Friday, July 09, 2004

Groove Web Services put to work!!

Very impressive indeed; best of all is, the scope of potential ways in which you could supercharge an existing or a new application with Groove's intra-organizational, secure, bandwidth optimization and real-time communication capabilities. Take a look at the work Hugh Pyle has done.

Earlier this week I talked about GFS (Groove File Sharing), and how nicely Groove goes to the heart of our Windows file explorer. All of the sudden, everyday folders become shared spaces where we can securely synchronize files across firewalls, be alerted about new changes to files, even chat/instant message with the people we share the folder with. This single feature could ship as a product on its own!!

Well, then Hugh moves on to describe how easily you could build or integrate the unique groovy collaborative features into any application by using the new 3.0 GDK (Groove Development Kit). This is something that will definitely attract a lot of customers. If your users work 80% of their time within one single application (Outlook, SAP, etc), why would you try to change the way they work and migrate them into Groove? Wouldn't it be easier if you extend their current app with Groove's unique cross-enterprise, secure, offline capabilities?

You might use Groove's workspace services simply to store local data securely.

Or, more interestingly, you might put work-in-progress documents into a Groove workspace ("underneath" your app) so that multiple users can work with them as part of your larger process. Because the workspace is Groove, those users wouldn't even need to be online to have access to the shared data. They wouldn't necessarily even need to be in the same company.

Check out the example application Hugh built called Minimal App launcher.

First I talked about GFS, the very useful folder-synchronization feature in Groove V3. This puts Groove's collaborative-workspace features right into the Windows shell. Folders are workspaces.

AppLauncher (part one) describes how to build the same type of integration into Any Windows App, so that YourApp has a Groove workspace underneath. The application is launched from Groove with a commandline saying how to access the workspace's services.

AppLauncher (part two) shows the glue which binds "your application" into the Groove user experience.

Worth a visit folks.


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