Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Creating Compelling GroupWise 5 Internet/Intranet Solutions

Articles and Tips: article

Product Line Manager
GroupWare Division

01 Sep 1996

Answers strategic questions pertaining to GroupWise 5 and the world of client server/network computing. Describes Novell's Internet/Intranet strategy as it relates to GroupWise 5.


GroupWise 5 back-end services become further available and accessible to users, integrators, and developers alike when interoperability of the Internet/Intranet environment is added to the mix. Before we go any further, let's make sure we're on common ground by defining some terms. For this article, we use the definitions below.

Internet: The underlying communication infrastructure based on the TCP/IP network originally set up by the DOD (Department of Defense), now being utilized by individuals and businesses.

Intranet: A communication infrastructure, normally TCP/IP based, set up within a company (or set of companies) for the exclusive use of that company or companies.

Whyis the Novell GroupWise Division pursuing an Internet/Intranet strategy? Does all the hoopla and emotion alone warrant the consideration? Is there substance behind the perception that everything is going the way of the Net? Today almost everything the normal desktop user needs can be done more efficiently with the depth of applications built and proven for the LAN/WAN environment. What continues to drive the hype and interest surrounding the Internet? Novell's answer to these basic questions is the following:

Simply put, the hype and interest regarding the Internet/Intranet phenomenon is driven by an overwhelming desire for current and immediate access to information and data. In today's society, information and data represent knowledge. More knowledge equals greater potential for both the individual and the group. Greater potential ultimately offers those who take advantage of it increased control and independence in their lives. It really is that simple!

When you combine the superior collaboration tools of GroupWise 5 with the unparalleled access to information and data that the Internet/Intranet can provide, computer users will recognize significant gains in productivity and efficiency. Because the Internet/Intranet community is very standards-centric, the Novell strategy focuses on the what is required to deliver an acceptable GroupWise 5 standards-based solution. With that assumption understood, the remainder of this article defines how Novell's GroupWise 5 Internet/Intranet strategy will unfold.

Internet/Intranets Attract Companies and End-Users

In today's business environment, corporations are faced with many factors, such as shareholder demands, autonomous business units , stiff competition, and responsibility to improve bottom lines . Individual empowerment is driving corporations to treat information as a valuable resource that should be leveraged by putting it where it can best beutilized. All these factors and more are driving corporations, organizations, and end-users to turn to the Internet/Intranet technologies and their potential advantages.

  • New World Wide Web technology has encouraged a major portion of the current growth in these infrastructures because non-technical users can now easily surf the Net and gain access to critical information in a timely manner.

  • From a wide area network perspective, these same infrastructures can be used for both inter company communications and intra company communications.

  • These same infrastructures support the new paradigm of Client/Server computing very well, while allowing for a high degree of platform independence.

  • Finally, the open protocols available in these infrastructures provide ubiquitous access and vendor independence for the customer.

GroupWise 5 and Novell's Internet/Intranet Strategy

Novell enthusiastically accepts all these stated advantages and is aggressively pursing customer-driven solutions that utilize them. GroupWise 5 adds practical value to Novell's corporate Internet/Intranet strategy by allowing users, administrators, integrators, and third-party developers alike to take advantage of the open protocols, platform independence, and access available on the Net.

  • Novell's progressive client-network computing model can be quickly advanced and demonstrated at a concrete level of implementation by using the GroupWise 5 environment and the key services it provides. (Refer to the July Developer Notes for more detailed articles on this model.)

  • GroupWise 5 will also provide basic collaborative services for future versions of Novell's 32-bit IntranetWare client. This client integrates the Internet/Intranet capabilities necessary for a user to have a complete and productive experience while using Novell NetWare's superior data, file and print services.

  • As the Java for NetWare Interpreter and Distributor are completed, GroupWise 5 will have a simple and easy development environment for the tens of thousands of Java developers to utilize. Using Java class libraries, GroupWise 5 will enable its Universal Mailbox and data store via IMAP4 and associated extensions. This will allow the Java programmer community to develop value-added solutions for the GroupWise 5 advanced messaging environment.

  • GroupWise 5 will be NDS compliant, thus offering a single service for complete directory maintenance onan enterprise-wide environment for the GroupWise 5 system. NDS is a superset of the LDAP(Light Directory Access Protocol) standard being promoted by the IETF so full GroupWise 5 compliance with LDAP can be achieved.

  • GroupWise 5 will use the Novell Web Server as a single-box solution for delivering its advanced messaging services via any HTTP server and World Wide Web browser of choice. The inherent integration of the Universal Mailbox coupled with the increased capability provided via HTML/Java Applets will allow GroupWise 5 to be the only complete collaboration tool for the Internet/Intranet community.

GroupWise 5's GOLD Standard

Novell's strategy with GroupWise 5 and Internet/Intranet can be simply described: "Everything's Connected." By exposing GroupWise 5 services via Internet protocols, more accessibility to GroupWise 5 will be realized. This will be accomplished by using existing protocol standards as well as by creating and extending existing protocol standards with GroupWise 5m's GOLD (GroupWise Object Layer Definition) standard. In brief, the GOLD Standard is not another set of proposed industry specifications but does represent how GroupWise 5 will utilize appropriate Internet/Intranet standards and extend them to provide the "Ultimate Collaboration System."

Figure 1: The GOLD Standard.

As shown in the diagram above, this standard completely represents the needs of a collaborative computing, advanced-messaging system like GroupWise 5. However, the GOLD Standard is not being promoted as another standard for everyone to support. Rather, this standard represents how GroupWise 5 will interface with and extend other Internet and industry standards. The GOLD Standard is synonymous with promoting industry compliance.

Two Paths to Internet/Intranet Nirvana

The marketplace seems to be indicating two potential implementations for producing Internet/Intranet solutions. On one hand, you have an ActiveX and Jakarta path with emphasis on the Windows/NT platform. On the other hand, you have the Java and HTML implementations with emphasis on platform independence. GroupWise 5 affords the ISV and system administrator freedom of choice with solutions built for the GroupWise 5 environment.

The following two sections discuss some of these unique Internet/Intranet tools and access methods available for ISVs and system administrators as they pursue customized solutions with GroupWise 5 in the Internet/Intranet space.

ActiveX and Jakarta Path

Enabling ActiveX controls for seamless integration with GroupWise 5 and the Internet/Intranet environment is a natural for GroupWise 5. These controls can be used to customize and extend GroupWise 5 data access and functionality in areas such as the following:

  • Busy search across the enterprise

  • Extended Address Book functionality

  • Extended telephony and voice services

  • Extended document management services

  • Extended workflow services

COM forms the basis of the ActiveX technologies. The Microsoft Java Virtual Machine that will be included in Internet Explorer (IE) 3.0 exposes Java applets as ActiveX controls, which makes them available for scripting. Java applets can be scripted by JavaScript and the Visual Basic Scripting Edition. World Wide Web designers can handle Java applets and ActiveX controls exactly the same way, by using services provided by other components via ActiveX controls and COM. Jakarta connects Java code to the Windows/NT world. To quote a Microsoft review of a Jakarta presentation given at their Tech Ed Conference, April 17, 1996, "For us, Java is no longer an island. I mean, it is still an island, but it's not isolated anymore."

The GroupWise 5 development environment aligns very nicely with Microsoft's latest ActiveX effort, which is a reincarnation of the OCX effort with a distinct Internet/Intranet flair on the Windows platform. The original design for the GroupWise 5 object set comes from the GroupWise Object API (GWOAPI) and is well suited for ActiveX because this interface along with C3POs (Custom 3rd Party Objects) are both COM-based and OLE automated.

GroupWise 5 is obviously well-positioned to take advantage of any ActiveX technology that Microsoft might provide now or in the future. More importantly, GroupWise 5 offers any ISVs or system administrators developing Windows-centric solutions for the Internet/Internet market a simple and easy way to do so.

The diagram below summarizes Microsoft's Internet/Intranet Architecture and the Windows/NT single point of entrance required in order to participate in the Internet/Intranet collaborative processes. If all a customer wants or needs is a pure Windows/NT solution for their Internet/Intranet solution, then GroupWise 5 with its ActiveX-enabled environment can fit the bill very well.

Figure 2: ActiveX Path.

Java and HTML Path

Java has been widely acknowledged as one of the most important tools available for Internet/Intranet applications development. GroupWise 5 will migrate rapidly towards being Java-enabled through the IMAP4 interface. Java developers can also take advantage of the GroupWise 5 Java enabled back end via Novell's NetWare Java Interpreter and distributor NLMs, as well as the Java Virtual Machines found on the UNIX and NT platforms.

By enabling the Internet/Intranet development community through Java, GroupWise 5 will deliver the following:

  • Support for Java applications and applets atthe server level

  • Java Classes for IMAP4 with extensions for Cal/Scheduling, Document Management, and other market-driven Internet standards

  • Distributed Java Applications

  • Support for Java applications and applets atthe client level

  • Sample Java Applications with source code available for full desktops, as well as alternative client access via PDAs, PIMs, TV set-tops

  • Easily extended GroupWise services within anNLM, UNIX, or NT environment

  • Platform independence for value-added applets

  • Intelligent distributed processing utilizingthe new client/server environment

  • Third-party extensibility and cross platform development environment

  • Easy upgrade-ability

GroupWise 5 is HTML-Enabled. GroupWise WebAccess introduces a new standard of functionality and ease in messaging to the World Wide Web. You can now enjoy the advanced workgroup functionality of GroupWise from any Web browser anytime, anywhere. And at the same time you can significantly reduce the cost of administering your messaging system. Furthermore, integrators and developers can add value and customization to this interface.

GroupWise WebAccess allows you to access your GroupWise 5 Mailbox and calendar from the Internet. Value-added solutions using the extended HTML 3.0 GroupWise 5 templates and Java Applets can be developed by ISVs and system administrators alike. WebAccess customization lets you modify the HTML source files to include your own graphics or company information. You can also enhance WebAccess by creating additional calendar views, filtered sorts and queries on your Universal Mailbox information. See the article on WebAccess for more detail on how to customize your Web solution using GroupWise 5.

GroupWise 5 provides excellent opportunities for ISVs and system administrators living in the flexible, heterogeneous world of platform independence. The Java/HTML implementation concepts briefly covered in this article represent the tip of the iceberg.

For the GroupWise 5 customer requiring platform independence in their Internet/Intranet environment, ISVs and third-party developers will offer many more valuable, integrated solutions. Just as GroupWise 5 complements the ActiveX/Jakarta path, it also significantly enhances the customers' independent platform architecture requirements as shown below.

Figure 3: JAVA Path.


The fundamental constant underlying the Internet and Intranet explosion is the TCP/IP protocol. This protocol has provided consistent LAN/WAN interoperability for years, and it led the way for an entirely new form of distributed computing called client-server computing. GroupWise 5 is well positioned to extend this distributed computing architecture to help define Novell's client-network computing model.

As GroupWise 5 is rolled out in this new client-server/network environment, it offers the following advantages.

  • To the end-user, it means more reliability, functionality,and less down time.

  • To the administrator, it means ease of deployment and a single point of management for all collaborative solutions.

  • To the integrator and third-party developer,it means taking advantage of a platform that offers the openness to provide added-value solutions without the additional challenge of managing security, authentication, message flow, distribution of applications, and the replication of associated data across LAN/WAN links.

GroupWise 5 Will Utilize TCP/IP to Deliver Solutions

Much of the marketplace has migrated from E-mail to the present need for integrated messaging and will soon be demanding message-based applications. GroupWise 5 will utilize the TCP/IP protocol to once again lead the industry in delivering this new approach to integrated messaging. GroupWise 5 delivers many advanced collaborative solutions that require a solid messaging platform for consistent and reliable performance.

Within the next year GroupWise 5 third-party solutions for document management, workflow, electronic forms, imaging, project management, and database solutions will exist. These solutions will ride on the only integrated messaging platform utilizing a common data-store: GroupWise 5-where "Everything's Connected."

GroupWise 5 will utilize TCP/IP to deliver new solutions and tools.It delivers the protocol of choice for the new, robust, and extensible GroupWise 5 client-server/network messaging platform and services. Within this platform and set of services the following list represents a taste of the functionality that GroupWise 5 can provide through Novell and third-party development efforts:

  • Internet browsing

  • URL references in any portion of folder hierarchy as part of the common data store

  • GroupWise 5 and any browser for sending, receiving and viewing URLs

  • HTML data type support

  • HTML documents views

  • Automatic browsing of embedded URLs

  • Utilization of Internet security standards to extend them via NDS/LDAP integration

  • Commerce enablement

  • Alternative client access such as PDAs, PIMs, TV set-tops, Telephony interfaces, and two-way pagers

A more flexible and accessible GroupWise 5 remote client solution will take advantage of the ever-growing number of PPP and SLIP connections available in the marketplace. This method will allow for dynamic updates and will replace the need for internal modem pools and associated support issues.

It provides a free remote mail client which will be POP3/IMAP4- enabled with the ability to upgrade to the more persistent and extensible GroupWise 5 data store whenever the customer desires.

GroupWise 5 back-end services support any POP3/IMAP4/MAPI/CMC/CSA-compatible mail client, which would have full access to GroupWise 5 messaging platform and services.

It offers full interoperability with messaging and directory standards like SMTP, X.400, MIME, S/MIME, LDAP, and X.500 messaging systems, and where appropriate, with additional data types such as: Calendaring, Task management, Document management, Workflow, and Voice.

It delivers HTTP, NNTP, ODMA, VRML, and RealAudio and protocol functionality to the wide range of services found in GroupWise 5 environment. Such as:

  • Universal Mailbox

  • Personal and Group calendar information

  • Personal, group, and resource scheduling with busy search capability

  • Workflow and task management information

  • Document storage and retrieval capability

  • Global and personal Address Book information

  • Folder and Proxy sharing with any other mailbox across the enterprise

  • Threaded messaging and electronic conferencing

  • Full-text searching, filtering, and querying capabilities

  • The ability to perform a status check and retraction on any message type

  • Real-time video, imaging, and audio capabilities

These solutions will be provided by Novell, in conjunction with strategic third-party relationships, and value-added third-party solutions. To support these value-added services for the Internet/Intranet environment, new and extended development tools will be required. Novell is rapidly building these tools for the GroupWise 5 environment.

The following diagram and matrix give a high-level architectural overview of the planned solutions in the areas of work, information, and communications management. The matrix further specifies when specific access methods will be available to third-party solution providers within the GroupWise 5 environment.

Figure 4: GroupWise 5 Internet/Intranet Architecture.

Third-party Access Path


A for 96


J for 96


O for 96

a for 97

j for 97

o for 97

(DistributedCOM/OLE Automation, HTML, CGI Scripts, J++)

(Java, JavaScript, HTML, CGI Scripts, J++)

(NLM, C, C++)

Groupwise5 Third-party Internet/Intranet SolutionsMatrix

Industry/Vendor Standard


Server Agents




Gateway Adapter

Industry: POP3




j a

o j a


J a

O j a


j a

o j a


j a

o j a














j a

j a o



j a

j a o

ODMA(Document/Workflow Mngmnt.)

O A j

O A j





j a

j a


j a

j a


j a

j a


j a

j a

Vendor: GWOAPI(GroupWise Object API)

A j

A j

C3POs(Custom 3rd-Party Object)

A j

A j


A j

A j

Message Logging/Tracking API


Potential Third-Party Solutions and Services

The following list of sample solutions represents only the beginning of value-added solutions that will be built by ISVs and third-party developers in general. Novell is committed to providing more Internet/Intranet openness to GroupWise 5 in addition to providing both client and server access via a wide range of development tools, such as C, C++, J++, Java, Delphi, Visual Basic, ActiveX, and PowerBuilder.

With this new generation of openness, ISVs and third-party developers will be able to produce solutions and services like the following:

  • Customer Support System. Allow users to report problems and review documents.

  • Sales Force Automation System. Leads, orders, customer address, and historical information can be at the fingertips of the mobile user.

  • Customer/Contact Information. Allow tracking of customers and contacts, a key part of any business.

  • Documentation System. Groups of people working on a series of documents can have them replicated to each site.

  • Corporate Information Library. Replicated databases containing information pertinent to corporate standards and specific product/policy areas.

  • Correspondence Tracking System. A consistent repository for types of correspondence, available for review.

  • Human Resource Management System. Replicate resumes as well as job listings.

  • Project Management System. Create project databases that are replicated, so that field, support, design, etc., all have a place to log the progress of specific issues.

  • Facilities and Inventory Control System. Track equipement or furniture from order to delivery.

Incremental GroupWise 5 Releases

The Internet/Intranet environment has been likened to "dog years" because a given product life-cycle can be so short. The Novell GroupWise Division has tremendous experience in combating this phenomenon, and the Novell GroupWise Division has:

  • Always provided a solid, proven collaborative foundation to build upon

  • Simultaneously with major product releases, delivered three times as many Gateway interfaces as any other competitor

  • Simultaneous availability of upgrades not only for NLM platform, but also for Mac, OS/2, and seven flavors of UNIX when a product version is released

The Novell GroupWise Division knows how to meet diverse customer needs rapidly and on time. It is well positioned to deal with the new paradigms facing the entire industry regarding development, distribution, and fulfillment. GroupWise 5 will have the kind of flexibility, components, and integration with the Internet/Intranet environment to meet any change that customers might demand.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates