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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Microsoft Groove (SharePoint 2010 workspace)

Last Friday I was in the IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partner) meeting at Microsoft office Kalina where major SME companies Directors/CEOs were present. After business meeting, there was a Keynote on “SharePoint Workspace” which was given by Ashok Hingorani, who is Groove MVP.

For a person who is new to Groove or first time he heard the name of Groove, four questions comes into mind.
1-    What is Groove? 2-    How it was originated? 3-    Where is Groove now? 4-    Can I see some example?

1-   What is Groove?
It is a desktop application designed for document collaboration in teams with members who are regularly off-line or who do not share the same network security clearance. Groove's core concept is the shared workspace, which consists of a set of files to be shared, plus some aids for group collaboration. Groove users can create workspaces, add documents, and invite other Groove members to a workspace. 
When participating users are off-line, changes for their workspaces copies are queued, either on a Office Groove Server that mediates the workspace or via other participants (peer-to-peer), to be sent to users when they come on-line. When multiple users edit one document at the same time, changes may conflict and multiple versions will be shown until an editor decides which changes will become final.

2-    How it was originated?
Groove was initially developed by Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie, and developed by Groove Networks of Beverly, Massachusetts until Microsoft's acquisition of Groove Networks in March 2005. Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers in Microsoft. On June 15, 2006, Ozzie took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates.

3-    Where is Groove now?
Now it is known as “Microsoft Groove” / Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010.
SharePoint Workspace 2010 also provides options for creating Groove collaboration workspaces and synchronized shared folders. By using SharePoint Workspace 2010, information workers can easily synchronize online and offline content with a designated SharePoint site or collaborate with external partners and offsite team members through shared workspaces. SharePoint Workspace 2010 is included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.

4-   Can I see some demo?
Please see below videos on YouTube for Groove.

 I would be happy for our SharePoint team to explore more on Groove. It could be one of the USP (Unique Selling Point) while proposing solution on SharePoint to an organization that has a team working on confidential documents.


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