What is groupware?
Groupware is a class of computer program that enables individuals to collaborate on projects with a common goal from geographically dispersed locations using common Internet interfaces as a means of communication within the group.
Groupware can also contain remote access storage systems to archive frequently used data files. These can be changed, accessed and accessed by workgroup members.
Groupware is also known as collaborative software.
The first commercial groupware products emerged in the early 1990s when international giants like IBM and Boeing began using electronic conference systems for their internal projects. In addition, Lotus Notes appeared as a key product in this category, which further improved collaboration with remote groups.
Groupware systems are classified based on functions, in particular:
- Computer-mediated communication to support direct subscriber communication
- Meeting and decision support systems that capture the common understanding of the participants
- Common applications
- Artifacts that support the interaction of participants through common work objects
Groupware is either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous groupware is a class of applications that enables a group of physically separated people to interact with each other in real time using shared computing objects. The basic requirement for synchronous groupware is real-time coordination between the clients. The user interfaces advocate a sense of togetherness. You need common audio channels for communication.
Asynchronous groupware uses email, structured messages, agents, workflow, computer conferencing agents, file sharing systems, and collaborative writing systems, among others. Asynchronous collaborations between users are only well maintained if they are allowed to make their contributions without restrictions. This can be achieved by replicated data management systems that read or write any data access. Users can perform simultaneous updates.
The extensive use of groupware on the Internet contributed to the development of Web 2.0, which uses instant messaging, web conferencing, group calendars, document sharing, and so on.