Cool Solutions

Who’s waiting on a new GW Exchange gateway?


April 11, 2006 10:24 am





Over the last few months we have been working hard on our two gateways for third party connectivity – Notes and Exchange. In addition we have been working on the Async gateway. I am fairly excited about this as it is the first time in my Novell memory where we have had so much emphasis on them. Of course, I am sure that I have Alzheimers at times, so it may not actually be the first time it’s happened.
We released the Notes and Async gateways a while back on our FTF site as betas and we have been trying to get the Exchange gateway out of the door ever since. This required a lot more work than the other two, but we are almost there – hopefully this week it will appear on the same FTF page. It will support GW6.5 and 7, connecting to Exchange 5.5, 2000 and 2003.

Talking about gateways normally prompts questions about the ever popular API gateway and when it’s going to get updated – sadly there are no plans on the horizon to update the API gateway. On a positive note, SOAP is a pretty powerful API interface and is platform independant – this is where we except most people to be developing to nowadays.

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  1. By:Flyingguy


    Really guys Platform indipendance has really NOTHING to do with this. XML is good for some things, but having two craft upwards of 150 lines of XML to _just_ check to see if there are messages is just for the birds, and for that matter so is OLE. Immagine as a 3rd party developer, the 1000’s of lines of XML you will have to construct to build a tool, it just boggles the mind.

    Give you an example… Today, right now, I have a client that gets lots of e-mails from the same source daily, each one contains and automaticaly generated text based report in the form of an attachment. The person getting these e-mails would like to simply have a function to save those attachments to a folder, on the server, as they come in, rather then having to open EACH e-mail, right click, save as, pick a directory, etc. etc. I would love to write them a tool to do that, but how would I? The object API would work, how the heck am I gonna do that via SOAP?

    The decision that was made to use OLE in the GW API was just bad, so bad in fact that you guys abandoned using it yourselves, and went back to the old school method of just calling functions from a DLL. These same functions are in the linux version as well except they are called Libraries instead of DLL’s.

    Again X-Platform compilers work. Build the thing correctly the first time and then X-Compile things to a carefully crafted API for accessing the GW message store by 3rd party tools, and be done with it.

  2. By:Marcus

    Please, please can I have a shiny new Exchange/Gw gateway. I’m currently testing the ftf from last year (I think it was supposed to be service pack3).

    As I’m supposed to be rolling this out next month, please can I have something soon.


  3. By:Alex Evans

    Marcus: It really is on it’s way. We had a build issue on Monday, which is what I would have released today, and we think we have got that sorted. All being well this will be released on Friday this week, or Monday next week.

    Flyingguy: The truth of the matter is that the OAPI just doesn’t cut it nowadays. It is a single threaded process and doesn’t scale well – though it is perfect for the example you gave, it is a real bottleneck for the likes of RIM with their BES.
    The simple fact is that since the launch of the SOAP interface we have more third parties interested in interfacing with us than ever before, and has opened the doors for Evolution integration and our Mobile Server release (and BES will run against SOAP shortly).

    Oh, and yes, much of the decision making process was around having a platform independant interface that scaled – this solution (and forgive as I am no developer) means that the GroupWise native engine need not be installed on the device accessing the server, unlike any other API interface.

  4. By:Marcus


    Thanks for update. Am looking forward to it

    have fun

  5. By:Flyingguy


    Of course the object API does not work for RIM, but its mostly because you guys crippled it from the get-go by doing OLE instead of simplt a well crafted API with well defined calls into the DLL’s of the engine.

    Just look at the expirience of Nexic and a few others who tried to write transports for GW, nothing but missery. But lets think about from a more global POV.

    People need to access the GWMS (GW MEssage Store) in a variety of ways to do a vareity of tasks and the vast majority of them can be handled by rules. My example is just one of many things that would make GW more acceptable.

    If you want to make this accessing the GWMS universal, then build an SQL sytle interface, and if you want it FAST build it like oracle builds OCI.

    Is the SOAP interface going to cripple a device that for some reason cannot get to the XML store at Novell? Whats happens then, is it going to break because the cached XML schema is out of sync with the latest version?

    What about the ratio of XML definition data to actualy data in the data stream, from what I have seen of some of the samples, its something like 100 to 1! For every one byte of actual GWMS data there is 100 bytes of XML flying down the pipe.

    The SQL style of doing things has its own overhead load, but you define the data schmea once and after that its just data on succesive calls, in a particualr order thats fits quite nicely into the schema you fetched only once.

    Think about this guys.

  6. By:Flyingguy

    So much for SOAP & Evolution!

    It’s more like De-Evolution!!!!!

    So my pretty new SUSE 10 (retail) install on my Laptop, I thought I would give it a try. So I pointed Evolution at my apsnking new GW7 Post Office with its SOAPy little self all ready to go.

    1st Try, Hmmmm yacks SOAP for a bout 30 minutes, and eventual goes to sleep.

    2nd Try.. Yacks SOAP for about 30 Seconds and says its all done! Well except for the folders, The Sytems Address Book, Sent item’s, and pretty much nothing else.

    3rd Try… And hey Guess what, a Linux eqivilent to a PMV! Hawt Dawg!

    Now I try to start it ( had the misfortune of setting to fetch on start ) and it just PMV’s.

    So I wonder whats causing it to pop a hairball?

    Again, SOAP may be a neet -n- cool technology that some nitwit with more time on his hands then he shoulda had came up with, but its just Yet Another DUMB interface built by someone who wants to change the world with his dumb, hierarchical code.

    USE an SQL Syle interface. The parsers all all over the place, they are seasoned and work just fine.

    Select,, folder.key from from gw.account.folders where gw.account.ID = ‘fred’

    And so forth and so on….

    But hey what do *I* know!

  7. By:David

    “hopefully this week it will appear on the same FTF page”

    It’s been 5 weeks, any update?

  8. By:Alex Evans

    Yeah, check out my other posts with a link to the gateway, or go to the FTF page in this post and you will see the new version. It’s been out there for a couple of weeks

  9. By:David

    Mud on my face… I promise I looked before I posted, but I didn’t see it.