Formativ Features & Benefits

With Formativ, customizing GroupWise is easy! Developers, power users and even casual users can develop solutions.

With Formativ, GroupWise becomes a rapid development platform for the enterprise and the individual. You can address business needs faster than ever before and at low cost.

To develop Formativ applets, use Formativ Creator and if you only need to run Formativ applets, use Formativ Runtime.

GroupWise Working the Way You Do

Most people agree that it is not practical to develop a software product which, out-of-the-box, satisfies the needs of every user. GroupWise, while one of the most comprehensive, secure and reliable collaboration products on the market, is no exception.

If you have a specific GroupWise requirement, which is not ‘in-the-box’ nor addressed by another third party product, what do you do?

Perhaps you could adapt your business process to conform to existing GroupWise features. Or you could try to customize GroupWise to work the way you do.

Most users, if offered the choice, would choose to make the software work the way they do. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that this option is available.

With Formativ, easy, cost-effective GroupWise customization is a reality.

GroupWise Customization Made Easy

Whether you are a GroupWise user, administrator, developer, integrator or VAR, Formativ’s design makes GroupWise customization easy.

The Formativ product suite offers a comprehensive solutions environment. It addresses GroupWise enhancement at solution, development and management levels.

Customizing GroupWise can be as simple as choosing from the expanding range of pre-written Formativ solutions. Email stationery, personalized mass email, address book printing, multiple signatures and templates are just a few examples of what’s available. With Formativ’s modular approach, you can continue to add as many GroupWise enhancements as required.

Should a pre-written Formativ solution not meet your needs, it is often possible to create one quickly using Formativ’s integrated development tool. Whether you need to integrate with desktop applications, such as Word or Excel, develop custom forms, create workflow solutions, or integrate via SQL to enterprise databases such as Oracle, the Formativ development environment offers rapid solution delivery.

For administrators, deploying and managing Formativ solutions within the enterprise is easy. Automated software distribution applications, such as ZENworks can be used to distribute Formativ ‘applet’ files.

Benefits at a Glance


  • Deliver the functionality your users need – fast!
  • Deploy solutions using existing management tools, such as ZENworks.

Power Users

  • Create your own solutions with ease.
  • Use the extensive range of example applets to learn how to create GroupWise solutions powered by Formativ.

GroupWise Users

  • Immediate benefits from Advansys commercial solutions.
  • Fast implementation of custom solutions.

Corporate Developers

  • Create and deploy organization-wide GroupWise solutions quickly and easily.


  • Maximize your competitive edge.
  • Increase the value of your GroupWise investment.

GroupWise Consultants, Developers, VARS, Trainers

  • Fast and easy delivery of GroupWise solutions.
  • Reduce development costs.
  • Reach more customers.
  • Maximize customer satisfaction.
  • Distribute the Formativ OEM Solutions Engine with your product.

Features & Benefits in Detail

Click on the headings below to view the content.


  • Maximize user satisfaction. Users are happy when their need is satisfied. Formativ’s suite of products gives you the power to address their GroupWise requirements.
  • Maximize return on GroupWise investment. When user’s needs are addressed, the business functions more effectively. Through expanded use of your core infrastructure, Formativ maximizes the value of GroupWise within your organization.
  • Leverage GroupWise within business processes. By tapping into the hidden power of GroupWise, Formativ enables you to consider a much broader application for GroupWise. As a collaboration infrastructure, GroupWise is a natural tool for streamlining existing or becoming part of new business processes.
  • Add new, simplify or remove GroupWise features. Formativ provides unprecendented control over the GroupWise client. You can add features to toolbars, menus and events. You can even prevent key features from working when certain conditions are met, for example, disable the message Send function if the user does not agree to the organization’s conditions of email system use.
  • Administrator access to multiple GroupWise accounts. Formativ enables an administrator (with the appropriate security) to develop a ‘trusted’ Formativ solution, which can access any GroupWise account without the need for a password. This offers the administrator significant power to perform automated functions from a central location.
  • Enterprise application integration. Formativ’s industry standard COM capabilities enables GroupWise to be integrated easily with modern Enterprise applications such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and SAP.
  • Simple solutions deployment and management. Formativ is designed for maximum ease of administration. You can use software distribution applications, such as ZENWorks, to deploy Formativ solutions rapidly.
  • Secure runtime environment. Formativ solutions are a proprietary file format and cannot be executed outside the Formativ environment.
  • Unparalleled flexibility and scalability. Formativ’s modular solutions framework enables the addition of any number of GroupWise enhancements.
  • Multi-user workstation support. Formativ is designed to work with Windows configurations which support multiple users per workstation.
  • Secure investment. As a long term Novell development partner, Advansys works closely with Novell at a technical level.
  • Affordable and flexible pricing. Formativ’s pricing model enables the enterprise to choose the most cost effective way to leverage Formativ.
  • Free administrator support forums. Administrators can get technical support from Advansys and share ideas on the moderated Formativ forums.

Power Users, Developers, Integrators and VARs

  • GroupWise customization made easy. Take control of GroupWise with Formativ. If you thought your GroupWise need could not be met, or it was too hard, revisit your requirements with Formativ in mind.
  • Designed for developers. Formativ Studio and Creator are designed by GroupWise third party developers for developers. As a result, the Formativ language contains hundreds of programming commands optimized for use with GroupWise.
  • Easy to use, integrated rapid development tool. Formativ provides an integrated, easy to use rapid development environment offering unprecendented ease of GroupWise solution creation.
  • Free example applets pack. Formativ developers can download the Example Applets Pack, which contains the source code to more than 60 applets. These can be used as a learning tool and used or modified as desired.
  • Integrate with desktop applications and enterprise databases. Formativ’s Visual Basic Script compatible language means full COM support. This makes it easy to integrate and automate a Windows desktop application, such as Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Create new GroupWise views and forms. Formativ Portal technology enables you to display GroupWise or external interactive content within one or more HTML portals. This technology offers broad scope for customized data collection and display.  For example, this approach is used to display a proxy rights report by the Advansys Enterprise Proxy solution.
  • Powerful client integration and control. Formativ enables you to integrate your solution with GroupWise in many ways. GroupWise toolbars, menus and events are all accessible easily. You can replace or cancel GroupWise events, prevent access to specific GroupWise features and substitute your own dialogs in the place of standard GroupWise dialogs.
  • Custom Message support. Formativ exposes the GroupWise custom message capability via an easy to use interface. Create specialized message types with their own distinctive icons.
  • Commercial solution support. Formativ solutions can be protected, made into time-limited trial versions and distributed easily as a file.
  • Formativ OEM Solutions Engine available. ISVs or other third parties can license the Formativ OEM Solutions Engine for distribution with their products. Formativ makes it easy to add GroupWise support to your application.
  • Standards based. Formativ leverages a wide range of standard technologies to provide a unified development environment for GroupWise.
  • Secure execution environment. Formativ solutions are a proprietary file format and cannot be executed outside the Formativ environment. This prevents malicious or inadvertent execution from the command line or an email attachment.
  • Free developer support forums. Developers can get technical support from Advansys and share ideas on the moderated Formativ forums.

GroupWise Users

  • GroupWise working the way you do. Formativ is designed to make it easy to tailor GroupWise to the way you work. No longer do you need to believe ‘it can’t be done‘. Formativ delivers the opportunity to think outside the box.
  • Wide range of ready-to-use GroupWise enhancements. Meet immediate needs by choosing from a range of solution packs and free enhancements.
  • Satisfy needs quickly. You’re not limited to off-the-shelf solutions because Formativ is designed to make developing new solutions easy. If you have specialized GroupWise needs, speak with your administrator, GroupWise reseller or Advansys.
  • Add an unlimited number of new solutions. Formativ can adapt quickly and easily to your changing needs. You can add as many (or as few) Formativ solutions as required.
  • Integrates seamlessly with the GroupWise client. Formativ installs seamlessly into the GroupWise 32-bit client.
  • Leading technology. Formativ implements a range of innovative technologies, including Formativ Portals, which enables new GroupWise views and forms to be displayed and used within the GroupWise client.
  • Designed exclusively for GroupWise. Formativ is designed by GroupWise users for GroupWise users.
  • Affordable. Whether it is single user, small business or enterprise use, there is a pricing plan to suit.
  • Free support forums. You’re not alone. Advansys provides free technical support via the moderated Formativ forums.

Product Comparsion

Feature Express Runtime Creator
Runs free Formativ Express solutions * * *
Runs free GroupWise Cool Solutions Formativ Applets * *
Runs commercial Formativ solutions * *
Runs Formativ 2.0, 1.6, 1.5 and 1.0 solutions * * *
Supports GroupWise 2014 * * *
Includes the Formativ Portal Manager™ technology * * *
Active Web style dialogs and forms support * * *
Supports active Web style views of GroupWise information * * *
Supports Encoded and Flexalock™ applets * * *
Supports trial (time-limited) Flexalock™ applets * * *
Support for stand-alone operation * * *
Execute applets from Novell eDirectory/NDS applet libraries (very cool but no longer supported) * * *
Novell eDirectory support using the NetWare Client or LDAP * * *
Execute open source applets *
Create an unlimited number of Formativ solutions *
Create secure Encoded and Flexalock™ applets *
Includes visual dialog form designer *
Control how Formativ solutions integrate with the GroupWise client *
Supports an unlimited number of Formativ solutions * * *
Supports industry standard technologies: HTML, Javascript, COM etc. * * *

Applet Types

Flexalock™ Applets

Formativ Creator can secure open source applets using the Flexalock™ format, which can used by Formativ Runtime, or Creator. Formativ Runtime will not run open source applets and requires applets to be saved in Flexalock format.  Introduced in Formativ 1.5, the Flexalock format superceded the Encoded format.

Users of Creator can, if desired, change how the Flexalock applet is integrated with the GroupWise client, including toolbar icons, menu location and descriptions and the events which may trigger the applet to run. Flexalock applets can include a fixed expiry date, which enables commercial developers to create evaluation versions for their customers. In addition, the developer can decide to display in a special dialog, upon each GroupWise client startup, the remaining period before the applet expires.

Open Source Applets

Formativ Creator provides the capability to create, modify and run open source applets, which provide full access to the inner workings of the solution. Flexalock™ applets, which conceal all or the majority of the solution code, can only be created from an open source applet. Formativ Runtime cannot run open source applets.

Encoded Applets (legacy format)

The Encoded applet format, originally introduced in Formativ 1.0, was superceded in Formativ 1.5 by the Flexalock format. Encoding and Flexalocking an applet secures and hides the inner workings of the original open source applet. All Formativ products (version 1.5 or above) can execute Encoded and Flexalock applets.