Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Collaborative software

Collaborative software

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Collaborative software'
Start a new discussion about 'Collaborative software'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Collaborative software (also referred to as groupware) is computer software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve goals. One of the earliest definitions of “collaborative software” is, "intentional group processes plus software to support them." (Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz ).

The design intent of collaborative software (groupware) is to transform the way documents and rich media is shared to enable more effective team collaboration. Collaboration, with respect to information technology, seems to have several definitions. Some are defensible but others are so broad they lose meaningful application. Understanding the differences in human interactions is necessary to ensure that appropriate technologies are employed to meet interaction needs.

Collaboration requires individuals working together in a coordinated fashion, towards a common goal. Accomplishing the goal is the primary purpose for bringing the team together. Collaborative software helps facilitate action-oriented teams working together over geographic distances by providing tools that aid communication, collaboration and the process of problem solving. Additionally, collaborative software may support project management functions, such as task assignments, time-managing deadlines, and shared calendars. The artifacts, the tangible evidence of the problem solving process, and the final outcome of the collaborative effort, require documentation and may involve archiving project plans, deadlines and deliverables.

Overview


Collaborative software is a broad concept that greatly overlaps with Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). Some authors argue they are equivalent. According to Carstensen and Schmidt (1999) groupware is part of CSCW. The authors claim that CSCW, and thereby groupware addresses "how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems". Software products such as email, calendaring, text chat, wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

, and bookmarking
Enterprise bookmarking
Enterprise bookmarking is a method for Enterprise 2.0 users to tag, organize, store, and search bookmarks of both web pages on the Internet and data resources stored in a distributed database or fileserver...

 belong to this category, whenever used for group work, whereas the more general term social software
Social software
Social software applications include communication tools and interactive tools. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video as well. Interactive tools handle mediated interactions between a...

 applies to systems used outside the workplace, for example, online dating service
Online dating service
Online dating or Internet dating is a dating system which allows individuals, couples and groups to make contact and communicate with each other over the Internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship...

s and social network
Social network
A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

s like Friendster
Friendster
Friendster is a social gaming site that is based in Malaysia, KL. The company now operates mainly from the three Asian countries namely in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore....

, Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 and Facebook. It has been suggested that Metcalfe's law
Metcalfe's law
Metcalfe's law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected usersof the system...

 — the more people who use something, the more valuable it becomes — applies to these types of software.

The use of collaborative software in the workspace creates a collaborative working environment
Collaborative Working Environment
A collaborative working environment supports people in their individual and cooperative work. Research in CWE involves organisational, technical, and social issues....

 (CWE). A collaborative working environment supports people in both their individual and cooperative work thus giving birth to a new class of professionals, e-professional
E-professional
E-professional or "eprofessional" or even "eProfessional" is a term used in Europe to describe a professional whose work relies on concepts of telework or telecommuting: working at a distance using information and communication technologies, as well as online Collaboration E-professional or...

s, who can work together irrespective of their geographical location.

Finally collaborative software relates to the notion of collaborative work systems which are conceived as any form of human organization that emerges any time that collaboration takes place, whether it is formal or informal, intentional or unintentional. Whereas the groupware or collaborative software pertains to the technological elements of computer supported cooperative work, collaborative work systems become a useful analytical tool to understand the behavioral and organizational variables that are associated to the broader concept of CSCW.

Origins


Doug Engelbart
Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Carl Engelbart is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human-computer interaction, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs...

 first envisioned collaborative computing in 1951 Doug Engelbart - Father of Groupware, documented his vision in 1962, with working prototypes
NLS (computer system)
NLS, or the "oN-Line System", was a revolutionary computer collaboration system designed by Douglas Engelbart and implemented by researchers at the Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute during the 1960s...

 in full operational use by his research team by the mid 1960s, and held the first public demonstration of his work in 1968 in what is now referred to as "The Mother of All Demos
The Mother of All Demos
The Mother of All Demos is a name given to Douglas Engelbart's December 9, 1968, demonstration of experimental computer technologies that are now commonplace...

.". The following year, Engelbart's lab was hooked into the ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

, the first computer network, enabling them to extend services to a broader userbase. See also Intelligence Amplification
Intelligence amplification
Intelligence amplification refers to the effective use of information technology in augmenting human intelligence...

 Section 4: Douglas Engelbart, ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

 Section on ARPANET Deployed, and the Doug Engelbart Archive Collection.

Online collaborative gaming software began between early networked computer users. In 1975 by Will Crowther created Colossal Cave Adventure
Colossal Cave Adventure
Colossal Cave Adventure gave its name to the computer adventure game genre . It was originally designed by Will Crowther, a programmer and caving enthusiast who based the layout on part of the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky...

 on a DEC PDP-10 computer. As internet connections grew, so did the numbers of users and multi-user games. In 1978 Roy Trubshaw
Roy Trubshaw
Roy Trubshaw was a programmer at the University of Essex who co-authored MUD1, the first MUD, with Richard Bartle on a DEC PDP-10. Both of them now work together at Multi-User Entertainment with Trubshaw being the company’s technical director....

, a student at Essex University in the UK, created the game MUD (Multi-User Dungeon). A number of other MUDs were created, but remained a computer science novelty until the late 1980s, when personal computers with dial-up modems began to be more common in homes, largely through the use of multi-line Bulletin Board Systems and online service providers.

Parallel to development of MUDs were applications for online chat, video sharing and voice over IP. These would be essential for further development. Studies at MITRE showed the value of voice and text chat, and sharing pictures for shared understanding.

The US Government began using truly collaborative applications in the early 1990s. One of the first robust applications was the Navy's Common Operational Modeling, Planning and Simulation Strategy (COMPASS). The COMPASS system allowed up to 6 users created point-to-point connections with one another; the collaborative session only remained while at least one user stayed active, and would have to be recreated if all six logged out. MITRE improved on that model by hosting the collaborative session on a server that each user logged into. Called the Collaborative Virtual Workstation (CVW), this allowed the session to be set up in a virtual file cabinet and virtual rooms, and left as a persistent session that could be joined later. In 1996, Pavel Curtis
Pavel Curtis
Pavel Curtis is an American software architect at Microsoft who is best known for having founded and managed LambdaMOO, an online community...

, who had built MUDs at PARC, created PlaceWare, a server that simulated a one-to-many auditorium, with side chat between "seat-mates", and the ability to invite a limited number of audience members to speak. In 1997, engineers at GTE
GTE
GTE Corporation, formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corporation was the largest independent telephone company in the United States during the days of the Bell System....

 used the PlaceWare engine in a commercial version of MITRE's CVW, calling it InfoWorkSpace (IWS). In 1998, IWS was chosen as the military standard for the standardized Air Operations Center
Air Operations Center
An Air and Space Operations Center is a type of command center used by the United States Air Force. It is the senior agency of the Air Force component commander to provide command and control of air and space operations....

. The IWS product was sold to General Dynamics
General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

 and then later to Ezenia.

Philosophical Underpinnings



Technology has long been used to bring people together. However, as distance increases, rules and protocols need to be implemented. One seminal book on the process of working together from a distance is 'Virtual Teams' by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps.

Groupware


Collaborative software was originally designated as groupware and this term can be traced as far back as the late 1980s, when Richman and Slovak (1987) wrote:
Even further back, in 1978 Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz coined the term groupware; their initial 1978 definition of groupware was, “intentional group processes plus software to support them.” Later in their article they went on to explain groupware as “computer-mediated culture... an embodiment of social organization in hyperspace." Groupware integrates co-evolving human and tool systems, yet is simply a single system.

In the early 1990s the first groupware commercial products began delivering up to their promises, and big companies such as Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 and IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 started using electronic meeting systems to leverage key internal projects. Lotus Notes appeared as a major example of that product category, allowing remote group collaboration when the Internet was still in its infancy. Kirkpatrick and Losee (1992) wrote then:
As collaborative software evolves and migrates into the Internet itself, it contributes to the development of the so called Web 2.0 bringing a host of collaborative features that were originally conceived for within the corporate network. These include functionalities such as document sharing (including group editing), group calendar and instant messaging
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

, web conferencing, among others.

Groupware and organizations


The study of computer-supported collaboration
Computer-supported collaboration
Computer-supported collaboration research focuses on technology that affects groups, organizations, communities and societies, e.g., voice mail and text chat. It grew from cooperative work study of supporting people's work activities and working relationships...

 includes the study of collaborative software and the social phenomena associated with it. There is a wealth of research produced about the impact of groupware in organizations and related social and psychological issues since the early eighties. Since 1984 the great majority of this work has been organized and communicated within the boundaries of a specialized scientific event - the Computer Supported Cooperative Work conferences - which are held by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction biannually. The next CSCW conference would be held in Seattle, Washington in 2012 and the program and the complete conference proceedings from the last conference in 2010 can be consulted here.

Design & Implementation Issues


The complexity of groupware development is still an issue. One reason for this is the socio-technical dimension of groupware. Groupware designers do not only have to address technical issues (as in traditional software development) but also consider the social group processes that should be supported with the groupware application. Some examples for issues in groupware development are:
  • Persistence is needed in some sessions. Chat and voice communications are routinely non-persistent and evaporate at the end of the session. Virtual room and online file cabinets can persist for years. The designer of the collaborative space needs to consider the information duration needs and implement accordingly.
  • Authentication has always been a problem with groupware. When connections are made point-to-point, of when log-in registration is enforced, it's clear who is engaged in the session. However, audio and unmoderated sessions carry the risk of unannounced 'lurkers' who observe but do not announce themselves or contribute.
  • Until recently, bandwidth issues at fixed location limited full use of the tools. These are exacerbated with mobile devices.
  • Multiple input and output streams bring concurrency issues into the groupware applications.
  • Motivational issues are important, especially in settings where no pre-defined group process was in place.
  • Closely related to the motivation aspect is the question of reciprocity. Ellis and others have shown that the distribution of efforts and benefits has to be carefully balanced in order to ensure that all required group members really participate.


One approach for addressing these issues is the use of design patterns for groupware design. The patterns identify recurring groupware design issues and discuss design choices in a way that all stakeholders can participate in the groupware development process.

Groupware and levels of collaboration


Groupware can be divided into three categories depending on the level of collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

:
  1. Communication can be thought of as unstructured interchange of information. A phone call or an IM
    Instant messaging
    Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

     Chat discussion are examples of this.
  2. Conferencing (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.
  3. 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: collaborative management.

Electronic communication tools


Electronic communication tools send messages, files, data, or documents between people and hence facilitate the sharing of information. Examples include:
  • synchronous conferencing
    Synchronous conferencing
    Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in science, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe online chat technologies. It has arisen at a time when the term chat had a negative connotation...

  • asynchronous conferencing
    Asynchronous conferencing
    Asynchronous conferencing is the formal term used in science, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe technologies where there is a delay in interaction between contributors...

  • e-mail
    E-mail
    Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

  • fax
    Fax
    Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

    ing
  • voice mail
  • Wiki
    Wiki
    A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

    s
  • Web publishing
  • revision control
    Revision control
    Revision control, also known as version control and source control , is the management of changes to documents, programs, and other information stored as computer files. It is most commonly used in software development, where a team of people may change the same files...


Electronic conferencing tools


Electronic conferencing tools facilitate the sharing of information, but in a more interactive way. Examples include:
  • Internet forum
    Internet forum
    An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

    s (also known as message boards or discussion boards) — a virtual discussion platform to facilitate and manage online text messages
  • Online chat
    Online chat
    Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet, that offers an instantaneous transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver, hence the delay for visual access to the sent message shall not hamper the flow of communications in any of the directions...

     — a virtual discussion platform to facilitate and manage real-time text messages
  • Instant Messaging
    Instant messaging
    Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

  • Telephony
    Telephony
    In telecommunications, telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide communication over distances, specifically by connecting telephones to each other....

     — telephone
    Telephone
    The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

    s allow users to interact
  • Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing is the conduct of a videoconference by a set of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously...

     — networked PCs share video and audio signals
  • Data conferencing
    Data conferencing
    Data conferencing refers to a communication session among two or more participants sharing computer data in real time. Interaction and presentation devices such as a screen, keyboard, mouse, camera, etc. can be shared or be able to control each other computer...

     — networked PCs share a common whiteboard
    Whiteboarding
    Whiteboarding is the placement of shared files on an on-screen shared notebook or whiteboard. Videoconferencing and data conferencing software often lets the user annotate the shared documents as on a physical whiteboard....

     that each user can modify
  • Application sharing
    Application sharing
    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...

     — users can access a shared document or application from their respective computers simultaneously in real time
  • Electronic meeting system
    Electronic meeting system
    An electronic meeting system is a type of computer software that facilitates creative problem solving and decision-making of groups within or across organizations. The term was coined by Jay Nunamaker et al. in 1991. The term is synonymous with Group Support Systems and essentially synonymous...

    s (EMS) — originally these were described as "electronic meeting systems," and they were built into meeting rooms. These special purpose rooms usually contained video projectors interlinked with numerous PCs; however, electronic meeting systems have evolved into web-based, any time, any place systems that will accommodate "distributed" meeting participants who may be dispersed in several locations.

Collaborative management (coordination) tools


Collaborative management tools facilitate and manage group activities. Examples include:
  • electronic calendars (also called time management
    Time management
    Time management is the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific...

     software) — schedule events and automatically notify and remind group members
  • project management
    Project management
    Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

     systems — schedule, track, and chart the steps in a project as it is being completed
  • online proofing
    Online proofing
    Online proofing is the process undertaken by web designers, photographers, marketing agencies and video production companies, among others, to automate the review and approval of work online...

     — share, review, approve, and reject web proofs, artwork, photos, or videos between designers, customers, and clients.
  • workflow systems — collaborative management of tasks and documents within a knowledge-based business process
  • knowledge management systems
    Knowledge management software
    Knowledge management software is a subset of Enterprise content management software and which contains a range of software that specializes in the way information is collected, stored and/or accessed...

     — collect, organize, manage, and share various forms of information
  • enterprise bookmarking
    Enterprise bookmarking
    Enterprise bookmarking is a method for Enterprise 2.0 users to tag, organize, store, and search bookmarks of both web pages on the Internet and data resources stored in a distributed database or fileserver...

     — collaborative bookmarking engine to tag, organize, share, and search enterprise data
  • prediction markets — let a group of people predict together the outcome of future events
  • extranet
    Extranet
    An extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside, for specific business or educational purposes. An extranet can be viewed as an extension of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company, usually partners, vendors, and suppliers...

     systems (sometimes also known as 'project extranets') — collect, organize, manage and share information associated with the delivery of a project (e.g.: the construction of a building)
  • social software
    Social software
    Social software applications include communication tools and interactive tools. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video as well. Interactive tools handle mediated interactions between a...

     systems — organize social relations of groups
  • online spreadsheets — collaborate and share structured data and information


Gathering applications

This functionality may be included in some wikis and blogs, e.g. Wetpaint. Primarily includes:
  • surveys
  • project management
  • feedback
  • time tracking.


Wikis

Either stand-alone (such as MediaWiki), part of a suite (such as TikiWiki) or web-based such as Wetpaint. A Wiki might include:
  • workflow management
  • blogs
  • image and file galleries
  • chat
  • calendaring
  • surveys

Collaborative software and human interaction


The design intent of collaborative software (groupware) is to transform the way documents and rich media are shared in order to enable more effective team collaboration.

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
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

, and e-mail are generally sufficient for conversational interactions.

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.

Collaboration in Education- two or more co-equal individuals voluntarily bring their knowledge and experiences together by interacting toward a common goal in the best interest of students' needs for the betterment of their educational success.

Collaboration requires individuals working together in a coordinated fashion, towards a common goal. Accomplishing the goal is the primary purpose for bringing the team together. Collaborative software helps facilitate the action-oriented team working together over geographic distances by providing tools that help communication, collaboration and the process of problem solving by providing the team with a common means for communicating ideas and brainstorming. Additionally, collaborative software may support project management functions, such as task assignments, time-management with deadlines and shared calendars. The artifacts, the tangible evidence of the problem solving process, including the final outcome of the collaborative effort, typically require documentation and archiving of the process itself, and may involve archiving project plans, deadlines and deliverables.

Collaborative software should support the individuals that make up the team and the interactions between them during the group decision making process. Many of today's teams are composed of members from around the globe, with some members using their second or third language in communicating with the group. This situation provides cultural as well as linguistic challenges for any software that supports the collaborative effort. The software may also support team membership, roles and responsibilities. Additionally, collaborative support systems may offer the ability to support ancillary systems, such as budgets and physical resources.

Brainstorming is considered to be a tenet of collaboration, with the rapid exchange of ideas facilitating the group decision making process. Collaborative software provides areas that support multi-user editing, such as virtual whiteboards and chat or other forms of communication. Better solutions record the process and provide revision history. An emerging category of computer software, a collaboration platform
Collaboration platform
An emerging category of computer software, collaboration platforms are unified electronic platforms that support synchronous and asynchronous communication through a variety of devices and channels....

 is a unified electronic platform that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication through a variety of devices and channels.

An extension of groupware is collaborative media, software that allows several concurrent user
Concurrent user
In computer science, the number of concurrent users for a resource in a location, with the location being a computing network or a single computer, refers to the total number of people using the resource within predefined period of time...

s to create and manage information in a website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

. Collaborative media models include wiki (Comparison of wiki software
Comparison of wiki software
The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of wiki software packages.-General information:-Target audience:-Features 1:-Features 2:-Installation:-See also:* List of wiki software* List of wikis* Wiki farm...

) and Slashdot models.
Some sites with publicly accessible content based on collaborative software are: WikiWikiWeb
WikiWikiWeb
WikiWikiWeb is a term that has been used to refer to four things: the first wiki, or user-editable website, launched on 25 March 1995 by Ward Cunningham as part of the Portland Pattern Repository ; the Perl-based application that was used to run it, also developed by Cunningham, which was the first...

, Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

 and Everything2
Everything2
Everything2, Everything2, or E2 for short is a collaborative Web-based community consisting of a database of interlinked user-submitted written material. E2 is moderated for quality, but has no formal policy on subject matter...

.
By method used we can divide them into:
  • Web-based collaborative tools
  • Software collaborative tools


Along with these, already traditional, methods recent expansion of corporate use of Second Life
Corporate use of Second Life
Virtual Worlds are 3D computer environments where each user is representedwith a character - avatar. Traditionally, virtual worlds have been used for entertainment. However,...

 and other virtual worlds
Virtual world
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...

 led to development of a newer generation of software that takes advantage of a 3D data presentation. Some of this software (3D Topicscape
3D Topicscape
3D Topicscape, a software application, is a Personal Information Manager that provides a template loosely based on mind-mapping or concept mapping. It presents the mind map as a 3D scene where each node is a cone . It can also display in a 2D format...

) works independently from virtual worlds and simply uses 3D to support user "in concept creation, planning, organization, development and actualization". Other http://www.theseventhsun.com/1107_mindMap.htm designed specifically to assist in collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

 when using virtual worlds
Virtual world
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...

 as a business platform, while yet another type of software, Collaborative Knowledge Management (cKM), bridges the gap and can be used simultaneously in Second Life and on the web.

By area served we can divide collaborative software into:
  • Knowledge management
    Knowledge management
    Knowledge management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences...

     tools
  • Knowledge creation tools
  • Information sharing
    Information sharing
    The term "information sharing" gained popularity as a result of the 9/11 Commission Hearings and its report of the United States government's lack of response to information known about the planned terrorist attack on the New York City World Trade Center prior to the event...

     tools
  • Collaborative project management tools

Collaborative project management tools


Collaborative project management tools (CPMT) are very similar to collaborative management tools (CMT) except that CMT may only facilitate and manage a certain group activities for a part of a bigger project or task, while CPMT covers all detailed aspects of collaboration activities and management of the overall project and its related knowledge areas.

Another major difference is that CMT may include social software, Document Management System (DMS) and Unified Communication (UC) while CPMT mostly considers business or corporate related goals with some kind of social boundaries most commonly used for project management.

Background


During the mid-1990s project management started to evolve into collaborative project management; this was when the process in which a project's inputs and outputs were carried out started to change with the evolution of the internet. Since the geographical boundaries broadened the development teams increasingly became more remote changing the dynamics of a project team thus changing the way a project was managed.

Former chairman of General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

, Jack Welch
Jack Welch
John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr. is an American chemical engineer, business executive, and author. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001...

, believed that you could not be successful if you went it alone in a global economy. Therefore Welch became a driving force behind not only collaboration between organizations, but also collaborative project management.

Difference between Collaborative Project Management Tools (CPMT) and Collaborative Management Tools (CMT)

Collaborative Project Management Tools Collaborative Management Tools

CPMT facilitate and manage social
or group project based activities.

Examples include:
  • Electronic calendars
  • Project management
    Project management
    Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

     systems
  • Resource Management
  • Workflow systems
  • Knowledge management
    Knowledge management
    Knowledge management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences...

  • Prediction markets
  • Extranet systems
  • Social software
    Social software
    Social software applications include communication tools and interactive tools. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video as well. Interactive tools handle mediated interactions between a...

  • Online spreadsheets
  • Online artwork proofing, feedback, review and approval tool
    Online artwork proofing, feedback, review and approval tool
    An Online artwork proofing, feedback, review and approval tool is a web-based Collaborative software that helps studios with internal and client communication.-How it works:...


In addition to most CPMT examples, CMT also includes:
  • HR and equipment management
  • Time and cost management
  • Online chat
    Online chat
    Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet, that offers an instantaneous transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver, hence the delay for visual access to the sent message shall not hamper the flow of communications in any of the directions...

  • Instant messaging
    Instant messaging
    Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

  • Telephony
    Telephony
    In telecommunications, telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide communication over distances, specifically by connecting telephones to each other....

  • Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing is the conduct of a videoconference by a set of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously...

  • Web conferencing
    Web conferencing
    Web conferencing refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. Most vendors also provide either a recorded copy of an event, or a means for a subscriber to record an event. The service allows information to be shared simultaneously, across geographically...

  • Data conferencing
    Data conferencing
    Data conferencing refers to a communication session among two or more participants sharing computer data in real time. Interaction and presentation devices such as a screen, keyboard, mouse, camera, etc. can be shared or be able to control each other computer...

  • Application sharing
    Application sharing
    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...

  • Electronic meeting systems (EMS
    Electronic meeting system
    An electronic meeting system is a type of computer software that facilitates creative problem solving and decision-making of groups within or across organizations. The term was coined by Jay Nunamaker et al. in 1991. The term is synonymous with Group Support Systems and essentially synonymous...

    )
  • Synchronous conferencing
    Synchronous conferencing
    Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in science, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe online chat technologies. It has arisen at a time when the term chat had a negative connotation...

  • E-mail
    E-mail
    Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

  • Faxing
  • voice mail
  • Wikis
  • Web publishing
  • Revision control
    Revision control
    Revision control, also known as version control and source control , is the management of changes to documents, programs, and other information stored as computer files. It is most commonly used in software development, where a team of people may change the same files...

  • Charting
  • Document versioning
  • Document retention
  • Document sharing
  • Document repository
  • Evaluation and survey

Dimensions


Different frameworks could be established based on a project needs and requirements in order to find the best software. But the best framework is the one in which the characteristics are so well defined that they cover all the aspects of collaboration activities and management of the overall project.

The challenge in determining which CPM software to use is having a good understanding of the requirements and tools needed for project development. There are many dynamics that make project management challenging (coordination, collaboration, sharing of knowledge and effectiveness of pm's to facilitate the process). Choosing the right CPM software is essential to complementing these issues. According to a survey conducted in 2008 to find out what project managers' expectations and uses of project management software
Project management software
Project management software is a term covering many types of software, including estimation and planning, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems, which are used to...

 are, the features most important to project managers with project management software were:
  • Ability to plan using and sequence activities using CPM/PDM/PERT or Gantt Chart method,
  • Produce project master schedules based on project/task/work breakdown structures, with subordinate details,
  • Critical path calculation.

Dimensions Descriptions / Examples
Resources Requirements
  • Human
  • Equipment
  • Time
  • Cost
System Requirements
  • Platform: The operating system that the system can perform on (example Windows, Mac, Linux). Platform type single and multiple.
  • Hardware: physical requirements such as hard drive space and amount of memory.
  • Installation/access: How and where the software is installed.
  • Types of installations stand alone, server based, web portal.
  • Support Requirements
  • Email
  • 24/7 or restricted schedules
  • Online or web help
  • Built-in Help i.e. MS Office
  • On location assistance
  • Training on-site/off-site
  • Collaboration Requirements
  • Group Size: The number of users that software supports
  • Email list
  • Revision Control
  • Charting
  • Document versioning
  • Document retention
  • Document sharing
  • Document repository

  • Collaboration software and voting methods


    Some collaboration software allows users to vote, rate, and rank choices, often for the purpose of extracting the collective intelligence
    Collective intelligence
    Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making in bacteria, animals, humans and computer networks....

     of the participants. The votes, ratings, and rankings can be used in various ways such as:
    • Producing an average rating, such as 4 out of 5 stars.
    • Calculating a popularity ranking, such as a "top 10" list.
    • Guiding the creation and organization of documents, such as in Wikipedia where voting helps to guide the creation of new pages.
    • Making a recommendation that may assist in making a decision.


    In the case of decision making
    Decision making
    Decision making can be regarded as the mental processes resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.- Overview :Human performance in decision terms...

    , Condorcet voting can combine multiple perspectives in a way that reduces intransitivity
    Intransitivity
    In mathematics, the term intransitivity is used for related, but different, properties of binary relations:- Intransitivity :A relation is transitive if, whenever it relates some A to some B, and that B to some C, it also relates that A to that C...

    . Additional uses of collaborative voting, such as voting to determine the sequence of sections in a Wikipedia article, remain unexplored. It's worth noting that no matter what voting method is implemented, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem
    Arrow's impossibility theorem
    In social choice theory, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, the General Possibility Theorem, or Arrow’s paradox, states that, when voters have three or more distinct alternatives , no voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide ranking while also meeting a...

     guarantees that an ideal voting system can never be attained if there are three or more alternatives that are voted upon.

    In addition to allowing participants to rank pre-existing choices, some collaboration software allows participants to add new choices to the list of choices being ranked.

    Voting in collaboration software is related to recommendation system
    Recommendation system
    Recommender systems, recommendation systems, recommendation engines, recommendation frameworks, recommendation platforms or simply recommender form or work from a specific type of information filtering system technique that attempts to recommend information items Recommender systems, recommendation...

    s that generate appreciated recommendations based on ratings or rankings collected from many people.

    Closely related terms

    • Collaborative learning-work
    • Collaborative work systems
    • Computer-supported collaboration
      Computer-supported collaboration
      Computer-supported collaboration research focuses on technology that affects groups, organizations, communities and societies, e.g., voice mail and text chat. It grew from cooperative work study of supporting people's work activities and working relationships...

    • Computer supported cooperative work
      Computer supported cooperative work
      The term computer-supported cooperative work was first coined by Irene Greif and Paul M. Cashman in 1984, at a workshop attended by individuals interested in using technology to support people in their work. At about this same time, in 1987 Dr...

    • Integrated collaboration environment
      Integrated Collaboration Environment
      An integrated collaboration environment is an environment in which a virtual team do their work. Such environments allow companies to realize a number of competitive advantages by using their existing computers and network infrastructure for group and personal collaboration...


    Groupware type of applications

    • Content management system
      Content management system
      A content management system is a system providing a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer-based...

    • Document management system
      Document management system
      A document management system is a computer system used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. It is usually also capable of keeping track of the different versions created by different users . The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management...

    • Electronic meeting system
      Electronic meeting system
      An electronic meeting system is a type of computer software that facilitates creative problem solving and decision-making of groups within or across organizations. The term was coined by Jay Nunamaker et al. in 1991. The term is synonymous with Group Support Systems and essentially synonymous...

    • Enterprise content management
      Enterprise content management
      Enterprise Content Management is a formalized means of organizing and storing an organization's documents, and other content, that relate to the organization's processes...

    • Extranet
      Extranet
      An extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside, for specific business or educational purposes. An extranet can be viewed as an extension of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company, usually partners, vendors, and suppliers...

    • Human-based genetic algorithm
      Human-based genetic algorithm
      In evolutionary computation, a human-based genetic algorithm is a genetic algorithm that allows humans to contribute solution suggestions to the evolutionary process. For this purpose, a HBGA has human interfaces for initialization, mutation, and recombinant crossover. As well, it may have...

    • Intranet
      Intranet
      An intranet is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to securely share any part of an organization's information or network operating system within that organization. The term is used in contrast to internet, a network between organizations, and instead refers to a network...

    • Web conferencing
      Web conferencing
      Web conferencing refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. Most vendors also provide either a recorded copy of an event, or a means for a subscriber to record an event. The service allows information to be shared simultaneously, across geographically...

    • Whiteboarding
      Whiteboarding
      Whiteboarding is the placement of shared files on an on-screen shared notebook or whiteboard. Videoconferencing and data conferencing software often lets the user annotate the shared documents as on a physical whiteboard....


    Other related type of applications

    • Massively distributed collaboration
    • Online consultation
      Online consultation
      Online consultations or e-consultations refer to an exchange between government and citizens using the Internet. They are one form of online deliberation. Further, online consultation consists in using the Internet to ask a group of people their opinion on one or more specific topics, allowing for...

    • Online deliberation
      Online deliberation
      Online deliberation is a term associated with an emerging body of practice, research, and software dedicated to fostering serious, purposive discussion over the Internet...

    • Online project

    Other related terms

    • Collaborative innovation network
    • Electronic business
      Electronic business
      Electronic business, commonly referred to as "eBusiness" or "e-business", or an internet business, may be defined as the application of information and communication technologies in support of all the activities of business...

    • Information technology management
      Information technology management
      IT management is the discipline whereby all of the technology resources of a firm are managed in accordance with its needs and priorities. These resources may include tangible investments like computer hardware, software, data, networks and data centre facilities, as well as the staffs who are...

    • Knowledge management
      Knowledge management
      Knowledge management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences...

    • Management information systems
    • Management
      Management
      Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

    • Office of the future
      Office of the future
      The office of the future is a concept dating from the 1940s. It is also known as the "paperless office". After sixty years of unfulfilled prophecies the phrase "paperless office" has been discredited somewhat...

    • Operational transformation
      Operational transformation
      Operational transformation is a technology for supporting a range of collaboration functionalities in advanced groupware systems. OT was originally invented for consistency maintenance and concurrency control in collaborative editing of plain text documents...

    • Organizational Memory System
      Organizational Memory System
      An organizational memory system or organizational memory information system "functions to provide a means by which knowledge from the past is brought to bear on present activities, thus resulting in increased levels of effectiveness for the organization" ."An OMS arise from the integration of...

    • Project management
      Project management
      Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

    • Worknet
      Worknet
      A worknet is the term coined to describe a group of online participants and applications to collaborate a certain cause or purpose. It is an area that is concerned with the intersection of organizational behavior and computer science...


    Lists of collaborative software

    • List of collaborative software
    • Comparison of Collaboration Software
    • List of social bookmarking websites
    • Intranet portal
      Intranet portal
      An intranet portal is the gateway that unifies access to all enterprise information and applications on an intranet. It is a tool that helps a company manage its data, applications, and information more easily, and through personalized views. Some portal solutions today are able to integrate legacy...

    • Enterprise portal
      Enterprise portal
      An enterprise portal, also known as an enterprise information portal or corporate portal, is a framework for integrating information, people and processes across organizational boundaries. It provides a secure unified access point, often in the form of a web-based user interface, and is designed...


    External links