GroupWise is a messaging and collaborative software platform from Novell that supports email, calendaring, personal information management, instant messaging, and document management. The platform consists of the client software, which is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and the server software, which is supported on Windows Server, NetWare, and Linux. The latest generation of the platform is GroupWise 8.
GroupWise can operate on a number of server and workstation platforms. Server platforms include NetWare, Linux, and Windows. There is a Windows client and a less-capable Java client for Linux and Mac OS X. Novell has delivered closer client feature parity in GroupWise 8. There are also GroupWise connectors for Microsoft Outlook and Novell Evolution.
GroupWise WebAccess 7.0 rendered by Mozilla Firefox running under Windows XP
GroupWise WebAccess provides users with most of the functionality of the desktop clients from a Web browser. It also supports handheld/PDA access via the Web. The most current revision of GroupWise (8.0) includes license to GroupWise Mobile Server by Nokia which enables wireless mail support for almost any mobile device. One notable exception is Apple's iPhone. While Groupwise's email works with the iPhone, Groupwise's calendar does not.
The GroupWise Post Office Agent (POA) supports IMAP and SOAP access to user mailboxes, in addition to the native client. The GroupWise Internet Agent (GWIA) provides SMTP communication to other E-Mail systems, and also supports IMAP, POP3, SOAP, and iCalendar access to user mailboxes. Additionally, special modules called gateways support direct connectivity to other groupware systems such as Microsoft Exchange Server and IBM Lotus Domino.
GroupWise includes instant messaging since version 6.5. The solution is targeted specifically at the corporate market with features such as directory service integration and SSL encryption. In addition to the Windows and Linux clients provided by Novell, the protocol is supported by Gossip, iChat, and popular multiprotocol IM applications such as Kopete, Pidgin (previously known as GAIM) and Adium. There is also a client available for Blackberry. Non-native clients will only work when SSL communication is enabled on the server.
The latest version is 8.0. It includes pre-bundled SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, which can be used for running GroupWise at no additional cost.
GroupWise is included in the Novell Open Workgroup Suite and its precursors, the Novell Small Business Suite and the Novell Linux Small Business Suite.
GroupWise originated in 1986 with an extension of the WordPerfect suite, called "WordPerfect Library 1.0" which ran at the time on the Data General and Amiga platforms. The product was developed by WordPerfect Corporation in conjunction with some of their largest customers, including the US Department of Justice, as well as with the programming input of some individual system admins of smaller government agencies, like Eliot Lanes. WordPerfect Library did not include email or calendaring: it consisted of Personal Calendar, Editor, Notebook, Calculator, File Manager and Shell. In 1987, WordPerfect Library was extended to the PC platform in a DOS version.
In 1988, email and calendaring/scheduling debuted in the product, which was also rebranded as "WordPerfect Office 2.0".
1990 brought the release of WordPerfect Office 3.0, adding Macintosh and UNIX to the client mix and supporting multiple servers with cross-server email, calendaring and scheduling.
WordPerfect Office 3.1 was released in 1992, adding a Windows client and boasting the ability to work cross-platform on DOS, Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and VAX/VMS. Version 3.1 also added a remote capability for async or wireless connections.
Version 4.0 was released in 1993 with an entirely new interface and transitioning to a database technology for the message store. Other major features included task management, server-based rules, remote replication/synchronization, centralized administration of multiple servers, 32-bit server capability, simultaneous release on all platforms, and many other innovative additions that were firsts in the market. Gateways included SMTP, X.400, fax, pager, and PROFS.
WordPerfect was acquired by Novell in 1994, and the server components were ported to the NetWare network operating system. At the same time, WordPerfect Office was renamed GroupWise and integrated with Novell Directory Services (now known as Novell eDirectory). In 1996, Novell sold most of the WordPerfect applications to Corel Corporation, but decided to keep GroupWise.
GroupWise 4.1, the first Novell release, debuted in 1994, adding NLMs (Netware Loadable Modules) and gateways to offer extensive back-end capabilities. Other new features included World Wide Web links in objects, the ability for third-party developers to create and maintain items, tighter Netware integration and management, SNMP capabilities, live maintenance without the need to shut down the server, an integrated listserver, and the ability to access the system remotely via touch-tone telephone.
In 1996, GroupWise WebAccess was released as an add-on, providing internet-based access to GroupWise from a web browser.
GroupWise 5 in 1996 brought universal management of all types of messages and objects and full collaborative document management. GroupWise Imaging made scanned documents available as well. Integration with Novell Directory Services was also offered. Other notable features included conferencing, a Universal Mailbox, client/server functionality, and shared folders. At this time, some native client platforms were dropped at the time, notably the Macintosh client, preferring instead to offer support via the web-based client.
Version 5.2 added extensive Internet functionality in 1997, including IMAP4, LDAP, POP3, embedded URLs and native TCP/IP. GroupWise Workflow was also added to the product.
GroupWise 5.5 in 1998 enhanced all the basic groupware functions, added full-text indexing and enhanced support for internet standards and security.
With the release of GroupWise 6.5 SP1 in 2004, Linux was added to the list of platforms supported by the server components.
In 2006 GroupWise Mobile Server (based on the Nokia Intellisync software) was released allowing handheld devices running multiple platforms to synchronize e-mail, contacts, calendar, and notes with GroupWise.
GroupWise 7 was launched in 2005, providing a totally new Windows client and WebAccess.
GroupWise 8, codenamed Bonsai, was released on Nov. 17, 2008. It brought even better client and added many new features like Calendar Publishing. See the Whats new documentation at http://www.novell.com/documentation/gw8/.
Groupwise 8 SP1 was released in August 2009. Groupwise 8 SP2 was released in July 2010.
In 2005, Novell announced a commitment to further develop its collaboration platform. The company has also announced that it will transition its GroupWise Mobile Server software to ActiveSync technology in 2010, prior to the launch of the next major GroupWise release (codenamed "Ascot") later in 2010.