Grrrr-oove 2007

I’m a fan of Groove 2007, I use it almost every day as part of my day job.  The synchronization concept is great, I can write documents,  and other members of my team collaborate on my changes in real time without waiting for me to check in my changes.  When I’m away from the Internet my changes are stored on my laptop and then synchronized with my team once I connect up again.  I never have to worry about having the latest version of a document whenever I go offline.  Furthermore, Groove integrates nicely with SharePoint, so those “non-Groove” team members can also read my documents.

So, why the hint at a complaint in the title?  Sadly, there are just a few too many things wrong with Groove that cause me grief, which taint my opinion of the product.  I’m not just talking “oh well that’s a little annoying” sort of problems, I’m talking “where the hell did my document go that I’ve been working on for the last 2 hours?” kind of problems. 

I wonder if MS wanted to get this product out of the door quickly, in time with the rest of the Office 2007 suite, and didn’t pay much attention to checking it for bugs.  Anyone else experienced these issues?…

  • When moving a file (cut/paste) from a standard Groove file tool to a SharePoint library tool, if the filename contains characters that SharePoint doesn’t like (ampersand for example) then Groove just looses the file.  It’s not in the original file tool anymore nor in SharePoint – just GONE!
  • You’ve saved your 2 hour long edits in Word, but forgot to accept the saved changes dialog in Groove or hit “no” by mistake, perhaps even shut down your computer without closing the dialog – all your changes are lost.  I was paranoid before with the CTRL-S, now I have an added fear that Groove has lost my work.
  • A team member makes a change to your document in SharePoint, only you weren’t aware of this change until you made significant changes to your Groove version and then tried to upload your version to SharePoint.  What happened to “hey, before you edit this file are you aware there’s a new version available?”
  • When in a remote desktop session, the Groove “Send Message” dialog pops up constantly as you type (I kid you not).
  • Lose your Groove public key (identity) and you lose access to all of your workspaces, and membership to workspaces owned by others.  There’s no way to get your identity back and nothing obvious telling you that you should be backing up this key.
  • Groove can only sync SharePoint document libraries, not calendars or discussions – I’ve heard numerous comments suggesting that Groove is defunct if you have Internet access to your SharePoint server, since SP does discussion, calendars, and document repositories much better than Groove.  I agree, except for the offline ability of Groove.

I bet there are more bugs I’m unaware of, seeing as I only use about a 1/3rd of the capabilities of Groove in favor of SharePoint.  Despite the list above, I do like Groove and plan to work around it’s nuances.  I just think MS have some work to do to make this product stand up to it’s large price tag (non-Enterprise Office users).

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