Read time 7 minutes

Summary: When using Novell GroupWise as your email client, you may encounter technical limitations. Migrating to Exchange Server offers various advantages, including better user productivity and flexible deployment options. Migrating from GroupWise to Exchange can be complex, but tools like Kernel for Novell GroupWise to Exchange simplify the process. The migration tool provides step-by-step instructions for a smooth transition, supporting both GroupWise and Exchange versions.

If you are managing your emails with Novell GroupWise, it’s important to note that Novell was acquired by Micro Focus in 2014. Unlike other widely used email servers, GroupWise comes with several technical limitations that may pose challenges. Here’s a concise overview of some of the key drawbacks of Novell GroupWise:

  1. It does not support shared folders.
  2. Technical issues can arise routinely.
  3. Improper internal settings can cause the application to crash.
  4. Error messages use quite an indirect language and do not provide a clear picture of the error.
  5. User-interface of the software is not as attractive as other email platforms.

Managing large user mailboxes in Novell GroupWise can be highly challenging for administrators. The process of migrating such sizable mailboxes is both time-consuming and complex. Several factors drive organizations to opt for Exchange Server over their existing Novell GroupWise platform. Key factors include:

  1. New Technologies – Exchange Server can be a great emailing platform if your organization is willing to accept new business technologies.
  2. Merging with other Organizations – If the organization you are merging with utilizes an Exchange Server platform, it might be necessary for your business to transition to the Exchange Server platform to ensure seamless email communication.
  3. Cloud-supported Emails – GroupWise provides limited support for cloud-based services, whereas your organization can leverage the full benefits of cloud services offered by Microsoft.

Besides all these noticeable factors, Exchange Server offers a lot more advantages to its users:

  1. Enhanced user productivity – Users are already familiar with Microsoft products like MS Office, requiring no additional training. They can effortlessly work with their preferred user interface.
  2. Multiple Deployment Options – When selecting Exchange Server, organizations gain the flexibility to reduce costs and deploy in multiple ways, significantly enhancing their operational efficiency.
    • Off-premise solution (cloud cloud).
    • On-premise solution (private cloud services).
    • Hybrid solution (including both on and off-premise).

Novel GroupWise to Exchange Server migration

Below is a concise manual method for migrating GroupWise mailboxes to Exchange Server:

Prepare GroupWise environment.

Step 1 – Follow GroupWise Console >> GroupWise Agent Settings >> Enable SOAP. Here, check the Enable SOAP.

Step 2 – Get the user list from the GroupWise ConsoleOne portal.

Step 3 – With the help of administrative credentials, create a trusted Application Key. This Application key will help in the migration process.

Prepare the Exchange Environment.

Step 1 – Grant complete permission to the Administrator account with full access permission to the entire mailboxes. You can use the following Exchange Management Shell command –

Get-Mailbox Add-MailboxPermission -AccessRights FullAccess | -ResultSize Unlimited -Automapping $false – User <Administrator>

Step 2 – If the attachment of the mailbox has a size of more than 10 MB, then you need to increase the following limits manually –

  • Message size limits.
  • Maximum accepted content length.
  • Maximum receive message size.
  • Maximum accepted request length.

After completing all the prerequisites, you can initiate the migration process. A professional tool can be used for this purpose. You can utilize the ‘Migration Wizard’ method to manually extract mailbox data from GroupWise and migrate it to Exchange Server. This wizard offers flexibility, allowing you to choose between a single-step or dual-step process. In the single-step process, you can transfer data from GroupWise to Exchange in one go. If the single-step process encounters issues or fails, the dual-step method can be employed. This secondary approach is particularly useful when the GroupWise server faces health issues or connectivity problems.

Kernel for GroupWise to Exchange Server is an ideal migration tool for transferring a large number of user mailboxes from GroupWise to Exchange Server. This GroupWise to Exchange migration offers successful results for seamlessly migrating GroupWise user’s cache and remote mailboxes, as well as archives to Exchange Server in a single attempt, even when the standard migration wizard fails after multiple attempts. Its key advantages include user-friendliness and compatibility with all GroupWise and Exchange versions.

Let’ see how you can migrate your Novell GroupWise mailbox to Exchange Server –

Step – 1. Launch the Kernel for Novell GroupWise to Exchange and choose among available two options:

  • Multiple mailboxes using Proxy.
  • Multiple mailboxes using a Batch file.

Multiple mailboxes using Proxy

After selecting the option, click Next.

Step – 2. Now there are multiple modes like Default Mode, Login Mode, and Command Line Mode. Whatever mode you choose activates its parameters. There is also another option to migrate archive items.

In the current case, Login Mode is activated.
select the mode

In Login mode, input the User ID, Password, Online Address, and Port number. Then click Next.

Step – 3. When tool retrieves the mailbox, it presents all data items in a tree structure. You can select any type and get its preview.
select any type and get its preview

After getting the preview, click Export button.

Step – 4. Select the second option, save in Live Exchange/ Office 365.
save in Live Exchange/ Office 365

Step – 5. Input the Domain Name/IP, username, and password.
Input the Domain data

Click OK.

Step – 6. First select the exchange server and then select the desired destination mailbox.
select the desired destination mailbox

Step – 7. Map the source mailbox with destination mailbox.
Map the source mailbox

Step – 8. Select the number of mailboxes that you want to migrate.
Select the number of mailboxes

Step – 9. Perform the filter operation and select the suitable item types or get a date-range.
filter operation

Step – 10. The migration starts. You can click Stop button and cancel the further migration.
migration starts


GroupWise to Exchange migration is increasingly popular due to the flexibility offered by the Microsoft platform. However, there are limited manual methods available for this migration. Kernel for Novell GroupWise to Exchange migration tool simplifies the complex process, making it highly beneficial to migrate your GroupWise mailboxes to Exchange or Office 365. Exchange Server provides numerous advantages and a secure, flexible data environment.

Kernel for GroupWise to Exchange