GroupWise Mobility Update

GroupWise Mobility Update

As you can imagine I am getting daily emails about the status of our GMS replacement. In my last blog on the subject I stated that we would probably be shipping that product this month. Since that time and, as is often the case with software projects, things have not run entirely to plan. We had already put the product through our superlab for scalability testing, and refactored some of the code in response. We also had some additional work to do to change the underlying database that we using. So far everything looked good in our lab - we were getting good throughput (1000 users/devices in the test environment) and stability was good.

Then we got to the internal rollout. This is where we hit some problems - lab data and real life data are two very different things. Some users would sync with no issue at all, and some users could not get even the first item to sync. Product stability took a hammering too. Our engineering teams have been working through the issues and are making good progress, to the point where we are now syncing what seemed to be our most problematic mailboxes. In that process we have seemingly hit the item limit of an iPhone (9,999 emails), and we have Palm, Windows Mobile, Nokia and Android devices working against the server too.

In response to some of the early testing that we, and others have done, we have made a fairly major product change. We have consolidated our platform support matrix down to a single configuration. That supported configuration is 64bit SLES 11, using the PostgreSQL database. There are a few reasons that we did this, but the one that will help our customers the most is that we are delivering it as an Add-on CD for SLES. This means that you install it much like OES, and the wizard should take care of most of the configuration for you. This should allow you to get it up and running more quickly and reliably, and will cut down on the install types of questions that our support team gets.

We also looked at delivering the product as an appliance for XEN and VMWare, however, we chose to push that deliverable off until after we ship this first version. A question to you is how many of you are ready for a virtualized appliance, what kind would you want - and just as importantly, how many of you are not ready?

After all of the work that we did over the last 2 months we put the product through our superlab again, and results are very encouraging (caveat - test environment/data only). We seemed to comfortably scale to well over 1000 users on the configuration mentioned above. We also benchmarked it against GMS on the same hardware, and performed much better, both under normal load and very heavy load. On our test harness we had 1500 users configured and syncing with no real issue (CPU util, memory consumption, Disk I/O and response times were all within acceptable limits). We will get more real world data as we roll out more broadly internally, which is the real litmus test.

Our next milestone is to deliver the connector to our current set of Gradenko customers and let them validate it. After that we will go to closed beta, and then public beta. As I mentioned on NGWList yesterday I am expecting to get to public beta or FCS within the next 3 months or so, depending on closed beta experiences.

Dean recently blogged on the devices that will be supported here.

I am sorry that we are still not able to deliver the product, but I would rather we lived through this initial pain and get it fixed, rather than deliver something of low quality to our customers
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Thanks for the update. I wanted to say that I am looking forward to the new product. GMS has been good but have customers that it would not work for. It will be nice with additional device support. I for one am ready for virtualizing it now and have been doing so with GMS for my company as well as for clients under Xen and VMware. I have had no real issues with doing so. I have only been supporting it on Sles for stability reasons. Never had it is as stable on windows. Surprise 🙂

Hope get to see it soon. Have customers who are really excited and waiting.

So in Novell speak sometime in 2011 it should be ready.
At this rate we'll be on Exchange by then.
Hi Alex,

thnx for the update, but this is a real -groupwise killer- message. A > 3 months delay is just unacceptable for our site. There are issues with mobile devices every day, and because they are not supported, we can't do anything more than swap the device, re-install the latest available Intellisync client and start over. We need a stable and supported solution for the Nokia E71/E72/E75 and we need it now. We are waiting too long now (no GW updates for a mobile platform over almost a year!)
And support for a single configuration (SLES) is also a real killer, what happened with the Windows component? Just wiped out?

As you can read, this is not the message I was waiting for. Good luck with your work, but this is so disappointing...
And to answer your question.
Yes we are virtualizing (only a small company with 7 users, but still) using vmware on MAC os X.
We use mainly MACs and recently moved from SLES/OES2 to MAC server
but Groupwise is too good to be rid of 😉
So have to have it running and on one server, so virtualisation is my only option.
Have run GMS virtually on SLES/OES with vmware for 2 years before this and was working good.

My two cents,

I'm moving towards virtualizing my entire environment, so anytime I hear of an applianced-based solution I normally ignore it as you can't virtualize a piece of hardware. But if we're talking about a soft appliance, that is great. I'm already using one soft appliance in our ESX environment: M+Guardian. In addition, the supported configuration at that point pretty much becomes irrelevant.

However, if delivering the software as regular software, it's difficult to state only the most recent Linux version is supported for this product when Novell's product lifecycle support page clearly states that the previous version is supported until 31 July 2016. That's over six years away!

I fully understand that during a major upgrade like this, that sometimes you don't have much to report on. WE STILL NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU. We have folks very tightly wound here, waiting to get the next new device sync'd up to GroupWise. Being left in the dark versus being kept in the dark, amounts to the same info.

We have a large mandate here that all new technology must be on VM, unless otherwise proven not to perform well in that environment. Should the decision internally here be made that we can't afford to go to Exchange in 2011, we will likely migrate our NetWare 6.5 servers running GroupWise 7.03 to SLES on VMs and them upgrade them to 8.01 HP1.

I do fully empathize with you and your testing efforts and wanting to be sure the product is rock solid before deployment. Maybe the question is how much of an upgrade did you try to do, with the staff that you have. Yes, making a major jump forward is crucial to staying in the game, give the faithful extra jimmies for their everyday applications. Reading the Novell Connection Magazine article about Novell Pulse ( and the interaction with Active Sync and all of the other major apps, such as GroupWise, Exchange, SharePoint and others, this sounds like a great leap forward for messaging. Hopefully this will be a large enough upgrade to get attention of some of the Microsofties, with a solid deployment.

Good luck!
64bit SLES with PostgreSQL is fine. Who needs/wants something else? 🙂

FYI, we are ready for a virtualized appliance. We will actually run it on vSphere 4 anyhow.

Side note: Performance is not our primary concern. We can quite easily provide more 'juice', but we can never fix missing/broken features/functionality.
I am expecting to get to public beta or FCS within the next 3 months or so,

Most of my customers will not wait so long, here in Austria, last year the Novell guys told all customers: at November 2009 we have a working preview!
Customer paid maintenance to get the product but Novell did not made it in time.

So most customer decided: Q1/2010 to use the Active Sync Connector or migrate to Exchange!

Btw. GMS is a pain and we have a many iPhones here!


We have consolidated our platform support matrix down to a single configuration. That supported configuration is 64bit SLES 11, using the PostgreSQL database"

That is unexpected and such will have role in decision of keeping GroupWise in our organization as many things are up in the air right now quesitoning the idea of retaining GroupWise as our email service.

As an organization that has will be shedding NetWare and moving file services to Microsoft servers, this makes a very uncomfortable situation to implement SLES since the intention was move GroupWise to Windows servers and perhaps naieve assumption that we had that the ActiveSync solution could be implemented on a windows server plateform.
So is the new Mobility version going to come with an entitlement for SLES 11 64bit well?

I'm sure I'm not the only one that's getting SLES under the OES2 entitlement.

Three months is a long time to wait as well. For us, stability/integration and device support are more important than scalability.
Thanks for the update. It's disappointing to hear that in your best case scenario Novell is going to be a full year behind all major competitors in offering ActiveSync support. You've got to know that in the tech industry you can't ignore a game-changing technology like ActiveSync that long without taking a hit. I know of no one who would buy a collaboration product today - or for that matter at any point last year - that can't support the iPhone.

Your ActiveSync strategy focused entirely on preserving existing customers. It amounted to telling them that they could get support from third parties while you took your time to develop a bloated, multi-purpose, synchronization gateway. Who thought this was a good idea for wooing new customers to GroupWise? You should have had programmers working around the clock as soon as it was apparent that the iPhone was going to be a runaway success. Your competitors did. They even managed to implement it without Novell's much-touted Microsoft partnership. (Yes, we all know about Nokia. That excuse buys you 6 months, not enough time to debunk the claims of the global warming extremists.)

Novell should stop worrying so much about preserving its existing customer base and look for ways to offer things your competitors aren't. You can start by eliminating the need and COST for third party solutions for fundamental features like anti-SPAM and anti-virus scanning. Take that consideration out of the equation like the online providers have done.

Don't sit still. If you keep going like this you won't have to worry about hearing from disgruntled customers.

limiting this product to X64 and distribute it as Add-on CD is a very very bad idea!

Most of my customer uses a XEN environment but there is no unpartitioned storage space! So it is impossible to install another virtual server only for AS! My idea was to install AS on the GMS or GW WA server - so the Add-on CD is also a problem. Installing the product on older hardware is impossible because most older hardware is only i386 capable.

We need a product that works on SLES 10 SP3 (OES2 SP2) and newer, i386 and / or x64, with standard installation procedure (no Add-on CD) and works on a already installed GMS or GroupWise server.


the new devices that won't work with GMS are growing. The new windows mobile version 7 won't help probably... (understatement) since today i've read old WM6 applications will not work on WM7... goodbye intellisync.
This annoucement could be the killer for us using Novell solutions. Mobile phone usage and sync of PIM and Email are so common in our (or any modern) company, we need an regularly updated and stable solution, which GMS is not. If it IS released within 2 months, we probably will consider using it, if later (say >6 months) it will be hard to hold back Exchange demand from the VP's... too bad.
This is so disappointing and is going to confirm Novell's death in the market. I am a huge supporter of GroupWise and other Novell products, but in the last few years they have just lost so much market share and are dying a slow death because of decisions like these. They should have years ago moved all their products to Windows including Directory Services. Because of the delay on ActiveSync we have decided to move to Exchange and so have many of our Clients. I do not think Outlook or Exchange is better than GroupWise, but we have been forced into this decision.
This is going to be like the Sony BETA and VHS battle. The iPhone is going to force so many companies to move to Exchange because it has taken Novell far too long to bring out support for it. They should have just released the beta ActiveSync so that people could have held on just a bit longer. Now with no support, we have to go to Exchange. Beta is just that, people can live with the problems with beta software, because at least something is better than nothing.
These are very bad news for all groupwise customers we have.
What is running fail on novell?
Thank you for the update on this new solution.
I guess I am like most others - waiting for the new active sync product and disappointed that it is still 3 months out. That being said however, I would much rather wait the 3 months and have a stable product that I can "set and forget" instead of having to deal with angry users who can't get the thing to work properly and I have to keep applying patches (sounds like something we all know??)
Novell should stop worrying so much about preserving its existing customer base and look for ways to offer things your competitors aren't. You can start by eliminating the need and COST for third party solutions for fundamental features like anti-SPAM and anti-virus scanning. Take that consideration out of the equation like the online providers have done

Hi Alex,

Thanks for keeping us notified. Al tough disappointing to have a this delay, it's understandable. As I expected the pretty optimistic release schedule might slip a bit (he, it's a solution from scratch!), I decided in the meantime to use for smaller customers the Notifylink OnDemand service, which works great. We were pretty impressed by the hand's-on we had with Gradenko and ActiveSync at the EMEA Summit, so it can only get better! I do believe releasing too early is not an option either (although we would love to see it yesterday), as major changes to the foundation after releasing is not something to get happy from, neither are bugs.

We intend to run this solution 99 percent of the cases virtual on ESX. Guess a SLES11 lic is part of the deal for GW customers?

I don't see the big deal about providing an appliance. It's the same code, you just pre-package a virtual machine for it. The only issue would be cpu/io bottlenecking, and that should not be an issue except for very large deployments, at which point it's probably best not to virtualize it anyway, or only do so on a server with a low amount of hosts.

I don't see how providing an appliance that Novell pre-configures is more support work than letting the user load their own "appliance" by installing sled themselves and the product themselves. You have a lot of unknowns there to troubleshoot, but you know exactly how your appliance was installed because Novell created it.

Support XEN/VMware out of the box. If the hypervisor supports the OS you are running it on (SLES 11 64bit) as a guest, then it should work just fine.
With a SLES appliance, it's installed and setup by someone else (i.e. Novell). If you're a Windows-only shop, with no SLES admins, that's a big deal. Or, you may have SLES admins, but none of them may have any experience/training with SLES11 yet, because they may be an OES shop, and Novell, in all their glory, still doesn't support OES on SLES11 (it's been 10 months since SLES 11 released!).
We are running VMware ESX so an appliance is good. However, I still like it to be supported on Windows OS as well, Server 2008 maybe?
The iPhone's been out since June 2007. Nokia announces Intellisync to be discontinued in September 2008. So Novell says keep waiting while our staff becomes increasingly frustrated at the lack of an affordable solution. This appears to be the same old story at Novell. We've been a Novell stalwart, but non-responsiveness and product delays continue to make it increasingly difficult to stay with them.
Generally a good positive post, it's sounds like you getting on top of things however it is a shame it's been delayed and although I have no probs with SLES11 it's a shame it's not SLES10 as well for OES2 customers (unless your giving away free SLES11 standalone licenses for GW customers!)

Our customers are all virtualised (VMware mainly some XENserver) and generally only have a few mobile "power users" that actively use email on their mobile devices so they won't be forking out a small fortune to go to Exchange any time soon.

For any Windows guys worried about installing SLES11 I would argue that if you can work out how to install Win2008 you can work out how to install SLES11, the installs pretty straightforward then once it's installed the config interface will be web based anyway and let's face it Novell are a Linux company after all.

Looking forward to the betas.
Hi Alex,

It's about two years that I'm challenging to maitain our customers on Novell platform, but 2009 is the year that I discovered that is definitively a "Mission Impossible".

The hope of a new Novell based on OES2 Linux was definitively destoyed at my customers eyes during the year 2009. Novell have killed the image of the most important products like ZENworks, GroupWise and NetWare respectively with ZCM, Mobile Suite and OES2.

Serial killing consist i losting trust in ZENworks customers, loosing trust of GroupWise customers that have the sensation to have the same web interface of five years ago and OES2 without any significant improvement.

GroupWise Mobile Server is the last broken hope.

I only want to say you that I'm not happy of what Novell is doing now and also make you aware that you are loosing my customers.
Good luck.
Giovanni Coa
It is really not clever from Novell that you don't support practically any new phone which came on the market in last year.
I myself don’t care about server, because this is technical issue which we solve internally, but not supporting new phones is business problem and I can’t persuade my users not to buy new phones, because they will not be able to use corporate mail and calendar.
I'm not sure the nature of your comment but...

I will go along with Novell in NOT supporting a mobile device that just released in the last year, hey it's hard to keep up.


The push for ActivSync solution was to support the iPhone. As it's already been pointed out, those things have been out since 2007.

2010 is here but no Novell-iPhone solution unless you have a budget to buy third party applications. Novell tell us they are going to support mobile devices but the haven't been able to get anything to market.

Seems odd that at least two other groups have a solution for what Novell cannot figure out???? That right there shows that there are some major problems at Novell.

As a result, people are leaving GroupWise since the rule #1 in customer service is to keep the customer happy and Novell is not doing that. I miss the days along time ago when Novell rocked, GroupWise was the cat's meow but that was then this is now.
Man, I feel like a broken record. Novell was first to market with a free sync solution. It was the best thing on the market at the time (Intellisync). Nokia bought Intellisync. Nokia scrapped Intellisync and didn't bother to give Novell a heads up. Novell had to come up with a solution, which is what we're talking about. Novell hasn't been sitting on their hands for years, watching the mobile phones go by. From nothing to market in around a year for something this complex is a pretty good time frame.

The competitors that have solutions for the iPhone merely added one more device to the list of products that they already support. It's nothing like building an entirely new product. Be patient. The result will be worth the wait. If you need something now, pay for the third party app, like Notify. It works well enough, and you should realize that paying for Notify in addition to GroupWise is going to be cheaper than migrating to Exchange, by far.

It should also be pointed out that Apple didn't raise a finger to try to support GroupWise. They did provide Exchange support with Active Sync. Microsoft didn't do a thing to support the iPhone - Apple did that work. Why didn't Apple work to support GroupWise? For the same reason they've never lifted a finger to support Netware or OES. They're elitist pigs who don't care about the needs of a pretty large portion of their clients. How can they get away with it, you ask? Magic, I think. People go into the Apple store knowing they're going to pay more, and they'll have to trade out everything else they own to have the pretty shiny sparkly thing, and they do it anyway. It's freaking amazing. I wish all of the disgruntled iPhone users would band together and kick Steve Jobs square in the ass for causing this discussion.

If any of you drop GroupWise over the iPhone because your users demand it, it's your fault. The fact is, there are options for iPhone support with GroupWise, and have been for a long time. You would sooner drop a superior product with long standing success in your organization than pay for a few licenses for Notify, or whatever else. You're lying to your users when you say you can't support them. The truth is that you CAN support them. You just can't support them at no additional cost - for the time being. If your users are buying iPhones, they're paying through the nose for the service plan anyway; or your company is. Since when did anyone who buys an Apple product give a rat's ass about frugality?
It's odd just about all my past posts have supported Novell, but I have to reply back to your comments.

You comment that Apple did all the work for supping Exchange, thats not correct. All that Apple did was code to an open, well documented and well tested API. GroupWise has never had such an API in place, instead it has been limited to a mix and match set of APIs. Novell has all ways defered the fixing of this issue and you can find posts going back 10+ years from people pleading for this to be resolved so that third parties can extend and expand Groupwise. Instead part solutions were delivered instead, such as the third party Nokia solution (which Apple was never going to support) or API retreads such as the web services layer that still can't even compress its data stream so is unuseable on a mobile device.

The greatest problem for GW is that it needs a gateway to convert it's current APIs and data store into a communications process that can be used by phones. The new gateway may at last fix these issues but it's way to late too market. face it for most GW sites it needs to be in place for the first shipment of the new ipad hit people's desks not many months after.

As for the rest of your post you are taking to point of view of an IT person, I have no idea where you work but most companies are run by CEOs, CTOs, CSO, CFOs who don't care about IT. For the last 2 years all they seem to have cared about is their iPhone, iTouch, Windows Moble or Android device all of which need this gateway.

I do agree that any company that still has GW in place at this time should wait as the Exchange roll out with be costly and take far longer, but all I have seen in the last 2 years is GW being dropped by company after company and the only companies I know who still have GW in place have it because they all cut their IT budgets to zero.

You're right about the API generally, but not about the mobility issue specifically. Let me rehash this some more. If you've kept up with the various blogs on this subject, you will have heard it before.

Novell repackaged Intellisync before Nokia owned the product. When they made that decision, it was very logical. Take the best product on the market, rebrand it and give it to customers for free. And they did it before the other guys. Microsoft's push technology with Exchange came along later. Active Sync as a protocol was not a standard, as you call it. It was a piece of junk that only Microsoft used and only Windows Mobile supported. It took some time before the major phone manufacturers gave in and included Active Sync support by default. You act as if it's been a standard for 10 years or something. Up to this point, Novell had every expectation that Intellisync would continue to be a market leader in that space, and new phones would be supported.

Enter Nokia. They bought Intellisync, picked out the pieces that they wanted, and scrapped the rest. This didn't go one for 10 years either. By the time Novell, and the rest of the world outside of Nokia, knew that Intellisync was going to die, and that iPhone - or any other new phone - support wasn't coming, it was time to make a fast change of course. So over the last year or so, they've built a solution from the ground up that works with the now prevalent Active Sync defacto standard. By the way, before Nokia changed direction and went with Active Sync, there were relatively few devices that supported it. Apple didn't pick Active Sync support because it was some huge industry standard. They picked it because it was the Microsoft solution, and their business model is to support their own stuff first, Microsoft second, and that's about it. Between Nokia and Apple, their decision to go with Active Sync is what turned it into a standard.

Let me also repeat - there are options, and there have been options nearly since the iPhone was released. For many phones, GMS is still the free solution from Novell. For those newer phones not supported by GMS, you can buy Notify, or one of the other solutions. They offer a hosted model if you like, so you don't even have to install it. So I'll say it again - any company that drops GroupWise over the iPhone is making a poor decision. Not only because, for love of Pete, it's a phone and there are tons of options, but also because you can absolutely support the iPhone with GroupWise.

You're right for the most part - CEOs, CTOs, CSOs and CFOs don't think about IT as the focus - and they probably shouldn't. Unless it's a technology company, IT is like the plumbing. But guess what they do care about, almost unilaterally - MONEY. It's the IT director or CIO's job to help the people in command understand why things are the way they are, and to help guide them. And what I'm saying is if there's an IT person, or director, or CIO out there that sits down with their CEO, CSO, CFO, etc. and tells them that they can't have an iPhone because, gosh darnit, our email system just won't work with it - it's either a lie, most likely hiding an agenda, or it's the mark of stupidity.

If my CEO calls me over to show me his new iPhone - which, by the way won't happen because I proactively offer other compelling solutions that make my users happy - but if he did, I would give him the 50 cent explanation about how we're going to achieve his goal, and leave his office where I will immediately get on the phone with the Notify folks. It's just not complicated.

We have GroupWise in place because we're not going to throw out a good solution for a phone, although, as I pointed out, we wouldn't have to.
You need to find another solution. As an end user for an organization that uses Novell Groupwise for its e-mail, I was informed by Novell in the fall, prior to my purchase of a Palm Pre, that I would have push e-mail within 30 days. Since then its been 30 more days, then 30 more days every time I checked back in. Now its 90 days, and my confidence in ever getting it on this phone in my lifetime is Zero. Of course, I'm also beyond my replacement period for the Pre as well. Welcome to the Bardo. Thanks, Novell.
"If my CEO calls me over to show me his new iPhone - which, by the way won't happen because I proactively offer other compelling solutions that make my users happy"

I'm happy you have a work environment like that however most of us don't. Let me give you an example of how it works in the rest of the world. I'm fairly certain that my situation is far more common than yours.

CXO walks into your office on a Monday morning and says "I just bought this over the weekend. I need to get my e-mail and calendar on it. (Even better when I.T. is supposed to approve all computer related purchases, and this was bought and expensed, bypassing that procedure.) Better still is when the CEO's administrative assistant walks into your office with their new phone and says, this needs to be set up on our system. I've actually not had that situation here but I'd bet we have some readers here that have.

It's exactly the same as upper management mandating a move to Exchange over the objections of I.T. It's not because I.T. didn't do it's job, it's that ultimately the upper management will consider it's judgment superior simply because it is upper management, and not based on any technical knowledge of the situation. They want what they want and they pay you to make that happen. You not liking it is not a concern.

Most of us don't have a third party sync solution because we were using GMS. (Blackberry shops not included as you needed BES regardless) When I tell the CXO that unfortunately we can't sync that device, but if you spend $XX,XXX on Notify we can have that up and going for you, he's going to look at that as a failing of I.T. despite the fact that I.T. can't get the purchase approved by management.

Regardless of how the situation came to be, the expectation that someone above your head is never going to buy a phone without checking with you is going to get you disappointed in most shops. Many of the people I work with here will come and ask me my opinion about what a good phone to get would be and what will work with our systems. I also work with people above me that routinely show up with the latest toy they bought and expect us to make it work. I fully expect to see an ipad in here some time in the near future...

"And what I'm saying is if there's an IT person, or director, or CIO out there that sits down with their CEO, CSO, CFO, etc. and tells them that they can't have an iPhone because, gosh darnit, our email system just won't work with it - it's either a lie, most likely hiding an agenda, or it's the mark of stupidity."

That would depend entirely on the reason given. Right now, if you come to me with your droid phone or iPhone and want calendar sync, I'm going to tell you our system won't work with it... BECAUSE... we don't have a sync solution in place for that, and it's not in the budget to put one in any time soon. So the reality is, our system won't work with that. If however I just say GroupWise can't work with that at all.. Then yes, I'd agree with you completely.

We're unfortunately in a bad situation of having to outlay money for a sync solution as a temporary holdover. Sure we could keep using it, but ultimately if the GMS replacement turns out to be good, you would much rather be supporting one platform for your sync needs and you would phase the temporary solutions out.

The thing that's saving a lot of companies Novell installations on a temporary basis is that they don't have the money to rip and replace with an Exchange solution. Novell can only hope that what it ultimately releases makes the disgruntled shops happy enough to keep them from switching.

Not trying to pick a fight, but if you're an end user, why were you talking to Novell rather than to your internal folks? And why did you buy a phone that your company can't support? And is this the first time you've ever had to wait longer for something than you anticipated? And who at Novell gave you a 30 day time frame? If that really happened, you should go ahead and let Alex know who he needs to fire. Oh, and I haven't been keeping tabs lately - is the Pre currently synching with iTunes, or is it currently blocked? I bet Apple's going to win that smack down. My sarcasm gets the best of me. It does sound like I'm picking a fight. Sorry.
Normaly a struggle for keeping GroupWise for many of our customers (instead of Exchange) is painfull but we could win that part.
Now all the management deciders does have an iPhone and they MUST sync it right NOW. None of all the other arguments does mather and only for that reason some of our customers already started a plan to migrate to Exchange. All thanks the syncing-problem!

last year in Vienna the Novell guys told us: November 2009 (yes 2009) we have a preview - with some limitations.

There are many lessons here for Novell, not the least of which is that those who live by the third-party solution die by the third-party solution. Intellisync was a good short-term strategy. In the long term the technology should have been bought or replicated in-house (as Microsoft would have done).

blntskul said:
"any company that drops GroupWise over the iPhone is making a poor decision."

Notify adds additional cost. So does GWAVA. And so does the anti-virus software. We actually pay more for GWAVA and anti-virus software than we do for GroupWise. Our administrative overhead is increasing, too. GWAVA, at best, requires a significant investment of time in self-study; at worst, it requires training (i.e. GWAVACON). Gradenko will exacerbate this problem. Now factor in the complexities of migrating from NetWare to Linux, especially if you aren't already running Linux. Finally, add to this Novell's recent decision to skip public betas and the instability and bugs that we have seen in the latest clients (crashing, phantom items in "Work in Progress", etc). For many, the fact that another round of holiday-inspired iPhone acquisitions has come and gone and we STILL don't have a good solution for it is merely "the straw that broke the camel's back".

"If my CEO calls me over to show me his new iPhone....I would give him the 50 cent explanation about how we're going to achieve his goal, and leave his office where I will immediately get on the phone with the Notify folks. It's just not complicated."

NotifyLink is a nice product but those of us who have actually evaluated it know that it can be less reliable than both BES and GMS. You may find your CEO back in your office 3 months later demanding to know why he has to restart his mobile device all the time.

Now I understand the desire to defend Novell. I've been a fan for over a decade. The problem is that they're failing "The Dr. Phil test". You may think their strategies were correct, that all of the decisions were the right ones at the time and that Novell is merely a victim of forces beyond their control. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?" Because from where I sit, the folks are headed for the exits.
This is bad.

You can be arrogant and tell to use 3rd party ...

We must listen every day of new phones rollin' into Customer-environments with questions about mobility. We gave a date of end of 2009 as you have instructed and it was JUST bareable.

Now... three (3) months MORE !

IT lives in it's own bubble but Customers wanting to use and do business despite times are not very happy with this.

AND you don't have to listen to their complaints. You have to listen to US, who TRY to talk to you.

Virtualization OK. What ever software packing OK. JUST DELIVER, Please.

Hi, Walter, just curious to know, what kind of limitations? In what subjects or areas or anything? What is the limitations?
Hi aldowner,

the told as: not all features will work for the preview IIRR syncing emails will not work but calendar and contacts will work.
But November 2009 is already over and most of my customer plans the migration to Exchange or Zarafa.



I agree completely with you. The disappointment in the GW APIs has been going on since GW started and has only gotten worse since GW 5.5. Not being able to do a simple restore of a single message from tape is purely because of not having a communications server, GMS, to do that third party translation like exchange communications server. This should have been done back in GW 7 release and at least when GW 8 was released. And now a 3 month delay is going to put a lot of pressure on us to move to exchange. Right now we have blackberries but there is talk of moving to iphones because of the EULA from RIM. If this happens in the next few weeks then I may have no choice but to start down that path and once I go down that path I will not be coming back. If I am going to take the heat for email then I might as well use something that benefits my resume.

Novell needs a clear, meaningful direction and products that offer the features its competitors have led our users to expect (at least). Assurances that Novell has money in the bank are worth little when no one there seems to know how to invest that nest egg. I fear the only thing keeping GroupWise in our environment is internal political momentum, which is rapidly eroding.

My users have been waiting for the new mobility add-on for months. They are losing patience. They regularly point out how GroupWise lacks many of the features they use at home. GroupWise is competing for mind share with Gmail as well as Exchange; both support ActiveSync.

Our trusted consultants shrug when we ask where GroupWise is going. They can’t explain how Novell's expanding array of communications offerings complement one another or integrate into a cohesive strategy. None of their other customers have found Teaming worthwhile. Few see the point of Google Wave, let alone reason to consider a commercial implementation of it (i.e. Pulse).

Our phone guys keep telling us about the integration we could implement if we "just" switch to Exchange. Their products don't support GW, and they don't plan to add such support since "everyone is running Exchange, or moving to it".

Whatever advantage Novell once had in our organization may already be gone. I'll be happy to put a test VM on our VSphere servers, assuming you release something before May; by June we may be looking elsewhere.
Groupwise as an Admin is a great product. As an Admin I have no doubt which email system I want to administer. Other than the lack of eDir integration in the last 15 years is perplexing, but I do like that my users can have these massive mailboxes and it is secure from end to end.

But that has been that way since at least GW 5.5. The client interface was good at GW 7 and it is stable unlike the GW 8 client. I didn't need a rewrite of the Client just to make things seem pretty. I need real world features that matter to the user such as GMS, QUICK message level restore, and simple, powerful and easy integration points for 3rd party vendors. Heck, copy the integration point of exchange so that 3rd party vendors can write one product that works with both systems. I know this means that you will have to work to keep your APIs in lock step with Exchange but you know the saying: "Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way". You have lost almost all 3rd party support, it is time to get it back.
"Novell should stop worrying so much about preserving its existing customer base and look for ways to offer things your competitors aren't. "

That's what they are doing with the new Datasynchroniser product.

Agree with you that GroupWise should have a at least more basic spam/av gate.
Don't worry it would just have been a beta/preview of the product with -limited- sync options, which I remember was only syncing calendar and contacts at the given point. It was meant to give a early look at the product, and noway was supposed to be useable it in production environment.
"Few see the point of Google Wave, let alone reason to consider a commercial implementation of it (i.e. Pulse)"

I don't think Pulse is a commercial implementation of Wave. Pulse can talk to Google's Wave using WFP and I do see this as something that really may just make the difference for Pulse. First of all Pulse is a new way to communicate or interact as you like with other people using it's own internal system. Hooking up Pulse to other systems, either using WFP to talk Google's Wave server, or using Datasync to talk to or sync information from Teaming/GroupWise/other systems turns it into a dashboard (Pulse was called project 'Cockpit' before) for all your communication and allows you to see, follow and search all that's important for 'you' making use of an universal inbox. Making use of Datasync connectors Pulse can be fed with streams out of other data silo's from any social network as Facebook, Linkedin or Novell's own product's Teaming/GroupWise/Messager/File/iFolder; anything that could be important to you as a user.

Could something like Pulse be done in GroupWise, instead of creating a new product,? Well probably, but GroupWise is about mail and calendar (personal), Teaming is about working together and adding something like Wave (live interact with the rest of the world) cannot be done without restucturing those products. What would my customer say if I told him he could now start a wave in GW instead of sending a mail message? Most probably they would think 'ok, whatever' and send a mail anyway, just cause they are used to do that in GroupWise. To change this we need something new, appealing to the user, easy and anywhere to use... as we are gotten used to do at home (gmail, hotmail, yahoo).

I spend quite a time every day trying to remember where I left a file, a message, something someone send me using either IM, Linkedin, my private mail, then trying to contact someone using those same channels and keeping in sync data in those silo's, that for me something like Pulse sounds verry welcome. Let Pulse decide for me how to contact someone. If it would do something live that could be using WFP and if a contact is offline and I only have an email address left of that contact it can let GroupWise drop a message.
One month gone..
where are we now?


I read this blog and any other blog’s to the gradenko but it is a big problem to get clear information when Novell give us a solution for the new devices are not supported by GMS. I am a long Novell customer and i have many discussion with my markers how we can not support the new devices. But i have no answer and the pressure is now very high for me to give them any answer.
And I will not get other software from 3rd party to realize the way for the new Dev. like iPhone, Nokia and so on.
Hi Alex,

Thanx for the update...
My company is a current user for another solution, (see my posts on Dean's blog).
I am very interested on joining the Beta for the Mobility Pack, where should I apply?

ALMOST three (3) months now. Could we get timeline for release, please.

First Customers has allready used his feet on YOU (and Us).

What's the latest word my friend. Any news on the schedule??
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