Collaborative Software


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.

Collaborative software is a concept that greatly overlaps with computer supported cooperative work (CSCW). Some authors argue they are equivalent. According to Carstensen and Schmidt (1999) [1] groupware is part of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, since CSCW addresses "how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems."

Software systems such as email, calendaring, text chat, wiki, and bookmarking belong to this category. It has been suggested that Metcalfe's law — the more people who use something, the more valuable it becomes — applies to these types of software.

Whereas the more general term social software applies to systems used outside the workplace, for example, online dating services and social networks like Friendster, Twitter and Facebook, the use of collaborative software in the workspace creates a Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) [1]

Why is collaboration important?

The augmentation of human capability [through collaborative tools and
architecture is nothing less than a survival issue for our species. We face
some really serious challenges. The only way we're going to be able to tackle
them is to figure out how to work together in shared information spaces.

What are "collaborative tools"?

Information technology can both facilitate and augment the reach and power of
collaboration by providing "collaborative tools." In the context of this strategy document:
Collaborative tools are computing systems that include, as one of their major
design goals, features designed to facilitate work that involves more than one


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