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Microsoft Office Groove 2007 in a Nutshell
Consider some of the challenges facing collaboration in our times. Communication tag is all too common these days between email and voice mail with communication costs (long distance calls, wasted time on phone or email) becoming overbearing. Company team members might be separated by geographical locations, which lead to time zone issues and an inability to know when a colleague might be available. At times, when you collaborate with individuals in other companies, connecting to each other can be difficult, costing quite a bit for third-party solutions. Versioning issues of documentation is always a concern. Which version is the latest, agreed upon version plagues the dispersed teams of today.
These problems are what fostered the company Groove Networks, Inc. to push forward in development of Groove (which has both a client side and a server side, although we will primarily focus on the client side in these discussions). In 2005, Microsoft purchased the company and with it Ray Ozzie (the creator of Lotus Notes).
What Groove can do for you is allow you the ability to create workspaces. Within these workspaces you and your team (or other invited members into the workspace) can collaborate on projects by using the Groove application to keep track of a shared calendar, discussion, files, pictures and more.
Once a Groove workspace is created (see Image 1) and other members accept the invitation to be a part of the workspace, both the workspace and the data is stored on each members system and it is encrypted with keys that are shared between members. You don’t need to worry about encrypting the data on the network side because the client encrypts the data. However, the Groove servers keep each of the team member’s data (as well as the workspace, tools and so forth) in sync even if they work for a different organization, or work remotely. If a member of the group is away for a while (say a vacation) and then reconnects up… once he/she connects with their Groove Server, it will update the team member. The Groove Server will also handle the issue of data conflict (when two members of a team edit the same information in the workspace at the same time).
So, now that you have a good idea of what the Groove application does... let's take a look at how we can use it in Lesson Two: How do I Get Microsoft Office Groove 2007?