This is part 2: 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.
As we look toward 2013 and the lifecycle of Windermere, consideration is given to which server platforms will be new and available and which server platforms will be moving past their own manufactures supportability. We review the market, overall, to evaluate which server operating systems are trending and in which direction. More importantly, we attempt to project what trends are currently happening and which ones will happen within the GroupWise customer base. As we evaluate these different options, we also take into account the costs associated with validating each additional platform we choose to support. We have varying degrees of validation, including reference platforms. Reference platforms are operating systems that are part of our QA inventory, IT Data Center and Super labs.
Windows – we will drop the Windows 2003 Server platform. We plan to support Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012.
OES/Linux – we will drop OES 2 and SLES 10 platforms. OES 11 and SLES 11 will be supported.
Desktop operating systems are more complicated. We will continue to support the Mac and Linux desktop OS platforms that are currently supported with GroupWise 2012. We don’t anticipate this changing – except to consider new versions of the Linux Desktop or Mac Desktop OS that will be released in the future. We will consider each one individually.
Windows XP – we are watching this platform closely. We will support Windows 7 and we will add the Windows 8 Desktop OS. We will definitely drop Windows Vista, but we are also considering dropping Windows XP. We recognize that many customers still have significant installations of Windows XP and so we want to hear from you and your plans regarding upgrades. We also know that many organizations have recently executed or are planning on Windows 7 deployments. What is your time frame for keeping Windows XP? When do you plan to upgrade and what are you upgrading to?
FLASH We have updated our support of XP…We will support Windows XP for Windermere – See blog post:
Why drop Windows XP? Many may ask about the rationale for this decision. Let me say again – this is still just a consideration. No final decision has been made. However, several factors play a role in this decision – including your feedback. We consider market trends, we look at support lifecycles from Microsoft, we look at the age of the operating system, but maybe most important, we look at what newer technologies we can take advantage of to make our product easier to maintain, fresher to look at and easier to use. If these technologies are not supported or create too many compatibility issues on an older platform, then this will influence our choice. Please let your voice be heard!
Another significant consideration with each major release of a product is which browsers will be supported. Many organizations do not allow the auto-upgrade of desktop browsers for a variety of reasons. The most common is that they have additional browser based applications that require a particular version of Internet Explorer or FireFox. Therefore, requiring a certain version of browser to run GroupWise WebAccess and now GroupWise Web Administration presents certain compatibility challenges. Here is what we are planning….
Internet Explorer – We plan to support IE 9 and 10 and later. If we decide to continue support for Windows XP, IE8 will be added for Windows XP Only.
FireFox – We plan to support FireFox 15.x and later. All desktop platforms will be supported. Linux, Windows and Mac.
Chrome – We plan to support Chrome 21.x and later. This is only targeted for the Windows platform.
Safari – We plan to support Safari 6.0 or later on Mac OS 10.7 or later.
GroupWise Windows Client Features
Last topic for this blog post. We are also transitioning or updating a few technologies and capabilities in the Windows Client that organizations should be aware of and to begin to plan accordingly.
ODMA – Open Document Management API is a technology embedded with the Windows desktop that simplifies the communication of desktop applications with document management systems. We use this technology to intercept File Open and File Save actions in the operating system and other desktop applications to automatically present the user the GroupWise Document Management File/Open dialog. This capability and technology will be removed in Windermere. ODMA has been superseded by other more standard ways of interfacing. Novell is transitioning its Document Management capabilities to other products like Novell Vibe.
S/MIME – Newer algorithms are now available to better support digital signatures and email encryption. However, these algorithms are not supported on older versions of the Windows platform. As we upgrade these algorithms to the latest technologies, we will be dropping support for S/MIME in the GroupWise Windermere Client for Windows XP platforms ONLY. S/MIME will be better than ever in Windermere with better technology, stronger encryption and more up-to-date integrations. Even if we decide to continue support for Windows XP, this capability will not be available when running the Windermere Windows Client on XP.
Part Three – coming soon!
This concludes part two. In part three,how to upgrade will be discussed. We realize that not all organizations will upgrade their entire backend infrastructure at once. There may be situations when an organization has GroupWise 8 or 2012 agents running along side Windermere agents. These agents will require separate tools to execute administration. In part three, we will explain how this will work and what you need to do to be prepared.
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.