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What's New in GroupWise 5.5?

Articles and Tips: tip

01 Aug 1998

Novell has announced the upcoming release of GroupWise version 5.5, a comprehensive, open standards-based product designed to enhance messaging, collaboration, and information management on networks of any size. The new version builds on the comprehensive feature set provided in previous GroupWise releases: e-mail, document management, calendaring, scheduling, remote and Web access, workflow, imaging, paging, faxing, and voice-mail integration. It also eases the process of integrating the GroupWise system with intranet and Internet environments.

GroupWise 5.5 retains the innovative Universal Mailbox introduced with GroupWise 5.0, which allows documents, schedules, resources, and all other collaborative information to be accessed and managed as easily as e-mail. GroupWise reduces the total cost of network ownership by leveraging Novell Directory Services (NDS) to reduce administrative costs and keep system maintenance to a minimum. NDS helps to reduce administrative time and effort by providing enterprise-wide administration tools that automatically replicate directory changes on the users' client/server platform of choice. GroupWise also saves administrative time through automatic database maintenance and link scheduling.

New Document Management Features

In the area of document management, the following functionality (some of which was previously available only in standalone applications) is included in GroupWise 5.5.

  • Librarian. GroupWise now offers the ability to split and merge document libraries, along with the ability to move and change document properties en masse.

  • Dynamic References/Attachments. When you send a document to a group of people, GroupWise automatically sends a reference to that document to group members who have access to the library. If you are sending a document reference to users outside of the GroupWise system. GroupWise dynamically sends it as an attachment to group members who do not have library access.

  • Document Echoing. Documents are dynamically "echoed" from a GroupWise library to a user's local hard drive or other location so that documents are available even if the user is connected remotely.

  • Related Fields. Users can now make an entry in a particular properties field dependent upon an entry in another properties field. For example, in the legal community this translates to the ability to make a "Matter" field entry dependent upon the "Client" field entry. In the absence of related fields, all values in the "Matter" validation table would be available regardless of the "Client" entry.

  • Enhanced Integrations. GroupWise provides the ability to specify how document management functions will integrate with other applications.

  • Default Public Security. You now have the ability to set default security as either public or private. (In previous versions of GroupWise, document management security defaults to private.)

  • Import/Export of Lookup Table Data. GroupWise now supports the ability to import ASCII data into a Properties field lookup table, or to export table data to an ASCII file.

Internet Integration and Security

Connecting a GroupWise 5.5 system to the Internet is easier than ever, thanks to the following new features.

  • GroupWise WebPublisher. WebPublisher (formerly code-named "the Jefferson Project") is now bundled with GroupWise 5.5. Through this server-based document publishing solution, users can publish documents directly to the Internet or corporate intranets while maintaining the security, concurrency and version control of GroupWise document management. The GroupWise document stores can be searched and browsed with a typical Web browser. The unique aspect of this feature is that it converts documents in numerous supported formats (Microsoft Word, Excel, and others) to HTML on the fly. WebPublisher operates as a NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) or as an NT process. The WebPublisher Agent interfaces with the user's Web (HTTP) server via CGI (Common Gateway Interface).

  • Native Internet Addressing. GroupWise 5.5 supports "native Internet addressing," which means GroupWise maintains user account names as typical SMTP mail addresses, instead of the proprietary format used in previous versions of GroupWise. This allows GroupWise systems to communicate with each other across the Internet with full collaborative functionality. Users may easily enter Internet addresses without specifying that the address is not in their GroupWise system. GroupWise can also dynamically link to other GroupWise systems across the Internet using a DNS-based lookup from MTA (Message Transfer Agent) to MTA, retaining all the attributes of special message formats in the process.

  • Embedded Scripting. GroupWise lets users enrich their GroupWise environments through the creation of individualized scripts or forms in industry-standard languages such as VisualBasic and JavaScript so they can access and manipulate information in the GroupWise repository.

  • Security. GroupWise information types continue to be encrypted upon being sent. Information stays encrypted in the GroupWise system until it is accessed by sender or receiver.

Beyond this built-in encryption, GroupWise 5.5 enables S/MIME via Entrust 3.0 to ensure industry-standard security across the Internet. Support for S/MIME and PGP allows users to sign, encrypt, decrypt, and authenticate messages across the Internet. It also enables non-repudiation, which ensures that a signed information type (such as a purchase order or a stock certificate) is non-refutable (tamper-sealed).

Other New Features

  • Full-Text Indexing. All incoming information, including e-mail, documents, tasks and scheduling, is full-text indexed, allowing the user to more easily view, prioritize and manage the daily flow of business information.

  • Improved Calendaring. GroupWise 5.5's expanded calendar printing options and appointment descriptions let users accept an appointment or see the results of a busy search with such specifics as "free," "busy," "tentative appointment" or "out of the office." Calendar Views have also been expanded to include a multi-user view and a month view.

  • VCard Electronic Business Card Support. GroupWise 5.5 supports the vCard electronic business card format, which lets users exchange information and instantly create a new GroupWise address book record. Users may also send and receive vCard signatures via e-mail.

  • Enhanced Maintenance. Flexible server agents are provided for unattended maintenance tasks such as nightly preventative maintenance, auto-connect remote, and backup.

  • Year 2000 Readiness. GroupWise 5.5 (as well as GroupWise 4.1, 5.1, and 5.2) has been tested and meets all Novell Year 2000 readiness specifications.

Platforms Supported

For server platforms, GroupWise 5.5 supports NetWare 3, 4, and 5; Windows NT Server 4.0 and later; and Unix (Sun Solaris). GroupWise 5.5 requires at least one NetWare 4 server (or other platform running NDS).

For clients, GroupWise 5.5 supports the following platforms: Windows 3.x, 95, and NT; Macintosh; and Unix (Solaris).


GroupWise provides a single point of management for all types of corporate knowledge- including e-mail messages, faxes, voice mail messages, calendar information, tasks, workflow items, and documents. This messaging-based collaboration product offers comprehensive, easy-to-access corporate information gathering, accessing, and communicating. GroupWise is easy to deploy and use. All the enhanced GroupWise 5.5 features designed to expand the information management capabilities of Novell's collaboration solution can be easily accessed and immediately leveraged by users through the familiar GroupWise interface.

For more information about GroupWise 5.5, visit the product home page at or the GroupWise "Cool Solutions" online magazine at

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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