Groove Networks, a provider of desktop collaboration software, has announced Groove Web Services, a standards-based integration framework that extends the reach of Groove Workspace to people, devices, and applications that previously couldn't use, or connect to Groove Workspace software. Groove Web Services provide a way for distributing, accessing, and processing information stored in Groove Workspace by using Web services standards, such as XML, SOAP, and WSDL. These services provide access to Groove Workspace from any Web services-compliant application, regardless of whether that application resides on the same computing device as Groove, or is accessible over a network on a different device. With local access to Groove Web Services, developers can begin creating production-ready solutions that integrate Groove with other applications running on the same device. The Groove Web Service Access Point provides remote access to Groove collaboration services by acting as a bridge between Groove software running on a user's PC and a SOAP-compliant application or system that's running elsewhere, but is accessible on a network. This server-based code, which works in conjunction with the Groove relay server, receives requests from remote programs and routes them to Groove. For example, a Groove user who's traveling with a Pocket PC device could remain active in a shared space, despite the constraints of a mobile device. The Groove Web Service Access Point (hosted by Groove Networks in version 2.5) is currently only available to developers as a preview service. Later this year, Groove Networks intends to support the WS-Security protocol, providing a security framework that supports Groove software's existing security model and end-to-end message security. Developers can begin developing prototypes using the version 2.5 preview service.
Groove has also shipped Groove Workspace version 2.5, which features further integration with Microsoft Outlook and a new toolset for SharePoint Team Services (STS). The new toolset provides STS customers with a team Web site solution that can now support online and offline use, and work securely across company firewalls. These enhancements and others allow business processes to evolve from email and team portals to Groove shared spaces. The new product also includes performance improvements and enhancements to its Enterprise Server family of products. Groove Workspace v2.5 extends existing integration with Microsoft Outlook by giving users the ability to: send Outlook email messages to new shared spaces, as well as existing spaces; integrate Outlook contacts with Groove Workspace contacts, allowing access to Outlook contacts from within Groove Workspace; and send Outlook calendar entries to Groove Workspace project calendars. Groove Workspace Professional Edition v2.5 also includes a new toolset--Groove Mobile Workspace for Microsoft SharePoint--which gives users offline access to SharePoint shared files and information, and a means to work securely with others beyond their company firewalls.
Groove Mobile Workspace for Microsoft SharePoint is a partner solution offering within the recently announced Microsoft Solution for Intranets v1.5. The Groove Enterprise Management Server provides customers centralized management services for controlling client license deployment, policy management and component provisioning. The company also offers a hosted relay service that allocates bandwidth, provides WAN presence detection, and supports cross-firewall connections and offline use. Organizations have the option of hosting their own relay and management services. Groove Enterprise Server enhancements include: improved synchronization of LDAP, Active Directory and Notes directories; new support for bandwidth management, centralized account backup, and centralized passphrase management; additional management capabilities for ensuring secure cross-organization communications; and simplified license management. Groove Workspace Professional Edition v2.5 is U.S. $149 per user. Groove Workspace Standard Edition v2.5 is U.S. $49 per user. Both versions are immediately available via direct sales and the company's Web site. Groove Enterprise Servers and Hosted Services are available via direct sales. Groove Workspace Preview Edition is available at no cost for personal use or 90-day business trial.
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