Is there a web interface for the email groups capability exposed via Google Apps, since we would like to have the capability to search later on? We are probably on the starter edition of Google Apps.
The web interface for groups (Forums) is not available on the free version. See the Google Apps pricing page and then click "Compare more features". You will see that while "Mailing lists" are included in the free version, "User-managed forums and mailing lists" are not.