Novell has announced plans to provide native support for Internet protocols in GroupWise 5 next year, as well as introduce a Java-enabled version of GroupWise WebAccess compliant with any HTML 3.0 browser in the first quarter and a separate Java-based client.
Novell has also announced a technology code-named the Jefferson Project, that will enable companies to create documents on the World Wide Web and intranets.
Novell currently provides native support for SMTP, MIME, TCP/IP and HTML in GroupWise 5, and plans to offer native support in the first quarter of 1997 for POP3, LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), IMAP4 and S-MIME (Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension), with support for NNTP by mid-year, a spokeswoman says.
"Its focus needs to be on SMTP, MIME, POP3, LDAP and IMAP4," says Mark Levitt, an analyst at International Data based in Framingham, Massachusetts. "Clearly, when it came out with GroupWise 5 it was behind the competition in supporting native Internet protocols."
While he is critical of Novell's Internet protocol support, Levitt praises moves to integrate Web publishing with GroupWise 5.
"The ability to publish documents out of GroupWise on to the Web is a feature that has made Lotus Domino very attractive and something that is not fully available in Microsoft Exchange," he says. "It will make GroupWise more attractive both for internal messaging and groupware, as well as for sharing information with the public and on internal intranets."
The Jefferson Project will allow network administrators to assign user access to documents within GroupWise. Documents will reside in the GroupWise library and be dynamically published to the Web whenever they are requested by a user via a search or a specific URL. Any changes made to the content or access privileges by the creator of the document also will be automatically reflected on the Web.
Meanwhile, Levitt thinks Novell is wasting its time pushing Java support. "Whenever I hear 'Java', I think of a vision for the future which may or may not ever be realised," he says. "So many companies are doing Java development and announcing products, but I don't see users asking for it or using it."
Levitt says Java is limited because it requires a 32-bit platform, while many are still using 16-bit operating systems, and because there are questions about Java's security, particularly the need to authenticate the creator of the applets.
Novell is on the Web at http://www.novell.com.