Groove, Ipswitch Debut New Collaboration Offerings

Groove upgrades workgroup collaboration platform and unveils new Web services toolkit, while Ipswitch adds IM to its messaging product line for SMBs.

Groove Networks Inc. and Ipswitch Inc. are both announcing new products in different areas of the collaboration space this week.

Groove will announce Wednesday the latest version of its flagship workgroup collaboration platform and a new Web services toolkit, while Ipswitch announced Monday that it was adding instant messaging to its small-to-medium business messaging product line.

Groove, of Beverly, Mass., is announcing Groove Workspaces 2.5 and Groove Web Services.

Groove Workspaces 2.5 features tighter integration with Microsoft Outlook as well as a new toolset for using Workspaces in combination with Microsofts SharePoint Team Services collaboration tool.

Enhancements in Outlook integration include the ability to send Outlook e-mail messages to existing shared spaces in Groove; Outlook contacts integrated with Groove Workspace contacts, so that Outlook contacts can be accessed from within Groove Workspace; and the ability to send Outlook calendar entries to Groove Workspace project calendars.

Groove Workspace Professional Edition v2.5 lets users publish calendar entries from both the Groove calendar and meetings tools to Outlook calendars, allowing for synching of calendar entries between Groove and Outlook.

Groove Workspace Professional Edition 2.5 also includes a new toolset, Groove Mobile Workspace for Microsoft SharePoint, that gives users offline access to SharePoint shared files and information, and the capability to work securely with others beyond their company firewalls.

Groove Mobile Workspace for Microsoft SharePoint is part of the recently announced Microsoft Solution for Intranets v1.5. It is being sold by Groove Networks direct sales force, and as a partner offering within MSI v1.5 by Microsofts sales team.

Other features in Groove Workspace 2.5 include more control for users over which files they receive in a shared space, an enhanced file-sharing tool, including Microsofts Visio viewer, and a digital-ink enabled chat tool that supports Microsofts Tablet PC platform.

Groove Web Services is an integration framework that allows Groove Workspace to be a Web services provider, making Groove data and collaboration components available to other applications via Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interfaces.

Developers can use this framework to integrate Groove with other applications running on the same device or different devices within the same network.

Currently, developers can only build prototypes, as the Groove Web Service Access Point is only available as a preview service. Later this year, Groove Networks intends to support the WS—Security protocol, providing a security framework that supports Groove softwares existing security model and end–to–end message security, company officials said.

Meanwhile, Ipswitch, of Lexington, Mass., is adding Ipswitch Instant Messenger to its suite of messaging products designed for small-to-medium business.

The new IM product provides encryption, message logging and user identity controls as well as support for global contact lists, inline file attachments and configurable public user information. The software is not, however, interoperable with other IM networks and products. Its priced at $700 for an unlimited number of users.

Groove Workspace 2.5 is priced at $149 per user for the Professional Edition, $49 per user for Standard Edition.

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