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If you've been keeping up on Novell news, you know that GroupWise 8 is now available, and it's worth the upgrade! eWeek.com recently highlighted the new release as one of its 2009 Products to Watch, noting its multi-platform support, user-customizable dashboards, and integration of e-mail, calendaring, contacts and task management with Web 2.0 collaboration tools to enhance user productivity. While the new installation program makes it easy to upgrade existing systems, you might want to bookmark the following tips from the Novell team that recently finished migrating its own 4,100 worldwide users.


Cheat Number 1: Always update your primary domain first. This may seem obvious, but as the main administrative unit for the GroupWise system, the primary domain logically organizes all system post offices for addressing and routing purposes. And its database handles eDirectory user synchronization for the entire system. All updates must begin here.

Begin your update process by backing up the primary domain database. Next, run the GroupWise installation program and follow the prompts through the agent update. If installing on NetWare or Linux, the agents can remain running while the update is installed, but when updating a Windows system, the agents need to be shutdown first.

When the install has completed, restart the message transfer agent (MTA), which will use the newly installed data dictionary files to restructure the primary domain database. When the primary domain recovers, you can proceed with updating post offices under the primary domain or begin updating secondary domains. Note: You must update a post office's own domain before the post office itself.

When a post office is updated and its post office agent (POA) is restarted, the agent will use the new post office dictionary files to update the post office database. Like the domain, a post office update is not complete until you update the database and have completed the recovery process. Remember that users cannot access the post office while the POA is shut down.

When updating GroupWise on a Windows platform, take the POA down during a new code installation. The agent need not remain down, however, on any platform while the post office database recovers. Existing GroupWise clients can still access their accounts during this process, but you must complete the recovery before any GroupWise 8 clients can connect.


Cheat Number 2: Don't sweat the Internet Agent update. Your existing GroupWise Internet Agent (GWIA) from GroupWise versions 5.x, 6.x and 7 will run successfully against a GroupWise 8 domain and post office. This means that you can continue to use it until all domains and post offices have been updated to version 8.

You can also update your GWIA to GroupWise 8 before the rest of the system as long as you don't use POP/IMAP to access mailboxes through the GWIA. If you do use POP/IMAP through the GWIA, you'll need to update all post offices first, as the agent in version 8 cannot talk to post offices in earlier releases.


Cheat Number 3: Synchronize your domain, post office and WebAccess updates. Like the GWIA, the GroupWise 8 WebAccess

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Agent can't access earlier domains and post offices, and existing agents older than version 5.5 SP3 won't be able to access GroupWise 8 domains and post offices. In order to preserve WebAccess service while you update your system, keep the current version of WebAccess running until all post offices have been updated. If your domain and WebAccess services are on the same server, which is the recommended configuration, update the domain first. When the database recovery is complete, update the WebAccess Agent and Application.

You must update the WebAccess Application and Agent at the same time when starting with GroupWise 8. With previous GroupWise releases you could successfully run different versions of the WebAccess Agent and Application together, such as running a new version of the WebAccess Application on your Web server with the previous version of the WebAccess Agent for the domain.

In GroupWise 8, the recommended procedure is to first update all WebAccess Agents in your system, then immediately update all WebAccess Applications. Long-term use of the mixed-version configuration is not supported and can result in time zone problems. Update both the WebAccess Agent and the WebAccess Application to the same version to ensure proper functioning of GroupWise 8 WebAccess.

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