“The window is open, so's that door...wow am I so ready for this change”. I think we all are ready for a weather change for sure and most importantly a GroupWise change. Enter GroupWise 2014 and more specifically, the GroupWise Administration Console (GAC). As you may recall from the first article on the GroupWise Administration Console, we covered the look/feel and the System settings. This time, I will tackle the rest of the GAC. Let's get started!
In the interface for the GAC, down the left side are the various items to administer in GroupWise. The items we will cover in this article are:
Post Office Agents
Message Transfer Agents
Along the way, we will cover Client Options and Maintenance as well, which are tightly integrated into the aforementioned items.
When Domains is selected on the left, on the right a list of domains is presented. In this screen new domains can be created, column attributes can be customized to display information and all of this list can be exported easily. This format is the same throughout the areas we will cover in this article. Its in this list administrators can select, with a single left-mouse click, a domain to view its properties.
In the properties of the domain are located items that exist within that domain. There are four tabs to configure the domain properties: General, Objects, Address Book and Internet Addressing. Of these four, “Objects” presents all items, like post offices, users within the domain selected. The other three tabs present much of the same information we know in the domain properties.
At the top of the Domain properties page are four button/drop downs. They are:
Maintenance: This allows for validate, recover, rebuild, reclaim unused space and rebuild indexes. Note there is not a Promote Primary. These are done from the command line utility: gwadminutil.
Client Options: As in the past, this allows for management of the client options at the domain level.
More: This drop down offers Delete, Directory Associations, Publish Email and Replicate. Replicate is like 'sync' in that it replicates a highlight object across the GroupWise System.
Diagnostics: This drop down presents Information about objects in the domain. And it presents Display Object which is the records of the domain.
Down the lefthand side of the Domain's properties Objects tab are the list of items that may be in the domain as well as attributes of the domain such as Addressing Rules or User Move Status. Notable selections here are:
Administrators: A place to add, create, remove domain administrators.
Post Office Links: This provides a list of post offices within the domain. The columns present attributes of the post office and can be customized. Pick a post office in this list and it will take you to the link configuration for that post office.
Finally, there are a Save and Close on both the upper right and lower left of the Domain Objects page. Once a change is made, select Save and it is written. Selecting Close directs back to the list of domains.
When Post Offices is selected on the left, on the right a list of post offices are presented. In this screen new post offices can be created, column attributes can be customized to display information and all of this list can be exported easily. This format is the same throughout the areas we will cover in this article. Its in this list administrators can select, with a single left-mouse click, a post office to view its properties.
In the properties of the post office are located items that exist within that post office. There are six tabs to configure the post office properties: General, Objects, Settings, Client Settings, Security and Internet Addressing. Of these six, “Objects” presents all items, like users and groups within the post office selected. The other five tabs present much of the same information we know in the post office properties.
At the top of the Post Office properties page are four button/drop downs. They are:
Maintenance: This provides Post Office Database and Mailbox/Library Maintenance.
Client Options: As in the past, this allows for management of the client options at the post office level.
More: This drop down offers Client Auto-Update, Delete, Directory Associations, Publish Email, Replicate and Timestamp. Timestamp provides a backup or restore timestamp in a users database.
Diagnostics: This drop down presents Information about objects in the post office. And it presents Display Object which is the records of the post office.
Down the lefthand side of the Post Office's properties Objects tab are the list of items that may be in the post office as well as attributes of the post office such as Expired Records or User Move Status. Notable selections here are:
Administrators: A place to add, create, remove domain administrators.
Expired Records: This provides a list of users in the post office with an expire date set.
Finally, there are a Save and Close on both the upper right and lower left of the Post Office Objects page. Once a change is made, select Save and it is written. Selecting Close directs back to the list of Post Office's.
At this point, you have the idea of the flow for the GAC. Let's speed it up a bit in the next sections by covering multiple topics. In this section, we will cover the MTA and POA objects and their layout along with new features.
When MTA/POA is selected on the left, on the right a list of MTA/POA are presented. In this screen new MTA/POA can be created or deleted, column attributes can be customized to display information and all of this list can be exported easily. Its in this list administrators can select, with a single left-mouse click, a MTA/POA to view its properties.
When viewing the properties of the MTA/POA there are 6 tabs for MTA's and 8 tabs for POA's. Of these tabs the most notable are:
General: This shows the usual description information and routing. But what is awesome is the two other new features for both the MTA and POA.
Launch MTA/POA Console: As it states, here the HTTP console can be launched/viewed. This beats having a bookmark or having to type to get to the console.
Start/Stop Agent: Yes! In the GAC, stopping and starting the agent can be done. This awesome features means no going to the server or server console.
Document Viewer Agent: This is exclusively in the POA. The Document Viewer Agent converts attachments into HTML for WebAccess display and indexing. Generally there is one DVA per post office. However, its possible to have multiple DVA's per post office in order to scale WebAccess as needed.
Moving along to Users and Groups, most of the interface is the same style as the objects previously listed. Again, on the main screen you can create New, Delete, Move, Move Status, Export as well as search for a user name and change the display columns.
Note: Technically speaking 'users' should be 'mailbox' to match up with the new change in licensing.
A single left-mouse click on any user or group opens the properties of them respectively. In the User properties, the Object tab holds the most interesting and new features. Here you will find:
Administrator: Here a user can become a System, Domain or Post Office Administrator using the Add drop down. Also there is a Remove feature to take away the various Administrator function.
Group Administration: A user can be added as a group's membership administrator. This new feature allows these users to manage the group using the GroupWise Client. This feature is directly related to the Group's Access Control feature.
Now as you recall from my previous article, I talked about the three license types: Full, Limited and Inactive. Inactive is the newest of these to GroupWise 2014. This type can be set in the User Properties page under the Account tab. Here there is a check box called: Force Inactive Status. Once checked, the mailbox is considered Inactive. However, for licensing, it will need to be set this way for 60 days before its 'official'.
Note: Here is a tip for you. Before upgrading to GroupWise 2014 use NetMail Archive to pull out all your inactive GroupWise accounts. This will save on the licensing costs. It reduces the disk space usage and cleans up the GroupWise system in advance. The special edition NetMail Archive is FREE! Go to: http://www.netmail.com/netmail-archive-groupwise-2014 for more details.
The often unused feature in Groups is the Access Control tab. Here I will reintroduce it. The Access Control tab provides two properties:
People who can send to this group: The group is just a usual group until you add mailboxes to this property. Then it becomes a “Closed” group. A closed group is one where only those in this property are allowed to send to the group. Example: Executives Group has all the members of Executive team in the membership list. Any user in the GroupWise system can send to this group. However, add all the executives to this property and just like magic, ONLY the executives can send to it. This is one of those long thought about features that finally made it to GroupWise.
People who can modify this group: This property of a group allows those added to it to be able to modify the group membership using the GroupWise Client. This takes the burden of group membership off the back of the administrator. Also, a feature much desired but long in the delivery.
Whoa! I don't know about you but that was a long article. Consider that I only covered some of the new features and some of the look/feel of the new interface. There is a lot more within the GAC to explore, I just wanted to touch on the items I considered 'hot'. Hopefully, this article along with its predecessor have given you a good first look at the new GroupWise Admin Console. I am sure once you get your GroupWise system upgraded to 2014 and are running the GAC, you too will be singing “For the First time in forever”. Until then, enjoy.
In celebration of the future release, I am going to make an offer. I will install a test GroupWise 2014 system in your non-production environment and then provide training on the new GroupWise Administration Console and the gwadminutil command line tool. All done remotely.
Here is what I will do:
Install 1 SLES11sp3 server in a VM and configure.
Install Secondary IP's on the one SLES server
Install a new test only GroupWise 2014 system including:
1 Post Office
Install the GroupWise Administration Console
Train on both the GroupWise Administration Console and gwadminutil command line tool
All of this for just: $500
Email me and say: "YES I want a test GroupWise 2014 system". Provide your contact information and we will get it scheduled.