Novell Tech Summit 2012 – Day 3



Novell Tech Summit 2012 – Day 3


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 devices.

We were presented with a roadmap, which had already been published on the Novell website.

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:

./ -m -a enable

Restart Datasync:

rcdatasync restart

…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 screen:

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 in):

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:

./ -m -a disable

That's it!

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 minutes!

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.

Presented by:

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 customers!

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 slick!

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!