Cool Solutions

GroupWise: Windermere Changes – Part 1

Dean Lythgoe

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November 5, 2012 11:50 am

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This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series GroupWise: Windermere Changes

As plans, decisions, and schedules are finalized regarding Windermere – there are several things to share and socialize in order to help you and your organization move forward with Novell and GroupWise.

Windermere is the next major release for GroupWise. It is expected to release in 2013. The focus is on replacing ConsoleOne with a new web administration console, expanding directory support to include Active Directory, and updating the look of the Windows Client. There are also several strategic and forward looking decisions to consider. Through a series of blog posts or related cool solutions articles, these topics will be introduced and socialized. Please review and respond so that considerations are included and potential impact and trade-offs are debated.

Software Distribution Directory

The first discussion point has already been published with several comments, private emails and opinions. Please see this related blog post and cool solutions article for more details. The changes discussed in this engineering article are now implemented and part of Windermere. Your feedback was valuable in confirming the choices and improving the final solution.

64-bit ONLY Agents

Engineering initially began work on transitioning the GroupWise agents (POA, MTA and GWIA) to 64-bit during the GroupWise 2012 development phase. QA and validation schedules, along with some customer requests, forced us to ship 32-bit agents again in GroupWise 2012. Product Management, along with a chorus of customers, partners and market realities are confirming that delivering 64-bit agents is past due. The debate of whether to continue to offer 32-bit agents has been vigorously argued and the decision is to ONLY provide 64-bit agents when Windermere ultimately ships. 64-bit machines/hardware have been available for a decade and 32-bit architectures were discontinued by manufactures in January of 2007. Consciously controlling the ‘number’ of platforms that need to be validated allows engineering to maintain a realistic release schedule.

While most organizations have probably renewed their hardware over the years, they may not have transitioned to a 64-bit operating system. GroupWise 8 and GroupWise 2012, while 32-bit applications, are supported today on 64-bit platforms. Upgrading your servers to 64-bit today will simplify the move to Windermere later.

The Windows Client will continue to be 32-bit in Windermere. However, other related utilities will be 64-bit. This includes DBCopy and GWCheck (server). The desktop/client version of GWCheck will continue as a 32-bit application. Any utility that is based on the core GroupWise engine and run on a server will follow in lock step with the agents.

English Only Downloads

We also plan to simplify our build, install, delivery and validation processes by eliminating the ‘english only’ version of our downloads. Images and downloads will only be available in the multi-language variety. Windows multi and Linux multi.

Eventually, we will provide a core language image with language packs. However, that work is not planned for Windermere.

Right to Left (RTL) Languages

Support for the Arabic/Hebrew user interface clients is also changing. We do not plan to support these languages in Windermere. We do continue to evaluate languages, dictionaries and geographic markets. Where support or customers are requesting languages, we try to accommodate those that meet business justification. For example, with GroupWise 2012 SP1, the WebAccess Client language support was expanded to Turkish and Bulgarian.

Administration for Document Management Properties

As the Document Management strategy continues to evolve; product direction has been and will continue to be to recommend Novell Vibe for future DMS needs. Novell Vibe 3.3, released in May, expands DMS capabilities with the Microsoft Office Add-in,the Vibe Desktop, and through the Vibe integrations with the GroupWise Windows client.

In the transition from ConsoleOne to the Web Administration console, the ability for an administrator to modify the schema for custom properties on a DMS document was not carried forward. This will not be supported in Windermere. We also recommend that customers explore the capabilities and functionality that Novell Filr will provides for file sharing and collaboration.

Part Two – coming soon!

This concludes part one. In part two of this topic, platform support will be discussed. While platform support is always an ongoing topic and can change as new platforms are released by Novell, SUSE, Microsoft and Apple, we will try to share with you the plans and initial targets for servers, desktops, browsers, and tablets.

If you have feedback, want to voice your support, or want to vote against the decisions listed above, please do so in the comments area for all to see. We only ask that you are professional and courteous. :)

Dean

GroupWise: Windermere Changes Series:

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Categories: GroupWise, Technical

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

32 Comments

  1. By:sveld

    Hi Dean,

    I do pretty much agree with this strategy; things should be just mean and lean.

    As the DMS will be ‘replaced’ with Vibe, will be see some more and deeper integration points between both? Think or archive/drag emails to a Project folder in Vibe while keeping the message information parts (mime, to, from, ..). Also will there be integration points with Filr at release? Thinking of the ability to replace an attachment with a Filr link

    Sebas.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes – more intergrations and interoperability are part of each product’s roadmap. We continue to bring these products together in look/feel/functionality and ease of use. Windermere will focus a lot on just a new ‘look’ for the GroupWise Windows client and so some of the deeper integrations will come after Windermere – in the following release – code named ‘Cornell’.

      Dean

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  2. By:FlyingGuy

    Dean,

    Once again thanks for the news. Please tell me the administrative interface is not based on some huge web stack of apache / tomcat / god alone knows what else.

    Since you guys feel like it has to be all web, all the time, I do hope and pray that you are running mini http stacks. To this day we still have to run IE to effectively use administer ipp and in a linux world of administration that is just such a terrible position to be in.

    The point is, even as clumsy as Console One is, you can still administer your system if the entire house of cards that is apache / tomcat / whatever else falls down unless of course you have bet everything on that fragile stack, then you are just hosed since all the agents can be working but you can’t do anything about since your web stack has fallen over.

    The number of failure points in the apache/tomcat stack not to mention Java are so very numerous that it boggles the mind that anyone would use that whole thing.

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    • By:sveld

      I was hoping for a command line interface as a fallback option which then also can be used for scripting.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      We have implemented the new Admin web console using a mini http stack. Apache/tomcat are not part of the architecture.

      I’m glad we have finally done something that appears to be inline with your comments.

      We will be showing the final solution at BrainShare 2013 in February.

      Dean

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      • By:FlyingGuy

        Hey Dean,

        As much as I would like to think it is all about me ( it is isn’t it?! ) it is really not, but thanks for the nod.

        While Vibe is an interesting technology you guys have a long way to go before it will replace DML, even with DML in its current state of being all but ignored. The integration is slow and it is cumbersome ( I know, I tried it ).

        Vibe’s biggest problem, IMNSHO, is that there is no developer documentation that means anything.

        Real documentation, that really laid out how to build real interactive systems in vibe ( besides the cookie cutter bit’s you can watch video’s about ) could make vibe a serious contender for many things, eg: Legal:

        The legal community desperately needs a document management system that integrates tightly with e-mail. It also needs to be able to create custom flows that can be created simply and then certain things happen on a given timeline automatically ( reminder e-mails to attorney’s, staff, outside counsel, ticklers for filing deadlines and many man other things ).

        There are a few packages out there that do that, but they are VERY expensive AND they only integrate with Outlook. I know you never want to hear this, but the reason why is that the API for GW is really horrible because it still relies on OLE automation, which I think even Microsoft has given up on, it was that bad.

        Best for the holidays.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        Thanks – this is valuable input and while this topic has been frustrating for you – i’m sure. Your voice has made a difference and does help shape our decisions.

        Thank you for your continued involvement! It is appreciated.

        Dean

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      • By:sveld

        The Vibe docu issue is where we run into also, so +1 for GOOD docu for our devs!

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  3. By:jamestaylor

    At the risk of sounding repetitive….
    It’s disturbing that there is zero mention of any Mac or Linux support here, other than for the server side.
    I’ve come to accept that you’ve ditched Linux support, but no mention of anything Mac related seems to be suicidal.
    Universal access to messaging services is key to having a viable product. No matter how good or efficient your backend is, no one will buy it if they can’t access it.
    I’ve worked with Novell products for over 20 years, and one if the biggest reasons is the generally open and universal access provided on a stable and secure platform.
    If the entire focus of your forward product development is going to be Windows-centric, then I don’t see much of a future for the company and products.
    Without differentiation, there’s no compelling reason for organizations to go with a niche player.
    No matter how mediocre or expensive it is, they don’t have to explain why they went with a mainstream provider.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for the input James. This blog post is certainly not all inclusive…just a few heads up issues for administrators and organizations to understand and consider. The topic is geared just to some of the technical implications of what is coming in Windermere.

      However, in general – the Windermere PRD (Product Requirements Document) is focused on Web Admin, Active Directory support and a new look for the Windows Client.

      Dean

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  4. By:cafetom

    Hello Dean and all,

    I like the direction it is going. But as I look at email as a whole and where it is headed, it kinda reminds me of the days of the Fax machine. There were so many things that were suppose to completely replace the fax machine. I have heard this since the mid-90′s. And here we are, 2012, and tell me what office doesn’t have access to a fax machine. Granted, it is not used quite as heavy as it was in the 80′s and 90′s, but it is still used. The addition of the Internet Fax with different technologies, including the GroupWise FaxServe IT, now with the great folks at SkyPro, added to the faxing capabilities of the office.
    With that, let me transition to what I think should be the next product focus; GroupVibe. GroupWise and Vibe are two great products that should be paired, as Forrest Gumps says, “Like peas and carrots” That’s about all I am going to say about that. :)
    With the new management piece, I can hardly wait. And yet another system tool? (^%#*&^) iManager, ZCC, NSAdmin, Security Manager, etc. I sure hope that with a new management piece that there is a familiarity and continuity that goes along the lines of “Making IT work as ONE.”

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    • By:dlythgoe

      I like your product name suggestion….want a job in Product Management? :)

      Regarding email…actually email is used more today than ever before in its history. I also agree that there are also many new ways to collaborate, but none has even come close to the ubiquity of email. I hope it will be a long time before anything does. While many have predicted email’s demise, every single new collaborative tool simply becomes additive – and I use them all!

      Dean

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  5. By:adolnicar

    In this article there is nothing to justfy new release, maybe support pack?

    What we need is new and clean admin interface, ConsoleOne should be retired and forgotten.
    And – if possible in 2012: we need also command interface, to build some scripts and put them on cron.

    Plus, refresh a little client GUI (you can drop Skype support)…

    BR, Andrej

    P.S. We are users and supportrs GW from V5 onwards…

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    • By:cafetom

      Hello Andrej,

      I think with just the Part-1, there is a hint of things to come. I believe those things will warrant a new version and not a support pack. I suspect there will be more support packs for GW2012. I kinda think that with the architecture change, there might not be an true “upgrade” path but rather a migration path. But that is just me guessing for the same reason there wasn’t an “Upgrade” for the webaccess component.

      We use Skype Business and found that the click to dial component to be handy. Others with different vendor soft phones wish they had integration. (ie, Cisco).

      Tom

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    • By:dlythgoe

      I think you are mis-understanding this blog. These posts about Windermere are not intended to be a description of everything we are doing with Windermere. It is simply a very narrow discussion about some of the changes we are making that may impact an organizations planning so that they are able to upgrade to Windermere when it ships.

      In other words, this is intended to be a pre-flight ‘technical’ checklist of things your organization may need to change prior to Novell shipping Windermere. Check the tires, get gas, upgrade to 64-bit, etc.

      A complete feature list for Windermere will not be available until authorized beta.

      I hope that clarifies these messages/discussions.

      Dean

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  6. By:bbecken

    Dean,
    Ok so the packages are going to be 64-bit… So just to clarify, does that also mean that GroupWise agents are going to be multi-processor/multi-tasking?

    As folks are going out and purchasing hardware, this may make a difference if someone buys a single -quad core or dual-quad core servers to support their cluster environments.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Good question….

      Almost all of the multi-processor/multi-tasking portions of an application are handled by the operating system and are not things that an application will reprogram to accommodate.

      As many of you know….GroupWise is disk-bound, not processor-bound. So the move to 64-bit is largely symbolic. We are not seeing any significant performance increases by simply being 64-bit. Of course, newer hardware, newer operating systems and faster disk i/o will have more of an impact.

      In addition, most organizations implement clustering for high-availability. We recommend that decisions around single-quad core or dual-quad core be made independent of the application being run on them.

      Dean

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  7. By:sylvala

    Finally, ConsoleOne will be gone . Just to said : It is about time.

    I could not wait for the integration with AD. I waiting for this since v7. The pressure is hard for that feature here at work. For the helpdesk thah will simplify a lot.

    AD will be like ZCM integration ?

    Put that on high speed. Your cycle release (alpha, beta, RC) is a bit slow. I estimated your final release will be near june 2013. Too long.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Thanks for the feedback….oh how I wish I had a throttle that I could simply push forward and move into ‘Warp’ speed :)

      Dean

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  8. By:bbecken

    Dean,
    Can you share any news on the direction GroupWise as it relates to Clusters and partition types.
    I see that SLES 11 now supports BTRFS. SLES/OES11 is recommending NLVM to replace evms.

    What are the recommendations / Best Practices for GroupWise 2012 in Clusters?

    Are there any speed/benchmark comparisons for different partition types?

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    • By:dlythgoe

      We hope to sort this out during the Windermere validation cycle. I don’t have anything to share yet on this topic.

      Dean

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  9. By:sveld

    Hi Dean,

    Will the ‘Windermere’ client support GroupWise at Home out of the box? As we have had a lot of dicsussions for a long time around supporting a ‘stand alone’ version of the client promoting the use of the GroupWise client vs other ‘free’ solutions. While the http://www.mygwmail.net/ project has come to a halt, we are stil getting request from users which like to use the client for private usage.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      The GroupWIse @ Home project is a community owned/driven initiative. As you see from another comment, this project appears to be going forward.

      We have provided some recent assistance to that project, but please know – this is NOT a Novell project, but a Open Horizons Community led project.

      Dean

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  10. By:ukdtom

    Not true, the project has started again, and the dev team has finished the new version based on GW12SP1.

    All we are waiting for now, is the web team to finish the new registration

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  11. By:ukdtom

    Hi Dean.

    So, the RL languages are going away, which I guess makes sense from a resource perspective.

    But…….What happens to a GW8 or 12 client with an RL language installed during the upgrade then ?

    /Tommy

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    • By:dlythgoe

      So….

      I am only imagining this because we have not tested it yet, but as they upgraded, they would choose a new language from the prompt during install. They would then get a new client and it would be in the new language that they installed. The GroupWise 8 and 2012 client would be uninstalled and replaced.

      All previous functionality would be removed.

      Dean

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  12. By:gmarsh

    WA needs to have separate English selections for US and International, mainly for separation of date formats, US being m/d/y and international being d/m/y. Refer to bugs 734260 and 534980; according to the latter, this is slated to take effect in Windermere, and I’m just putting my 2-cents in that it’s a big deal – now that WA is being more heavily promoted as an interface (especially to Mac users, and to some extent certain smartphone models being enabled for the mobile WA interface by default), it’s important to allow English users the option for the date format.

    There isn’t much more frustrating that dealing with the “wrong” format, it is totally alien. For now, I’ve changed the various .properties files, but of course, it’s a global change – users have no choice.

    According to the bug reports, it has been like this forever and for no good reason. Please make it happen in Windermere – preferably beforehand in a pre-release build as well. Thanks.

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  13. By:dlythgoe

    Question: Windermere will support GW agents running on Server 2008 and Server 2012 But as far as AD is concerned in an AD-only environment, will Windermere support AD running at a 2003 functional level?

    Answer: Windermere will utilize LDAP and therefore what version of Windows that AD is running on is pretty much irrelevant. As long as GroupWise can establish an LDAP connection to AD, we don’t care what it is running on.

    Question: Will Windermere’s web-based administration offer role-based administration?

    Answer: No, but some yes. The new Admin console does support the idea of System Admin, Domain Admin and Post Office Admins that allow you to control access to different parts of the GroupWise system. Meaning, you can define a Post Office Admin and they would only have rights to modify Post Office level settings and not system or domain level settings for example.

    Question: Will it be possible to delegate password changes to the help desk if GW authentication is being used?

    Answer: No – the roles are simply the ones listed above. We do believe that role-based administration will be easier and will now be able to be implemented for GroupWise, but this is NOT a Windermere deliverable.

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