GWAVACon Report


For those of you who missed GWAVACon this year, you really missed a great event!

There were over 500 attendees and lots of great information being shared. One event that I always like to take good notes on are the previews of future products coming out from Novell. Phil Muir spent about an hour demonstrating the new features of Bonsai, the next release of GroupWise, due out in the fall of 2007. He actually brought up the GroupWise client, as it stands currently, and he was unable to get it to crash. There were a few memory errors, but the client wouldn’t crash. The reason he wanted it to crash was to demonstrate the new feature of Save Draft or whatever they’re going to call it. In essence, if you’re working on an email and GroupWise crashes, when you re-open the client, it asks you if you want to continue working on the email you were composing. That, in itself, is almost enough to upgrade to the cliient when it comes out. But there’s more. Here are my notes from his presentation. They are a little cryptic, so please take them for what they are, Notes. If you have questions about my notes, please email me and I’ll be glad to answer them. mray@gwguru.com


Power to the People



Ken Muir, Phil Karen – Bonsai


Past successes:

May – 2006
Novell Open Workgroup Suite
June, 2006
GMS, powered by INtellisync
GW7 SP1
Dec, 2006
Interim Release 1
Future of Groupwise – Bonsai
Halfway done coding with bonsai, code complete in May, ship in November ’07.

  • Contact management
  • People have to get answers fast

“The first two-by-four that hit me in the head, when I looked down at it, it said Contact Management.”

  • Schedule Coordination
  • Publish calendars
  • Subscribe to calendars
  • Check availability across organizations
  1. Windows Client
  • Make Home View a personal productivity dashboard
    • Collect
    • Process
    • Organize
    • Do
    • Review
    1. Save work in progress
    1. Compose messages
  • Word
    • Office
    1. Manage tasks
    1. Linux and Mac Clients
  • It’s going to look like GroupWise 7
    • Linux is an alternative to Vista
    • Mac dominates creative groups
    • “Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’re trying to get both clients together as far as features go.”
    • Our goal: Make both clients identical.
    • Functionality on Par with GroupWise 7
    1. -ui=gtk – a startup switch that makes groupwise look different on linux client
    1. Ken’s Group uses a coding method called Agile Code Development that makes the code shippable at any time.
  • He just grabbed the latest build and brought it with him
    • It looks a lot like the gw7 client and he jumped around the client and got a few memory errors, but it still did everything he asked it to do.
    • Full color calendars
    • He actually pulled a copy of his live groupwise system and ran the gw linux client against it.
    • Drag and drop calendar modifications
    • New Checklist
    • New automatic saving of compose mode
    1. Getting things done
  • You have to be able to process stuff quickly and orderly
    • You can now hide completed checklist items
    • You can mark items a percentage of completion (30% complete for example) – project management
    • Every folder has the ability to have a sticky folder list or quickview – remember folder list state
    • Remember quickviewer visibility
    1. Customized Panels
  • You can have as many columns in your panels as you want
    • GWAVAHome Page – web page panels
    • Message Preview – you can see the first 200 characters of all of your emails
    • It remembers your login information and the page you were on
    1. Editors/Viewers
  • Compose messages with Word or Office applications
    • You change the setting and when you go into new mail, it opens word as the composer
    • You can insert spreadsheets and other applications into the email, just like you could in Word or Excel (or Open Office)
    1. Publish Calendars
  • Generates location and send the link via an email
    • Someone sends you an email
    • Webcal: it populates all the schedules into your calendar
    • GWMailto hangs
    • Interacts with Icalshare.com
    1. Alternate Time Zone
  • Allows you to see your time zone lined up against a different time zone, ie., Katmandu against PST.
    1. During the Demo, Ken wanted to make the groupwise client to crash so he could show the way that newly composed messages are auto-saved so that when you go back into GroupWise after a crash, it asks you what you want to do with the messages that were saved. He eventually just killed GroupWise with the Task Manager and then restarted it so he could show this feature. It’s ironic. There are still 4 months left of coding to do on it, but he couldn’t get it to crash.
    1. Address now allows you to put in photos and things and looks like outlook
  • History tab shows you all the conversations you have with the person you have selected in the address book
    • View Map allows you to click on a user in address book and it jumps to google and maps their address out, all from within the client
    • Birthdays put into the address book show up on your calendar automatically
    1. Summary
  • An affordable, powerful, flexible, and secure alternative
    • Next Release, Bonsai, late 2007
    • Contact Management
    • Calendars and schedule coordination
    • He committed to shipping no later than November 30th
    • Clients
    • Windows & Windows Vista
    • Web Access
    • SLED 10
    • Mac
    • Outlook
    1. Very few people were angry that he waited until June to ship because when it shipped, it was solid
    1. Windows Vista, end of February it will be supported
    1. The feedback from customers was that SP1 was the most solid release in a long time
    1. Support Call volume for SP1 was down 67% and defects & logs were down 68%
    1. Nothing is as old as yesterday’s sports page – Nothing is as old as our last release. We’re on the road to better things.
    1. This is the right release (Bonsai) at the right time for our customers
    1. Web Access has the most developers on his team and it’s going to be awesome. He didn’t show us Web Access, but will show it at Brainshare and he’s saying that it’s amazing.
    1. Questions
  • How many of the new features will be available in the APIs?
    • We like to eat our own Caviar and we’re trying to make sure that the APIs are all there.
    1. What version will you ship? 7.5? 8?
  • Undecided at this point. He asked the audience what they would like to see.
    1. 64 bit support?
  • We run on 64 bit architecture now, we’re independent.
    • The client and backend code?
    • We are working on 64 bit, but, Bonsai won’t take advantage of 64 bit pointers
    • We’re laying foundation and it’s all based on Unicode (95%)
    1. Are you going to change the shared folder’s ability to change ownership?
  • Expire the user’s account
    1. What’s going on with the outlook client?
  • Continuing development
    • Rewrote a bunch of tables
    1. Is MS helping with that?
  • It’s on his agenda of things to do with MS after the new agreement with them in November.
    • Mailtune
    • Out of office
    • Archiving to PSTs??
    1. Multiuser calendaring can not be shown for more than 1 day. Is this going to be addressed?
  • It’s not in bonsai
    • Not sure about web access
    1. Management of GroupWise through imanager?
  • Something they’re taking on, expanding his team to do that
    • Doubled qa team in the last month
    • Adding resources to start working on aspen
    • They’re working on imanager lite so that it’s not eDir specific. He doesn’t want to tie GroupWise to eDir any longer so that non-eDir customers can install it.
    1. External integration with wordperfect?
  • No, not on the roadmap