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GroupWise: Windermere Changes – Part 3

Dean Lythgoe

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December 7, 2012 12:16 pm

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This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series GroupWise: Windermere Changes

This is part 3: 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.

Note: This particular blog series…part 1 through part 3…is not intended to be a feature list for Windermere. You should not assume that because it is not discussed in this series, that your particular request or feature will not be included in Windermere. This series is only to discuss some of the technical dependencies that will be created by changes happening in Windermere. We want to socialize and share this information in order to help your company or organization prepare its systems, data centers, servers, desktops, and processes for Windermere.

In this blog, a discussion regarding the transition from ConsoleOne to the new Web Adminstration console will be discussed. If your organization is small enough that you only have 1 or 2 GroupWise servers and that you normally upgrade from version to version in one single movement, then this topic may not be salient for you. However, it is well understood that most large organizations can not upgrade their entire GroupWise system simultaneously or in one evening or weekend. Therefore, for many organizations they will upgrade and utilize the new Windermere tools to administer the upgraded portions of their GroupWise system while maintaining and utilizing ConsoleOne for all agents that are still running on previous versions of GroupWise and waiting to be upgraded.

Here are several points to consider and remember and then we anticipate that some of you may have specific questions that we can address or make sure engineering considers as Windermere is developed.

Primary Domain

As with all version updates the primary domain must be updated first. Also, an owning domain must be updated before any post offices can be updated. This has long been a best practice and will continue to be in Windermere.

ConsoleOne NOT Supported on Windermere Agents

After a domain is updated, only the new Web Admin console can be used with upgraded domains and post offices. The Web Admin tool can be used to administer post offices or domains that have not been upgraded, but once the upgrade process begins, we HIGHLY recommend you are consistent with your administration tools. Meaning…if you have a post or domain that has not been upgraded, you can administer that agent using ConsoleOne OR the new Web Admin tool, but which ever tool you choose to use….ONLY use that tool until the agent has been upgraded. Do NOT switch between the tools to administer an agent that has not been upgraded and still has an object in eDirectory.

Once upgraded, you will no longer be able to use ConsoleOne and only the Web Admin tool can be used.

LDAP

LDAP is required if syncing with an external directory. Access to LDAP should be configured when upgrading an existing system. This configuration will be part of the installation process in order to aid in the upgrade process. If you are not synching with an external directory, eDirectory, Active Directory, etc., then Windermere can be run completely stand alone and contained. In other words, no external directory is required. We expect most of our customers will continue to use eDirectory, since that is required with versions of GroupWise today. As a best practice, we recommend that you plan your external directory strategy before upgrading to Windermere. If you plan to continue to use an external directory, then you should make sure you are prepared to provide LDAP access to that directory and proper planning, access and versioning is considered.

All access to the external directory will be through LDAP. GroupWise Windermere does have minimum server and OS requirements, but those requirements to not apply to the server that is running your directory. Minimum eDirectory requirements will be eDir 7.x and later. Most versions of Active Directory will also be supported. Currently, we plan to recommend the versions of Active Directory that come on Windows 2003, Windows 2008 and Windows 2012 server.

New System Administrator Account

During the upgrade process a new System Administrator Account will be provisioned. Prompts for credentials for this account will be required for this new system administrator account. We will no longer be using eDirectory for any rights checking. The new system administrator account can grant rights to other users but it must be defined first.

New Domains

New domains and post office created with Windermere will not be created in eDirectory (or any external directory). This causes a few side effects. First, ConsoleOne will not run against a domain if there is not an associated eDir object. Therefore, ConsoleOne is not supported at all with any Windermere created domain or post office. Second, the current Admin API handles stand-alone domains properly, but any users in those domains that have a distinguished name defined will be ignored. Novell is beginning an SDK/ISV beta in the coming weeks. We will be working with all of our partners and 3rd-party solution providers so that they can make appropriate adjustments in their products and recommend upgrade paths and best practices. We will communicate via our partners, this blog and other communications to help socialize any appropriate Partner solutions changes.

Once again, it is HIGHLY recommend that you remain consistent during the upgrade process with each domain and post office. If a post office or domain exists in eDirectory, you can still manage it using ConsoleOne. If you choose to do that – you should ALWAYS do that until the post office or domain is upgraded.

External Entity

We will not be creating External Entity objects in eDirectory anymore. They were only needed to simplify administration with ConsoleOne. The Windermere Web Admin Console can handle users not linked to any external directory fine so External Entities do not seem to have a need any longer. Existing external entities can remain in place. We will continue to sync them but the new Web Admin does not support creating new external entities.

Browsing and Relative Paths

With the changes in Windermere, administrators should set paths for domains, post offices, etc. from the perspective of the Admin Service. In other words, since the admin service runs on the same machine as the agents then paths should be from the perspective of the service and not from the perspective of the admin’s workstation. Today, since ConsoleOne runs on the admin’s machine/desktop most paths are from that perspective. That will be changing to look at the world from the view of the Admin Service.

Note: Browsing for files can be done from either the perspective of the workstation or the admin service.

IMAP Changes

More and more of our end users are accessing GroupWise via IMAP. This is principally from mobile devices, but also from a variety of other desktop clients. Engineering has identified several optimizations and changes in the way the IMAP Agents (POA and GWIA) process IMAP requests in general and specifically regarding a couple of IMAP caching defaults. These changes are being made in an effort to improve performance and end user experience. First of all, we will default the IMAP Read Limit to 10K max messages at a time and, by default, read in items from newest to oldest. These changes replace the old defaults of 20K max messages and reading in items from oldest to newest. By making these changes we believe end users will continue to be able to get the messages they are most concerned with and will see an increase in performance and memory usage on the POA and GWIA at the same time. This is a change in default behavior, however, and could impact some of you and your users. You will still be able to override the maximum read limit default by using the IMAPREADLIMIT switch (up to the already existing ceiling of 65K messages). A new switch IMAPREADOLD will allow you to revert to the old behavior of reading items in from oldest to newest. The IMAPREADNEW switch will no longer be needed.

Engineering will also change the memory management model that the IMAP agents use. The new caching model will allow the IMAP agents to better manage allocated memory between multiple connections. These memory changes will be transparent to the end user. In addition the data that is being read from the user databases is being optimized to further minimize memory usage and speed up response time. End users should see an increase in the performance and a quicker response time for 15 different IMAP commands.

The end….

This is the last blog submission in this series. Please read parts 1 and 2 in conjunction with this blog to see a comprehensive view of the technical dependences required to upgrade and run Windermere. After BrainShare, the GroupWise blog will publish a more comprehensive list of new features and enhancements that are committed for Windermere. We will expand on that list as capabilities are finished in the product and any new capabilities are added. The Windermere project plan is set and the Product Requirement Document and Platform Support documentation is complete. As work is completed, there may be opportunities to add additional features, but they will not be listed or committed to in the original blog post.

Please submit your questions and concerns and individual scenarios so that everyone benefits from your input and feedback.

Thanks – Dean

GroupWise: Windermere Changes Series:

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27 Comments

  1. By:jlodom

    Dean,

    This is the best news from the GroupWise team that I have heard in some time — I really like the implementation details here (and also getting rid of SDDs from part 1). Having GroupWise run as a separate world from eDirectory again (as much as I love eDirectory) will give it significant room to grow in the years ahead as a web API is much cleaner than the current situation for administration. Also, I can finally admin GroupWise from my Mac, making Condrey’s file products the only reason to keep my PC around.

    Please keep OES as a supported platform now and forever. Even though eDirectory and NCP might not interact directly with GW, I still prefer to run Linux applications on OES.

    I do have a few questions for clarification:

    1. Will there be guidance/documentation on “cleaning up” the remaining eDirectory objects in a system that has been fully upgraded to Windermere? As you write, once you have gone over then you should probably never use C1 again, and removing the objects from eDirectory will help that to happen as well as streamlining our trees.

    2. Will there be a new IDM driver for GroupWise? There are certain lingering problems with the existing one (particularly user moves) and it would seem like some of the architectural changes here (throughout your three posts) are radical enough that they might require a new driver. I am aware of several customers who do most of their administration via IDM due to their size and the flexibility of that product, so this is a big concern.

    3. Along the same lines, will we be able to use containers/contexts as a means of dividing users and granting rights via LDAP to GroupWise? Or will only users and groups be relevant in communication?

    4. Why support eDirectory 7.x? That’s a very odd requirement given the other legacy pieces you have dropped. Why not make the cutoff eDirectory 8.7.3? Or 8.8.5 — the last version to support Netware?

    5. Will there be any changes to expose more GroupWise-specific functionality through IMAP? I know that you are hamstrung by the IMAP protocol, but I see more Macs connecting in this manner given the client situation, and it is always a pity to lose all that lovely GroupWise functionality.

    6. Are you making any improvements or changes to your branch FLAIM as part of this release? Since lots of the decisions you have made revolve around removing legacy code, it would seem that FLAIM could be modernized or streamlined a bit as part of this process.

    Thanks!
    Johnnie

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    • By:dlythgoe

      OES will be supported NOW and FOREVER!

      Now moving to a few of your other questions….

      1. Will there be guidance/documentation on “cleaning up” the remaining eDirectory objects in a system that has been fully upgraded to Windermere? As you write, once you have gone over then you should probably never use C1 again, and removing the objects from eDirectory will help that to happen as well as streamlining our trees.

      Answer: There will not be any automated process provided for cleaning up objects in eDirectory. However, engineering will provide documentation and best practices information so that system administrators can manually remove/clean up their directories.

      2. Will there be a new IDM driver for GroupWise? There are certain lingering problems with the existing one (particularly user moves) and it would seem like some of the architectural changes here (throughout your three posts) are radical enough that they might require a new driver. I am aware of several customers who do most of their administration via IDM due to their size and the flexibility of that product, so this is a big concern.

      Answer: Yes – a Windermere level IDM driver is planned and will be provided. Just recently the GroupWise 2012 IDM driver was released as part of the regular IDM bundle delivery.

      3. Along the same lines, will we be able to use containers/contexts as a means of dividing users and granting rights via LDAP to GroupWise? Or will only users and groups be relevant in communication?

      Answer: We will use containers and contexts as a means of assigning users to GroupWise Post Offices, but not for any granting of rights. Administrative rights will be controlled internally inside of GroupWise with new ACL functionality added for Windermere.

      4. Why support eDirectory 7.x? That’s a very odd requirement given the other legacy pieces you have dropped. Why not make the cutoff eDirectory 8.7.3? Or 8.8.5 — the last version to support Netware?

      Answer: We will recommend that customers upgrade and use eDirectory 8.7.x and beyond. However, there is nothing from a code or functionality perspective that would prevent a customer from using an older version of eDirectory…clear back to eDirectory 7.x. It was probably just engineering bravado….see what we can do!! ;)

      5. Will there be any changes to expose more GroupWise-specific functionality through IMAP? I know that you are hamstrung by the IMAP protocol, but I see more Macs connecting in this manner given the client situation, and it is always a pity to lose all that lovely GroupWise functionality.

      Answer: No – not at this time

      6. Are you making any improvements or changes to your branch FLAIM as part of this release? Since lots of the decisions you have made revolve around removing legacy code, it would seem that FLAIM could be modernized or streamlined a bit as part of this process.

      Answer: No – not at this time

      Dean

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  2. By:FlyingGuy

    So ( I have to admit that I have taken a job at UC Berkeley – Novell Consulting has just flat out dried up ) Does this mean now that GW is disconnected from a requirement that I be attached to ANY sort of directory ( besides LDAP ) when it is stand alone that the GW client is also now standalone or do I have to connect to some GW system before I can use it for external e-mail systems?

    The reason I ask is that UCB is moving to GMAIL for their campus wide e-mail system and quite frankly GMAIL’s web interface just suxs and so that leaves me with T-Bird and the rest of the linux based e-mail client’s ( and evolution just is not worth the hassle ) and I would dearly love to be able to use the GW client instead of any of those.

    So far everything sounds pretty straight forward, especially for small single PO systems ( small businesses love GW ) as far as the upgrade and conversion goes. One thing I will say though is that a lot of these places are still VERY MUCH Novell shops even on OES because NSS just rocks compared to native linux file systems so you explanation seemed a little shy on, “If you have a netware system with the lastest Edir patches and what not, what is one to do since you are talking EDir 7.x and alomost all of my remaining clients are EDir 8.x ??

    Cheers

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes – you are correct! You will be able to run GroupWise without any directory or with any directory…via LDAP. We are focusing our QA efforts on eDirectory and Active Directory. That is what will be supported, but technically speaking….any LDAP enabled directory ‘should’ work.

      Also – eDirectory requirements include eDirectory 8 and beyond. We expect most customers are already to that level of eDirectory. It just so happens that eDirectory 7.x is also supported.

      Dean

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  3. By:smflood

    Picking up on Johnnie’s fourth question above, does the eDirectory version even matter?

    I mean if WIndermere won’t be tied to eDirectory but will sync’ with it via LDAP (just as with Microsoft Active Directory) then the requirement for sync’ing with any directory system is just LDAP-compliant, presumably LDAPv3.

    It’s then down to the vendor of the directory system (in this case NetIQ for eDirectory) to ensure the system is LDAP-compliant although LDAP is LDAP right?! ;-)

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Good question…you asked – does the eDirectory version even matter? Answer: Not really – but we had to start some place.

      LDAP is the key – as you mentioned. Your assumptions are correct. The real issue is what will our QA team actually validate….so in theory, what you have stated is true. In practice – this is what we will test and make sure works.

      Probably a very subtle difference – I admit.

      Dean

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  4. By:ssinghose

    Dean.

    I’ve enjoyed these three blog posts on Windermere.

    Might I suggest either a separate tool or integrated into the installer that will check all of the prerequisites, ie eDir-AD ver, LDAP comms, paths to files, hardware specs etc. A dry run to eliminate some of the potential issues. Nothing worse that scheduling downtime only to discover that the information the GroupWise team had for the LDAP OU is no longer valid.

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to the new products.

    Steve.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Steve,

      Love the suggestion! Unfortunately, this is not part of the engineering plans. We will create a pre-requisite checklist from these blogs posts, from the experiences we encounter during beta and lighthouse. We know that this will help customers/partners effectively maximize the upgrade effort.

      We hope that will be sufficient.

      Dean

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  5. By:cafetom

    Hello Dean,

    Thank you for sharing with us what is happening, the directions, as well as the reasons for the direction. It is easy for me to continue doing what I have been doing for the past 15 years. And then being told to do something different, like learn Linux or die, without being engaged in the conversation gave me little time to prepare. I know that with this version of GroupWise, I can prepare my mind shift for something new. But I do have a few questions.

    1. External entities not supported. Some of my customers have external entity users simply for license sake. They only need an email account but don’t need an eDirectory license account, administrative email alert accounts come to mind. Will these type of non-directory linked accounts still be available and transfer to the new GroupWise?

    2. Non-directory integrated. One of the disappointments I had with ZCM 10/11 is that after we implemented, we still had a mess of directory objects dating back to ZEN 1.1. It really is quite a mess in NSAdmin/C1, and now iManager, to see all these objects that mean absolutely nothing. Will there be any directory cleanup utility to remove all the excess?

    3. I see businesses moving more away from on premise/talented IT staff and moving toward the Ala Carte and Du Jour, SaaS model. The talent level of many implementing systems is taken down to asking questions about getting supersized bandwidth to support a piece of software. It is why Google and Live360, and other hosted solutions are thriving. Does this new GroupWise model open up more possibilities to have hosting vendors offer GroupWise SaaS, or even allowing me to have a free Novell hosted email address? @hostedgroupwise.com Or even have @yahoo.com or @aol.com have a backend GroupWise system?

    Tom

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Hi Tom!

      Thanks for your comment. I did have one other customer send me an email regarding External Entities and so I am glad you asked here. I was going to post some additional info on that anyway….

      See answers below:

      1. External entities not supported. Some of my customers have external entity users simply for license sake. They only need an email account but don’t need an eDirectory license account, administrative email alert accounts come to mind. Will these type of non-directory linked accounts still be available and transfer to the new GroupWise?

      Answer: YES – the concept of external entities will carry forward. They simply will not be called, referenced or implemented in the same way. All existing external entities will automatically convert in Windermere and systems that utilize this concept will continue to work seamlessly. However, after Windermere, if an organization wanted to create an external entity, they would simply create a stand alone user instead. A stand alone user exists just in GroupWise and does not derive any of its information from a directory. This non-directory linked account will still be able available and any existing external entities will transfer to the Windermere GroupWise upon upgrade.

      2. Non-directory integrated. One of the disappointments I had with ZCM 10/11 is that after we implemented, we still had a mess of directory objects dating back to ZEN 1.1. It really is quite a mess in NSAdmin/C1, and now iManager, to see all these objects that mean absolutely nothing. Will there be any directory cleanup utility to remove all the excess?

      Answer: Unfortunately – No. We are not planning on creating a utility to clean up orphaned objects. It is too difficult to know and determine which objects have been migrated, orphaned or are no longer being used. We will provide documentation and best practices on how and when to clean up these objects.

      3. I see businesses moving more away from on premise/talented IT staff and moving toward the Ala Carte and Du Jour, SaaS model. The talent level of many implementing systems is taken down to asking questions about getting supersized bandwidth to support a piece of software. It is why Google and Live360, and other hosted solutions are thriving. Does this new GroupWise model open up more possibilities to have hosting vendors offer GroupWise SaaS, or even allowing me to have a free Novell hosted email address? @hostedgroupwise.com Or even have @yahoo.com or @aol.com have a backend GroupWise system?

      Answer: We believe so. Novell continues to watch the SaaS market and weigh its options. We have several partners and solutions for hosted GroupWise today. I will refer you to a couple for your reference. http://www.hostedem.com and http://www.digeteks.com.

      Dean

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  6. By:iblackwood

    Hi Dean,

    One of the drivers to get rid of ConsoleOne is that it needs file access.

    With the web administration, what happens when you have multiple hosts running GroupWise ?

    Does it:
    1. need the remote filesystems mounted on the host with the web admin installed ? or
    2. is the web admin loaded on every host and they chat between themselves as required for domain db rebuilds and such ?

    Cheers
    Ian

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Hi Ian,

      When you have multiple hosts, the web admin will be installed and running where ever you have a domain. Just like a POA/MTA. They will communicate between them to do system maintenance.

      We do not anticipate the need to mount remote file systems at all.

      I hope that makes sense…

      Dean

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  7. By:sylvala

    Hi,
    Thank you for the update.

    How the process to transfert or link the user will happen ? I have some user not on the AD site. Could we choose witch user to link with the AD account and the eDir side?

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Hi,

      I am not sure I understand your question. You will either have eDirectory or ActiveDirectory or NO directory for GroupWise once Windermere ships. We are not offering a eDir to AD link/synchronization.

      There is probably an IDM solution for this, but this is separate from GroupWise.

      If I misunderstood, I apologize, just submit your question again :)

      Dean

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      • By:ehanley

        I also do not understand your answer Dean. If I have a Primary Domain on SERVER1 and Secondary Domain on SERVER2 and a PO1 on SERVER3. We then would have the GW Web Admin on SERVER1 and SERVER2. How does a Top Down Rebuild do the rebuild on SERVER2 from SERVER1′s GW Web Admin? And the same question for doing a Rebuild of PO1 from SERVER2 to SERVER3.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        Additional information:

        The Admin Service provides the rebuild ability so the Admin Service on SERVER1 will communicate with the Admin Service on SERVER2. Since the Admin Service is installed wherever the agents are installed then the Admin Service running on SERVER3 (running in a limited post office-only mode) will also communicate with the Admin Service for it’s owning domain to perform a rebuild.

        Make better sense?

        Dean

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      • By:ehanley

        Makes sense now.

        Thanks !

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  8. By:tjacksonbcg

    Dean,

    I think sylvala’s question may be similar to mine. What will the process be to disassociate our users from eDir and relink to AD? We have both eDir and AD being synced by IDM so most accounts exist in both places. We want to remove our dependence on eDir. Also, can both directory sources be used at the same time? Specifically for any users we may have in eDir that are not in AD yet.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Additional Information:

      A single GroupWie system can contain users from both eDir and AD at the same time. The process of associating users will be similar to the Associate/Disassociate process in ConsoleOne.

      Dean

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    • By:sylvala

      The process will be something like ZCM ? Import user what ever the source (eDir or AD) and after that able to associate with an account already on the GW system.

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      • By:dlythgoe

        From Engineering:

        We will have Disassociate/Associate process so they can select an existing GroupWise user, disassociate that user with an eDir user and associate them with an AD user. A user can only be associated with one user object in eDir or AD. When we do the first sync we assume all objects are linked to an eDir user since that is all that is supported at this point. However, using the Windermere code they could disassociate a user from eDir and assoicate it with an AD user. We will support syncing users from eDir and AD in the same system. It also sounds like they want to move away from eDir but they need to be aware that IDM cannot be used to sync AD directly to GroupWIse.

        You will be able to create a GroupWise account for an existing eDir or AD user and that creates the user in the GroupWise domain database. You will also have the option to disassociate the GroupWise user from the eDir/AD account it is synced with and associate it with a different account to sync with. This operation can currently be done in ConsoleOne but only for eDir users.

        In Windermere we will use LDAP to associate GroupWise users with eDir and AD so you can pick from either one when performing a manual association.

        Better?

        Dean

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      • By:tjacksonbcg

        Thanks for the clarification. I’m sure this isn’t in the pipeline now, but it would be nice to have some kind of tool that will do a mass association. So in other words, it will search AD for users with the same username as GW and link them. Is that possible? From what I read, I will have to click on each user to re-associate to AD. With 6000 users I’m not sure that’s practical.

        Tim

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      • By:dlythgoe

        Tim,

        We do plan on the ability to Graft. This process will match up users and should do what you are asking. Alternatively, we could certainly provide a utility to do this. The utility may not be part of the product, but become a Cool Solution or provided another way.

        For the most part, this is a use and discard type of utility and so would not necessarily be included as part of the product.

        Dean

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  9. By:ebelcher

    One of the benefits of having Groupwise linked to the directory is the ability to report on the objects via ODBC. (Use eDir ODBC Connector to access eDir). I use Crystal Reports and other reporting tools to create many management and auditing reports for all kinds of systems including Groupwise.

    Apart from having to rewrite reports with the proposed new version, my hope is that ODBC connectivity will be available on the new groupwise database. Or at the very least, support through Identity Manager, so that objects can be linked to an MySQL database for reporting against.

    What if any are the plans in this area for the new version of Groupwise?
    Thanks
    Eric.

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    • By:dlythgoe

      Eric,

      The first version will not have ODBC support. This is something we can consider for a future release as customer/partner demand supports it.

      Dean

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  10. By:mstatman

    “We will not be creating External Entity objects in eDirectory anymore. They were only needed to simplify administration with ConsoleOne.” — we have a third-party mail filter appliance which uses an LDAP lookup to validate the recipient’s address before passing the message to GWIA. How will external entities be validated if they’re no longer in the (a) directory?

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  11. By:mus

    In the New groupwise 2012 sp2 I cannot find an Web Admin Tool in the documentation only ConsoleOne. But you Write about a New Web Admin Tool , Where is this?

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