Upgrading Your GroupWise Post Offices

Upgrading your post offices is very similar to upgrading domains. There are just a few things to keep in mind about your upgrade:

  • Your post office cannot be upgraded until the domain that owns the post office is at GroupWise 2014.
  • You should use the version of GWCheck that is designed for your version of GroupWise. Thus, if you have multiple post offices and will not upgrade them all at the same time, make sure you have not only your GroupWise 2014 GWCheck available, but also that you keep the older standalone versions of GWCheck on hand until you have upgraded those older post offices.
  • The GWIA, while an SMTP server, also serves as a client when it is used for IMAP4 and POP3. Once you upgrade your GWIA to GroupWise 2014, you will only be able to use POP3 and IMAP4 to GroupWise 2014 post offices.
  • If you upgrade a post office to GroupWise 2014 and that post office owns users who typically proxy to other users on older GroupWise post offices, you will not be able to upgrade those users’ clients until all post offices are upgraded.
  • If you have multiple post offices, you will need to wait on upgrading WebAccess until all of the post offices have been upgraded, or use two separate WebAccess servers to handle both versions of GroupWise.

So, as you can see, it’s a good idea to get your post offices upgraded to GroupWise 2014 on a scheduled roll-out so that you are not surprised by any of the possible issues with mixed post offices. That said, may sites operate in a “mixed” system quite nicely for an extended period of time. You must simply make sure that your plans take the above caveats into account.

How Does the Upgrade Work?

At the post office level, a GroupWise upgrade is really just a database conversion from one version to another. The former GroupWise post office database, is RECOVERED by the Admin Service’s administrative thread and CONVERTED to the new version. This requires three simple components:

  • The domain that owns the post office in question must already be upgraded to GroupWise 2014.
  • The Post Office Agent software must be at GroupWise version 14
  • The dc (dictionary files) in the post office directory must be at version 14

We realize that this sounds simplistic, but it really is quite simple. When you upgrade your post office, you are simply recreating your post office database to be a GroupWise 2014 database. If you are moving from GroupWise 7 or later to GroupWise 2014, there are no structural changes outside of the post office database to be concerned with. However, if you are upgrading from GroupWise 6.5 or earlier, you will notice an interesting new feature. Prior to GroupWise 7, GroupWise had 25 message databases in the ofmsg directory structure. These are shared databases that are randomly divided amongst your users, no matter how many users are on a post office. Upon creation, a user is assigned to a message database, and all mail “sent” from that user goes into this database number. In GroupWise 6.5 and earlier, a post office with 50 users ends up with the same number of message databases as a post office with 5000 users!

This was not a huge issue for many years. However, as the usage of e-mail increased over time, these databases grew larger and larger. While GroupWise seemed to handle the bloat of the databases just fine itself, it started to cause issues for backup software, the time it took to perform a GWCheck, etc., etc. Additionally, FLAIM databases (which all GroupWise user and message databases are) have a limit of 4 GB per database. Thus, it has become more important over time to distribute the data over a larger number of databases to prevent database files from reaching the FLAIM limit.

With GroupWise 7, Novell increased the number of message databases to 255. This allows for better load balancing of the message store. There are some interesting side effects of this change though that are important to know about. If you are upgrading to GroupWise 2014 from GroupWise 6.5 or earlier, users will be reassigned to these new database numbers immediately. For example, Danita’s database went from being number 21 under GroupWise 6.5 to number 91 under GroupWise 7. As mentioned, this is an immediate change. As soon as a user logs into the GroupWise 2014 post office (regardless of the client version) and sends a message, that message will be saved into the new database. All previous messages will remain in the former message database. So, in the case of Danita, she now has messages linked in her sent items to both msg21.db and msg91.db.

While this is mostly a technical discussion, and doesn’t really impact your users in any noticeable way, you should know what happens if you have post offices at a version older than GroupWise 7 that you do not upgrade right away. You will start to see these newer, higher numbered databases appearing even in GroupWise 6.5 or earlier post offices. This is due to how the GroupWise system works. If Danita sends a message to a user on a different post office, the message is placed in msg91.db on Danita’s post office. That message is then sent through the MTAs to the second post office, and when it is saved, it is placed in msg91.db on THAT post office. This poses no problems. The older post office agents will look into any database that is referenced in a message header. The important thing to remember is that this is normal and you should not be concerned when you see these “oddly” numbered databases in the older post office directories. Be careful not to assume that these files are not needed and get too tidy and delete them!

Enabling SOAP

Prior to GroupWise 2012, SOAP only needed to be enabled if you were running the GroupWise Mobile Server, the DataSynchronizer Mobility Server, or another third party product that requires SOAP access. With GroupWise 2014, it will be a very rare occurrence to not need SOAP enabled for your post offices. Not only do the aforementioned processes require SOAP access, but WebAccess requires SOAP to be enabled at the POA in order for WebAccess to function. Thus, it will be important for almost all Post Office Agents to support SOAP. Follow these steps to enable SOAP for all post offices that will have users who access GroupWise via WebAccess:

In ConsoleOne, click on the GroupWise System Globe, and perform the following steps:

  1. In the dropdown list that shows “Users”, change the setting to “Post Office Agents.”
  2. Find the POA for your post office, right-click and choose Properties.
  3. Now click on the triangle in the GroupWise tab and change to Network Address.
  4. Make sure that there is a port listed for SOAP for your Post Office Agent. The default SOAP port is 7191.
  5. Now, on the GroupWise tab, change to the Agent Settings screen. Verify that SOAP is enabled for the POA.
  6. Save your changes.

Preparing the Post Office Database

When you are ready to continue your upgrade, we will first check the post office database to make sure that it is ready to upgrade. If you will be upgrading a Domain at the same time as your Post Office, you can do the verification in ConsoleOne. In ConsoleOne, select the post office object and choose Tools|GroupWise Utilities|System Maintenance|Validate Database. If your database shows as valid, you can proceed. If for some reason the database does NOT validate, you should rebuild it. In order to rebuild the database you must first shut down the POA and make sure that no users can attach to the post office directly. At this point, we are going to shut down the post office agent for the upgrade anyway, so if you need to rebuild your database, first follow the instructions immediately below on shutting down your post office agent. Once the post office agent is shut down, return to ConsoleOne and choose Tools|GroupWise Utilities|System Maintenance, and this time choose Rebuild Database.

If the domain that owns this post office has already been upgraded on a different server, you must do the validation from the owning domain’s GroupWise 2014 server at the command line. Please see the section entitled “Validating or Rebuilding a Post Office Database” on page 130 to prepare your post office database.

Upgrading Your Post Office

In the “Installing the GroupWise Administration Service” chapter, you installed the software required to take your post office to GroupWise 2014, but your post office has not actually upgraded. This will not happen until you run the Upgrade wizard from the Installation Console. If you are upgrading a Domain and Post Office at the same time, please go to “Domain With Post Office (GWIA optional)” on page 52 section to complete your upgrade.

If your Post Office is on a server without a domain, continue with these instructions.

Back in the “Installing the GroupWise Administration Service” on page 25, we loaded up the Installation Console after installing the Administration Service. Now we need to look at the upgrade steps for our system.

Hopefully you set your Installation configuration to use “user” mode as we described in”Changing the Installation Console Access Method”. Otherwise you will need to follow the “token” instructions above in that section to access the Installation Console (assuming it’s been more than 5 minutes since you completed the installation of the files and received your first token).

  1. Go to https://yourserver:9710/gwadmin-console/install

We have set our installation mode to “user”, so we can login with our “gwinstall” user we defined above.

  1. linuxinstall011.tifThe Installation Login Screen
  2. We now see the Installation options screen
  3. Installation Optionslinuxinstall012.tif
  4. Click on “Upgrade an Existing Domain or Post Office to GroupWise 2014”. In our figure below, when we click on the “Upgrade” option, we see our post office called Caledonia.
  5. linuxinstall033.tifPost Office to upgrade

This lists the path of our post office, the Admin Port that has been assigned, the IP address or host name of the server is listed, and the version shows as 800.

  1. With your post office properly listed in the upgrade section, click Next.

You will be prompted for location and credentials of your Primary Domain admin service (unless for some reason it is also in the upgrade list).

  1. linuxinstall062.tifConnecting to the Primary Domain to complete an upgrade
  2. You will now see a summary screen. In the figure below, our GroupWise system is called “Beta”, so you see the name of the system, the post office to upgrade, and the settings for the post office.
  3. The Upgrade Summary Screenlinuxinstall026.tif

Click Finish to complete the upgrade. In the background, the Administrative Service will prepare the post office for upgrading and launch the POA to complete the process.

The Admin Service, MTA and POA all have the ability to upgrade the pertinent databases. The process for upgrading is thus: in the Installation Console, you choose the databases to be upgraded. The installation process then copies the 2014 dictionary (dc) files to the pertinent directories, and instructs the Admin Server to proceed to upgrade. The dc file is essentially a text file that contains the database schema for creating a GroupWise 2014 database. The gwpo.dc shows the version number at the very top line as #VERSION=1400. This version number at the top of the file verifies that you have the GroupWise 2014 dc file in your post office directory. The Admin Service looks at the database to see if it is eligible to upgrade (i.e., the owning domain has already been upgraded). The Admin Service will launch a recovery of the database, effectively converting the post office to GroupWise 2014. You will see a notice to restart your MTAs and POAs, and a link to access your Administration Console. However, the URL in the link presented to you is for the local server. Since we are upgrading a Post Office on a server that is remote from its domain, there is no access to the Administration Console on the URL you are given. You will need to access the URL for your domain server instead.

In our experience, a restart is not required.

Geek note: the MTA and POA still have the ability to upgrade the databases as well, but it’s a job that’s been officially delegated to the Admin Service.

If you are watching during the upgrade procedure, you will see the creating.dbb and recover.dbb files described above temporarily in the post office directory. Here’s an example

-rw-r–r– 1 root root 39983 Jan 27 14:15 0127gwbk.001

-rw-r–r– 1 root root 301056 Feb 5 15:37 creating.ddb

-rw-r–r– 1 root root 877 Feb 5 15:37 dzrec.log





-rw-r–r– 1 root root 784384 Feb 5 15:37 recover.ddb

-rw-r–r– 1 root root 4 Sep 27 14:11 uid.run

To verify that the post office is version 14, you will launch the Administration Console and check the version in the properties of the domain. We’ll do this below in the “Verifying the Upgrade” section below.

Verifying the Upgrade

When you completed your upgrades in the sections above, go to the section on “Verifying the Upgrade” on page 55 in the “Upgrading GroupWise Domains” chapter to check on your upgrade.

Configuring and Verifying a DVA for your Post Office

If you are upgrading from GroupWise 2012, it is likely that you have a GroupWise Document Viewer Agent installed on your server, and the upgrade would have simply upgraded the GWDVA executables, and the GWDVA will continue to work as always. If, however, you upgraded from GroupWise 8, you may or may not have a GroupWise Document Viewer Agent configured. You can check this on your upgraded server.

  • On Linux, run rcgrpwise status. If a DVA is installed and configured, it will be clearly visible in the list of running agents.
  • On Windows, go to the Administration Tools|Services. If a DVA is installed and configured, it will be listed in services as GroupWise DVA.

If there is no DVA running, we will install one.

  1. From a Terminal Window/Command Prompt, change to the <serverfiles>\admin directory
  2. run the following command (if on Linux you may need to proceed the command with ./)

gwadminutil services -i -dva

  1. Check that the service was installed
    • On Linux, run rcgrpwise status. You should see a gwdva listed, but “unused”. Run rcgrpwise start gwdva to start the DVA.
    • On Windows, click Start|Administrative Tools|Services (or choose Action|Refresh if Services is still loaded). Look for the GroupWise DVA. Right-click the service and choose Start.

Now that the DVA is installed and running, we can create a GroupWise object for the DVA so that it can be assigned to your post office. To do this, we go to the Administration Console in our web browser.

  1. Log into the Administration Console (see ”Logging Into the Administration Console” on page 117.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Choose Document Viewer Agents
  4. In some cases during the upgrade your DVA will have been properly created. However, it is our experience that generally there will be no DVA for your current Post Office listed here. Click New.
  5. In the creation window, enter a name for your DVA (Perhaps in our case Caledonia DVA), enter the IP address and port for the DVA you just created. The default port is 8301.
    1. linuxinstall098.tifConfiguring the DVA
  6. When you Click OK, the object will be created, and it should appear in the DVA list. Close the DVA list,
  7. Now, click on Post Offices in the list on the left hand side of the Administration Console.
  8. Choose your Post Office and click on its name to open the link.
  9. Scroll to the right and click on the Document Viewer Agent tab,
  10. As we mentioned above, there are times when this is properly populated, but the likelihood is that no DVA is listed here. Click on Add Document Viewer Agent.
    1. linuxinstall208.tifAdding the DVA to the Post Office Agent
  11. Click the dropdown (or start typing the name you gave the DVA agent earlier) and choose your DVA.
  12. Click Save. It may seem that nothing has happened. If you were watching, you would see the Save icon on the top toolbar flicker. If you are unsure, close this window and click on the POA and Document Viewer Agent tab again just to verify.

Log into the Upgraded Post Office

It’s now time to log into your new POA and verify that everything is working as desired. You can do this with your current GroupWise client, or upgrade to the GroupWise 2014 client.

Once you have logged into your mailbox, there are a few tasks that you should perform to ensure that everything is working properly

  • Send a message to yourself. This should pop into your mailbox almost immediately.
  • Send a message to a user on the same post office, and verify that it is received.
  • Send a message to a user on another post office if applicable and verify that it was received
  • Send a message to an external recipient through your GWIA and verify that it was received.
  • Send a message from an external sender to your user through the GWIA and verify that it was received.
  • If you use GroupWise Document Management aopen an existing document and verify that you are able to access it properly. If there are problems, check Troubleshooting below.
  • Create a new document in GroupWise DMS and verify that it creates and saves properly.


There are very few things that can go wrong during a post office upgrade. If you find that your post office refuses to show as a GroupWise 2014 post office in the Administration Console do a couple of things:

  • Double-check that the upgrade procedure copied the new dc files into the post office directory. Open the gwpo.dc and ngwguard.dc files with a text editor to verify that they are in fact the GroupWise 2014 files.
  • Double-check that the domain owning this post office is actually a GroupWise 2014 domain (i.e., it shows as version 1400 in the Administration Console).
  • Unload and reload the POA to see if this solves the problem.
  • It is possible that communications issues have prevented the post office database from receiving the news that its parent domain is a GroupWise 2014 domain and thus is allowed to upgrade. Remember that just loading the GroupWise 2014 agent software is not enough. If all else fails, rebuild the post office database. See “Validating or Rebuilding a Post Office Database” on page 130.

Once all of these tasks are performed successfully, you are DONE with the Post Office upgrade.

When you are ready to continue, just turn to the next chapter in your upgrade plan.