Groove Custom-Crafts New App

Version 3 bulks up forms and scripting capabilities and is "specifically targeted at enabling VARs and corporate developers to build domain-specific, customer-specific applications relevant to their business practices," said Groove Chairman Ray Ozzie.

Indeed, the VAR focus is new for Beverly, Mass.-based Groove, which has some blue-chip enterprise customers but now is also focusing on small and midsize businesses.

With the forms tool, a solution provider can "create a collection of forms [for] a customer problem-reporting process"create the three or four forms necessary; the dozen views of data, by customer, by urgency, by status; create a template out of that application; and distribute it. And many users can create instances of that application very quickly," Ozzie said. "You can change the templates [to have] different roles for different people."

The forms tool will be intuitive to anyone familiar with Visual Basic, JavaScript or LotusScript, Ozzie told CRN.

Sponsored post

The new Groove also projects the concept of sharing, synchronization and conversation into Windows Explorer, so every folder now has a Groove button which turns that folder into a shareable workspace, Ozzie said.

For small businesses, Groove can be used in its peer-to-peer incarnation, providing a secure infrastructure without demand for a lot of IT resources. The fact that Groove puts high security in an easy-to-use package is a selling point for Ray Jordan, solutions director at D2i Solutions, a Hampshire, U.K.-based VAR specializing in health-care and government accounts.

The combination of easy scripting and secure infrastructure is important in intercompany or interagency communications, he said. "It's more and more important, particularly where you need to exploit the fact that it's secure and can authenticate the guys in your workplace."