Novell Has Big Plans For GroupWise Messaging

SALT LAKE CITY (03/28/2000) - Novell's ambitious plans for its GroupWise messaging system include wireless access, improved reliability, and links to mission-critical applications based on XML, company officials said yesterday at the BrainShare conference.

Novell announced wireless device access to GroupWise through an alliance with AT&T PocketNet services that launches April 3. Also revealed: the next version of GroupWise, code-named Bulletproof, and due by the end of the year, will run natively on the Linux and Sun Solaris operating platforms.

Company officials also detailed a host of other plans for GroupWise. Due as part of Bulletproof is XIS (XML Integration Services), which enables developers to use an XML interface to tie in applications such as virus scanning or transaction logging to GroupWise.

Enhanced clustering functionality planned for a future release of GroupWise will boost the reliability of GroupWise clients by giving them intelligence, according to the company.

"The client will understand and know it's running on a cluster, and knowing that, it will make [better] decisions about reconnecting" to the network when one branch of the cluster breaks down, said Dave Wilkes, Novell director of engineering for GroupWise.

Manageability will be enhanced by enabling the sharing of administration and management information across multiple applications. The product will be made more scalable by adding controls for disk space management and increasing the number of users supported on post offices, according to Novell officials.

Database-checking utilities also will improve scalability.

GroupWise user, Kathleen Chapman, a network specialist at Independent Health, a health-maintenance organization in Buffalo, N.Y., said that some of the improvements, such as the capability of restoring an individual mailbox after it has been deleted, have been requested by users.

The wireless access is interesting, Chapman added.

"We're seeing a lot more interest from our user community to [check e-mail] from anyplace at any time," Chapman said.

Analyst Dana Gardner, research director at Aberdeen Group in Boston, said Novell's wireless access plans for GroupWise are "a natural evolution."

"It will be good for maintaining the life expectancy of GroupWise by extending it down to as many devices as possible," Gardner said.

Wilkes stressed the importance Novell places on GroupWise.

"We view GroupWise as the most important tool in your company. When people can't get into their email, they're not productive," Wilkes said.

In other messaging developments, Novell announced the spring availability of Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS) on the Solaris and Linux platforms.

NIMS, which is intended primarily for service providers and utilizes Novell Directory Services, is a hosted email service that enables large-scale management of user accounts regardless of hardware infrastructure.

Also, Metastorm announced Infowise, a knowledge management tool for GroupWise that uses Intel's Corpora Automatic Organizer pattern matching technology to search email messages based on user priorities. The Personal Edition of the product is shipping this week, with an Enterprise Edition now in development.

Novell Inc., in Provo, Utah, is at Metastorm, in Severna Park, Md., is at

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