Groove tool eases P2P for Visual Studio developers

[PROGRAMMERS REPORT -Sept 24, 2002] - The most evident display of Web-oriented, peer-to-peer (P2P) applications to date has been Napster, the quasi-legal Internet music-swapping service. Less attention has focused on corporate P2P apps, largely because there are no rock stars or rap stars involved, but also in some part because of the lack of development tools to enable P2P proliferation.

Groove Networks is a prominent P2P proponent that has recently sought to supplement its own toolset with hooks to the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET environment. With the Groove Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET, developers can use Visual Basic, C#, WinForms and other common tools to add advanced P2P traits to their applications. To use the kit, developers must have the most recent Groove Networks' Workspace pack, as well as Visual Studio .NET.

'In this release,' said John Giudice, director, product management at Groove, 'we wanted to open things up for IT developers that need to build collaborative apps.' He notes that Groove's client creation technology, first released about two years ago and now on its V.2.1 rev, provides a richer end-user environment than those available with most of today's home-brewed, HTML-browser-based clients for Web collaboration. Prior to this release, JavaScript and XML were the prime languages of choice, and COM the appropriate model, for Groove developers.

Groove has been closely watched from the start. Its founder, Ray Ozzie, is famed as the originator of Lotus Notes. Microsoft has served as a financial backer for start-up Groove, and the result has been a few key ports to some key Microsoft platforms. In July, Microsoft announced that it would integrate Groove Workspace with its SharePoint Team Services solution to support online and offline use of SharePoint Team service, with automatic synchronization, across firewalls.

Developers can download the Groove toolkit at

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About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.


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