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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


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Groupware is an umbrella term describing the electronic technologies that support person-to-person collaboration. Groupware includes E-mail, Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS), Desktop Video Conferencing (DVC) as well as systems for workflow and business process re-engineering (BPR).

Technologies which support collaboration are in greater demand today than ever before, and, in recognition of that fact, vendors are integrating collaboration technologies into their products. Distributed workforces, information overload, and getting products to market as quickly as possible are just a few of the motivations pushing collaboration technology development.

Definitions of Groupware

Groupware is a relatively new term, first coined in 1978. The following definitions, the most commonly used, are presented by industry leaders:

Intentional group processes plus software to support them. Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz, 1978 A co-evolving human-tool system. Doug Englebart, 1988 Computer-mediated collaboration that increases the productivity or functionality of person-to-person processes. David Coleman, 1992.

Groupware Taxonomy

The twelve functional categories listed below form a logical taxonomy which includes a separate category for groupware services, a new category for groupware applications and a special category for the emerging Internet-based collaborative applications and products.

- Electronic Mail and Messaging
- Group Calendaring and Scheduling
- Electronic Meeting Systems
- Desktop Video and Real-time Data Conferencing (Synchronous)
- Non Real-time Data Conferencing (Asynchronous) - Group Document Handling
- Workflow
- Workgroup Utilities and Development Tools
- Groupware Frameworks
- Groupware Services
- Groupware Applications
- Collaborative - Internet-based Applications and Products.

Further Reading:

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