GroupWise: Share a Folder; Share a Folder Tree

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over 10 years ago
Sharing an entire folder tree made easy! GroupWise Ascot!

Sharing a single folder in GroupWise has always been fairly easy and straight forward. You simple right-click on the folder you want to share, choose ‘Sharing’ from the menu and follow the simple wizard. You can easily assign rights to the folder so that recipients of the folder can easily add/edit/delete the contents of the folder. You choose the users or even a group of users and each person can be assigned individual rights and access. Sharing a folder has been a feature of GroupWise for a long long time.

However, many of our users have requested the ability to not simply share a single folder, but to share an entire folder tree. Meaning that if you have a folder and it contains sub-folders (which in turn, could also have sub-folders), the process to ‘share’ each and every folder to the same group of individuals with the same exact rights for each user and each folder, was tedious and somewhat cumbersome.

Introducing GroupWise Ascot – with ‘Shared Folder Trees’! Now if you have a set of folders you want to share to all of the same people with all of the same rights – you can simply nest those folders together in a folder tree and then ‘Share’ the outermost folder and all of the sub-folders – no matter how deep the folder tree is – will all be shared to all recipients with the exact same access rights as defined for the outer most tree. Cool huh?

Note: There is a small checkbox on the first screen of the Share wizard that allows you to optionally share just the folder or share all sub-folders as well.

If you drag and drop (or move) a folder into the folder tree, it will automatically be shared with the same rights. If you drag and drop or move a folder from the ‘Shared Tree’, the shared will be revoked and all rights and shares will be removed. This feature is backward compatible such that if one user has the GroupWise Ascot Windows Client and they share a folder tree, the recipients on older clients will still have the entire folder tree shared with them.

Once you share the Folder Tree – it now acts as a single unit…meaning that all rights, shares, access are now controlled by the outermost folder. You can not individually make exceptions for any of the nested folders. If you right-click on a sub-folder that has been included in a folder tree share, you will get a ‘read-only’ dialog that only lets you see the ‘Share list’ and the rights for each user.

As I spoke with the engineer, Kent, who implemented this feature he shared with me some of the details involved in making sure this feature is backward compatible.

for example...

1) Underneath we actually do a share of each folder in the tree. So if you are using Ascot and you share a folder tree with users with older clients and agents, they will see and be able to accept (or decline) individual shared folder requests for each folder. Of course, as already mentioned, other Ascot users will see a collapsed single share and be able to operate on the entire tree.

2) Recipients are still allowed to name their shared folder references anything that they wish and place them anywhere that they wish. This is nice functionality to keep, but the cost is that the changes that the owner makes after the initial share are ignored in favor of what the recipient has. In other words, the original tree share will be a single accept by the recipient, who can place the entire tree anywhere they want.

This means that folders added to the share by the owner will auto-accept into the recipients tree. But changes by the owner to the placement and name of existing folders in the tree will not be pushed to the recipient and will not override what the recipient has chosen to do with their reference folders after they have accepted them. Nor are the changes made by recipients to the names and placements of the folders pushed back to the owner.

This results in giving the recipient the control to organize as they see fit, but at the cost of the tree being kept in "full structural sync"

Let us know if you have questions or if you want to know specifically how this feature will work in a particular situation within your organization.

Ascot is coming!!

Dean

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Anonymous
  • Eric,

    I agree completely....

    The notion that browsers need to enhance their support further for these drag-drop use cases is certainly true.

    Things are getting better with browsers and hopefully we can address some of these use-cases in our next release. These areas of usability and productivity will be a major focus of our WebAccess efforts going forward. We all wish it was quicker....

    We are working on that...

    Dean
  • Dean,

    I think a significant impediment to a business use of GroupWise, whether the client or WebAccess is the inability to drag and drop an email, including attachments, either into a folder or an application, such as a CRM app or Teaming/Vibe. I don't know if there is currently any web-based email system that can do that, but if web-based email is the way to go in the future, then it needs to have that capability. The Outlook client can do this, but it is saved as a .msg file not .eml or something (pdf?) more widely compatible. Any thoughts on this?

    Eric
  • We have made several public statements about our direction with the Mac Client in Ascot. This includes the Linux Client.

    See this blog post from April of last year: www.novell.com/.../groupwise-ascot-details

    "- Linux and Mac Client will not be enhanced. We will focus our efforts on providing full feature functionality and rich experience on all platforms through WebAccess."

    There is also a fairly healthy discussion in the blog comments.

    In addition, we have also been openly talking about this direction at all major events and conferences including BrainShare (US/EMEA), GWAVACon and Open Horizon's events over the last year.

    We are enhancing the Web Experience both in the browser as well as support for Mobile Devices and tablet devices - specifically the iPad through the Data Sync technology as well as new Web Templates especially built for tablets. Major new features are planned for the Ascot version of WebAccess and more accelerated features are planned in Windermere.

    The good news we hope our customers are hearing and want is that users will have the same experience on all platforms, lower training costs, easier deployment and updates, access to new features quicker and access anywhere at any time.

    We also hope that the interface and experience will be fresher, more user friendly and easier to learn with fewer options and setup. This should translate to fewer help desk calls, less administrator involvement and higher end-user satisfaction.

    I realize that I am describing the most ideal scenario, but we are certainly seeing advantages to this type of strategy and vision from several web-only email providers. In fact, for every request we receive to provide a native platform solution, we receive 50 requests to provide a better web experience. The browser seems to be where some percentage of our user base is spending the majority of their time and where they expect to find all of their applications.

    Of course, not all will agree with this strategy and we 'may' find that this is not working for all of our users/customers. It i, however, what we are planning on doing for Ascot.

    Hope that gives some background.

    Dean





  • Dean, Can you comment on the direction for GroupWise clients for Mac users?

    I'm abit concerned as TID 7008210 (dated 3/25/2011) states "the GroupWise Client for the MAC is no longer being developed. Please plan accordingly."

    How should we plan?

    What good news should I give to my Mac users?

    thanks
  • Dean,

    Sure this was on this list to do for Ascot, pity it didn't make it. Problem is that there a lot of existing environments what already have shared folders. I know the best practice is to do things from a resource but end users don't and there's no way to block them creating shared folders from their GW client (afaik).

    Regards, Sebas
  • Great question...

    We have not addressed this functionality yet in the product. Another customer also sent me this same question on our GroupWise FaceBook site. I guess I should have just pushed the answer here too :)

    A work around suggested by another customer was to create a 'Resource' mailbox and share the folder from that mailbox to all of the users. In that way, the mailbox essentially 'never' goes away and you do not have to deal with the fact of the 'Owner' of the Shared Folder or Shared Folder Tree leaving the company.

    Interesting idea....

    Let me know if that is something you think would work in your organization?

    Dean
  • Andreas,

    Sorry - that functionality is not part of Ascot. Managing functionality by dist-list and maintaining the feature/functionality through changing membership of a dist-list is on our roadmap for several features. However, not for Ascot.

    Dean
  • Great question!

    Pre-Ascot clients will receive multiple messages that need accepting....However, as long as the POA is new (Ascot), accepting any one of them accepts the whole tree and the other notifications will disappear.

    The only time where the end-user has to accept all of them individually is when there is a pre-Ascot client on a pre-Ascot POA.

    Dean

  • Great feature finally put in-place.

    But what you do with the problem to changing owner of the share folder when a owner is gone (leave the compagny)?
  • Any way to populate a shared folder in GW with members from a group(eDir) or dist.list in GW and also keep it in sync ?

    Andreas
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