Novell has finally released the fruits of its Jefferson Project, after its original shipping date in the summer slipped to last week.
The company claimed the delays were caused by the wait for a crucial part of the HTML conversion technology from partner Inso.
Codenamed the Jefferson Project and now officially named GroupWise WebPublisher, the technology allows users to publish documents to the Internet and intranets directly from GroupWise.
"GroupWise is moving from the concept of an Email platform to being a full document management solution," said Peter Joseph, market development manager for groupware at Novell. "We are now enabling companies to take the content that GroupWise has given them control over and extend that content out to the Internet."
Novell, which first showed off plans for the product a year ago, claims that this is the industry's first such solution, but these claims are disputed by Lotus.
"It's not true," protested Victor Aberdeen, Internet product manager for Lotus. "We've been providing document management to the web for the last 12 months."
Though he admitted that Lotus Domino already has similar functionality, Joseph claimed Novell's solution was better because it allows users to manage files in their native format and because GroupWise is an off-the-shelf application.
"If you're using applications like Word or WordPerfect you are using them because of the functionality they offer," he said. "Anything you put in Domino is in a Notes format and you lose the functionality of the native files."
Aberdeen argued that Novell was "comparing chalk with cheese" and that keeping native file formats such as Word was not an issue. "They're implying it's just about publishing information rather than managing it," he said.
GroupWise WebPublisher is available for download free of charge from this week on Novell's site at www.novell.com/groupwise until April of next year.
After this Novell may begin charging for the product, the company said.
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