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
One trick we almost missed was configuring SMTP. Groove relies heavily on e-mail. Groove invites go out that way and when Groove users want to join different domains on the Server, administrative information such as account configuration codes are transferred this way, too. To let that happen, however, you'll need to set up an IIS SMTP virtual server. The Groove Server docs give clear instructions on making that happen, but it's an easy step to miss when you really just want to dive in and start setting up Groove domains. It seems reasonable to wonder why Groove won't work with Exchange Server, and the answer seems to be that Microsoft wanted Groove to be a self-contained application.
Another step you don't want to miss is adding a directory server. Microsoft says any LDAP 3.0 server will do, but the vast majority of cases will see Groove Server talking to Active Directory. There are several ways to manage this integration, but our favorite is automatic data integration since this will automate the dissemination of information between the two users. Enable this, and you'll be able to update information on AD and have it automatically import into Groove Server.
Overall, we think Microsoft isn't kidding: For companies with more than 100 seats that really want to exploit Groove client, Office Groove Server is a must-have. The security and data retention capabilities alone make it worth the cost and effort -- probably. We say probably because once again, Redmond is vague on Groove pricing. This package is only available to companies that already have some kind of software volume licensing agreement with Microsoft and the price varies depending on what kind of agreement that is.
Not cheap, but a good investment
While you're puzzling this out, be sure to get some information on Groove Enterprise Services. For the most part, this is functionally the same as Office Groove Server, it's simply hosted by Microsoft. You'll find the same security, communications, and data retention capabilities as with an in-house version, though you will necessarily come up against limits when trying to exploit DataBridge. This makes Groove Enterprise Services sound like a great solution for SMBs, but Microsoft's data sheets still indicate you'll need a software volume license agreement in place in order to be offered the service.
This somewhat constrictive pricing model aside, if you've got a large user base and they're all looking to feel Groovy, Office Groove Server is recommended.