac – See comments about the GW client. I am not sure that a server for OS-X is really appropriate as I have no real clue how many OS-X servers there are, but if you guys kept the code base clean it should not be that hard.
    • Outlook – Lets face it it is going to be a hard battle to undo what MS has done since they shipped it by default for free for so many years. PST files are simply the worst idea in a corporate environment. The only thing we can really do is mode the client and GIVE IT AWAY to be on par with the up and coming set of users but we have to make a compelling argument in this day and age of GMAIL which while free, has a simply horrid way of organizing things.

    We have to get our 3rd party house in order and we have to do it very very fast and very very cleanly. We have to make it easier and faster to develop against GW then it is for Exchange because when we can show our value as an e-mail and messaging client that integrates simply, tightly AND completely with he big accounting packages and document management systems we will start to get our client base back. If we don’t then ALL of this conversation will be moot.

    Come to San Francisco or invite me up to Provo and get the decision makers in a room and I will lay this out for them.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thank you for the feedback – you have been very consistent!

      I sent you a private message looking for some demographics…watch for it.

      Dean

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  5. By:mbuil

    Dean,

    These are actually awesome news!!!! Based on what I have seen on the field and what I would like to see happen with the product, my top 3 would be:

    1) Mobility: we need to offer our customers a true mobility solution for their GW messaging system. Something that is up to par with our competitors (be able to select which address books to sync, folders, IM client, etc).

    2) Currency: we need to be able to keep up to speed with the latest trends, enable further integration with Vibe (all platforms) and maintain the feature set between platforms.

    3) Mac: support for this platform is becoming more and more a must as their market share keeps growing. MS has an Outlook client out there which is up to par with their windows client. We should do the same! The current version of the mac client is very unstable and does not have a full feature set. WebAccess is fine, but not for every day use and heavy usage.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thank you for your comments and vote!

      I sent you a private message looking for some demographics…watch for it.

      Dean

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  6. By:ecoronell

    Hi,

    One of the things I’ve always seen that he lacked the GroupWise client version for Linux is that all the features that the Windows version is not available in the Linux version, even for the Mac version in our company we have a mixed environment with SLED workstations and Windows, and often required are fairly straightforward, in fact, we have customers who have not wanted to migrate due to these flaws in the Linux client.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Good catch…I saw at least one other person articulate a similar request….basically consistent feature set across all of our clients OR a single client that runs everywhere.

      Web seems to provide that technology, but we have not gotten to all of the features yet.

      BTW: I sent you a private message looking for some demographics…watch for it.

      Dean

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  7. By:jmarton

    Excellent post, Dean. I think many of your priorities are spot-on. I don’t think I could narrow my top list down to just three, so here are the top five priorities IMO.

    - Quality
    - Mobility
    - 3rd party integrations
    - Outlook
    - WebAccess

    I think quality is pretty self-explanatory. I know you’ve worked hard on improving stability and eliminating bugs, but of course this can always be better! This probably shouldn’t even really be a bullet point, as it should be taken into account into every aspect on your list (and mine).

    Mobility is a huge area and its importance will only continue to grow so that needs to be the #1 focus as far as an individual area goes.

    The next two on the list are probably two of the biggest reasons customers migrate away from GroupWise. Either some big C-level exec comes in and wants to use the Outlook client, or an important application only integrates with Outlook (or Exchange). Supporting the Outlook client via native methods such as with the old connector will help immensely, but further more improving 3rd party integrations directly within GW will really help keep GW customers.

    Lastly, I think WebAccess is an area that still can use improvement. There really needs to be feature parity between the win32 and web clients. Not only will this help out the win32 users, but also this will reduce (even if it will never eliminate) the grumblings from the Mac & Linux users.

    Joe

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Joe,

      Thanks! We seem to think a like…. :)

      BTW: Sent you a private message requesting some demographics…watch for it!

      Dean

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  8. By:lehner

    1. Outlook
    2. WebAccess Features
    3. 3rd-Party Integrations

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  9. By:jgosney

    For us, the most important thing Novell/Attachmate could do to ensure continued Groupwise existence in our corporation would be to remove the dependency on eDirectory and finally give us a way to host Groupwise accounts directly from Active Directory.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Got it!! We are actively working on this one…Come to BrainShare and attend the session and talk to the engineers that are building this.

      BTW: Sent you a private message.

      Dean

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  10. By:jamestaylor

    By far the number one priority is to get a real Mac client, or full integration with Mac Mail. Without that, you don’t have a viable product for the future. I’d be willing to sacrifice client support for the platform I use, which is of course Linux. Gotta have a Mac client or we will continue to lose clients. Forget about new customers if you don’t have Mac support.

    Granular administration. We need to be able to delegate visibility and administration to the point where we can administer rights to manage specific users regardless of how GroupWise is organized. Think cloud and hosting.

    A Client server based Admin tool without requiring direct file access is, of course, a given.

    Expand Linux server agents support to Red Hat and Ubuntu.

    Make the GW Linux install a repository so dependencies and updates are handled seamlessly.

    An appliance install would be perfect for small sites. It would remove a lot of the scary complications of the set up for potential new small business, and even larger, customers.

    Be innovative. GW has to be more than a better email system than Exchange. It should address messaging and collaboration needs that no one even knew they needed until they see it in the “new” GroupWise, while meeting the basic needs better than anyone else.

    Shouldn’t be too hard for you guys, should it?

    -jt

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    • By:dlythgoe

      James,

      I appreciate the confidence! Is there anything else you want?? World Peace perhaps??? :)

      Watch for cool solutions message from me…

      Dean

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  11. By:Worm-N-Rifle
  12. Mobility (RIM, ActiveSync)
  13. Windows Client Features
  14. Active Directory Support / Administration Model
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  • By:MHGlenn

    What my customers want:

    1) iPad support.
    2) Transparent Outlook support.

    What I want:
    3) Independence from Console One.

    Thanks.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Votes counted!

      Note: You have iPad support today through Data Synchronizer. In addition, we are adding special iPad Web Templates for Ascot so users can navigate on the iPad using the Safari browser to their GW email.

      Watch for private email from me…

      Dean

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  • By:FlyingGuy

    Dean,

    See my overview and now to the meat of things….

    • 1. iPhone / iPad – You have to come up with a native client, that’s it in a nutshell. These things are selling like hotcakes and are quickly becoming ubiquitous. They are the new crackberry. The iParadigm for e-mail / scheduling etc. is great but it does not do everything GW does by far. One of the hugest markets is going to to Medicine, Kaiser is already buying these things by the crate and they are going to move their entire platform because it is the perfect device for doctors to do rounds with. Everything can be there, charts, medications, x-rays / CT’s / MRI’s just everything. Just imagine what GW can do integrated into all that.
    • 2. – API’s – As I said OLE must go, it is slow, clunky and still gull of bugs. If we rip all of that out of the API’s they will shrink considerably. C / C++ published functions can be called by anything. The only things I would possibly add would be C# or simply create the C# interface lib and publish it. I have yet to see a language that has the ability to make external calls not be able to make those calls to C so this is the road we should be heading down. The API’s are a mess internally. You know it, I know it and anyone who has ever tried to write against them knows it. The trusted key interface is a good one and should be the way into the system for everything. If a GW admin gets a new 3rd party app then they generate the key for it and the app uses it. This allows the GW administrator to control what 3rd party apps can get into his system AND he can simply turn them off if they start misbehaving. You MUST make these API’s available on both the server and the client end. Just imagine an Oracle package making calls to the server, it just boggles the mind.
    • 3. Administration – If you feel you MUST do it via a web browser, then make it a stand alone micro-html engine to do it. Stay VERY far away from the entire Apache / Tomcat stack. Nothing worse then having a broken web stack and not being able to administer your GW system.
    • 4. GW IM – Add video to it but do it in a smart way. Make sure it goes through the IM server and is recorded just like all other IM traffic. Remember, the best thing you have going for the IM product is that is completely auditable and discoverable. Law firms love it!!!!!
    • 5. Document Libraries. If the document libraries were completely meshed with e-mails like would be fantastic. I have a client where the senior partner lives by e-mail but all the rest live by documents. The senior constantly has to forward pertinent e-mails to the associates. Would’t it be great if the document library contained all the e-mails for that client as well? Lets get back on that road, get the DL’s sprused up and make it “Work as One” shall we?
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    • By:jlodom

      I would love C# bindings to the client. Even though it is no longer part of Novell, Mono makes it easy to deploy on Windows, Linux, and OS X at a fairly high level.

      Yes, if video comes to BW Messenger, it should be auditable. I imagine that is why it is not yet in the product.

      Document Libraries – I see a great point of integration between the legacy functionality of GroupWise and Vibe. I think Vibe is a fantastic product, and I’d love to see it subsume the current feature set here.

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      • By:FlyingGuy

        The Mono project has one small problem, it is a reverse engineered hack of .Net and while I have my own feelings about that technology the sword of Damocles is that if Microsoft take the whim to complete break it then it is back to step 1 and the first update kill everything built. Stick to C and C++ ( preferably C since IM – not so – HO C++ is the worst hack of OOP I have ever seen and I have been in the business 30+ years ).

        Video is not auditable per se it is simply there to be reviewed as a recording of what was said between two people on a given date and time. It will take a lot of disk space but that is the price you pay to have video conferencing covered.

        GroupWise -v- Vibe. This is where Novell has a severe split personality problem. Groupwise can do pretty much everything Vibe can do including sharing documents. The problem is that is was basically abandoned but left in the code. There is nothing legacy about Groupwise, those that were in power decided that Web 2.0 was far more important then keeping the core products up do data and advancing. When this 1st was announced I asked this simple question, “Will it use the GW system to send e-mail?”. The answer was “Well I guess it could but hey man Sendmail is so much cooler and its open source man!!!!”. The noise that echoed through my head maid that answer sound like every stoned surfer joke I have ever heard. Vibe is the poor mans Sharepoint and no one really wants it. Novell has spent a boatload of money on it and I still do see it rockin the house.

        Bottom line is this. Novell needs to get back to its core competencies, fire the current Sales and Marketing Staff rebuild a great brand.

        P.S. What is UP with getting rid of 1-800-NetWare!! Can ANYONE answer that?

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      • By:jlodom

        As far as Vibe goes, I would like to see it integrate more tightly with GroupWise at the server level, rather than in the Windows client. We are using Vibe internally for our IT Department at the moment and I am very impressed with how expressive and easy to use it is. I would much rather use it than Sharepoint, Notes, or Moodle and the team behind it has shown that they can iterate with a vengeance. I think you will see the new management be much more aggressive about tying it to core GroupWise.

        Mono is not reverse-engineered. The core functionality of it is an alternate implementation of the ECMA standards that Microsoft created in support of C# and the CLR runtime. Yes, the Mono team adds on bits of functionality like Moonlight to directly offer Linux versions of Microsoft’s products. But I do not use those pieces and am not especially interested in them — the basic CLR and C# specifications, which are open and will remain so given their ECMA status, are generally enough to do what needs to be done. Add some Novell goodness like the C# LDAP libraries and a theoretical GroupWise API bridge and all would be very well indeed.

        Like you I shudder to think of writing in C++ — All the drawbacks of C and Java together. C I like much better as its simplicity and standardization make up for its memory management and terrible string handling. But for doing things quickly in a cross-platform, high-level way I prefer to have C# do the heavy lifting.

        Cheers!

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      • By:jamestaylor

        I’ve been enthusiastically supporting GroupWise since before it was GroupWise, and can say with no hesitation that if I see mono anywhere near GroupWise in a future version, I will drop it like a stone.
        Mono is very much like .Net in one very fundamental aspect; it’s great for programmers at the expense of making admin’s and user’s lives miserable.
        -jt

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    • By:pvanlone

      wow what a disaster the history of doc man and GW. Then add in forms and GW.

      Yikes.

      Can you fix this attachmate?

      If Vibe were to SEAMLESSLY integrate as the document management piece of GW, that would truly be cool. And would allow GW back into architectural and engineering and law firms. Or at least get a foot in the door.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        Peter,

        I am in agreement here. I think that this is where we can focus some of our overall collaboration direction and make sure that Vibe complements GroupWise. Giving GroupWise customers even more reason to want/need Vibe.

        Vibe = the document/attachment repository. What would you think about a solution where attachments were auto-magically stripped off of the email and a link was provided instead that took internal/external recipients to Vibe where the document would always be ‘live’ and never static. Where Access Control, versioning, comments, meta data, etc could easily be included.

        - no more ‘real’ attachments in GroupWise significantly reducing the storage, backup, archive requirements. Mail box quotas and size limitations improved as a result
        - never a static attachment…all changes go back to the original.
        - We already have search working across GW/Vibe
        - Easy to add recipients to the attachment after the fact

        Dean

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Certainly appreciate the additional details.

      I seem to understand and agree with 2-5. However, your iPhone/iPad comments are intriguing. We have not found or had hardly any other customers request a native GW application on these devices. What we are told over and over again is that they want GroupWise ‘data’ to be accessible through the native applications of Mail, Calendar, Contacts that already come on these devices.

      Granted – you don’t get all of the GW functionality, but that has not been a priority or even a request from the vast majority of our customers.

      The only other request we have had for these devices is the ability to use the browser on the device to get to their email. We are providing this capability, at least for the iPad, in Ascot.

      Dean

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  • By:Lilith

    I have to agree on the AD administration. As the move away from NetWare continues I have a lot of trouble finding time to develop what little Linux skills I have. The gang wants to go Windows so Windows it is.

    As a programming tinkerer I’ve found the API’s to be a bit too involved and the documentation forcing me to use guesswork for the most part and usually failing in that respect. Documentation needs to include not only a bit more detail in how the various components hang together it but also more specific examples. I program mostly in C# but do C++ and C, all of which I feel are fairly elegant. But when VB objects seem to operate with less involvement and understanding by the programmer it leaves me frustrated. And please expose GW aliases in the Admin API.

    At the very least bring back the API gateway that works with all current versions of GW.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for your comments and feedback. You vote has been counted!

      Watch for private message from me…

      Dean

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  • By:mbt

    1)Make it easy for 3rd party devs to access GW functionality. That has to be priority #1 – historically Novell never grasped/understood the importance of this. Does Attachmate? I surely hope so …

    2)An Outlook emulation layer at the server – a user with OutLook (and it has to be current versions!!) should be able to get basic functionality by pointing directly at a GW POA. This would also help with the item above, because many of the 3rd party products that integrate with OutLook actually integrate with OUTLOOK and not Exchange directly — so if basic (and please study a wide range of 3rd party products to see what functionality they actually need) functionality is present, many (most???) 3rd party apps should just work!

    3)PLEASE god fix/address/update the process for backup and recovery. At the very least dbcopy should have robust functionality (like robocopy??) that is actually documented. Better tools for db fixing, too …

    4)Move all gw mailbox item types (resources, external entities, etc … ) into the directory (which ever directory is being used) so that they can be queried via LDAP

    5)PLEASE give us administratively shared folders that we can push to users — and that are robust and manageable! And while you are at it – why can’t there be an email template (aka ‘lite” forms) functionality that is actually a part of the product, and that works and is fully supported?

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    • By:FlyingGuy

      I have been begging, screaming, cajoling and haranguing about this for years just ask either Dean or Alex. I hope someone gets their head out of their a$$ and gets them fixed.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Perfectly Clear! Thanks for the feedback…

      I appreciated a few of the ‘new’ requests and specifics – very nice.

      Watch for a private message from me…

      Dean

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  • By:Sandwell

    3rd Party integrations. We have increasing numbers of apps that I need to integrate with, but they only support Exchange\Outlook. Trying to source someone who can do C3PO is near impossible and very expensive.

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    • By:FlyingGuy

      There are lots of us that can write those ( I am only one of many and I write against the entire API set ) you just need to reach out to the developer lists.

      That being said, stop trying to get things built for $5.00. I know managers / companies just love to cut off American programmers in favor of some offshore programmer they can pay 10 bucks an hour for but you are cutting your nose off to spite your face.

      Custom programming is just that, custom. If you want a “one off” AND you want to own the code and prevent me from selling it to someone else then you are going to pay for that privilege. Everything is negotiable.

      If you are serious and have a spec then get in touch with me.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Vote counted! Thanks…

      Private message from me sent…watch for it!

      Dean

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  • By:abens

    Dean,
    It looks like we have people moving the right direction. My top 3
    Mobility
    Third Party Apps
    Currency

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  • By:jfritz

    When will be able to put GW on SLES partition on an IBM z. I have asked numerous times, for years, about this but was told we could not because it’s a different kernel.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      We have discussed this several times and even worked with IBM for a bit several years ago. The issue here is the QA effort. For every platform we add, the entire spectrum of test cases need to be run not only in our labs but also in production. Since we do not run IBM z series in-house, we would need to recruit customers to run this in their production systems to help us validate and test.

      Needless to say, not a lot of customers have been knocking down our door to participate.

      This request is probably not going to rise on our priority list for some time.

      Sorry…

      I did sent you a private message requesting some additional info….watch for it!

      Dean

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  • By:dlythgoe

    I am out of the office this week. I am not ignoring everyone’s comments. I have been reading them, but I have not been able to respond. I will respond and comment as needed when I return to the office next week.

    Sounds just like an vacation rule message…hmmm :)

    Dean

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  • By:jsauve

    Great news, indeed! I love the vibe that’s coming out of Novell, these days (and, yes – pun intended!).

    Oooh, Mac! Yes, I’d love to see a better Mac client. The recent rumors (or news?) that the Mac and Linux clients were being dropped in favor of a better WA client made me :-( I’ve started using the Mac Mail client, and especially love the new version with Lion. What would be great would be to have SOAP access from these apps to GroupWise. I have an employee on Ubuntu who uses Evolution and just connects it to GW via SOAP and he’s got everything! Would be nice to have the native Mac apps connect that way, or to improve the Mac client and give it a more native look and feel.

    Mobility/WebAccess – I’ll throw those in together. Native iOS apps? That might be cool if well done, although using the native apps against DataSync works very well, especially since the new version (FINALLY!) supports HTML emails. Improve the WebAccess client further, yes – make it even more appealing than GMail!

    Administration – can’t wait for the day we can say “RIP C1″!

    AD – yeah! I think that’d “save” a lot of accounts from jumping ship to Exchange. Migrating email systems is always an itch with a capital B!

    Document Management – meh…never had any customers use the GW stuff. More and more are REALLY liking Vibe, so tighter integration with that would – IMHO – be better.

    That’s all I’ve got for now.

    Cheers!
    Jacques

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Jacque,

      Thanks for the detail and votes….I have them recorded!

      Watch for private message from me…

      Dean

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  • By:jlodom

    Dean,

    You may remember some time ago that I mentioned one of the big flaws in the Mac client was that it had no AppleScript Dictionary, and therefore no way of working with Apple’s native system services or letting admins script their own solutions to tie it into their environments. Well, it may be relatively straightforward for you to add an AppleScript Dictionary to the existing Java application.

    I’ve been repackaging some Java apps on OS X recently, and noticed the following documentation on Apple’s developer site:
    http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Java/Conceptual/Java14Development/07-NativePlatformIntegration/NativePlatformIntegration.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40001909-212952-TPXREF134

    The entire guide is interesting, and doubtless something your developers have reviewed, but the specific part I am highlighting here explains the process by which Apple Events (and therefore AppleScript and Automator Actions) might be integrated into a Java app.

    “Third Party Support” seems to be a big item in the other comments, higher than the requests for better Mac clients, but a nice chunk of such support on the Mac could be realized by adding Apple Events for things users might want to do in GroupWise such as retrieve or input address book items, use GW to send mail, etc. Yes, there would be some security issues to resolve, but I think you would gain a lot of power and good will from at least adding the basics.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes – the Mac Client is a popular topic!

      Thanks for the reminder about this idea!

      Dean

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  • By:clausbc

    Hi,
    1) Outlook! Thats is, Outlook as client, seemless integrated with GW backend and GW clients, incl calendar, tasks, reminders and contacts.
    2) Co-Existence (Exchange/GW)
    3) Currency (latest platforms, fresh look, latest architecture)
    /Kind regards

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  • By:kranzera

    hey dean,

    glad to hear this good future news!

    we are away from edir, but groupwise will stay alive, when novell can deal with these points:
    a) remove the dependency on eDirectory and host Groupwise accounts directly from Active Directory rapidly
    > no c1 -> with zcm you have done it
    > switch to html-support
    > no more netware-client for single sign on

    b) Mobility (ActiveSync) – it is the ONLY way you will regain corporate penetration.
    > deliver your own GW-Apps for iPhone/Android/WinPhone7, it can beat the pants off as the standard of these devices

    c) 3rd party integrations – all applications are working with outlook (and lotus domino!!??).
    software producers/developers of our main applications were asking us “what is groupwise?”

    d) Web Access features – bring it in line with Client features.
    > the look and feel is important.

    probably the points b) and c) were the biggest reasons in the government services (= the last real groupwise bastions in austria) why they migrate away from GroupWise!

    Andreas/Austria/Government

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Your voice has been heard! Thanks for your comments and feedback.

      Watch for private message from me…

      Dean

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  • By:afuhrmann

    Hi Dean

    good to here about the investment Novell wants to put into GroupWise. GroupWise is still a great product but needs to get more awareness on the market.

    Of course from my side unified communication is one of the main functions, that have to be integrated into GW. That’s why we – SKyPRO – deliver this function and enhancing the GW experience with VoIP, Fax, Skype, and SMS.

    But looking at our customer site there are other priorites, which often let to loosing a valued GW customer drifting away to an other product (no names here).

    1. 3rd party integration
    We lost customer because they couldn’t find an integration in their DMS, CRM etc. application

    2. Outlook
    Customers said their employees all know how to work with outlook. If they could use the outlook client, this would be great.

    3. Active Directory
    Customer switch file services to Windows will also switch GroupWise to Exchange because they do not want to maintain an eDirectory just for GW. So AD integration is very important.

    Looking forward to the next GW releases.

    take care
    Andreas

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  • By:FlyingGuy

    be utterly disheartened by a lot of the comments.

    Outlook – For those of you folding on this all I have to say is that you are not evangelizing GroupWise. Outlook completely subverts a system being auditable and discoverable with local files on the workstation. I don’t know how many times things have gone sideways because a PST file was corrupted.

    You have to be a true believers and you have to show why in no uncertain terms that GroupWise is the superior product and you have to sell sell sell!!!

    Having said that the Developers have to give us a GW client that is re-factored, bloat removed and can out outlook, Outlook AND is truly X-Plat, but until then we have to fight the good fight.

    Unified Messaging – About 1 in 10000 people use all of that cruft at once. Make phone calls through and e-mail client? Really? I don’t think the vast majority of customers do that.

    Customers that switch to Windows for file and print are already MS centric clients and they WILL go with OL/E and very few will continue with GW.

    “No More NetWare Client for single sign-on…” I don’t even know what that means. GroupWise can take its credentials from the network connection. If in a windows environment then the security token a network connection is in memory and GW can access that.

    Those of you advocating the elimination of ConsoleOne as the administration utility are correct, but if you think that having you GW configuration based upon the Apache/Tomcat stack are very much asking for trouble since you obviously have very short memories. The entire house of cards can come crashing down far to easily. Even MS does not do that with critical systems. A VERY thin client akin the to MMC needs to be developed and built that is completely X-Plat for administration of the GW system. This must be a completely self contained executable that does not require a privileged account to run and no installation is required. You simply pull it down, start it up and point at the GW system you need to administer. Failing that, then a single agent that is a self contained Micro-HTML stack needs to be built that does not require anything else. If the Apache/Tomcat stack is broken for ANY reasons and GW depends on it of administration then you have a running GW system that you cannot configure and that is a deal breaker.

    You really want to harp on something? How about getting ALL GW settings OUT of the registry. Whomever did that stupidity needs some serious re-education. EVERY setting for the client should be stored in the GW user database That way when you run, “Reset Client Options” they actually all RESET so that after a user has completely trashed their GW client configuration it is a simple fix.

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    • By:pwachs

      What a great comment, FlyingGuy!

      I am totally on your side. You have to decide if you are voting for Groupwise or anything else. That said, a IT guy doesn’t want to look for “How to integrated OL to GW” but to “Look what GW can do better than OL”!

      One feature that is totally underestimated is the Home View. If I show this to Outlook users the just say ” Wow, I want to have this!”.

      Peter

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    • By:drhansengw

      We have been doing quite a bit of planning for the administration and there are two pieces to plan for. Our current plans are that the administration service will be provided through a self-contained process that does not rely on any external web server. We are still evaluating the UI/client piece and deciding on how to best support that. There are pros and cons to embedding the UI potion but we will definitely keep your comments in mind as we progress.

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      • By:FlyingGuy

        You guys are killing us!!!!

        Download a copy of wxWidgets and write a single VERY tiny X-PLAT clone of MMC.

        You can do this on a field / value pair, a very simple interface that just works.

        If that is not good enough for you, get in touch with me. I can tell you how to do this so it is snappy and pretty AND X-PLAT.

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    • By:drsyncenstein

      It seems to me that a lot of your opinions are actually just the things that make customers trade Groupwise for Exchange.
      Unified messaging is hot in a lot of places and one of the driving reasons people go with MS.
      Client integration issues are one of the main reasons customer leave Groupwise, a 100% supported Outlook integration will fix that.
      You speak like a techie and I think one of Novell’s problems is that they listen too much to techies and don’t have much access to management where the decisions are made. This gives Novell the wrong picture and techies evangelizing a userbase won’t help much I’m afraid.
      Quote: “Customers that switch to Windows for file and print are already MS centric clients and they WILL go with OL/E and very few will continue with GW.”
      It could well be that Groupwise market share is slipping just because every company is a MS client these days and when they review their landscape Groupwise just does not fit in the picture anymore for many reasons. To keep Groupwise around there has to be a very compelling reason since collaboration is a mature market with competitor that have a larger userbase and thus eco system.

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  • By:pwachs

    Hi Dean,

    these are indeed very good news!

    As I read through the posts, I think many of the wishes are too IT related. I think it is better to approach this issue from an end user perspective. I mean end user as in the one person who is using the Groupwise client and doesn’t bother how things are working.

    That said, I think you should focus on the following features/enhancements:
    - Mobility (including WebAccess)
    - 3rd party integration. Docking applications to Groupwise has to become easier (although some developers here won’t be able to earn some money, then ;)).
    - Client features in general. Don’t just push Windows, but also other platforms. Espcecially MAC gets more and more popular. Don’t be shy to copy from other collaboration clients, if the features there are good and people are demanding and missing them in Groupwise, just give integrate them!

    However, I can’t resist to add my personal wishes from a IT guy’s view:
    - GET RID OF CONSOLEONE! You’ve done a great job with ZENworks, so please do it the same way with Groupwise (however I think you just can’t copy and paste the code ;)).

    Regards, Peter

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Peter,

      Always good to hear from you! Thanks for comments and feedback. Your votes have been recorded.

      Watch for private message from me!

      Dean

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  • By:odegos

    1. Users shout MS Outlook, directors want to use MS Outlook and MAC users are frustrated. They could not care less about the back end.
    2. Give us a wow factor with the iPad and Data-Sync mobile solutions!
    3. RIP C1

    My two cents. . .

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    • By:floort

      Indeed Rip C1, and give us one way to manage everything. But one important thing about this is that if it’s webbased IT MUST BE FAST and PERFECT! Consoleone is old, but still use it more than iManager for usermanagement.

      Oh and by the way i’m still missing “Nested group” support for eDirectory. That’s a big reason for us to take AD. And i mean on a simple way!. So: consoleone > open a group and add an existing group to it. I know it’s not official ldap but it’s handy and that’s what we want.

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      • By:RogerIThomas

        >>Indeed Rip C1, and give us one way to manage everything. But one important thing
        >>about this is that if it’s webbased IT MUST BE FAST and PERFECT! Consoleone is
        >>old, but still use it more than iManager for usermanagement.

        The key thing is to provide a set of public Admin APIs so that other people can create working Admin tools even if Novell keeps messing things up. C1 was never really finished and before the bugs were fixed Novell went off down the road of a poor web GUI based on a dead portal engine (and this was 8 odd years ago). Since then every team at Novell seems to want to code their own unique GUI to do what they think is needed, without every asking the user based what they wanted/needed.

        If there was a working API someone else would have created a working solution by now, but instead we have been stuck with a pile of un documented DLLs that half the time want to go an make changes directly to the data files.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for the feedback…

      #3…RIP C1….we are on this one. We will have extensive demos at BrainShare.
      #1…understood on both Outlook and Mac. Mac is a straight forward problem and one we can solve. Multiple options here…but our current option is still WebAccess. Outlook is not as easy. Technical, business, support, competitive advantage issues galore. Issue is well understood..just not easy solutions.
      #2…Anything more specific? Ideas on the WOW?

      Dean

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  • By:floort

    - Mobility (RIM, ActiveSync)
    - Active Directory Support / Administration Model
    - Ability to get your documents/mail from any device (project horizon?)
    - Groupwise Webacces in line with Client Features.

    You need to stay up-to-date with the products!,
    This is the time to choose for an MDM (mobile device management), Looking at the new Zenworks suites i see a very old “Zenworks Handheld Management” to manage your nokia 3310. We have it in our suite, but what do you think?

    I hope Novell will make better product releases.
    I know a version 1.0 is has many bugs. But i don’t like to wait 1,5-2 years before a product is stable for production while it’s already released. (ZCM = good example)
    If Novell is not fast enough to provide patches / solutions people are going away!
    And keep in mind: “don’t break things that were allready fixed!”
    Last year i was not a system administrator anymore… more a Service Request manager!!!!
    (had a lot of SR’s for ZCM / Datasync)

    If Novell products are working, then it’s working great! but before you’ve it working as it should….. :)
    I’m hoping it will be better. Listen to your customers! Otherwise they are gone!

    Tristan

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Tristan,

      We hear you loud and clear. It is clear to us and our customers that with regards to GW, OES, and ZEN, we have not been paying enough attention. The corporate agendas, direction and energy were simply focused elsewhere. That is changing!!

      Your feedback is valid and unfortunately not unique. We will do better!

      Thanks for your priority list and for your candor.

      Dean

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  • By:RogerIThomas

    One area that needs to be addressed is the search feature, including

    1) A simple re-design of the current search dialog in the Windows client would be a good start as it’s not changed it’s look and feel for over 10 years.

    – Allow sticky settings otherwise users have to keep selecting/deselecting areas to look in.
    – have some easy control over the size of emails to be searched without having to used
    the advanced screen – maybe even an account/PO level control.

    2) Improve the built in index builder used in the client and server. Having talked to Novell staff over the
    years it’s clear that this has been a plan for 10+ years. The current solution could be improved with controls over the size of attachements indexed, but the way in which the index file is re-built time and time again is a nightmare and in the past I’ve had to install SSD drives into people’s laptops just to keep GW going.

    3) API within the client to allow intergration with desktop search tools. Having GW be the only app on a machine that can not be intergrated with desktop search is just another reason to ‘upgrade’ to Outlook.

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    • By:FlyingGuy

      Changing the look and feel to what and why?

      Sticky setting… OK but stored in the user db.

      Yes the indexing could be better, but it would seem to me that taking your entire e-mail DB on the road is a little silly since most people are not off the grid for that long a time. Take a current snapshot instead of the last few weeks at most.

      API – If any desktop search engine is allowed to search the local GW system we have opened a very very large security hole. To do this it will require at a minimum:

      1. Pushing down the Trusted Application API down to the client, since any indexing to a 3rd party application will have to be run through the local GW engine since the files are both compressed AND encrypted.

      2. Added functionality to launch the GW system with a specific message index entry eg: grpwise.exe /lmi=4F213AC3D (local message index ) since we cannot allow the desktop search engine to extract the message contents for storage elsewhere as this would be a security violation.

      You have to understand that OL != GW. OL’s PST files are a gaping freely exploitable security hole as is the OL address book. GW is designed to be a secure e-mail system.

      We cannot violate that security and hope to remain in the corporations we are in or get traction in new ones. If you see this as “just another reason to ‘upgrade’ to Outlook” then I submit that you are failing in your duty to evangelize and sell the product. You must turn any weakness or perceived weakness in OL to your advantage to sell into those accounts and maintain them.

      I agree that we are relying on this new and fresh drive provided by Attachmate to get GW to where it needs to be to make our job easier but your efforts to maintain and move GW forward are not that hard if you take the time to sit down with clients and show them exactly why GW is a superior product.

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      • By:RogerIThomas

        >> Changing the look and feel to what and why?

        How about the fact that this and just about all the other dialog box screens with GW are from GW5, over the years the way in which information is shown by other applications has changed somewhat – So GW now has a dynamic panel based main interface and dialog boxes from 97.

        >> Sticky setting… OK but stored in the user db.

        YES as these will replicate across all instances of the user’s client.

        >> Yes the indexing could be better, but it would seem to me that taking your entire e-mail DB on the road is a little silly since most people are not off the grid for that long a time. Take a current snapshot instead of the last few weeks at most.

        If you only want a few weeks of email on the road you take a BB or iPhone. I have never had to support a board member / key business person who want’s just the last 2 weeks emails to hand, more often they want all their email going back years – and the whole point of GW is that unlike most exchange deploys you can store all this information.

        >> API – If any desktop search engine is allowed to search the local GW system we have opened a very very large security hole.

        Sorry, but you may have missed the small point that the GW client already allows access to the local database via it’s current Object API. The thing it can not do is report what has changed, so an external tool has to rescan the whole data file time and time again which is not good for a search solution.

        I think you are mixing things up a little the trusted App API is there to allow control over applications that access the GW data store without the involvement of the user who’s data is being accessed. A desktop search tool on the other hand is under the direct control of the user and so the user can provide the correct login details to allow it access to the local GW database (via the GW client). As such the security model is not changed.

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      • By:FlyingGuy

        >> How about the fact that this and just about all the other dialog box screens with GW are from GW5, over the years the way in which information is shown by other applications has changed somewhat – So GW now has a dynamic panel based main interface and dialog boxes from 97.

        So if I understand this correctly, your basic complaint is that they are not sexy enough, should have different looking controls, etc?

        >> f you only want a few weeks of email on the road you take a BB or iPhone. I have never had to support a board member / key business person who want’s just the last 2 weeks emails to hand, more often they want all their email going back years – and the whole point of GW is that unlike most exchange deploys you can store all this information.

        I have a client who is an attorney who has a GW mailbox that must have in excess of 60,000 e-mails in it. At one time he had over 20,000 in his trash! This guy travels frequently to Europe, Asia not to mention the old Soviet republics on business. He has yet to take more then about a 3 to 4 week snapshot with him and I think he is pretty representative or a road warrior.

        >> Sorry, but you may have missed the small point that the GW client already allows access to the local database via it’s current Object API. The thing it can not do is report what has changed, so an external tool has to rescan the whole data file time and time again which is not good for a search solution.

        No my friend I have not missed the point. The only application that can index your local GW data store is GW. Nor am I confused about the Trusted Application API, I know what it is and exactly how it works.

        The Google Desktop indexer cannot index the GW data store to my knowledge. It can however index any local OL/E data. So you seem to be suggesting that the GW data store be stored as text so 3rd party tools can index it or do I misunderstand you?

        It is not like a message you received three years ago is going to change. You might get a message that references an e-mail ( an addition to a thread?? ) but the original will not change.

        So what is it you really want? I could see a key-word index that as you type you get subject lines popping up all where those key words are contained. If you are talking about the entire users GW repository taken onto a laptop ala “hit the road” you have better have a pretty snarfy laptop since at least with my guy the indexing of 20 or so gigs of e-mail in that fashion is gonna take a lot of time and horsepower.

        Back to security…

        I trust a GW system that has a local DB on a laptop to be pretty damn secure unless the user has a weak and easily guessable password since without that password cracking a GW data store is damn near impossible given that it is both encrypted and compressed with a compression method that is like zip but is not zip and as of yet I do not think that information has been published.

        In short, I see where you want to go but I just don;t see how you can get there with an external program without either using a form of the Trusted Application API to allow 3rd party tools to just index on the fly a they currently do or doing a fairly massive re-write of the GW system itself to do search in a very different way as you seem to be suggesting.

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  • By:patrickb

    Quality – I agree with floort’s comments about product quality. The ZCM and OES (and maybe Data Sync too) v1 products were horrible. I’ve been very fearful about all the changes that are supposedly in the works.

    WebAccess – Many apps are moving to be web-based. This seems to me like a critical place to put alot of energy. Potentially, it can eliminate the use of the client all together, right? I’ve used Gmail heavily for years and have been very surprised how well I do without a mail client. I’ve been surprised how many Google Apps users are quite happy with it as well. I really think that everyone (including Mac and Linux) will be happy if WebAccess is robust enough.

    AD Support & WebAdmin – I’ve heard from a few customers in the last year asking about if/when AD will be supported.

    Outlook and 3rd-Party Integrations – This seems like a big dance between the two. In my mind, it isn’t realistic to think you can effectively do both really well. So you we need a good long-term strategy. I definately agree with Joe Marton that the Cx0 likes Outlook. I also know that many third-party apps plugin to Outlook. Is it feasible for them to tie into GroupWise as well via Outlook? I’m certainly not an expert in this area. There certainly is a need to be able to have third-party integrations.

    Mobility – This is critical. If there isn’t a good mobility solution, GroupWise will not maintain market share. Period.

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  • By:dlythgoe

    I have responded to most of the comments on this blog and several of you I have notified that I sent you a ‘private email’.

    Many of you did not respond and I think I may know why…..you think I sent email to your ‘real’ email address.

    Sorry – I mis-communicated on this. I sent you a private message from within the Cool Solutions system. So – to see my message to you.. please login and “Messages’ in the right ‘My Links’ space from within this blog or Cool Solutions.

    Hopefully more will respond :)

    Dean

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  • By:FlyingGuy

    client that is feature complete on Windows / Linux / Mac here is your answer….
    It aint gonna happen
    Read this: http://www.novell.com/communities/node/13233/interview-dean-lythgoe-director-product-management-groupwise

    Dean will continue to try and convince us that the browser is the end all be all.

    At this point I am to stunned to form sentences that adequately express my feelings.

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    • By:jlodom

      I have seen some tech stories end sadly (ask me about the sad fate of OpenVMS sometime) but I have seen others end very well ( I was around for this issue of Wired. ) I know never to be too optimistic or too pessimistic when we are talking about the future of a technology. Overall, I feel optimistic about Novell right now. But I am not going to put my hope on the certainty of a decent Mac GroupWise client.

      That said, it isn’t going to happen until suddenly it does.

      What is clear is that there is pressure on the GroupWise team to deliver a Mac client. Until this point, they have resisted this pressure — whether it be because of their culture, their projected numbers of users who would actually use the client, prioritization of other features while Novell is trying to hold the beaches, a lack of adequate engineering, or a sheer belief that WebAccess will one day be the primary client on all platforms. But if the pressure continues, eventually it will become greater than whatever stands against it.

      What would probably help is if everyone who wants a Mac client did more than just mention it to Dean and Alex. A bit of code, deployed appropriately via Cool Solutions, might help. Some strong words to Bob Flynn whenever he shows up to ask about your customer needs might help as well. Novell gets a lot of idle requests for features. Backing this one up with some time and attention would go a long way to show that we are serious. I do not think the GroupWise team has ever understood how important this is in a visceral way.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        It seems I continue to fail at some fairly basic communication techniques.

        First of all…please don’t shoot the messenger. I guess I should just accept the fact that the bullets are going to fly and I am a reasonable target :)

        Simply said: I understand that you don’t think you are being heard. I can only tell you what the current plan is until the current plan changes and then I will be able to tell you a different plan/strategy.

        Believe me…you ARE being heard! Your reasons, justifications, requests, ideas and even proposed solutions are welcome and add to our decisions. Change takes time and things are not going to change for Ascot. Therefore, our current strategy is not going to change for Ascot.

        Will it change in the future? Probably – seldom has it stayed the same :) Will our strategy change? Believe me, as soon as I know – you will know!

        This may be hard to believe, BUT….we do completely understand the issue, the market, and the opportunity.

        That’s all for now…

        Dean

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      • By:FlyingGuy

        Dean,

        I know you are in the hot seat as it were and it is not a comfortable place to be, trust us we know since we are the ones who get shot, not shot at, by our clients.

        I tried to shoot at the top here http://www.novell.com/prblogs/?p=3907 and I have no idea if he is listening or not, I hope he is.

        You are “Director, Product Management for GroupWise” are you not? If you are only the messenger then tell us whom do we shoot at, Alex? Force the person you are delivering the “message” for to come out and face the bullets themselves instead of cowering behind you.

        GW 6.5 was released 7 long years ago which was when I started to talk about x-plat client, API’s and the like and damn near nothing has been done about anything I have mentioned as far as I can tell.

        Lets face facts you have a small core group of hardcore Groupwise supporters who fight tooth and nail to keep GW installed at clients and to get them to pay for upgrades, so excuse the heck out of us if when we read things like your interview and just about pull the rest of what little hair we have left out of our heads and start firing at you. But we will until things change or you give us a target higher up the food chain.

        If I had a decent set of API’s I would be writing all sorts of add on software for groupwise and so would a lot of other people. I would be writing Oracle modules for crying out loud. Hell I would write a client using Qt and cross compile it for Linux, Mac and Windows.

        If we could get the complete API documentation for things like Messenger we would be adding all sorts of cool things there too.

        But I can’t because the API just flat out sucks and because it sucks no one else will either.

        I sent you an e-mail, to at least what I think your email address is and since it hasn’t bounced I can only assume that you don’t consider it worthy of a reply or there is more then one dlythgoe@novell.com

        In this time of massive uncertainty and our clients asking questions like, “Uhmm should I really stick with this when everyone and their brother is telling me to switch to OL/E but you?” you really really need to start communicating on a very frequent basis so that we can have something to tell our clients because this acquisition has made almost all of them really nervous.

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      • By:jlodom

        Dean,

        I appreciate your position, and especially that there are many discussions that you have which we are not privy to. You’ll notice that my list of reasons that you may not have embarked on a Mac client is fairly exhaustive, and includes a number of factors relating to Novell’s very survival as a company (for example, the need to triage resources in order to meet show stopper customer requests first).

        In your favor is the fact that a Mac client was released for GroupWise 6.5-8, and given that prior to that there was a five year gap where WebAccess or POP/IMAP were the only Mac options, it is notable that you returned to the platform. I also understand the need to devote resources to the web client, especially with GMail* out there.

        You have some fairly large disadvantages in your (as a GW manager, not as Dean) credibility as well, though. The first is that of the three major products groups at Novell, the GroupWise group is the least Mac-friendly. The OES and Zenworks products are much more receptive to the needs of the Mac community, as are their teams. After all, today I can administer Zenworks 11 from a Macintosh except for actually creating Windows or Linux policies, and their Asset and Patch Management pieces are quite useful. OES has a very robust AFP server, I can do all of my server admin from a Mac (in fact, with X11 I can admin OES better from a Mac than from a PC), and with a little elbow grease I can pretend that eDirectory is Open Directory from a Mac client perspective. Maybe the web admin tool and the new Webaccess will change my mind. We will see when they ship in Windemere and Ascot.

        The second blow to your credibility is the relative stodginess of the GroupWise team as an institution. We will not get into the proof of that, but I think the other commentators on this post would agree that GroupWise trends towards the conservative side of technological advance.

        To be fair, your team has recently produced both Data Synchronizer and Vibe, which have been developed quickly in bursts, and both of which I have found very refreshing and impressive. So perhaps things are changing. Your barbecue accelerated this trend, I am sure. But what of the core product? The evolution of GroupWise from version 6 to 8 has not been dramatic. Certainly there are good signs under the hood — all those SOAP APIs to support BES and Data Synchronizer are really something — but it has taken you a very long time to move away from ConsoleOne, I’m worried about the age of your FLAIM fork, and there are some pieces like user moves that are creaking under load. The cross platform client, though a good straightforward piece of work, is hardly inspiring in its design and utility. Will Ascot and Windemere change our minds about the core engine? Brainshare may have the answers.

        This conversation goes both ways. We say we want a true Mac client (and Outlook Integration, and a pony — no, better make it a unicorn). But what do we do other than demand things? It is perhaps the case that we should talk less and execute more on our end — which is what I am suggesting in my previous post. If we want a GroupWise client for Mac so much, then why don’t we do something to indicate how much we want it? Why don’t we put a little more skin in the game? I have some thoughts here, though nothing to say yet.

        But please understand, though we seem to have the same conversation repeatedly, that we are saying these things to you because we still respect GroupWise enough as a product that we want to see it improved. And most of all, I appreciate your willingness to make these blog posts. Your timely updates on various GroupWise advances is greatly appreciated, as is your willingness to respond to these comments.

        Yesterday I had lunch with my Apple reps. They were among the group who still believe that Novell’s primary product is Netware. And I did a tremendous job trying to explain to them how fantastic Novell’s products are — how they can handle any Enterprise load, how well NetStorage and Data Synchronizer work with iPads and other iOS devices, how much more scalable eDirectory is than any other directory service. I think they went away with an interest in investigating further, but at the start the usual Novell/Apple blind spot was well in place — their Novell customers are mainly small, rural, and migrating so to see a large Apple-invested school disti/rct also running Novell solutions was interesting to them. Apple has the best clients, and Novell has the best servers, and I still want to bridge that gap so that I can use them both together without friction.

        So, I’ll see you at Brainshare. Until then, good luck with the Ascot beta.

        Johnnie

        * I had an interesting thought in the car today — with a sufficiently advanced web interface, GroupWise will be able to do everything that GMail can. However, because of Google’s lack of a good end user support infrastructure and the feature requirements for its advertisement revenue engine, GMail will never do the more sophisticated and organizationally interesting things that GroupWise does. Just an idle musing.

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  • By:urbanbuda

    1. Quality
    For us GW has traded on this successfully, probably down to cautious and minimal new features to the base product. But GW8 seems to have burned up all its credits espesially with 8sp2hp2 which for us was propably the most unreliable version ever. Unfortunately this hasn’t gone unnoticed with management.

    2. Mobility (RIM, ActiveSync)
    This is a must and mobility looks like it could be a great product (its cool now), just needs further development to improve the management interface, reporting and end device comptibility.

    3. Active Directory Support / Administration Model
    GW doen’t need to rely on Active directory support for administration as it doesnt need to have edirectory. Untie it like ZenWorks and I will be happy. I have eDirectory but unfortunately I am only keeping it alive to administer GW. And don’t get me started on C1 that has got to go, a nice web front end to administer GW, pop next door and nick the code from the ZenWorks team as they have it nearly perfect.

    Ok now stepping beyond the top 3 and into areas of would be nice.
    4. Co-Existence (Exchange/GW)
    This would be great if there was a way to treat an exchange system as some sort of alien domain/po for booking/viewing calendars.

    Search facilities could also do with improvement.

    Regards
    Bob, UK

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