Groove Adds Lotus Support

An upgrade to the peer-to-peer collaboration software lets Lotus Notes users use Groove software.

Groove Networks Inc. is making its peer-to-peer file sharing technology more welcoming to users of software from both IBMs Lotus software division and Microsoft Corp.

Groove next week will make available Version 2.1 of its Groove Workspace, which adds support for Lotus Notes to its peer-to-peer file sharing technology. It will also introduce the Groove Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET, which will enable developers to create collaborative applications for the Groove Workspace without leaving Microsofts Visual Studio .Net environment.

Although it was founded by the developer of Lotus Notes, Ray Ozzie, Groove has long supported Microsofts Outlook e-mail software and is just now adding support for Notes. With Version 2.1 of Groove Workspace, Notes users can call up a wizard that creates a Groove shared space that pulls in information from Notes e-mail or other Lotus Domino databases. It also sends out e-mail invitations to others to participate in the shared workspace.

The Groove Workspace can pull in threaded discussions and attachments, said Donna Carvahlo, a Groove product manager.

"What you see in your e-mail is links to the attachments—and everybody else sees another e-mail that says it has been moved to a Groove shared space," Carvahlo said.

Although Lotus support was longer in coming, it is more extensive, Carvahlo said. A shared workspace with Notes can include multiple e-mails, but because of the way Microsoft exposes its APIs, a Groove Workspace started from Outlook can only start with a single e-mail message.

Groove Workspace 2.1 also includes enhancements around instant messaging and support for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint applications. The new tool kit lets developers write programs in languages they are familiar with, such as Visual Basic .Net and Visual C# .Net, according to Groove officials, in Beverly, Mass. Users need to have had installed Groove Workspace 2.1 and Visual Studio .Net, but the Groove IDE tool kit does not need to be installed.

The Groove Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET will be available for download on Grooves Web site next week.

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