Tech Industry

GroupWise gets Java jolt

Novell will attempt to regain its stride in the race for groupware market share with an upgrade to its GroupWise5 package and with new Java support.

Novell (NOVL) will attempt to regain its stride in the race for groupware market share with an upgrade to its GroupWise5 package along with new Java support.

The upgrade, dubbed Groupwise5.1, is due by month's end. It streamlines the software's installation and upgrading features in response to customer complaints that migrating to version 5's client-server framework is too inflexible. Novell officials say they also have improved response time and document management, and have simplified administration.

Version 5.1 includes better Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) client support to make it easier to access information stored in LDAP directories. For use of GroupWise in conjunction with Novell's WebAccess Internet-enabler, new support for version 3 of the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) will let users click on hyperlinks embedded in email for direct access to Web sites.

The GroupWise 5.1 upgrade is the second incremental code change made since the company launched the fifth generation of the groupware engine last fall. Version 5.1 will available free of charge until April 30 to owners of GroupWise 4.1 and above.

Next month Novell will post a beta copy of new Java support for GroupWise WebAccess. The beta software will be posted to Novell's Web site. Additional Java applets will follow this summer, officials said.

The Java enhancements will essentially jazz up Novell's user interface and add more graphical, detailed features to calendaring and scheduling software. Company developers are also working to dovetail the Novell client with standard Web browsers, so that users can go back and forth between clients without having to adapt to two distinct interfaces, the company said.

On the list for beta release sometime after the first quarter is the company's Web publishing software initiative, code-named the Jefferson Project. The software is designed for easy building and updating of documents and hypertext links on Web sites, the company said. Support for POP3, LDAP (on the server), S-MIME and NNTP will also come later this year, the company said.