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Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack, Vibe Connector, Vibe Desktop and Vibe MS Office Add-in!



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December 14, 2011 11:09 am

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Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for Vibe

Novell Data Synchronizer Connector for Vibe will release FCS this week – passed first article and should be available by the end of the week. (FCS = First Customer Ship. Bascially means when the product will be publicly available for download and deployment.)

This is our 1.0 debut for the Vibe Connector, which synchronizes tasks and calendars from Vibe to GroupWise. Our internal rollout for the connector is servicing more than 500 users. This connector has been under development for some time and further integrates our collaboration solutions together. You can now have Team calendars and Tasks in Novell Vibe and interact with those items from within the familiar GroupWise interface/habitat.

Although this technology is predominately uni-directional, there are a couple of areas that allow for a bi-directional synchronization model. For example, if you have Team task in a team workspace in Vibe and that task is synchronized to GroupWise, the GroupWise user can mark that task complete or set the % complete information for that task and that information will be synchronized back to the Vibe workspace.

To be a bit more specific, here is the a summary description from the Vibe Connector documentation that provides the details and functionality for this technology.

Calendar Synchronization

  • All Vibe calendar folders that contain calendar appointments in your personal workspace synchronize to GroupWise.
  • All Vibe calendar folders that contain calendar appoitments in team workspaces where you are a team member synchronize to GroupWise.
  • Vibe Calendar folders synchronize as sub-calendars under your main GroupWise Calendar.
  • Additions, modifications, and deletions on the synchronized Vibe calendars are reflected in GroupWise.
  • Calendars deleted in Vibe are deleted from GroupWise.

Task Synchronization

  • Tasks and calendar appointments that are assigned explicitly to you, to a team you are a member of, or to a group you are a member of (regardless of the team where the assignment originated).
  • Additions, deletions, and modifications made to tasks that are assigned to you, to a team you are a member of, or to a group you are a member of in Vibe are reflected in GroupWise.
  • If you modify the % Complete or Completed fields of a task in GroupWise, that status information synchronizes back to the Vibe task. (These fields are the only fields that support bidirectional synchronization.)

Additional Synchronization Behavior for Tasks and Calendars

  • Vibe tasks located in Calendar folders synchronize to GroupWise calendars. Vibe calendar entries in Task folders synchronize to GroupWise in the corresponding sub-calendars.
  • The GroupWise sub-calendar called Other Vibe is created by the Vibe Connector to store tasks and calendar appointments that meet the synchronization criteria but are either located in folders where you do not have access rights to the parent workspace or folder, or that are located in a folder that is not a Tasks folder or Calendar folder. For example, it is possible in Vibe to create a task in any type of folder, such as a Blog folder.
  • Synchronized Calendar and Tasks folders reflect the name of the team or personal workspace where the folder is located, with the name of the folder itself in parenthesis. If the calendar or task entry does not pertain to a team that you are a member of, the folder name in GroupWise assumes the name of the Vibe folder that contains the calendar or task entry that is being synchronized.

This Vibe Connector works using the Data Synchronizer engine, the GroupWise Connector and the new Vibe Connector. You must install the Vibe Connector software on a server where Data Synchornizer and the GroupWise connector have already been installed.

See the documentation here.

Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack 1.2.1

Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack 1.2.1 will also release ‘FCS’ this week. We haven’t released Mobility since the 1.2 release in early August. So we are very excited, and so are our customers, about this update

Mobility 1.2.1 will be available both via the NCC patch channel and Patch Finder. It includes all of the work engineering performed and delivered after feedback we heard at BrainShare and delivered in a patch. This update also provides fixes for ~50 customer-reported defects and ~100 QA-reported defects. Customers will see improved reliability, especially with attachments and appointments. We’ll continue to address customer-reported defects via regular, frequent updates in an effort to maintain customer confidence. This will be engineerings focus for some time and then they will turn their attention to the feature set communicated previously through the code name: Eenou.

We encourage all of our customers to download and install this update as it level sets all of our customers on very stable, well tested and reliable functionality.

Novell Vibe Desktop and Novell Vibe Add-In for MS Office

Novell Vibe Desktop and Novell Vibe Add-In for MS Office did release Beta 2 on Monday 12/12/2011. Vibe Desktop provides a local, synchronized file store for Vibe files, allowing users to work on Vibe files in offline mode. The Add-In allows users to work on Vibe files without ever leaving their familiar Office apps.

Novell Vibe Desktop Details:

You can synchronize your Novell Vibe files with your computer, then modify the files without accessing the Vibe site directly. Additions and modifications are synchronized between Vibe and your computer. You cannot delete Vibe files from your desktop. If you do delete a Vibe file from your desktop, it is not deleted in Vibe, and is synchronized back to your desktop at the next synchronization.

Synchronization occurs at an interval designated by your Vibe administrator. The default is every 15 minutes.

You can manually synchronize files if you do not want to wait for the scheduled synchronization. For more information, see Manually Synchronizing Files.

Which Folders Are Synchronized?

Only files in Files folders and Photo Album folders within your personal workspace are synchronized by default.

You can easily configure files in Files folders and Photo Album folders within your teams or followed places to be synchronized, as described in Synchronizing Your Teams and Favorite Places.

What Actions Are Supported?

When you perform any of the following actions on documents, the action is synchronized between your computer’s file system and the Vibe server:

  • Create documents
  • Modify documents

In order to prevent you from inadvertently making changes on the Vibe server that you do not want to make, the following actions are not synchronized between your computer’s file system and the Vibe server:

  • Delete documents
  • Delete folders
  • Create folders

Novell Vibe Add-In Details:

The Novell Vibe Add-In for Microsoft Office enables you to work with documents on the Vibe site without ever leaving Microsoft Office. You can easily browse to a document that is located on the Vibe site, open the document, edit it, then save it back to the Vibe site, directly from Microsoft Office.

You can work directly from Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents.

MS Office Requirements

The Novell Vibe Add-In for Microsoft Office is supported with the following versions of Microsoft Office:

  • Microsoft Office 2010, with the latest support pack
  • Microsoft Office 2007, with the latest support pack
Note: The Beta 2 distribution is limited to our Firestone beta testers. Beta 3 / Public Preview will give the world a peek at these cool features and will be made available in the coming weeks. Engineering is on track for an early-February FCS.

If you don’t have Novell Vibe – its time to check it out!! This is a fantastic collaboration tool that expands your collaboration capabilities and gives your end-users easy options for teams, documents, projects and workflows. For those who don’t know….the NOWS buying program was recently updated to include Novell Vibe in the bundle at no extra cost. So if you are purchasing GroupWise through NOWS, you already own it!!! Its time to deploy it!

Dean

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Categories: Expert Views, GroupWise, GroupWise Blog, Vibe

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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.

20 Comments

  1. By:gabecruz

    Dean,

    I am steadily continuing to loose GroupWise customer to Exchange due to not being able to provide and activesync solution that will run on Windows Servers. Its a shame that you went from a product that was running on windows and now the new product only runs on Linux. There was talk in a previous blog about a so called version “whiptail” that would run on Windows. Any clue or idea when this will be available. I am working on a quote at this time, which the outcome may be determine by the release date of this product. I have been deploying GroupWise since v4.1 (dos), hate to see it replaced, in my experience by an inferior product just because of the Activesync option.

  2. By:skapanen

    Dean,

    nice to see that DataSync is moving on.

    But I have to say that the constant calendar issues with Mobility are just sad.. people are moving to paper calendars as they cannot rely on their calendar sync.
    Once again, we have high hopes for the next release of Mobility.
    It might be just me, but in my playbook the calendar sync is the most important thing that DataSync should do – and properly.

    thanks,
    sk

    • By:MikaA

      Does Novell has an idea whether these REALLY major problems with especially Nokia phones are mostly due to bugs in Nokia phones or bugs/whatever in DataSync?

      I concur with Sami here, problems are bad and they are many. But we have a couple iPhone users who don’t complain about those but the same users do complain about their Nokia phones’ sync. And to no surprise, the Nokia E7 seems to be the worst of all and of course all the execs have that.

      .mika

      • By:dlythgoe

        There is some technology background to understand. With any ActiveSync -based solution, like Data Synchronizer, you have at least three moving targets.

        1. You have the Active-Sync protocol that is moving from version to version and adding new support for things regularly.

        2. You have device manufacturers who are each interpreting the ActiveSync protocol and support it in a variety of different ways.

        3. Finally, you have companies, like Novell who are not only trying to interpret and implement the ActiveSync protocol accordingly to their understanding, but are also trying to get it to work as uniformly as possible across 100’s of devices.

        This does create some challenges. We have found that because IOS only has one device manufacturer, it is easier to get all devices running IOS to work. Works for one, works for all. Android and Symbian are more challenging as there are many manufacturers and interpretations.

        Getting one device to work properly does not mean that all devices work properly.

        I will say that a lot has improved over the last 15 months as manufacturers update and interpret more consistently. You should expect this to continue to improve as all three variables listed above become release updates/patches.

        The good news: All devices should benefit from the update we are shipping!

        Dean

    • By:dlythgoe

      Sami,

      This has been a major focus of this release discussed in this blog. . Customers will see improved reliability, especially with attachments and appointments.

      One clarification – you say that your sync with the BB Playbook is most important. I do want everyone to know that the Novell Data Synchronizer is NOT the solution for BB devices. In other words, the improvements in Data Synchronizer will not affect the BB devices including the Playbook.

      BES is the recommended solution for BB devices – including the Playbook.

      Dean

      • By:skapanen

        So we’ll be waiting for the release and expect it to deliver these improvements.

        And sorry for the poor choice of words, I wasn’t referring to BBPlaybook, just using some football terms here.. in somewhat wrong place ;D

        Have a nice weekend,

        sk

  3. By:dlythgoe

    Our plan has been to support Data Synchronizer on more platforms…including Windows. The reality is that the demand for other capabilities and functionality has continued to adjust the priority of this requirement.

    This support continues to be on our roadmap and we certainly intend to provide a solution on Windows Server. However, this work is not currently scheduled for 2012.

    We will continue to adjust our priorities based on the requests made by our customers. If more customers believe that this is more of a priority than we have determined, please let me know and we can adjust our decision.

    Dean

    • By:gabecruz

      Well according to your Data Synchronizer RoadMap this was on schedule for Q4 of 2011, which is what I have been relating to my customers. Now you tell me that it will not even be available in 2012. So what am I suppose to tell my GroupWise customer to drop the product and go to Exchange?

      • By:MikaA

        What are you talking about? He just said new DS is released this week…

      • By:dlythgoe

        I apologize that support for the Windows Server platform has been pushed to a later date. That is unfortunate and I understand your frustration.

        I certainly hope that you don’t tell your customers to move to Exchange. That is a very expensive option vs. simply deploying a SLES server…even virtualized….to get a mobility solution in place.

        Please know that the SLES server license is included. So this is the most cost-effective and simplest approach to providing a solution.

        Dean

    • By:MikaA

      Our plan has been to support Data Synchronizer on more platforms…including Windows. The reality is that the demand for other capabilities and functionality has continued to adjust the priority of this requirement.

      This support continues to be on our roadmap and we certainly intend to provide a solution on Windows Server. However, this work is not currently scheduled for 2012.

      (Hum, I realize gabecruz meant the Windows release, oops)

      A simple solution: use SuSE Studio and create a vApplience for the handicapped. Should be a lot easier than creating and maintaining another platform? And while you’re at it, a “1-Click Update” -button would be nice (and required for the appliance).

      .mika

  4. By:sinnwellr

    While on the topic of virtual appliances, I heard via the Novell Vibe Facebook group that a Vibe appliance was in the works to do a Proof of Concept of sorts. We’d love to have this available to throw up a quick demo to rival what the Microsoft partners have been showing off to our managers recently.

    Any word on this? I’ve tried spinning up my own quicky VM a few times but always hit a snag of some sort and have to throw in the towel because it’s not on my weekly work plan to play with new fun stuff.

    Ryan Sinnwell

    • By:dlythgoe

      Yes – in the works, but no time frame just yet.

      We do have some great sales tools available with regards to Vibe and a Vibe sandbox that can be used to demo the product.

      There is a VM for Vibe today off the download page. See https://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=w-HSGBqtSmE~.

      Have anyone used this?

      Dean

    • By:Magic31

      Hi Ryan,

      You are welcome to share my setup notes that should have you running your own new shiny Vibe OnPrem server within one to two hours (SLES install included).

      The basics are still the same as those that were true for the Teaming 1 and 2 products. These days I would recommend using SLES 11 SP1 as base -preferably 64bit- and using the latest Java 1.6 JDK and getting the latest Vibe code, being 3.2 at this moment.
      MySQL will do it’s work well as DB for Vibe (have it running without a glitch on systems upto 300/400 users – no sweat).
      Using LVM for your data mount points is a good thing to do as it makes later volume expansion easier.

      With these new software versions in mind and also keeping the new product name in mind (icecore>>Vibe), the steps listed here still apply : http://diwi.nl/node/9 (Installing Novell Teaming 1.0.3 on SLES 10 SP2)
      Again ignore the versions mentioned there, plus the bits about not using MYSQL 5.1 or JVM 1.6 as it would not be supported… that is outdated information these days.

      As not to get in to much detail here… you are welcome to drop me a PM through the Novell forums if you would like more details.
      The Novell forums , Novell Vibe resource library and/or Kablink site are also good places to get more ideas and info.

      Getting your Vibe running is not such a challenge… Translating your and your organizations needs into these new type social networking systems is where a greater challenge lies. Fun none the less! And much easier and faster to setup compared to trying to leverage this with Sharepoint or other products.
      The Office Add-in is a *great* addition as also the apps that are available for the iPhone/iPad and Android smartphones and tablets.

      Have not looked at the virtual appliance version yet… but any way you do it, it’s a *great* product!

      Cheers,
      Willem

  5. By:aprevete

    I can’t seem to find any info on editing word docs on an iphone through Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks

    • By:dlythgoe

      Are you searching for a solution that allows you to ‘open’ an attachment, make changes and then automatically send the attachment back to the original distribution list?

      Currently, that can only be done manually. Meaning…you must have an application installed on the iPhone that allows you to edit/save Word docs and then you would have to manually attach that document to a new email you create on the device.

      Did I answer your question???

      Dean

      • By:aprevete

        Thanks Dean. That’s what I thought. I was just hoping that there would be a built in editor similiar to the way notifylink handles it. Thanks again.

  6. By:WalterH

    Dean,

    you stated: “Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack 1.2.1 will also release ‘FCS’ this week.”
    This was last week but I did not find the update!

    Any ideas where I get the update?

    Walter

    • By:dlythgoe

      Walter,

      This released in December :) Mobility Pack 1.2.1 is available and has been available for several weeks.

      Even more – we are about to release Mobility Pack 1.2.2 – which is scheduled for this week, the week of Feb 27th – I suspect it will be available before Friday.

      As always, there are a couple of ways to get this update and ANY mobility update. See this blog post for the specifics on how/where to download the Mobility patches.

      https://www.novell.com/communities/node/12508/groupwise-novell-data-synchronizer-mobility-pack-update-3

      At this point, I suggest waiting for us to post 1.2.2 this week and download and install that one.

      Hope that helps!

      Dean

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