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Novell debuts groupware upgrade

Novell ships GroupWise 5.2, an upgrade to the company's messaging and collaboration software package with new support for Internet collaboration standards.

Novell (NOVL) today rolled out GroupWise 5.2, an upgrade to the company's messaging and collaboration software package with new support for Internet collaboration standards and Java applets.

As previously reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, version 5.2 includes support for standards such as IMAP4, dial-up SMTP/MIME, and POP3. Support for the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) on the client and server software sides is also part of the updated package. And it also integrates Java applets.

Support for Internet-based communications protocols is becoming customary for the collaborative software industry, as previously monolithic platforms seek to use the Web to provide services to users. By implementing a protocol potpourri, companies hope to be able to prove to customers that their software can interoperate with other email and collaborative software packages.

Lotus Development, Microsoft, and Netscape Communications are all investing heavily in adding protocol support to their groupware products.

Novell's Stewart Nelson, vice president of collaborative services, said the latest release of GroupWise is all about the Internet. "With the last release it was all about the universal mailbox. Today, we have universal access with Internet protocol. It's not enough to support Internet standards, but to extend them."

The Novell executive said with the addition of Java gives a full browser front-end support to the new package.

Novell said the package will also provide a GroupWise Gateway for Microsoft Mail-?a free add-on product that allows GroupWise and Microsoft Mail users to exchange messages seamlessly through GroupWise. Available in mid-October, there will also be a GroupWise Pager Gateway, a NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) that lets users send messages directly to pagers and PCMCIA paging receivers, as easily as they send messages to other GroupWise users or a standard pager.

The new package adds client support for Macintosh (68000 and PowerMac) and Unix, along with updated clients for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows NT. GroupWise also adds support for the full set of agents on Unix, in addition to upgraded agents on all platforms currently supported by GroupWise 5.1.

For administration purposes, Novell said GroupWise has a 32-bit NetWare Administrator for Windows 95 and NT. In addition, the package includes Administration Object API, which will allow customers, systems integrators, and third-party developers to access the administrative functions of GroupWise 5.2.

Pricing and license structures are identical to those of GroupWise 5.1, ranging from $718 for a 5-user license to $32,625 for a 250-user license.

In related news, Computer Associates International today began shipping a specialized Backup Agent for GroupWise. The Backup Agent, which is an option for Computer Associate's ARCserver for NetWare, allows users to back up their GroupWise messaging system without having to take it offline. The package is priced at $995 per GroupWise server.