We’re happy to announce that Vibe OnPrem 3.1 has now launched. Version 3 was a significant improvement over previous releases of Novell Teaming. (In case you didn’t know, Novell Teaming was rebranded to Novell Vibe OnPrem late last year.) The Version 3 release introduced great new capabilities around document management, branding, landing pages, profiles, wikis, integrations with Novell Messenger and a modern new interface that is helping organizations and users adopt the solution much more effectively.
Our team is keeping up the pace with Version 3.1. This release focuses on key areas of feedback from customers and partners and adds or improves significantly to many capabilities people have been giving us feedback on. From a high level, here are the top areas of focus for this new release:
- Vibe OnPrem Connector to enable calendar and task sync with GroupWise
- Task management improvements
- What’s New improvements
- Landing Page improvements
- Key features for customers migrating from Forum
- Searching improvements
- Bug fixes
GroupWise Calendar and Task Sync
Calendar and Task synchronization between Vibe OnPrem and GroupWise has been one of the top integration requests for some time. Leveraging Novell Data Synchronizer, this new connector will initially sync calendars and tasks from Vibe OnPrem to GroupWise. In preparation for this release we made “Technical Previews” publicly available on the Data Synchronizer Marketplace at www.novell.com/marketplace. We’ll continue to update the connector to provide more functionality. The next step after release will be synchronizing calendars and tasks from GW to Vibe OnPrem and then bi-directional synchronization.
Task Management Improvements
Many organizations are using Teaming and Vibe OnPrem for Project Collaboration. As a result, we have put significant focus on improving the task management capabilities and user experience. With this Evergreen release, the task folder has a great new look and lots of new capabilities. (See Figure 1 for the new look of the task folder.)
Some of the new capabilities include:
- Task ordering
- Completed time stamp
- Improvements to task capabilities in the mobile UI
- More interactive actions for adding additional tasks in a list
- Changing Priority, Status and Progress in the list view
- Auto-date calculation.
We’ve also introduced a new folder-search feature that enables quick search of task names, and gets us ready for some powerful new filtering and search capabilities we have planned after Evergreen.
With these new features, teams will be able to significantly improve productivity with simple but powerful task management. We are not done yet and will be adding more capabilities very quickly – like a simple gantt chart, distributed tasks, task-list printing and more. We are not trying to be a full-featured project management tool, but the capabilities we are adding, we’ve found, are what most organizations need. We’ve tried to make task management powerful yet simple and still able to leverage all the collaborative and automation features that Vibe OnPrem has to offer.
What’s New Improvements
When we released version 3, we introduced the What’s New feature. This allows users to quickly get an current view of the updates in the system they have access to. Similar to the Facebook wall, it quickly became an effective tool to draw users into the system and encourage them to contribute. The What’s New view is available for any folder or workspace, your teams, your favorites, followed people and places as well as site-wide.
For Evergreen we’ve made some slight changes to the look based on user feedback and made the list more interactive. Each entry on the list now has a set of actions each user can do. These actions are based on a user’s access rights and include:
- Mark Read [toggle for Unread].
You can now also view the list based on what is read and all entries. Similar to some of the new actions we’ve introduced in the folder view, these actions can be done directly from the What’s New vie, making it much more effective. See Figure 2 for some of the UI improvements, mouse over actions and the reply in place.
Landing Page Improvements
Over the last 18 months we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of customers that want to use Teaming/Vibe OnPrem as an organizational intranet. In each release we have added more capabilities in this area. In Version 3.1 we have added drag and drop editing, an HTML widget, iFrame widget, ability to display calendars, tasks and surveys and several other entry display options. The capabilities all make Landing Pages more powerful and flexible. If you have already spent some time creating your own Landing Pages, the changes are all backwards compatible. We have just provided many more options.
Key features for customers migrating from Forum
We still have some customers using the Sitescape Forum product so part of Evergreen is to add some capabilities specifically for that customer group. Most of these new features will also be of benefit to Vibe OnPrem customers. The quick list is:
- Folder Views: Ability to now modify column captions and order them.
- Workflow Transitions: Two classes of manual transitions and on response when everyone replies.
- Notifications: Ability to embed field values in notification title or body. Ability to send notification to any field.
- Disable/retire users
- Individual forum/folder notification schedule
- Access through multiple domains
- Quota on folders and workspaces
Another area of improvement is in our searching. The search engine and index are key components of Vibe OnPrem and how it performs. We are constantly looking at new ways to improve and optimize the system performance. Not only have we addressed some issues to improve performance but we have also added new capabilities like basic stemming support, better handling of punctuation characters, stop-word filtering and improved search matching with acute characters.
As with other releases, Version 3.1 addresses a lot of quality improvement feedback, and solves hundreds of bugs. Version 3.1 is a simple upgrade for most customers from Vibe OnPrem 3. If you have previous versions of Novell Teaming, it is necessary to get to Vibe OnPrem 3 first before upgrading to 3.1.
As you can see, we’ve been very busy. We’re focused on addressing the feedback we’ve gotten from our customers and partners.
We have several resources that can provide you with a lot of benefits and information.
- Vibe Resource Library: http://www.novell.com/products/vibe-onprem/resource-library/. With updates nearly weekly, this is a great resource for sample forms, worksflows and workspaces, technical and how to articles, the latest success stories, use cases and soon many new self-help videos.
- Virtual Sandbox: http://tryvibe.novell.com/. This is a demonstration Vibe OnPrem site where many of the samples are accessible and functioning without having to install anything. You can also easily login using your novell.com login ID and get your own personal workspace to experiment with. As a side note, we used this site to completely manage our beta for Evergreen. Turns out Vibe OnPrem is also a great collaboration tool to manage beta projects too.