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Boost communication by connecting GroupWise 6.5 to the Internet

E-mail isn't much good without Internet connectivity. If you're a GroupWise administrator, you can connect GroupWise to the Internet just as easily as you can any other e-mail server. Here's how it's done.

These days, a groupware system that can’t connect to the Internet is about as useful as a car with square wheels—neither is going anywhere. Luckily, the GroupWise Internet Access Agent (GWIA) included in GroupWise makes short work of connecting your groupware system to the Internet. Here’s what you need to know to install GWIA.

What is GWIA?
Before discussing how to install GWIA, I will go over the various components for GWIA and detail the system requirements for this agent. First, it is important to note that the GWIA acts as an agent to the information store for the purposes of sending and receiving Internet e-mail.

GWIA works with a number of standard protocols, including SMTP, POP3, and IMAP4, for the purposes of compatibility with a wide range of clients and interoperability with a very large percentage of Internet users. Because of the important and widespread nature of Internet e-mail, GWIA servers can be expected to handle large amounts of traffic. Therefore, Novell has SMP-enabled GWIA to take advantage of multiple processors in servers, but only on GroupWise systems making use of NetWare servers. For additional performance, GWIA is a multithreading application capable of running multiple child processes concurrently.

As an enterprise resource, GWIA should be managed like all other important services. To meet this need, GWIA can be managed by any standard SNMP management system.

System requirements
The GWIA process does not have to run on the same server as the other GroupWise processes. In fact, I recommend running GWIA on separate hardware. In addition, especially for larger installations, I recommend running GWIA on a multiprocessor NetWare server rather than Windows. First, there is potential for a significant load on the agent during heavy usage. If this load is placed on the same server running the MTA and/or POAs, other non-e-mail services, such as managing calendars and task lists, would be affected. Second, running the agent on a NetWare server allows it to make use of both processors, greatly increasing its performance and resulting in a decreased need for additional hardware. Of course, the second recommendation is not applicable for a Windows-only environment.

The minimum requirements for a system running GWIA are not very hefty and will generally not be adequate for anything but a small GroupWise system. GWIA will run on NetWare 4.2 or higher servers, Windows NT SP6a servers, and Windows 2000 SP2 servers. The server chosen must have a minimum of 12 MB of available RAM and 217 MB of available disk space, although more resources in both of these areas would be preferable.

In addition, Internet access is required. This can be a permanent connection or it can even be accomplished with a modem in the GWIA server. I will not cover a dial-up connection in this article. The GWIA server also needs to be present in DNS with an MX record to identify it as the mail exchanger for a domain, and it needs to be configured with a static IP address.

Finally, if GWIA is needed, you should be careful to match the GWIA agent version with the MTA version.

Installing GWIA
The installation of GWIA is very similar for both Windows and NetWare servers. The installer runs under Windows and installs the agents to the appropriate locations. A Windows GWIA installation should be run on the target server, while a NetWare installation should be run on a workstation connected to the proper NDS tree and to the server that holds the GroupWise domain files. For both, you should be logged on as an administrative user.

I recommend installing GWIA from the software directory rather than from the original CD set. The software directory files are usually updated with service packs and may contain a more recent version of the software. These files are located in the \software\internet\gwia folder in the GroupWise software distribution directory or in \internet\gwia on the GroupWise Admin CD. To start the GWIA installation, double-click on INSTALL.EXE in one of these locations.

After you view the license agreement and an information screen, the first question you must answer is on what platform you wish to install GWIA: NetWare or Windows NT/2000 (as shown in Figure A).

Figure A
First you choose a platform for GWIA.


It is at this point that the installer asks different questions based on which operating system you choose. I will demonstrate both sets of questions, and I’ll note where the options are different.

Windows only: If you choose the Windows option, the second screen of the installer will ask whether you want to install or uninstall the service. Since you're not running GWIA yet, installation is a good choice.

NetWare only: For a NetWare installation, the installer asks you where to place the NLMs, where to place a startup script, and whether the AUTOEXEC.NCF file should be automatically updated, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B
Choose the file location information for NetWare.


Windows only: You will then be asked for the installation path for the agent files, with the \gwia directory under the GroupWise folder being the default choice, as shown in Figure C. You will also be given the choice of running GWIA as a service. If you choose this check box, GWIA will start on system start. If you do not choose it, GWIA must be started manually.

Figure C
Here are the Windows installation criteria.


Next, in Figure D, you will be given the option of installing a Web console that is used to monitor GWIA. If you choose to do this, you need to specify a username and password for this purpose. The default port for this service is 9850. I recommend installing this option.

Figure D
You now need to decide whether you want to use the Web monitoring console.


The fourth step of the installer, Figure E, will ask how you want to send e-mail to the Internet. You can either send mail directly to the receiving hosts or send it all to a relay host that will handle the name resolution and delivery of the message once it leaves your GroupWise system. For this example, I will allow my GroupWise server to handle the task.

Figure E
At this point, you will be asked whether a relay server should be used.


GWIA needs to install files under the domain to be supported. You now need to specify the location of the domain files—WPDOMAIN.DB in particular—and provide a name for the directory that will hold GWIA files, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F
You will need to provide a path to the domain files.


As an NDS object, GWIA needs a unique name in NDS. The next step of the installer, Figure G, provides a place for you to specify this name. For my installation, I will use the name GWIA.

Figure G
Provide a name for the associated NDS object.


In order to function, GWIA needs to know the domain portion of the e-mail addresses that it will support. You’ll do this on the screen shown in Figure H. For this example, I have configured GWIA to handle all e-mail to and from example.com.

Figure H
You need to provide GWIA with domain name details.


Windows only: Each Windows service has to run as a particular account for whatever details are requested on the next step of the installer, as shown in Figure I. For my example, I’ll let GWIA run as the local system account.

Figure I
Here is my Windows account configuration for GWIA.


After this step, the installer performs the installation of GWIA according to the parameters specified. Afterward, it presents a to-do list of things that may have cropped up during the installation. For example, if your server is unable to perform DNS resolution, you will be notified of this problem and will need to fix it. If you switch over to your NetWare server, you’ll see the GroupWise Internet Agent screen shown in Figure J.

Figure J
GWIA is now running on a NetWare server.


Post-installation configuration
Once the initial installation of GWIA is complete, all post-installation tasks are handled using ConsoleOne. The only task that remains is to set up a postmaster for the domain. This is accomplished by opening the Gateway Administrators page and choosing an account that will receive mail marked to Postmaster.

Earlier in the installation, you specified a username and password combination to use for the GWIA Web console. If you now browse to port 9850 on the system on which you installed GWIA and enter the correct username and password, you will get the Web page shown in Figure K. Here you’ll see module information that can be handy when you are unable to get to the console for some reason.

Figure K
Here is the GWIA Web console.


Proper addressing
By default, GroupWise requires a format of gwia:user@host to send mail to the Internet. Since this is not what most of your users are used to, it can be problematic. However, you can configure the system to use standard user@domain addressing instead.

To configure standard addressing, start ConsoleOne. Choose Tools | GroupWise System Operations | Internet Addressing. On this screen, choose the allowed address formats. Next, choose the Internet agent that will handle these addresses. Click the Create button and specify the domain name for use in the list. Repeat these steps for each domain you wish to enable.

GroupWise can be your gateway to the Internet
Without Internet addressing, users on your system would be confined to internal communications only, which is not very efficient for most businesses today. Following these steps, you can get GWIA installed on a Windows 2000 or NetWare server and connect your GroupWise system to the Internet with ease.
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