Mac & Linux On the Horizon For GroupWise

Within the next couple of years, Novell hopes to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of its GroupWise, while providing greater scalability and
security. Over the nearer term, Novell is now working with partners to
spur Macintosh, Linux and RIM Blackberry applications for the integrated
collaborate environment (ICE), which competes against Microsoft Exchange
and Lotus Notes, according to Howard Tayler, Novell’s GroupWise product
manager.

In a recent WebCast, Tayler demo’d some of the features in the
upcoming GroupWise 6.5, while also delivering a general roadmap of what
to expect in future releases, including products currently codenamed
Aspen and Sequoia.

Formerly codenamed Hawthorne, GroupWise 6.5 is now in public beta,
with shipment slated for February of 2003. On the administrative side,
key enhancements will include access to message queues, as well as
first-time support for “trusted applications.”

If designated as “trusted” by the systems administrator,
applications will receive server-side access to the message store.
Tayler cited spam control and legal discovery tools as two types of
applications likely to land in the first crop of “trusted” apps.

Novell expects to release an updated plug-in to Microsoft Outlook
next year. In 6.5, Novell is also providing access to IMAP 4 at the POA,
enabling native access – without plug-ins – from clients that include
Outlook, Eudora, and Pine, a Unix mailer.

Furthermore, a more “open interface” will encourage development of
third party Mac, Linux, and RIM apps, Tayler maintained during the
Webcast, sponsored by IntelliReach. In the Mac space, Tayler pointed to
application allies such as NovellIX and Emailandmore. In the RIM arena,
GroupWise partners already announced include Consilient, Jarna, Notify,
and Motient.

It’s also “highly likely” that Novell will support IMAP extensions
in the GroupWise 6.5 SDK, according to Tayler. The IMAP extensions would
enable IMAP access to GroupWise-specific features, as opposed to
IMAP-only features. Examples of these GroupWise-specific features
include full status tracking, and the ability to link an item to two
different folders. “We’ll be talking more about the SDK in mid- to late
January,” he said during a follow-up interview.

Meanwhile, Novell will definitely include support for CAP in
GroupWise 6.5 SP1. “CAP is still an unspecified spec. The support we
include will be ‘per the spec’ – whatever that is — at the time when
SP1 ships.”

“We’ve literally had partners coming out of the woodwork over the
past six months,” Tayler claimed during the Webcast. More than 20
GroupWise partners will exhibit their wares at Novell BrainShare 2003,
up from only nine GroupWise partners at BrainShare 2002.

Also in 6.5, administrators will be able to use the Groupwise
Internet Agent to subscribe to black lists. On the GroupWise client
side, major improvements include checklist folders and views; contact
management; and “aggressive end-user junk mail control.”

Instant messaging (IM), another feature new in 6.5, will be added to
the public beta “probably in December or January.” Novell still needs to
“iron out a couple of kinks,” he conceded. Novell’s first iteration of IM is “corporate.” but the company does
“have things in the works” for connectivity to public IM environments
such as AOL and ICQ.

In a demo during the Webcast, Tayler displayed some of the current
functionality of the 6.5 client, now available as a free download from
Novell’s Web site.

For example, Tayler showed how individual end users will be able to
control spam by setting filters for both a “block list” and a “junk
list,” if permitted by the administrator.

Mail on the block list will never make its way to the end user,
Tayler said. On the other hand, mail on the junk list comes through, but
is temporarily set aside, to be handled on an item-by-item basis.

Users will also be able to configure the client so that all
addresses not in the Personal Address Book – or that haven’t been added
to a “trust list” – will automatically go to “junk”

Also during the Webcast, Tayler voiced some choice words about IBM
and Microsoft. “Some of you may wonder why Novell has two e-mail
products,” he admitted. Those two products are GroupWise, for
“enterprise collaboration,” and NetMail, for the ISP/EDU (education)
market.

“There are two markets. Whether they grow together, or grow apart,
we can address their needs properly,” according to Tayler. “We don’t
want to lock you into a monolithic solution.”

Like Novell, IBM recognizes the existence of both markets, he
contended. In the ISP/EDU space, however, IBM has chosen to “make money off its hardware,” leaving the software solution to its partner
SendMail.

At the same time, Microsoft is “threatened by what’s happening in
e-mail,” Tayler charged. After trying to market Hotmail alongside
Exchange, Microsoft has now decided, “‘Let’s make everyone think they
need Exchange (and Windows and .NET).'”

“This allows us to position our strength against (Microsoft’s)
weakness,” according to Tayler.

In Novell’s future roadmap, GroupWise 6.51 is targeted for mid-2003.
6.51 will then be followed by the release codenamed Sequoia in early
2004, and by the release codenamed Aspen in late 2004.

According to Tayler, feedback from customers shows that many users
see no common theme to the codenames. People tend to think of
“Hawthorne” as the name of an author, Sequoia as a “Toyota truck,” and
Aspen as a ski resort.

Tayler, though, chose these codenames after being challenged by
engineering to come up with names that have “something in common.”

He joked: “There’s your trivia on where codenames come from. (They
come from) bets between engineering and product marketing.”

Also during the Webcast, which was produced by PlaceWare, Novell
conducted several live polls among participants. About 67 percent of
all respondents said they’re running GroupWise with only one
administrator. Another 20 percent are relying on two administrators.
Meanwhile, 80 percent of the respondents said they’re running GroupWise
on networks of 100 or more users.

In future GroupWise releases, Novell will add even more “scalability
and security,” while lowering TCO, Tayler pledged.


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Jacqueline Emigh

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