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GroupWise Client Work

Yesterday, The GroupWise engineering team gave Bryan Cardoza, Nat Friedman and me a full tour of the updates to the GroupWise clients. I went to the meeting without very high expectations only to have my socks knocked off by the incredible amount of work that had been done across the board.

Every one of the client interfaces that Novell produces for GroupWise had gotten a serious facelift, and the functionality that comes with the cosmetics was equally exciting. The GroupWise WebAccess interface is beautiful. The team has pushed some new user interface boundaries in the Win32 client–actual pioneering work in this area. The crossplatform client (for Mac and Linux) has undergone major improvements, too. We have one other client that we’re working on as well, but I’m not going to talk about it yet. (Hint: I’m not talking about Evolution.)

Best evidence of all as to whether the team is doing their work well was Nat’s reaction. Nat has been with Novell for only a short time, and his oversight of GroupWise has been literally a few months. Consequently, Nat does not have the deep emotional attachment to GroupWise that people typically get over any technology in which they have a vested interest. Also, Nat is a user experience zealot. He really gets that the look and feel of software has as much (or more) to say about its quality than the actual functionality. So, Nat gushing–I mean, literally gushing–about the demos after seeing them speaks volumes about the work being done.

For me, the demos got me really charged up about the upcoming launch of this next version of GroupWise. This is going to be a fun product to show off and market. I know that our current customers are going to love the strides we have made with it, and I also have a renewed confidence that we can start attracting Linux-ready shops to consider adopting GroupWise instead of swallowing the Windows-Exchange pill.

We’ll demo the interfaces at BrainShare next week, and I do not want to steal any of the thunder from the keynotes and breakouts that will feature this release. Suffice to say that it will be quite good.


5 Responses

  1. Glad to hear that the app (groupwise) has really nice interfaces. I guess that doesn’t really excite me. No thats wrong. I know it doesn’t excite me.

    What I really want to know is what “Open Standard”(TM:) Groupwise is using for storing “My Data”.

    Is “My Data” readily available in an easily read and easily converted format?

    You see I have had to use Groupwise before and was suddenly unable to do all the nifty things I had been doing with email for 10 years.

    Because of that I had to write a tool to convert all the Groupwise emails into a more recognizable form as they were transfered from the groupwise system to the UNIX environment. That was fun. (not)

    And so anyone who uses “not Groupwise” email/cooperative application software or if a group wishes to move from groupwise to “some other tool” how much pain and expense will be required to move to a different tool, (in terms of converting/moving/syncing “My Data”)

    Remember, Its “My Data”. I want control over it. I don’t want it locked up in some b*st*rdized proprietary psuedo-database.

    Today no business is foolish enough, (I hope), to lock up their critical, daily operational communications and collaboration info in a closed, proprietary format.

    There’s nothing wrong with using proprietary collaboration software, as long as the data is kept in a standard format that can be /is used by multiple similar/competing applications.

  2. George:
    Have you checked out the Hula project yet? Completely open–perhaps it’s more up your alley.

  3. I’m looking forward to some changes in the GW client architecture that make it more flexible and up to date. I saw some screenshots of ideas the product team was throwing around last Brainshare… I look forward to seeing something closer to a product soon.

    If you can, push to get some screenshots or flash-style demo’s for the rest of us that don’t manage to get to Brainshare US. 😉

  4. I am very glad to hear about the improvements in GroupWise interfaces. I’ve been a GW admin for close to eight years now, and of course I love the product. It has a fundamentally sound core design – what’s not to love? 😉

    One interface that would be nice, is something a little more up to date than the API gateway, for programatic access to the server.

    Boy oh boy I want to attend BrainShare, but alas, my employer doesn’t want to pay for training. I’ve been four times, and it was great each time – but this year I am going to miss out. Rats!

  5. Webaccess a thing of beauty????? It just barely functions as an e-mail client. We are forced to use it at our company and it is a serious piect of crap for getting things done quickly. Sending e-mail with an attachment to multiple reciepients takes so many clicks that my finger gets tired.

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