Provide an internal IM solution with Novell Messaging 1.0

Instant messaging continues to become entrenched in the business world, and many IT shops are now looking to bring IM services in house. Novell Messenger provides a capable solution--and it can even run on Windows.

If your users aren't doing it yet, they'll eventually be clamoring for instant messaging (IM) services. No longer shunned and blocked as in the past, IM has come of age and proven itself as a valuable business communications tool. At the same time that Microsoft has removed instant messaging capability from the new version of Exchange, Novell has included it in GroupWise 6.5 as Novell Messaging 1.0.

System requirements
Like most Novell products today, Messaging will run on both Windows and NetWare servers, including servers running NetWare 5.0 with Support Pack 6 or later, NetWare 5.1 with Support Pack 4 or later, NetWare 6.0 with Support Pack 1 or later, or Windows 2000 with Support Pack 2 or later. Although Windows NT can be used, it is not officially supported by Novell.

Regardless of the environment, Messaging requires Novell's eDirectory 8.5.1 or later to operate, as well as ConsoleOne 1.3.4.

Testing configuration
For this article, I will be running Novell Messaging on Windows 2000 SP3 with eDirectory 8.7.

Server installation
To begin the installation of Novell Messaging 1.0, insert the Messaging CD into the CD drive of the server. If you have autorun enabled, this will bring up an installation menu. From this menu, choose the Install Server option.

After you select your language and accept the license agreement, you are presented with four installation options (Figure A). The first of these options allows you to extend the eDirectory schema to support the Messaging objects, create the objects, and install a server. The next three options allow you to add an IM server, extend the schema, and install the administration tools, respectively. Since I have no IM servers yet, I will choose the first option.

Figure A

The next page asks for the server type—NetWare or Windows. Since I am installing on Windows, I will select that option (Figure B). Installing under Windows also enables you to run the Messaging software as Windows services and to install and configure SNMP agents for them. I will install them as services. In either case, you must choose an installation location. For this example, I will use the default of c:\Novell\NM.

Figure B

The next screen asks for the location in the directory for the messaging objects. In this case, I will install them in the NM tree's organization named "Lab." The container object will be called MessengerService and the server E2SERVER (Figure C).

Figure C

After this step, you are told that the directory schema needs to be extended to support the new object types, unless you have already performed this step.

Your next selection is on the messaging components you want to install. You can choose to install messaging and archive agents as well as the administration files. You need the messaging and archive agents since they provide the functionality of the system. In addition, on at least one server, you need the administration files. I will install all three, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

As Windows services, the agents can run under any account. For this example, I will run them under the LocalSystem account (Figure E) and have them start automatically at system boot.

Figure E

The next screen allows you to specify how the agents will access NDS—either directly or via LDAP. For this example, I will allow direct access to NDS.

Since the agents will directly access the directory, they'll need user credentials. For this example, I will provide the name and password of the admin user (Figure F). You may want to consider creating a more limited account for this purpose.

Figure F

You can choose to limit the contexts in which the service searches to authenticate users on the next screen. Since this is a lab system, I don't have much in the way of organizational units and will allow the services to search the whole directory tree, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

Next, you need to select the addresses that the agents will use. You can specify either an IP address or a name. I will choose the IP address option in this example and run the messaging agent on port 8300 and the archive agent on port 8310, as you can see in Figure H.

Figure H

On the next screen, the software needs to know the local path to ConsoleOne. After this, you are provided with a summary. The software is then installed according to the options you selected.

After installation is complete, you have the option of immediately launching the agents, which I chose to do. In Figure I, you can see that the messaging agent started with no problems.

Figure I

That's it for the server installation. Now let's look at the client side.

The client side
Installing the GroupWise Messenger client is simple. From the CD menu, select Install Client. When prompted for a directory location, select the default of C:\Novell\Messenger. Next, you will be prompted for the installation language; I chose U.S. English.

When setup is complete, you can launch the client by running Start | Programs | Novell Messenger | GroupWise Messenger. You will need to provide credentials to log in (Figure J).

Figure J

You can add contacts from eDirectory by clicking the option indicated in Figure K.

Figure K

Figure L shows an example of a short conversation.

Figure L

No directory client needed
It's important to note that you do not need to install Novell's Client32 on the PCs that will just have the Messenger client installed. This will save you a huge administrative hassle if you decide to roll out this product.

Novell Messenger offers easy installation and it's a useful product. The biggest drawback is that you have to have Novell's eDirectory installed prior to deploying Novell Messenger. Many organizations that aren't currently using eDirectory may be reluctant to install it just to get Messenger up and running—although they could simply install it on the IM server and use it only for the IM services.

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