Chris J Powell

Novell Groupwise continues to Evolve

The Venerable Productivity Application Groupwise continues to evolve and reinvent itself in this age of mobility and collaboration.  When we look back to the early days of Groupwise in 1988 it changed how people interacted with each other and is still used today by many of my clients (which is surprising considering the dominance of Microsoft Exchange).

Last January I did a comparison of the TCO of Groupwise vs Exchange and since then, much to my surprise it has continued to be one of the most popular posts that I have done.  That being said I figured it was time to look to the road map of future developments with the Novell Product that refuses to quit!

2012 – Novell Groupwise 2012 SP1

  • Android and Playbook clients
  • Turkish and Bulgarian WebAccess support
  • Quality and Performance

Early 2013 – Novell Groupwise 2012 Quality Update (Cardiff 2)

  • Co-existence with Microsoft Exchange
  • Free/Busy Service
  • Address Book Synchronization
  • Quality and Performance

Mid 2013 – Novell Data Syncronizer (Eenou)

  • Scalability
  • ActiveSync Protocol 12.1
  • Monitoring and diagnostics
  • Device limits
  • Task support
  • Support for resources
  • Quality and performance

Mid 2013 – Novell Messenger (Dillon)

  • iPhone mobile app
  • Android mobile app
  • Multiple connections

Late 2013 – Novell Groupwise (Windermere)

  • Active Directory integration
  • Web administration
  • Public administration API
  • Windows client and WebAccess enhancements

Late 2013 – Novell Data Syncronizer (Black Forest)

  • Service management interface
  • GroupWise web admin integration
  • GroupWise Client and WebAccess integration
  • Updated ActiveSync Protocol
  • Shared items preview
  • Quality and performance

Late 2013 – Novell Vibe (Hudson)

  • Significant performance and productivity improvements around all folder types (files, wiki, blog, photo, etc)
  • Landing page improvements
  • Search and WebDAV improvements
  • Quality and performance
  • Invited external users
  • Filr integrations
  • Offline file access for iOS/Android

Late 2013 – Novell Vibe (Inverness)

  • Significant performance and productivity improvements around all entry types
  • Landing page improvements
  • Quality and performance
  • Unique document IDs
  • Integrated IM/chat

This extensive Roadmap comes directly from Novell at their “Novell Collaboration Roadmap” that tracks the development from 2003 to 2014 and shows the continuous improvement that the developers have focused on for the past decade.  While Microsoft Exchange has done a fine job and the Office Productivity Suite that ties to it have dominated the Enterprise world I really start to wonder why more organizations are not looking at Groupwise as true alternative to get away from Vendor Lock with Microsoft?

In a Novell Whitepaper in 2009 there are substantial Cost Savings that can be gained by leveraging the power of Groupwise but obviously this is not enough for organizations to make the leap over to Novell and most of the time the question is how do we migrate from Novell to Microsoft.  So if cost is not the only consideration, then there must be things that Groupwise can not do and that is why the switch appears to be one way.

I looking at the Feature Comparison over at Novell’s Site that compares Groupwise 2012 to Exchange / Outlook 2010, and the advantage for included customization and flexibility seems to go to Groupwise?

I think that there may be a real question that I need to ask to my clients as I have quite a substantial list that are looking to migrating to the Cloud with their Email, and to really look to what Groupwise can do for them long term.  In fact, I have signed up for one of their Beta Programs but alas there is not a client version that is a stand alone product and I will have to continue to use the watered down Evolution that is part of the Ubuntu Repositories.

Well have a great day.

Chris J Powell


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3 thoughts on “Novell Groupwise continues to Evolve

  1. Hi, Chris…I’m the Product Marketing Manager for Novell GroupWise, and it was great to see your post. I appreciate the analysis you’ve done–and the fact that you’re leveraging our online collaboration roadmap. Feel free to reach out to me ( anytime.


    Kari Woolf

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