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(computer science)
Multiuser software that supports information sharing through digital media, such as electronic mail and messaging, electronic meeting systems and audio conferencing, group calendaring and scheduling, workflow process diagramming and analysis tools, and group document handling including group editing.



Software that supports multiple users working on related tasks in local and remote networks. Also called "collaborative software," groupware is an evolving concept that is more than just multiuser software which allows access to the same data. Groupware provides a mechanism that helps users coordinate and keep track of ongoing projects together.

Lotus Notes is often considered the father of groupware, because it was the first to popularize a multifunction groupware system and development environment.

A fundamental component of groupware is e-mail, because e-mail is used to notify team members, obtain responses and send alerts. E-mail messages include live links to databases, intranets and the Internet. Instant messaging (IM) is also widely used.

Groupware Is Comprehensive
Groupware also includes document sharing and document management, group calendaring and scheduling, group contact and task management, threaded discussions, text chat, data conferencing and audio and videoconferencing. Workflow, which allows messages and documents to be routed to the appropriate users, is often part of a groupware system.

From Simple to Complex
The Internet/intranet explosion focused attention on groupware because of the ease with which HTML pages could be created and shared. However, as documents became widely distributed throughout the enterprise, security and synchronization problems surfaced. Document management became a problem, and access control and replication became issues. Thus, what started out as a simple way to electronically publish information, wound up becoming a complex enterprise-wide system. See workflow, contextual collaboration, collaborative browsing and wares.

Groupware and Workflow
Groupware focuses on the information being processed and enabling users to share it. Workflow emphasizes the process, which acts as a container for the information. Groupware is "information centered." Workflow is "process centered." (Illustration courtesy of Delphi Consulting Group, Inc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
John Gray, group vice president, Technology Channel Sales at Oracle stated, "We congratulate Groupware on achieving OPN Specialization for Oracle Exadata.
Large-scale users, such as Bank of America and Arthur Andersen, use groupware to build and maintain corporate intelligence.
Lotus Notes is rapidly becoming the standard among groupware products for small businesses.
and RJR Nabisco have used various groupware products.
Candidsoft's patented groupware has many advantages that are specifically suitable for the Chinese market whereas competitive products such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange Servers require additional development to match the features.
The Groupware lab facility is available to customers 24 x 7 via key card access or secure VPN, and database experts will work closely with customers to derive the greatest performance improvements and cost savings.
Groupware packages such as Lotus Notes support distributed teams, reduce cycle times, re-engineer business processes, and manage intellectual capital.
NEOJAPAN also announced that they will gradually revamp the company's leading groupware software, desknet's, using Bindows to incorporate AJAX technology and provide a zero-footprint web application that is as graphically rich and interactive as any desktop application.
We are very pleased to be teaming up with a leading company like Groupware to introduce and implement the ThinIdentity solution into hospitals across the country.
OneBridge Mobile Groupware delivers e-mail and PIM data to mobile workers regardless of the device they use, the connection method, or groupware application.
Mike Thompson, President and CEO of Groupware said, "We take the environment, and our individual affect on it, seriously.
com) has announced the addition of Desktop Revolution: Office Software and Groupware under the TCO-X-ray to their offering.