Novell Virtual Office

Novell Virtual Office allows network administrators to quickly and easily provide browser-based access to network resources. Effectively, Virtual Office lets you to create personalized user portals through which users can access their data and applications from a single Web site. Not only that, but Virtual Office also provides the capability to create virtual teams , or ad-hoc shared portals that can support a project or any other group that needs access to shared resources.

Virtual Office provides services that allow you to access network resources through the Virtual Office interface. Services are little Java-based servlets or applications that provide access to specific types of network resources. NetWare 6.5 includes several default Virtual Office services for accessing network resources and performing common network tasks :

  • NetStorage: Provides access to the Novell NetStorage service. NetStorage provides Internet-based access to file storage on a NetWare 6.5 server, including access to iFolder. Both NetStorage and iFolder were discussed earlier in this chapter.

  • iPrint: Provides access to Internet printing via iPrint. For more information on iPrint, see Chapter 7, "NetWare Printing Services."

  • Email and calendaring: Provides support for popular email applications and protocols, including Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS), POP3, and IMAP.

  • eGuide: Provides a simplified screen to access phone numbers and other user information stored in eDirectory. For more information on eGuide, see the NetWare 6.5 online documentation.

  • Password: Links to a page where users can change their password in eDirectory.

  • ZENWorks: Provides integration with Novell ZENWorks for Desktops functionality, such as application delivery, through the Virtual Office interface.

Perhaps most important to you as a network administrator, Virtual Office doesn't require any complicated Web development or programming. It's pretty much ready to go right out of the box.

Installing Virtual Office

Virtual Office can be installed as an optional component during the NetWare 6.5 installation or it can be installed later through iManager or the graphical server console.

NOTE

For most networks, you will need to install Virtual Office on only one server in each eDirectory tree.


The only requirement for WebAccess, beyond the minimum requirements for a NetWare 6.5 server, is a browser (Netscape v4.7 or later, or Internet Explorer v5.5 or later). To install Virtual Office using iManager, complete the following steps:

  1. Insert the NetWare 6.5 Operating System CD-ROM into your workstation.

  2. Launch iManager and open the Install and Upgrade link in the left navigation frame.

  3. Select Install NetWare 6.5 Products, and then click Remote Product Install in the right frame.

  4. At the Target Server screen, select the server to which you want to install Virtual Office and click Next . Authenticate as an Admin user for your eDirectory tree and click OK.

  5. At the components screen, click Clear All and select only Novell Virtual Office. Click Next.

  6. At the Summary screen, click Copy Files. You will be prompted to insert the NetWare 6.5 product's CD-ROM. When the Installation Complete screen appears, click Close.

Once loaded, you can access a default Virtual Office Web page by pointing your browser to the following page: http://< server DNS name or IP address >/vo . For example:

http://wal-serv1.quills.com/vo

This page will include links to all the gadgets you can use from the Virtual Office portal.

Preparing Virtual Office for Use

There are two aspects to configuring your Virtual Office environment: configuring Virtual Office itself, and configuring Virtual Office services. Most of these tasks are handled through iManager.

Configuring Virtual Office

To perform the initial configuration of Virtual Office, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch iManager and open the Virtual Office Management link.

  2. Select Environment Administration (see Figure 10.11).

    Figure 10.11. Configuring the Virtual Office environment in iManager.

    graphics/10fig11.gif

  3. Use each of the tabs provided to configure your general Virtual Office environment:

    • Team Configuration: Virtual teams let you create virtual ad-hoc groups that can share resources and information through a centralized portal dedicated for that purpose. More information on virtual teams is provided later in this chapter. To configure your virtual team environment, provide the requested information and click Save.

      • Enable Team Creation: Lets you enable virtual team creation. This is enabled by default. When disabled, no virtual team functionality is available.

      • Team File Share: Click Edit to specify the location where virtual team members will be allowed to store shared files. File sharing requires the Native File Access Protocols (NFAP) capabilities of NetWare 6.5 because the location to which virtual team files will be stored must be configured as a CIFS share point. For more information on NFAP and configuring a CIFS share point, see Chapter 2.

      • SMTP Address: Click Edit to specify the IP address or DNS name of your SMTP mail server. This is required if you want Virtual Office to be able to send email notifications to virtual team members.

      • Chat Server IP Port: Specifies the TCP port that will be used for chat communications for virtual teams.

      • Manage Team Access: Click Edit to specify those users who have rights to configure virtual teams.

    • Portal Information: This page lets you define how your Virtual Office portal can be used. There are three options on this page:

      • Portal Containers: Sets those contexts from which users can log in and access Virtual Office. Effectively, this restricts the list of potential Virtual Office users to those within the contexts you specify.

      • Portal Locations: If you are running Virtual Office on multiple servers, make sure that all portal addresses are listed here. Remember, you can specify the same storage location for multiple Virtual Office portals.

      • Teams: Lists all virtual teams that have been created on the selected Virtual Office portal.

    • Logging: This page lets you configure the information that will appear in Virtual Office log reports . Virtual Office logs can help you track service usage and diagnose problems. Typically, you won't use logging because of the overhead that it requires, but it is useful for gathering environment and troubleshooting information.

      • Logging: Check this box to enable logging.

      • Logging Level: Sets the level of logging that will be performed. There are three levels of information you can obtain from the logging report. It's counter-intuitive, but selecting Low will log all available information, Medium limits logging output, and High restricts log output even more.

      • Logging Modules: Lets you specify the specific Virtual Office modules that you want to include in the logging. Leave the field blank to log all modules.

      • Logging to Standard Error: Check this box to log to the defined Standard Error device. By default, this is the Tomcat logger screen.

      • Logging to Standard Out: Check this box to log to the defined Standard Out device. By default, this is the Tomcat logger screen.

      • Logging to File: Check this box to send the log to a file. By default, the log file is SYS:\TOMCAT\4\WEBAPPS\NPS\WEB-INF\DEBUG.XML .

Once you have completed the initial configuration of Virtual Office, you can move on to the configuration of the services available through the Virtual Office portal.

Configuring Virtual Office Services

There are several default Virtual Office services that ship with NetWare 6.5, but in order to use each you must perform some basic configuration, primarily centered around enabling the service and specifying the location of the service on the network.

NOTE

If you are interested in doing more advanced customization, or in developing your own Virtual Office services, you can use the Novell exteNd development tools for doing this.


Some Virtual Office services are configured through iManager, and others are configured directly from the Virtual Office home page. To configure Virtual Office services from iManager, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch iManager and open the Virtual Office Management link.

  2. Select Services Administration (see Figure 10.12).

    Figure 10.12. Configuring Virtual Office services in iManager.

    graphics/10fig12.jpg

  3. Use the eight tabs provided to configure the Virtual Office services. If you uncheck the Enable box on any of these tabs, that service will be removed from your Virtual Office Web page.

    • Company Info : Use this option to specify the information that will appear in the News field in the Virtual Office Web page. Enter regular text or HTML in the text box to specify the information that should appear in the News field.

    • NetStorage: You must have NetStorage installed and configured before enabling this service. More information on NetStorage is provided earlier in this chapter. Specify the location of the NetStorage service to be used by Virtual Office. You can run NetStorage from the same server that is running Virtual Office, from a different server, or specify a custom location for the NetStorage service. Unless you are using the default local location for NetStorage, you will have to provide the complete IP or DNS path to the NetStorage service.

    • iPrint gadget: You must have NDPS and Novell iPrint installed and configured before enabling this service. For more information on iPrint, see Chapter 7. Specify the location of the iPrint service to be used by Virtual Office. You can run iPrint from the same server that is running Virtual Office, from a different server, or specify a custom location for the iPrint service. Unless you are using the default local location for iPrint, you will have to provide the complete IP or DNS path to the iPrint service.

    • eGuide gadget: You must have eGuide installed and configured before enabling this service. For more information on eGuide, see the NetWare 6.5 online documentation. Specify the location of the eGuide service to be used by Virtual Office. You can run eGuide from the same server that is running Virtual Office, from a different server, or specify a custom location for the eGuide service. Unless you are using the default local location for eGuide, you will have to provide the complete IP or DNS path to the eGuide service.

    • ZENWorks: You must have ZENWorks for Desktops installed and configured before enabling this service. When enabled, certain ZENWorks services can be accessed through Virtual Office, such as application distribution. For more information, see the NetWare 6.5 online documentation.

    • Bookmarks: Virtual Office lets you specify Web links that you want to appear on the Virtual Office Navigation bar and/or a User's Virtual Office Web page. You can only enable/disable this service from iManager. Actual configuration is done directly from the Virtual Office Web page.

    • Email: You must have an email service installed and configured before enabling this service. There are two steps to making a user's email available through Virtual Office, as follows . First, you specify the type of email system with which Virtual Office will integrate, and then you click the Edit button next to the server link to specify the type and location (IP or DNS name) of the mail server to which Virtual Office should attach.

    • Public Web Page: Virtual Office allows individual users to configure personal Web pages that will be accessible through Virtual Office. You can only enable/disable this service from iManager. Actual configuration is done directly from the Virtual Office Web page.

Virtual Office also permits customization of services directly through the Virtual Office Web page. Users can launch the Virtual Office Web page, which is available at http://< server DNS name or IP address >/vo by default.

  • Bookmarks: Click View and Manage My Bookmarks in the Virtual Office, and then click the Personalize link (see Figure 10.13). From this page, you can add, edit, or delete the Web links that will appear on your Virtual Office Web page and/or Menu bar.

    Figure 10.13. Adding bookmarks to your Virtual Office portal.

    graphics/10fig13.gif

  • Change Password: This link lets you reset your user password through Virtual Office.

  • View and Edit My Webpage: This link lets you specify the personal information that will be presented when a link to your User object is clicked in Virtual Office.

Virtual Teams

A virtual team is an ad-hoc shared portal that can support a project or any other group that needs access to shared resources. To create a virtual team, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch the Virtual Office Web page, which is available at http://< server DNS name or IP address >/vo by default.

  2. Select Create Virtual Teams in the left navigation bar.

  3. Specify a name for the new virtual team and click Create. You can also enter a description for the team you are creating.

Within a virtual team, team members can exchange information, share files, and maintain a calendar of events. Virtual Office lets you create and manage your own virtual teams and/or become a member of teams created by others.

Configuring Virtual Team Services

There are certain services that are available only within the context of a virtual team. These special services are designed to enhance communication and productivity between the members of a virtual team. Selecting the Team link in the left navigation frame (see Figure 10.14) will open a Web page from which the team-specific services are available:

  • Discussion: Team members can use the Discussion service as a Web log of sorts to capture online discussions, and exchange ideas and messages. The discussion threads are accessible by all members of the team.

  • Files: Team members can use the Files service as a Web-based file-sharing tool. Files can be created, uploaded, deleted, and browsed through this service. The Files service uses the Team File Share location specified during the configuration of Virtual Office, discussed previously.

  • Chat: Lets members of a virtual team communicate through instant messaging. With the Chat service, you can do instant messaging with the members of your virtual team, but the instant message capabilities have been enhanced so that you can save conversations, invite multiple users to join a single chat session, and indicate when you are not available to chat.

  • Links: The Links service lets you create a list of team- related links that can be shared among team members to facilitate research or collaboration.

Figure 10.14. Default virtual team portal in Virtual Office.

graphics/10fig14.gif

In addition to the team-specific services available through the Virtual Team link, there are two other resources available to virtual team members:

  • Calendar: From the left navigation frame, select Show Team Calendar. From this page, you can schedule team-related events and appointments and share this information with team members.

  • Team Web Site: From the left navigation frame, select Show Team Webpage. The team Web page provides basic information about the virtual team, including its purpose, team members, and lists of published Web links and files that the team wants to make readily available.

Managing Virtual Teams

As the owner of a virtual team, there are several management tasks available to you for configuring and managing your virtual team. Once you have created a virtual team, open the team Web page to perform one or more of the following tasks:

  • View Team Membership: From the Team Membership column, select Show Team Members, and then click Membership.

  • Invite Someone to Join a Team: From the Team Membership column, select Invite a User, and then click Add. Once invited, a user can choose to accept or reject the invitation .

  • Accept or Reject a Membership Request: From the Team Membership column, select Approve a Request, and then click Approve or Deny.

  • Add Team Owners : From the Team Membership column, select Show Team Owners, and then click Add. Once added, new team owners have the same rights you do, including the capability to remove you as an owner! For this reason, make sure team ownership is handed out carefully .

  • Block Users from a Team: From the Team Membership column, select Show Blocked Users, and then click Add. This option lets you manage team membership by exception, rather than having to specify each user who should be a member.

  • Edit Team Properties: From the Team Membership column, select Show Team Properties. From this page, you can update the name, description, or services associated with a virtual team.

  • Set Notify Preferences: From the Team Membership column, select Set Notify Preferences and select each event for which you want team members automatically notified via email.

  • Delete a Virtual Team: From the Team Membership column, select Delete this Team, and then click Delete twice more. Once a virtual team has served its purpose, you can delete it very easily.

As you can see from this list, virtual team owners have several tools at their disposal to manage the operation of the team portal, control access to the team portal, and make sure that usage of the team portal is only for designated purposes.

Joining a Virtual Team

You must be a member of a virtual team to have access to information and services associated within that virtual team. To request membership in a virtual team, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch the Virtual Office Web page, which is available at http://< server DNS name or IP address >/vo by default.

  2. Select Join Virtual Team in the left navigation bar.

  3. Select the team you want to join from the list of available teams, and click Join.

  4. Request membership from the owner of the team and click OK. After the owner approves your request, you become a member of the team and will have access to the virtual team resources.

Any user can request membership to virtual teams, but membership is granted only when approved by the virtual team owner.



Novell NetWare 6. 5 Administrator's Handbook
Novell NetWare 6.5 Administrators Handbook
ISBN: 0789729849
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 172

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