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Encyclopedia > Collaborative software

Collaborative software is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals. Collaborative software is the basis for computer supported cooperative work. The term computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) was first coined by Greif and Cashman in 1984, at a workshop attended by individuals interested in using technology to support people in their work (Grudin 1994). ...


Such software systems as email, calendaring, text chat, wiki belong in this category. It has been suggested that Metcalfe's law — the more people who use something, the more valuable it becomes — applies to such software. Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in science, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe text chat technologies. ... Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Metcalfes law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system (n2). ...


The more general term social software applies to systems used outside the workplace, for example, online dating services and social networks like Friendster and Facebook. The study of computer-supported collaboration includes the study of this software and social phenomena associated with it. These are covered in other articles. Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication. ... A Net dating service, also known as online dating or internet dating, is an example of a dating system and allows individuals, couples and groups to meet online and possibly develop a romantic or sexual relationship. ... // An example of a social network diagram Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. ... Friendster is an Internet social network service. ... The former banner of Facebook. ... Computer-supported collaboration (CSC) research focuses on technology that affect groups, organizations communities and societies, e. ...

Contents

Overview

Collaboration, with respect to information technology, seems to have several definitions. Some are defensible but others are so broad they lose any meaningful application. Understanding the differences in human interactions is necessary to ensure the appropriate technologies are employed to meet interaction needs.


There are three primary ways in which humans interact: conversations, transactions, and collaborations.


Conversational interaction is an exchange of information between two or more participants where the primary purpose of the interaction is discovery or relationship building. There is no central entity around which the interaction revolves but is a free exchange of information with no defined constraints. Communication technology such as telephones, instant messaging, and e-mail are generally sufficient for conversational interactions. A screenshot of PowWow, one of the first instant messengers with a graphical user interface // Instant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. ...


Transactional interaction involves the exchange of transaction entities where a major function of the transaction entity is to alter the relationship between participants. The transaction entity is in a relatively stable form and constrains or defines the new relationship. One participant exchanges money for goods and becomes a customer. Transactional interactions are most effectively handled by transactional systems that manage state and commit records for persistent storage.


In collaborative interactions the main function of the participants' relationship is to alter a collaboration entity (i.e., the converse of transactional). The collaboration entity is in a relatively unstable form. Examples include the development of an idea, the creation of a design, the achievement of a shared goal. Therefore, real collaboration technologies deliver the functionality for many participants to augment a common deliverable. Record or document management, threaded discussions, audit history, and other mechanisms designed to capture the efforts of many into a managed content environment are typical of collaboration technologies.


An extension of groupware is collaborative media, software that allows several concurrent users to create and manage information in a website. Collaborative media models include wiki (Comparison of wiki software) and Slashdot models. Some sites with publicly accessible content based on collaborative software are: WikiWikiWeb, Wikipedia and Everything2. By method used we can divide them in: Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... Concurrent users refers to the total number of people on a server at the same time. ... A website (or Web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets and hosted on a particular domain or subdomain on the World Wide Web. ... The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of wiki software packages. ... Slash (a backronym for Slashdot-Like Automated Storytelling Homepage) is the open source collection of Perl modules and stand-alone programs which runs Slashdot, one of the oldest and most popular collaborative weblogs in existence. ... The WikiWikiWeb, or simply WikiWiki or Wiki (with a capital W), is the first ever wiki, written in Perl. ... Everything2, or E2 for short, is a collaborative Web-based community consisting of a database of interlinked user-submitted written material. ...

  • Web-based collaborative tools
  • Software collaborative tools

By area served we can divide them in:

Knowledge Management comprises a range of practices used by organisations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning. ... // Knowledge Creation - Knowledge Management View Knowledge can be divided in both tacit knowledge, which involves senses, skills and intuition, and explicit knowledge, which is formulated and/or captured. ...

The Three levels of collaboration

Groupware can be divided into three categories depending on the level of collaborationcommunication tools, conferencing tools and collaborative management (Co-ordination) tools. Collaboration is the process wherein units work together to achieve outcomes for shared stakeholders, quicker and more cost effectively than if they worked on their own, without having to change the how codes of any of the participating Units. ... Communication allows people to exchange thoughts by one of several methods. ... Web conferencing is used to hold group meetings or live presentations over the Internet. ...


Communication can be thought of as unstructured interchange of information. A phone call or an IM Chat discussion are examples of this. Conferenceing (or collaboration level, as it is called in the academic papers that discuss these levels) refers to interactive work toward a shared goal. Brainstorming or voting are examples of this. Co-ordination refers to complex interdependent work toward a shared goal. A good metaphor for understanding this is to think about a sports team; everyone has to contribute the right play at the right time as well as adjust their play to the unfolding situation - but everyone is doing something different - in order for the team to win. That is complex interdependent work toward a shared goal: co-ordination.


Electronic communication tools

Electronic communication tools send messages, files, data, or documents between people and hence facilitate the sharing of information. Examples include: Message in its most general meaning is an object of communication. ... A computer file is a collection of information that is stored in a computer system and can be identified by its full path name. ... For other uses, see Data (disambiguation). ... For the similarly-named Surrealist journal, see Documents (journal). ...

Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in science, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe text chat technologies. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A screenshot of PowWow, one of the first instant messengers with a graphical user interface // Instant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. ... A Samsung fax machine Fax (short for facsimile, from Latin fac simile, make similar, i. ... Voicemail (or voice mail; abbreviated v-mail or vmail) is a specific application of an interactive voice response system. ... Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The front page of the English Wikipedia website. ...

Electronic conferencing tools

Electronic conferencing tools facilitate the sharing of information, but in a more interactive way. Examples include:

  • Internet forums (also known as message boards or discussion boards) — a virtual discussion platform to facilitate and manage online text messages
  • Online chat — a virtual discussion platform to facilitate and manage real-time text messages
  • Telephonytelephones allow users to interact
  • Video conferencing — networked PCs share video and audio signals
  • Data conferencing — networked PCs share a common whiteboard that each user can modify
  • Application sharing — users can access a shared document or application from their respective computers simultaneously in real time
  • Electronic meeting systems (EMS) — a conferencing system built into a room. The special purpose room will usually contain a large video projector interlinked with numerous PCs..

A typical Internet forum discussion, with common elements such as emoticons. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Chat room. ... In telecommunication, Telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide voice communication over distances. ... The telephone is a telecommunications device which is used to transmit and receive sound (most commonly voice and speech) across distance. ... Categories: Wikipedia cleanup | Groupware | Telecommunications stubs ... Data Conferencing refers to a communication session among two or more participants sharing computer data in real time. ... Whiteboarding is a term used to describe the placement of shared files on an on-screen shared notebook or whiteboard. ... // Overview Application Sharing is an element of remote access, falling under the collaborative software umbrella, that enables two or more users to access a shared application or document from their respective computers simultaneously in real-time. ... An electronic meeting system (EMS) is a type of computer software that facilitates group decision-making within an organisation. ... Projected image from a video projector in a home cinema. ...

Collaborative management tools

Collaborative management tools facilitate and manage group activities. Examples include:

  • electronic calendars (also called time management software) — schedule events and automatically notify and remind group members
  • project management systems — schedule, track, and chart the steps in a project as it is being completed
  • workflow systems — collaborative management of tasks and documents within a knowledge-based business process
  • knowledge management systems — collect, organize, manage, and share various forms of information
  • extranet systems (sometimes also known as 'project extranets') — collect, organize, manage and share information associated with the delivery of a project (eg: the construction of a building)
  • social software systems — organize social relations of groups
  • online spreadsheets — collaborate and share structured data and information

Collaborative software can be either web based (such as UseModWiki or Scoop), or desktop systems (such as CVS or RCS). Packages are available that enable users to use electronic versions of a variety of office tools such as calendar, appointment book, address book and contact list. ... Time management includes tools or techniques for planning and scheduling time, usually with the aim to increase the effectiveness and/or efficiency of personal and corporate time use. ... Project Management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that these resources deliver all the work required to complete a project within defined scope, quality, time and cost constraints. ... Workflow is the operational aspect of a work procedure: how tasks are structured, who performs them, what their relative order is, how they are synchronized, how information flows to support the tasks and how tasks are being tracked. ... Knowledge Management comprises a range of practices used by organisations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning. ... An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols, network connectivity, and possibly the public telecommunication system to securely share part of an organizations information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers or other businesses. ... Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication. ... This is a list of online spreadsheets. ... UseModWiki is a wiki engine developed from 1999 to 2000 by Clifford Adams in the Perl programming language. ... Scoop is a content management system originally developed by Rusty Foster. ... The Concurrent Versions System (CVS), also known as the Concurrent Versioning System is an open-source version control system invented and developed by Dick Grune in the 1980s. ... The Revision Control System (RCS) is a software implementation of revision control that automates the storing, retrieval, logging, identification, and merging of revisions. ...


Implementation

The biggest hurdle in implementing groupware is convincing people to use it. Training is required to make people comfortable using it, and if people don't feel comfortable with the software, they won't use it. Employees should be given incentives to contribute: the rewards could be either financial or psychological.


In many cases collaboration is at odds with the company's corporate culture so implementation will be disruptive. Shifting a corporate culture from being competitive to being cooperative is no small undertaking. It will require changes at all levels of the organization, including the CEO. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the job of having the ultimate executive responsibility or authority within an organization or corporation. ...


One of the biggest hurdles is the typical large enterprise desire to standardise knowledge practice across that enterprise and to implement tools and processes which support that aim. Much greater value and quicker implementation can be achieved by avoidance of the "one size fits all" meme. Driving people to adopt the same active role (for example: contribution measured by number of uploads) only produces the behaviour driven by the metric - "the game exists of the rules by which it is played". Cultivate the practice of collaboration where it flourishes of its own volition to gain the quickest return.


Voting methods

Voting has many uses in collaboration software. Condorcet voting offers input from multiple experts or perspectives and may reduce intransitivity problems in decision making. In recommendation systems, rating or voting on many items can be used to formulate profiles for highly successful recommendations; and in document collaboration, such as Wikipedia, voting methods help to guide the creation of new pages. There is a disputed proposal that this article should be merged with Condorcet criterion Any election method conforming to the Condorcet criterion is known as a Condorcet method. ... Intransitivity is a scenario in which weighing several options produces a loop of preference. ... Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple alternatives. ... Recommendation systems are programs which attempt to predict items (movies, music, books, news, web pages) that a user may be interested in, given some information about the users profile. ...


Use of voting to order lists of sections such as this one remains largely unexplored. This also pertains to collective intelligence. It has been suggested that symbiotic intelligence be merged into this article or section. ...


See also

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software system used for content management. ... Computer-supported collaboration (CSC) research focuses on technology that affect groups, organizations communities and societies, e. ... A document management system (DMS) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. ... Electronic Business, or E-business, may be defined broadly as any business process that relies on an automated information system. ... Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is any of the strategies and technologies employed in the information technology industry for managing the capture, storage, security, revision control, retrieval, distribution, preservation and destruction of documents and content. ... An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols, network connectivity, and possibly the public telecommunication system to securely share part of an organizations information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers or other businesses. ... In evolutionary computation, a human-based genetic algorithm (HBGA) is a genetic algorithm that allows humans to contribute innovative solutions to the evolutionary process. ... Information technology management (or IT management) is a combination of two branches of study, information technology and management. ... An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet protocols, network connectivity, and possibly the public telecommunication system to securely share part of an organizations information or operations with its employees. ... Knowledge Management comprises a range of practices used by organisations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning. ... This is a list of collaborative software (or list of groupware) applications. ... Management Information Systems (MIS), are information systems, typically computer based, that are used within an organization. ... Look up Management in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Online consultations or e-consultations refer to an exchange between government and citizens using the Internet. ... Online deliberation is a term associated with an emerging body of practice, research, and software dedicated to fostering serious, purposive discussion over the Internet. ... An Organizational Memory System (OMS) functions to provide a means by which knowledge from the past is brought to bear on present activities, thus resulting in increased levels for the organization. ... Project Management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that these resources deliver all the work required to complete a project within defined scope, quality, time and cost constraints. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Whiteboarding is a term used to describe the placement of shared files on an on-screen shared notebook or whiteboard. ...

External links

Look up groupware in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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