Team up with Groove 2007 and SharePoint 2007 technologies

groove 2007 Microsoft Office Groove 2007 and SharePoint 2007 technologies are complementary software products that work together to support the new virtual team environment. If you want to collaborate in a secure, efficient, and immediate way with colleagues and partners, whether they are in the next office or half-way around the world, whether they are online or offline, or whether they are inside or outside the enterprise firewall, then this article is for you.

In this article

Working on a virtual team

An overview of Office Groove 2007

Using the Groove SharePoint Files tool

How to use Groove 2007 and SharePoint technologies together

Side Bar: About the Groove Relay


Working on a virtual team

Teams sure have changed. Traditional teams belonged to the same workgroup, met in a conference room in the same building, and made key decisions in the hallways. It was easier to talk, share information, keep up-to-date, collaborate on documents, and "stay on the same page".

The new team is often a virtual team: collaborating with colleagues that are cross-organizational who might be spread across different time zones and continents, working in a mobile environment or at home offline or on slow connections, and even joining forces with members outside the enterprise, such as partners, suppliers, and customers.

a virtual team

The new team may be virtual, but still must effectively collaborate to be productive, and stay on time and in budget. Virtual teams often work on projects that are short-term but critical, such as developing a customer Request for Proposal (RFP), managing the marketing launch of a new product, or collaborating on a new business proposal. Activities within a virtual team are typically task-driven. Team members work closely together to create content and produce a defined deliverable. The deliverables from these virtual teams are often shared with and extended to broader groups in the enterprise.

There are two ways to work in these new virtual teams.

  • The old-fashioned way     You rely on e-mail to communicate and to share content. But you often spend more time coordinating file changes and versions, people, and activities, than you do on actual work. Key documents and data are behind company firewalls and difficult for some team member to get to. You need, but don't have, a high-level of security for documents (such as confidential blueprints), and communications (such as with investment analysts). Phone and web conferencing sometimes doesn't work because the team is so spread out or hard to track down. Finally, team members lack a shared context for all changes, input, and comments because it is spread across dozens of e-mail threads, file attachments, file shares, and Web sites.

  • The new-fashioned way     You use Groove 2007 with SharePoint 2007 technologies to collaborate in a secure, efficient, and productive way. The new-fashioned virtual team uses Groove 2007 to work inside a virtual meeting area, called a workspace, which puts all team members, tools, and information in one place on each team member's computer. Groove workspaces keep teams up to date automatically and efficiently, and enable them to work anywhere, anytime, and with anyone, so they spend less time coordinating and more time working. Using Office Groove 2007, you can also synchronize files with a SharePoint document library, track version changes, control documents by checking in and out files, and publish completed documents to SharePoint document libraries with one click for final workflow approval and storage.

Top of Page

An overview of Office Groove 2007

Workspaces categorized by type The heart of Groove 2007 is the workspace, where team members assemble information, share files, write reports, discuss plans, design forms, manage meetings, and perform other tasks. Workspaces are opened from the Groove Launchbar as needed. Here is a brief summary of Groove 2007 features.




Document collaboration tools    

The Files tool allows team members to share files, and iterate document reviews and changes. The SharePoint Files tool adds synchronization with SharePoint document libraries to the Files tool features.

groove file tools

Tracking tools    

Use the Issue Tracking tool to create tasks, identify opportunities, raise issues, and record progress.

tracking issues in groove

Idea development     

Use the Notepad tool to capture text and the Sketchpad tool to draw concepts.

groove notepad and sketchpad

Meetings and calendars    

Use the Calendar tool to schedule important project milestones and events, and the Meetings tool to schedule project meetings.

appointment information pop-up window

Threaded discussions    

Use the Discussion tool to enable everybody on your team to track and contribute to a shared, ongoing conversation on important topics.

a groove discussion

Workspace Chat    

Engage in impromptu, spontaneous exchanges of information with team members who are currently in the workspace.

Chat awareness pop-up window

Presence awareness    

Quickly figure out who is working on what and when by viewing other workspace members' online status indicators.

Groove notifier when a contact comes online


Get notified about unread content in your workspaces through convenient pop-up messages.

groove alerts


Groove automatically encrypts and decrypts data using the Groove Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) on each computer and over the Internet.

groove security

Custom forms    

Collect structured data from your team in custom tools created using the Groove Forms or Groove InfoPath Forms tools.

a groove form

The beauty of Groove 2007 is that you can invite anybody to join your workspace, even if they are not on your network . The only requirement is that each member of the workspace has Groove 2007 installed on his or her computer. Automatic synchronization keeps all team members up to date, firewall traversal extends collaboration across network boundaries (through the use of Groove Relay) and offline capabilities enable team members to stay productive even when a connection to the corporate network or the Internet is not available. Your computers do not have to be online at the same time to stay "in sync".

After setting up a workspace, each time you make a change (such as adding a file, updating a file, responding to a discussion, or posting text in the chat area), Groove 2007 sends your change (and only the change) automatically to all the members of your workspace. If you are not online when you make the change, Groove 2007 sends it when you next connect. If your team members are not connected, then they get the change the next time they connect. Groove 2007 automatically synchronizes the workspaces and files on each computer you use whenever you connect one of those devices to the Internet.

Top of Page

Using the Groove SharePoint Files tool

groove and sharepoint If you use SharePoint 2007 technologies in your enterprise to share and organize information and documents, you can access SharePoint content using Groove's SharePoint Files tool. The SharePoint Files tool offers all the capabilities of the Groove Files tool plus the benefit of integration with SharePoint document libraries. The SharePoint Files tool is tightly integrated with both Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, so you and your team can synchronize files in SharePoint document libraries with your Groove workspace.

If the SharePoint Files tool is set up for automatic synchronization with SharePoint document libraries, team members don't need to worry about keeping content up to date and synchronized between Groove 2007 and those SharePoint libraries. The SharePoint Files Tool has two-way synchronization, so if you add files to the SharePoint Files tool by using Groove 2007, they will be synchronized to the SharePoint document library, and vice versa.

The role of the synchronizer is important. Initially, the synchronizer is the team member who adds the SharePoint Files tool to the workspace. The synchronizer is the only member who can check files in or out, discard a check out, manually synchronize the files in SharePoint document libraries, and set a synchronization schedule for uploading or downloading the files to and from the tool to the SharePoint library. Because there can only be one synchronizer at a time, if the synchronizer is going to be unavailable for a while, that person should pass the role to another member.

Here are the key benefits of using Groove 2007 and SharePoint technologies together.

Offline access to file content

The SharePoint Files tool provides mobile workers and those who have limited Internet access with an environment in which they can view and update files in a team's SharePoint document library while offline or in a low-bandwidth environment. For example, the "road warriors" of the team can use Groove 2007 as their main entry point into the SharePoint site and always have all of the team files up to date on their laptop so they can pick up and hop on a plane at a moment's notice.

Secure access to files for members outside the enterprise

The SharePoint Files tool enables team members who are not employees to conveniently access files stored in a SharePoint library (but only those files) through the Groove workspace without the need to create separate accounts or an Extranet web site.

Shared editing through check-out/check-in features and version control

Whenever you collaborate on documents, it's important to develop a strategy for handling editing conflicts to determine how best to resolve or merge changes.

File version conflict in a file sharing workspace Using just the Groove Files tool, if two members edit the same file simultaneously, an editing conflict occurs. By default, Groove creates two copies of the file for the users to resolve. The member who first saves changes retains the original file. The second member who saves the file creates a new "conflict" version of the file, which must be resolved by the members.

By adding the SharePoint Files tool, you can leverage the check-out/check-in and version control features of a SharePoint library. When you use Groove 2007 to check out a file from a SharePoint document library, you are ensuring that no other users of the document library outside the Groove workspace can make changes while you are editing the document. You can easily check out documents from a SharePoint document library that you have downloaded into your Groove workspace, share and revise those documents among your project team, and then publish them back to the document library when you are done resolving editing conflicts within the team.

Tracking major and minor versions of documents in a SharePoint library is also straightforward and useful. For example, if you are working on a business proposal, you may want to revert back to previous versions as negotiations progress.

Approval workflow and convenient distribution

When your virtual team finishes final drafts of its documents, you can take advantage of the approval workflow processes built-in to SharePoint document libraries to get sign off from higher-level decision-makers. The process of making any last-minute changes and getting final approval is streamlined. Once final approval is obtained, publishing and distributing documents to larger groups is a simple matter of using a site announcement, alert, or distribution list.

Top of Page

How to use Groove 2007 and SharePoint technologies together

The following steps assume you have Groove 2007 installed on your client computer and access to a SharePoint site. For more information, see Conclusion and next steps.

Top of Page

Step 1: Create a SharePoint document library

Note: To create a library, you must have Design permission on the site where you want to create the library.

  1. Go to the SharePoint site for which you want to create the document library.

    1. Click View All Site Content, and then click Create on the All Site Content page.

      Tip: In most cases, you can use the Site Actions menu Button image instead to complete this step.

  2. Under Libraries, click Document Library.

  3. To create a version each time a file is checked into the library, in the Document Version History section, click Yes.

  4. Click Create.

  5. To require check-out for files or enable major and minor versions of documents, do the following:

    1. On the Settings menu, click Document Library Settings.

    2. Under General Settings, click Versioning settings.

    3. In the Require Check Out section, under Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited?, click Yes.

    4. In the Document Version History section, under Create a version each time you edit a file in this document library?, select Create major and minor (draft) versions.

    5. Click OK, and then click the Back button in your Web browser to return to the document library.

You can create files in the document library by clicking New, or add existing files by clicking Upload.

Top of Page

Step 2: Create a Groove workspace

  1. In Groove 2007, on the File menu in the Launchbar or the Groove Workspace Explorer, point to New, and then click Workspace.

  2. In the Name of workspace box, enter a name for the new workspace.

  3. Under Type of workspace, select Standard.

  4. Click OK.

Top of Page

Step 3: Add the SharePoint Files tool to the Groove workspace

Note: You must have Contribute permission enabled on the SharePoint site to add, edit, and delete items in the document library. By setting up the connection with the SharePoint document library, you also become the synchronizer.

  1. In Groove 2007, on the File menu, point to New, point to Tool, and then click SharePoint Files.

  2. In the SharePoint Files Welcome screen, click Setup.

  3. In the the Address box of the Select a document library or folder dialog box, type the URL for the SharePoint site containing the document library you just created, or select it from a list of network places, and then press ENTER.

    The URL you type in must be prefixed with HTTP:// or HTTPS://. For example: If you are unsure of the exact SharePoint site URL, ask your SharePoint site administrator.

    You may be able to copy and paste the SharePoint site URL from a Web browser. However, you will probably need to edit the pasted URL so that it contains only the sections required for referencing the site. For example, In most cases all sections of the URL after the site name and library name must be deleted.

    A list of document libraries and sites displays.

  4. Select the document library you just created and the click Open.

Groove 2007 downloads all files from the SharePoint document library.

Top of Page

Step 4: Synchronize the files

To keep files in the SharePoint document library and Groove workspaces up to date and synchronized, the synchronizer can set up a synchronization schedule or manually synchronize whenever necessary.

To set up a synchronization schedule:

  1. Click the calendar icon in the synchronization bar.

  2. Select Automatically and then specify a schedule in the Every: field and time unit drop-down list.

    You can choose 1 to 24 hours and 1 to 21 days.

  3. Click OK.

To synchronize immediately:

  • On the Edit menu, Click Synchronize Now.

Top of Page

Step 5: Share the Groove workspace with your team

  1. In Groove 2007, on the Workspace Members panel, enter the e-mail addresses of the recipients or a distribution list in the Invite to Workspace box.

  2. Click Go to open the Send Invitation dialog box.

  3. Add message text if desired.

  4. Click Invite to send the invitation.

    The message contains instructions both for people who already have Groove, and for those who don't. People who already have Groove click a link in the message that opens the invitation. People who don't have Groove click a different link that goes to the Groove download page. Once an e-mail recipient installs and starts up Groove, the workspace invitation should open automatically. If the invitation fails to open automatically, the recipient can return to the e-mail message and open the file attachment to respond to the invitation.

    All invitations sent via e-mail require the sender to confirm acceptance before the workspace is sent to the recipient's computer.

Top of Page

Side Bar: About the Groove Relay

the groove relay Groove 2007 uses a decentralized, hybrid network architecture to provide users with the autonomy that they require to collaborate efficiently and effectively in a virtual team. Unlike a SharePoint site, Groove does not require you to be online to get your work done. Groove works the same whether it's offline or online. It does this by using a Groove Relay, which is essentially a holding queue that acts as a lightweight, store-and-forward mechanism.

The Groove Relay, whether hosted by Microsoft by using Groove Enterprise Services or installed on site by using Office Groove Server 2007, performs the following three key functions:

  • Mobile and offline support    Messages from an online user are stored for delivery to an offline user for automatic synchronization when the user comes online.

  • Cross-firewall communications    Messages and data that can't be transmitted in direct peer-to-peer fashion because of a firewall are sent to the Groove Relay.

  • Message fan-out     When data is created or modified, Groove calculates the most efficient way to synchronize the data over the network. Groove will either send multiple copies of the data directly to computers that need it, or it will send one copy of the data to the Groove Relay, where it is then distributed to the various computers.

Top of Page


While you may not be able to pop into your coworkers offices, hand them a document, and chat about your project like a traditional team in the old days, Groove 2007 and SharePoint technologies makes it possible for you to share the same valuable information and collaborate in that same spontaneous manner.

Top of Page

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!