What a day at the Tech Summit! So many interesting presentations,
discussions and debates!
First up: Datasync Mobility Pack
It always a surprise how many GroupWise customers don't know that
they are entitled to this product. The Mobility Pack allows
customers to connect their iOS, Android, Windows and any other
ActiveSync-capable devices to GroupWise. Users can sync emails,
calendars and address books, whether on smartphones or tablet
We were presented with a roadmap, which had already been published
on the Novell
What is interesting, though, is that the engineers covered some
interesting troubleshooting steps. For example, to troubleshoot
issues with items synching to the device, go to the Mobility
Monitor, and check the user queue to see if there are any items
pending. If so, send an email to that user and see if the Pending
Emails increments. If so, then the issue is not between GroupWise
and the Mobility connector.
Also very practical in determining where the problem lies is - of
course - examining the log files. You can find these on your
Datasync server in /var/log/datasync/connectors.
The current version is 1.2.4; in update 5, there will be a new
Monitor feature that will allow you to view the status of your
system. A preview of this feature is available in 1.2.4, but
hidden. You want to activate it? Here's how.
On your Datasync server, go to /opt/novell/datasync, and execute
the following command:
./previewfeatures.sh -m -a enable
…and finally, log in to your Datasync Admin console. You will
notice a new icon in your menu bar at the top-right of the
Click on this button to get to the new Monitor screen. The initial
screen will show you a system status (click image below to zoom
You can also drill down to specific users:
Now remember: this is only a
Preview feature and is not yet supported by Novell! Enable at your
own risk! There….I warned you.
If you want to turn it off again, just go back to your Datasync
server and execute this command:
./previewfeatures.sh -m -a disable
Next up: Ted Tronson, Ninja Print Master
Novell has been talking about iPrint quite a bit in the past year.
Two things that customers are really looking forward: AirPrint and
the iPrint Appliance.
AirPrint will allow you to use iPrint and Wi-Fi to basically
AirPrint-enable all of your printers
for mobile printing! It will not matter whether your printers
support the AirPrint feature or not; if iPrint can connect to the
printer and print to it, then your mobile devices will be able to
use these printers.
The iPrint appliance will allow customers - Novell or Microsoft
environments! - to provide easy, secure printing to their users.
The appliance will ship as a VM and can be deployed in about 20
AirPrint will be available in the first quarter of 2013, while the
iPrint appliance will be available in the second quarter. OES
customers current on their maintenance will be entitled to both of
these products, or they can be purchased separately.
Kevin Crutchfield, Director of Engineering and Richard
Linstedt, Product Manager.
In my 20 or so years of working with Novell products, I don't think
I have ever seen customers so
excited about a new product as they are about Filr!
The "consumerization of IT" has driven new needs; tablets and
services like DropBox have shown users what file sharing could be
like, and they LOVED it! This is a trend that IT cannot stop, but
rather has to deal with. There is a strong demand from customers
for an easy, dropbox-like experience for their users, all the while
keeping the data secure and managed. Only Novell Filr will be able
to provide that functionality for both Novell and Microsoft
During the demo, it became quickly apparent that Filr is very much
based on technology already existing in Vibe, but with added
functionality and features.
For example, like Vibe, users will be able to track "What's New"
with their file activity:
Users will have access to files they have rights to on the network,
or they can also store files in their own personal area:
Based on policies assigned by IT, users also have the ability to
share files, either with internal or external users:
Of course, the real power of Filr will be in the ability to access
these files from mobile devices; I was not able to get any
screenshots of the mobile app, but during the presentation the
engineers showed what it looks like, and well…it's pretty
Now, the "bad" news: a lot of us were expecting - and hoping! -
that Filr would be released before the end of 2012. However, at
this point in time, Novell has committed to a release date of April
2013. I know…a lot of customers are super-anxious to get their
hands on this. In December, a Technology Preview will be made
available to select customers and partners; Adaris will most likely
be able to be part of this and we will deploy it internally so we
can start testing it and showing it to customers. A public beta is
scheduled for the beginning of February, to be announced - most
likely - during Brainshare.
And finally, Tracy Smith, the Product Manager for Vibe, gave us an
overview of the upcoming release, code-named "Hudson". This version
will be released about the same time as Filr, and since a lot of
the underlying technology is based on Vibe, will include pretty
tight integration with Filr. A lot of the folder types are being
revamped and the new look is very nice!