The Groupware project is split into two major sections. One is the implementation of Microsoft's Exchange Server for a University-wide email and calendaring service. The second is the implementation of Microsoft's SharePoint system which will help academics, administation staff and our student population to share information and work together more seamlessly than has been possible before. The following two sections highlight some of the advantages of both systems to the University as a whole.

1. Exchange email & calendaring

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 provides the critical communications tools that support our day-to-day working life. Whether we are working, studying, teaching or researching – the availability of email, calendars, attachments and contacts is crucial to how we operate within the University.

1.1. What will the user get?

  • An email system conforming to current industry standards and including a rich set of features
  • A flexible storage quota –initially set at 2GB to accommodate the majority of University members, the quota will be increased where there is a legitimate need
  • A contact list facility which is searchable, exportable, importable, and shareable
  • A calendaring and resource booking system, supporting sharing of data and synchronization
  • Easier collaboration and information sharing across the whole University

2. What is SharePoint?

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a platform for sharing information and working together in teams and communities: it helps manage people-driven processes
  • It provides comprehensive content management and university-wide search, which will help accelerate shared business processes, and facilitate information-sharing
  • It provides an infrastructure which gives users the tools to easily create their own workspaces and share information across teams

2.1. What will the Oxford University Groupware Project deliver?

In addition to the functionality offered by Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint will provide shared data repositories which will enable individuals and groups within the University to store, retrieve, and maintain documents flexibly and securely across different platforms

2.2. Future Development

  • The Groupware Project is part of a larger Groupware Programme. At this stage we are building the platform for collaboration, upon which additional services may be based, and it is our intention that the Groupware Projectwill facilitate many exciting new services, to enhance collaboration between colleagues
  • The software will underpin a range of further services which can be offered as the online collaborative environment is developed. One example of a possible future development is Virtual Research Environment software which has been developed in collaboration with the British Library: