Novell has announced a new release of its Groupwise collaboration software but its Internet technology is lagging two or three quarters behind its chief messaging competitors.
The company claims that capacity and performance have been increased in release 5.1 (see previous story), client/server connections optimised and document management functions enhanced. But much needed Internet protocols are not slated for inclusion until later this summer.
?Groupwise is really strong in terms of core functions, but the Web is killing Novell," said Mark Levitt, research manager for electronic messaging at market watcher IDC.
?Later on we will introduce Jefferson, a technology for doing dynamic publishing of documents from Groupwise document management systems to the Web,? said Peter Joseph, market development manager for groupware technology at Novell.
He added that future versions would also include support for additional industry messaging protocols including POP3, Network News Transfer Protocol and Secure MIME. Novell's own Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) will also be supported on the server to speed directory access and IMAP4 will enable selective downloads of mail.
"It is still only talking about delivering Web publishing and LDAP support, which puts it way behind (Lotus?) Domino," commented Levitt.
Novell is struggling to distinguish Groupwise from Microsoft Exchange, Netscape Suitespot and Lotus Notes/Domino in the competitive groupware market. According to Levitt, Novell secured 2.2 million new users in the worldwide messaging market in 1996, leaving it with a seven per cent market share, in fifth place behind Lotus, Netscape and Microsoft. ?In order for Novell to raise the volume for its products it needs to be ahead of the game. But it won?t catch up till this summer," he added.
Additional features for Groupwise 5.1 include support for embedded URLs (uniform resource locators) and multi-user calendar printouts.
With LDAP support on client and server, Groupwise users will be able to look up user information via any LDAP-compliant directory service as easily as from their personal address books. The upgrade will be available before the end of March and buyers of the previous release of Groupwise, version 5,0, will be able to upgrade for free.
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