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Using Wireless Devices With GroupWise 6

Articles and Tips: article

Ronald Nutter

01 Jun 2001

As users become more mobile, they want to do more with less. In other words, users who are constantly on-the-go prefer to travel light. Because portable computers have become too cumbersome, users now want to integrate their wireless devices with their company's e-mail program. These users can then carry small devices and stay connected via e-mail.

In addition, companies are looking for ways to connect employees who don't use computers or laptops. By enabling "deskless workers" to access e-mail via mobile phones or even Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), companies can help these workers collaborate with customers and other employees. As a result, deskless workers can increase their productivity.

With the release of GroupWise 6, Novell upgraded GroupWise WebAccess to include the functionality of GroupWise Wireless 1.2. The secret behind GroupWise Wireless 1.2 is its rendering engine, which translates HTML screens into information that non-HTML devices can understand. (Novell has also designed the GroupWise licensing scheme for wireless users. For more information, see "License To Roam.")

This article explains how to install GroupWise WebAccess (which, of course, includes GroupWise Wireless 1.2). For the purpose of this article, I have made several assumptions:

  • Your company is already running GroupWise.

  • Your company is running its GroupWise system on a NetWare server. In fact, your company is running all GroupWise NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) on the same NetWare server. (You can, of course, run the GroupWise NLMs on different servers, but this configuration requires a little more setup, which is not covered in this article.)

  • You, as the GroupWise administrator, have experience creating users in GroupWise and managing GroupWise processes.


Before you begin to install GroupWise WebAccess (which includes GroupWise Wireless 1.2), you should gather the following information:

  • The server's IP address

  • The server's Domain Naming System (DNS) name

  • The drive letters mapped to the server

  • The NDS names for the GroupWise domain database

If you did not record this information when you installed the GroupWise system, you should record it before you record information about the wireless services you are adding to the system.

To install GroupWise WebAccess, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Run the Setup program for GroupWise 6, and click the Install Products option.

  2. Click the GroupWise WebAccess option to install GroupWise WebAccess. When the next screen appears, click the Install GroupWise WebAccess option.

  3. After a minute or so, the initial screen appears, prompting you to select the language that you want to install. If your company uses English (the default language), click the Yes button.

  4. The next screen lists the different options that you can install. (See Figure 1.) Select the WebAccess Agent and WebAccess Application components, and click the Next button.

  5. The next screen prompts you to select the platform--NetWare or Windows NT--on which you will run GroupWise Wireless. As I mentioned earlier, for the purposes of this article, I am assuming that you are running GroupWise on a NetWare server. After you select NetWare, click the Next button.

  6. The next screen explains that all GroupWise components--such as Message-Transfer Agents (MTAs) and post office agents (POAs)--must be stopped during the installation of GroupWise WebAccess. For this reason, you must install GroupWise WebAccess when your company's users can be without GroupWise for 30 minutes to one hour (depending on how quickly you answer the prompts and if you encounter problems during the installation). Click the Yes button to stop GroupWise services and to continue the installation of GroupWise WebAccess.

  7. The next screen prompts you to enter either the IP address or the DNS name of the server that will be running GroupWise WebAccess. When I installed GroupWise WebAccess, I used the IP address of the server. I simply clicked the IP Address option and entered the IP address of the server.

    By default, the GroupWise WebAccess agent listens on port 7205. Unless another service is already running on this port, leave this default setting, and click the Next button. The installation program then checks that the server with the specified IP address is responding and that the specified port is not already in use.

  8. On the next screen, specify the drive letter and directory name where the GroupWise domain database resides. This screen also displays the gateway directory name that will be used to install the software. By default, the directory used for GroupWise WebAccess is WEBAC60A. This directory is created under GWDOMAIN\WPGATE. Unless you have extensive experience in managing GroupWise, leave this default setting, and click the Next button.

    Note. If you receive a message that indicates that the directory name for GroupWise WebAccess has already been used, double-check to ensure that no other GroupWise service is using this directory name. If another service is using this directory name, you must obviously use a different directory name for the gateway you are installing.

  9. The Web Console screen appears. You should read this screen very carefully. GroupWise WebAccess enables you to access management information through a web browser. To use this feature, you must enter a login name and password that are independent of NDS eDirectory. You should also record the URL at the bottom of the screen. You must enter this URL to view GroupWise WebAccess statistics through your web browser. Click the Next button.

  10. An installation summary screen appears, displaying all of the options you have specified. If you haven't yet recorded these options, you should do so now. (Unfortunately, the current version of GroupWise WebAccess does not allow you to print this screen.) After you have confirmed that everything is correct, click the Next button.

  11. You must provide some information about the web server software you are using. GroupWise WebAccess supports the following web servers:

    • Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare

    • Netscape FastTrack or Netscape Enterprise Server for Windows NT

    • Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) for NT

    • Apache Web Server for UNIX Solaris

      Because you are performing a NetWare-based installation, you should choose the Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare option. You must also specify the directory path to the web server's root directory. Unless you have made changes to Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare, the directory path should be similar to the following: z:\novonyx\suitespot.

      You can either enter the directory path, or you can use the Browse button to find the directory path. Then click the Next button.

    • Specify either the IP address or the DNS name of the web server that will be running GroupWise WebAccess. You also have the option of using or not using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). I strongly encourage you to use SSL. (If you select the Use SSL option under the Server security area of the screen, the port number listed in the Port field should be 443.) After you enter the requested information, click the Next button.

    • You must decide if you want to change the web server's default page. If you are using the web server for other services (in addition to GroupWise WebAccess), you probably won't want to change the default, or start, page on the web server. In making this selection, you must enter https:// and the URL (either IP address or DNS name) that you want to use to access the GroupWise WebAccess page. After you make the selection for your configuration, click the Next button.

    • To communicate with the GroupWise WebAccess gateway, the web server requires a Java servlet. By default, the Use Novell Servlet Gateway option is selected. Unless you have a lot of experience working with web servers and have a compelling reason to use a different Java servlet, you should accept this default option and click the Next button to continue.

    • GroupWise WebAccess stores configuration files and log files in a directory on the web server. Click the Browse button to select a directory that isn't being used by any other service. Then click the Next button.

    • The next screen prompts you to confirm the NDS tree and context in which the installation program will create four NDS objects for GroupWise WebAccess. After you verify this information, click the Next button.

    • A Summary screen appears, listing all of the options that you have selected. Again, you should record this information and keep it with the rest of your GroupWise documentation. Then click the Next button.

    • If the web server is already loaded on the server, you are prompted to unload the web server. Click the Yes button to unload it.

    • The next screen prompts you to unload the Java engine on the NetWare server. Click the Yes button.

      After the Java engine has been unloaded, a gauge appears, showing the status of the files being copied to the server. Then, after the files have been copied, a screen appears, prompting you to replace the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on the NetWare server with an updated version. Click the Yes button to update this JVM. Because a large number of files will be changed, this process can take between 20 to 30 minutes.

    • When all the files have been copied to the server, the Start Applications screen appears. Three options are selected: restart the web server, start the GroupWise WebAccess agent, and display an installation summary. Click the Finish button to accomplish all three tasks.

After the installation process is completed, you will need to do a little testing before you check out the wireless portion of GroupWise WebAccess. For example, you should make sure that all of the required GroupWise NLMs are loaded.

If these NLMs are loaded, you should not have any problems using the GroupWise WebAccess service. If you do have problems that aren't resolved by other troubleshooting means, restarting the server running GroupWise WebAccess and/or the GroupWise NLMs should resolve the problem.

Next, you should launch a web browser and enter the URL for the GroupWise WebAccess server (HTTPS://url). After the browser contacts this server, a Security Alert screen may appear. If this screen appears, the security certificate is from a company that your browser currently does not know it can trust.

Assuming that you are using Internet Explorer, you can import the certificate to prevent having this message appear again on this computer. To import the certificate, complete the following steps:

  1. Click the View Certificate button on the bottom of that message.

  2. When the Certificate properties screen appears, you should see a Install Certificate button. Click this button.

  3. A Certificate Manager Import wizard screen appears. By clicking the Next button each time it appears and accepting the default options, you can easily import the certificate from your GroupWise WebAccess server. Thereafter, you should not see the security alert when accessing this server.

  4. Click the OK button to return to the web server screen you are accessing. The Web Services screen should now appear. Select the language that you want to use for this WebAccess session.

  5. After that language is selected, click the GO button to proceed to the login screen. Before continuing, you must ensure that you have set a password for the GroupWise account with which you will test the WebAccess service. This password is separate from your NDS password. Note. You should also access this account via the GroupWise 32-bit Windows client. When I set up my system, I received unavailable messages in GroupWise WebAccess until I accessed the account via the GroupWise 32-bit Windows client.

  6. When the GroupWise WebAccess login screen appears, enter the GroupWise username and password, and click the Login button to continue. You should see your GroupWise mailbox in web browser form.


Before you roll out GroupWise Wireless to your company, you probably want to test how it works. You can use a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) phone to access the GroupWise Wireless service, or you can use Openwave's UP.SDK. This tool allows you to see the GroupWise Wireless service from the users' perspective, without requiring you to use a mobile phone and consume what could be expensive airtime. (To download UP.SDK, visit, click Downloads, and download the UP.SDK 4.1.) Depending on the mobile phones your users have, you can download "skins" that will let you see exactly what the user will see.

After you have installed the UP.SDK, you click Programs, UP.SDK 4.1, and UP.Simulator. You should then see two windows appear on your computer: One window is for the engine that drives the simulator, and the other window is for the graphical phone simulator. (See Figure 2.) Click the OK button on the phone simulator, and then click the button for Menu.

When the next screen appears, you should have two choices. Choose the Go To option, and click the OK button.

The Enter a URL screen appears. Fortunately, the UP browser is smart enough not to require that you enter http:// before entering the site name for your GroupWise WebAccess server. You also have the option of using an IP address instead of the site name for your GroupWise WebAccess server. Assuming you are using the IP address, you enter (Replace with the actual IP address or the fully qualified DNS name of the GroupWise WebAccess server.) Then click the button that matches the OK label on the phone simulator.

After the simulator has established contact with your company's GroupWise WebAccess server, the Novell GroupWise User ID screen appears. Enter your GroupWise User ID, and click the button that matches the OK label on the screen.

The Novell GroupWise User Password screen appears. Enter your password, and click the button that matches the OK label on the screen.

After the authentication process is completed, the Novell GroupWise screen appears. The following options are listed on this screen:

  • Mail

  • Appointments

  • Tasks

  • Address Book

  • Compose

You can use the computer keyboard to enter data on the phone simulator, or you can use the actual keystrokes that users must use on their cell phones.

This simulator can also help you verify that GroupWise WebAccess is working correctly if users have problems and call you for help. Keep in mind, however, that some differences between the simulator and GroupWise WebAccess exist. For example, you won't be able to store the URL in the simulator. You must enter the URL each time you use the simulator with your GroupWise WebAccess server.

If you don't have the UP simulator, you have another option. You can type the following URL in your browser:

This URL gives you what is essentially a text interface in a web browser with minimal graphics. You change the IP address in this URL to either the IP address or DNS name of your GroupWise WebAccess server. The most important thing to note is that the U in user must be capitalized. All of the rest of the letters must be lowercased.


As you can see, enabling wireless users to access your company's GroupWise system isn't difficult. The most important thing is to have complete, accurate documentation on your company's GroupWise system and to keep that documentation updated as you make changes. Then when you need to troubleshoot a problem, you will have all of the information you need to resolve the problem quickly and easily.

Ronald Nutter is a Master CNE and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

License To Roam

Novell has made it easy for your company to connect wireless devices to its GroupWise system. Because GroupWise WebAccess is included with GroupWise 6, you can simply install GroupWise WebAccess from the GroupWise 6 CD. No additional software or purchase is required. (According to Novell, GroupWise 6 is the only collaboration and e-mail system that includes wireless support in the box.)

If your company wants the GroupWise 32-bit Windows client (which also includes wireless access), GroupWise 6 retails for U.S. $130 per user. If your company has deskless workers who do not need the GroupWise 32-bit Windows client, Novell has a special licensing scheme for wireless-only or web-only clients--U.S. $30 per user.

For more information about GroupWise 6 pricing and licensing, visit

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


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.

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