The great Office Server smorgasbord Part 2: MOSSing up Groove Server
Office Groove 2007 may seem like a client-only application, but for enterprises with many users, Groove Server is the way to goFollow @infoworld
Tom works for Fergenschmeir Inc. Fergenschmeir just decided to merge with Widgeteria Corp., where Susan works. The two employees are leading the merger effort, and during an initial call quickly realize they need to be able to share loads of data quickly. So Susan initiates a Groove workspace and invites Tom via e-mail. In just a few minutes, they've got their own library of work documents, messaging, and other collaborative goodies without ever having to call the IT department. That's a powerful capability and it's why our second installment of the great Office Server smorgasbord covers Office Groove 2007.
At its most basic, Office Groove 2007 is a client-based application that allows Groovers (our term for Groove users) to share documents on their local PCs with others who have access to their Groove space; they can share these docs, chat about them, and synchronize the content so that everyone is looking at the same thing. Fortunately, this rather mundane feature set becomes far more robust with the addition of Office SharePoint Server 2007 (for more, see Part 1 of the great Office Server smorgasbord). Enabling MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) behind your Groove population allows Groove users to manage Groove spaces by team, as well as make SharePoint's document libraries instantly accessible as Groove data -- with the same security.
Try that in a traditional IT environment and you're spending quality time with your IT staff. They'd have to setup a collaborative Web page, create access for internal users, open VPN connections to external users, and maintain a file server with the right permissions as well -- easily a couple of weeks' worth of work. With Groove and SharePoint, employees and team managers can create this entire setup all by themselves, and they can do it in just a few minutes.
Of course, that doesn't cover areas where the IT staff would really like to be involved. Those would include areas such as user management and auditing, data transmission management, bandwidth usage, backup. and security across firewalls -- probably doable by the end-user population in a small business, but certainly too much complexity for those in large enterprises. That's where Groove Server comes in.