By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-11-21 Print this article Print

With GroupWise 7.0, Novell Inc. has simplified information management for users, maintaining GroupWises excellent pedigree as an enterprise-class messaging and collaboration application.

At $130 per user, GroupWise 7.0 is one of the more expensive enterprise messaging solutions on the market. However, eWEEK Labs tests show that it also delivers considerable value, particularly in the way the GroupWise client exposes the platforms excellent workflow tools without sacrificing ease of use and learning. The GroupWise family also includes GroupWise Messenger, an instant messaging server and client.

Click here to read eWEEK Labs reviews of low-cost groupware servers.
GroupWise includes Novells e-Directory, offering administrators a solid alternative to Microsoft Corp.s Exchange and Active Directory—especially since GroupWise supports the Outlook client. Indeed, one thing that sets GroupWise apart from other enterprise messaging servers is its breadth of client support, with native clients for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux desktop operating systems.

The Mac OS X and Linux clients, as well as the Web-based WebAccess client, support the core features of GroupWise, but they dont support all the organizational elements of the Windows-based client.

Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies. For example, using the Mac OS X client, eWEEK Labs couldnt designate a category for an e-mail message or organize column-based views. The WebAccess client has the look of the GroupWise client, but the navigation elements and features are organized differently.

Novell has done a good job integrating its Evolution groupware client with GroupWise—Evolution can take advantage of GroupWises collaboration features within the scope of its own conventions. For example, recipients of assigned tasks and calendar invitations can accept them through embedded buttons in an e-mail message.

Whatever the platform, the GroupWise client does an excellent job of providing a framework for collaboration around tasks and documents. However, users new to the client—particularly those used to the Outlook mail client—may be a little confused at first by some of its conventions, such as organizing tasks under checklists in the navigation tree.

We liked the configuration options for the GroupWise client, such as the ability to organize views by columns. GroupWise supports up to a three-pane view of e-mail and has some good tools for organizing and categorizing messages by topics and threads.

Next Page: Productivity enhancements.


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