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Micro Focus GroupWise
Novell GroupWise 2012 icon.png
Micro Focus GroupWise
Micro Focus GroupWise
Developer(s)Micro Focus
Stable release
Operating systemClient platforms:
Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
Server platforms:
Linux, Windows

GroupWise is a messaging and collaboration platform from Micro Focus that supports email, calendaring, personal information management, instant messaging, and document management. The GroupWise platform consists of desktop client software, which is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and the server software, which is supported on Windows Server and Linux.

The platform also supports WebAccess, its browser-based webmail client. Mobile access to messaging, calendaring, contacts and other data from smartphones and tablet computers is supported (through the GroupWise Mobility Service software) via the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Enterprise instant messaging and presence is handled by GroupWise Messenger, which integrates with GroupWise.

The product's ownership history includes WordPerfect, Novell and Attachmate; Micro Focus's 2014 acquisition of Attachmate resulted in the product's Micro Focus GroupWise name.

The latest generation of the platform is GroupWise 18.


GroupWise operates on a number of server and workstation platforms, including Linux and Windows for the server software (support for NetWare was discontinued in GroupWise 2012). Client software is supported on Windows. A Java client was previously available for macOS and Linux but is now discontinued and no longer supported. GroupWise connectors also exists for Microsoft Outlook (although it is no longer supported) and for Evolution.

GroupWise WebAccess provides users with most of the functionality of the desktop clients from a web browser. WebAccess also supports mobile web access via a user interface tailored specifically for mobile operating systems. GroupWise Mobility Service which was powered by technology from Nokia, was previously used to synchronize mail and other data to mobile devices. A new mobile gateway, Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack, was released with Exchange ActiveSync support in late 2010 to support iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry 10.

The GroupWise Post Office Agent supports IMAP and SOAP access to user mailboxes, in addition to the native client. The GroupWise Internet Agent provides SMTP communication to other email systems, and also supports IMAP, POP3, SOAP, and iCalendar access to user mailboxes and data.[1] Additionally, special modules support direct connectivity to other groupware systems, such as Exchange from Microsoft and Domino from IBM. There are some third party applications also available in the market which can be used to simplify the migration process from GroupWise to MS Exchange Server[2]

The platform has included instant messaging since the GroupWise 6.5 release, specifically targeted at the corporate market with features such as directory integration and encryption.[3] In addition to the Windows, Linux, and Mac clients provided by Novell, the protocol is supported by Gossip, iChat, and multiprotocol applications such as Kopete, Pidgin, and Adium. There is also a client available for BlackBerry.

GroupWise can export Novell Address Book data.[4]

As of 2017 the latest version of GroupWise is GroupWise 18. Licensing for GroupWise includes access to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, which can be used for running the GroupWise server at no additional cost. Micro Focus Open Workgroup Suite includes GroupWise.


The product was developed by WordPerfect Corporation in conjunction with some of its largest customers, including the US Department of Justice, as well as with the programming input of some individual system administrators of smaller government agencies, like Eliot Lanes. WordPerfect Library did not include email or calendaring: it consisted of Personal Calendar, Editor, Notebook, Calculator, File Manager and Shell.

  • 1987: WordPerfect Library was extended to the PC platform in a DOS version.
  • 1988: email and calendaring/scheduling were added; the product was rebranded "WordPerfect Office 2.0".
  • 1990: WordPerfect Office 3.0 added support for Macintosh, UNIX and multiple servers with cross-server email, calendaring and scheduling.
  • 1992: WordPerfect Office 3.1 added a Windows client and cross-platform for VAX/VMS to the list of DOS, Macintosh and UNIX. Remote capability for asynchronous and wireless connections was introduced.
  • 1993: Version 4.0 brought an entirely new interface and transitioning to a database technology for the message store. Other major features included task management, server-based rules, remote replication/synchronization, centralized administration of multiple servers, 32-bit server capability, simultaneous release on all platforms, and many other innovative additions that were firsts in the market. Gateways included SMTP, X.400, fax, pager, and PROFS.


WordPerfect was acquired by Novell in 1994, and the server components were ported to the NetWare network operating system. At the same time, WordPerfect Office was renamed GroupWise and integrated with Novell Directory Services (now known as Novell eDirectory). In 1996, Novell sold most of the WordPerfect applications to Corel Corporation, but decided to keep GroupWise.

GroupWise 4.1, the first Novell release, debuted in 1994, adding NLMs (Netware Loadable Modules) and gateways to offer extensive back-end capabilities. Other new features included World Wide Web links in objects, the ability for third-party developers to create and maintain items, tighter Netware integration and management, SNMP capabilities, live maintenance without the need to shut down the server, an integrated listserver, and the ability to access the system remotely via touch-tone telephone.

In 1996, GroupWise WebAccess was released as an add-on, providing Internet-based access to GroupWise from a web browser.

GroupWise 5 in 1996 brought universal management of all types of messages and objects and full collaborative document management. GroupWise Imaging made scanned documents available as well. Integration with Novell Directory Services was also offered. Other notable features included conferencing, a Universal Mailbox, client/server functionality, and shared folders. Some native client platforms were dropped at the time, notably the Macintosh client, preferring instead to offer support via the web-based client.

Version 5.2 added extensive Internet functionality in 1997, including IMAP4, LDAP, POP3, embedded URLs and native TCP/IP. GroupWise Workflow was also added to the product.

GroupWise 5.5 in 1998 enhanced all the basic groupware functions, added full-text indexing, and enhanced support for Internet standards and security.

In 2003, Novell utilized GroupWise Imaging, developed by Computhink, to make available extensive document imaging capabilities directly to the users of GroupWise 6 and 6.5.[5]

With the release of GroupWise 6.5 SP1 in 2004, Linux was added to the list of platforms supported by the server components.

In 2006, GroupWise Mobile Server (based on the Nokia Intellisync software) was released, allowing hand-held devices running multiple platforms to synchronize email, contacts, calendar, and notes with GroupWise.

GroupWise 7 was launched in 2005, providing a totally new Windows client and WebAccess.

GroupWise 8, codenamed Bonsai, was released on November 17, 2008. It added many new features like Calendar Publishing.

Groupwise 8 SP1 was released in August 2009. Groupwise 8 SP2 was released in July 2010.

In September 2010, Novell released the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack, offering bidirectional data sync between GroupWise and ActiveSync-enabled mobile devices. This product replaced GroupWise Mobile Server and is offered as a free entitlement to GroupWise, Novell Vibe and Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers. Novell Data Synchronizer also synchronizes data between GroupWise and third-party business applications like Vibe, SharePoint,, SugarCRM and more.

In August 2011, Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack 1.2 released, offering HTML support for Apple devices and increased scalability. Updates to this version of the product between late 2011 and mid-2012 have offered additional performance and quality enhancements and new capabilities such as administrator-controlled device limits.

In January 2012, GroupWise 2012 was released. It offers enhanced mobile support through new Web-based iPad templates and a wholly revamped WebAccess interface, social collaboration capabilities via integrations with Novell Vibe and Skype.

In December 2013, GroupWise Mobility Service 2.0 was released as the next version of, and renamed Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack for mobile device synchronization. New features included full ActiveSync 12.1 protocol support and increased server scalability, expanded device OS support, tasks and phone message support as well as improved address book management. On the administrator side a fully redesigned admin console with improved user/device synchronization status views, a monitoring dashboard, email alert notifications and expanded the user authentication to also include GroupWise as the back end along with the previous LDAP support.

Micro Focus GroupWise

In April 2014, GroupWise 2014 was released. It offers directory independence (individual accounts can be linked to eDirectory or Active Directory systems, or function without a directory service link, existing only in GroupWise) and a web-based administration interface and REST API which removes the need for ConsoleOne and eDirectory for management purposes. The GroupWise 2014 client features User interface (UI) updates and numerous usability enhancements. The GroupWise 2014 WebAccess client adds auto-refresh and notification of new messages, along with minor UI changes to better match the new look of the desktop client.


The following GroupWise versions have been released:[6][7]

GroupWise Version Latest Service Pack Codename Release Date
4.1 SP5 Houston 1994
5.0 AKA XTD Eclipse 1996
5.0 (slipstream) Tommy 1996
5.1 SP2a Black Widow 1997
5.2 SP6 1 Jolt 1997
5.5 SP5 2 Surge 1998
5.5 EP SP5 3 Aruba 1999
6.0 SP4 4 Bulletproof 2001
6.5 SP6 Update 2 5 Hawthorne 2003
6.5.3 Delano 2004
7.0 SP4 Sequoia 2005
8.0 SP3 HP5 Bonsai 2008
2012 SP4 Ascot/Cardiff 2012
2014 2014 R2 HP1 Windermere 2014
2014 R2 SP3 Cornell 2015
18 SP2 Wasatch 2017
18.1 SP1 Traverse 2018

See also


Further reading

External links