What is Groupware
Definition: Groupware refers to software that allows multiple users work together on one project while sitting in locally and remotely with each other at the real time, so it is also known as “Collaboration Software“.
With the help of groupware, multiple users can exchange emails, documents, shared database access, organized online meeting in between various users and they able to see each other as well as view information to other users, collective writing, calendaring, task management, scheduling, and more activities.
Types of Groupware System
Groupware is classified into two categories as per its functions, like as:
Groupware Functions are
Synchronous Groupware: It is a real-time groupware because it allowing multiple users to perform their works at a same time. A primary need of synchronous groupware is real-time coordination in between all connected users with this software, so they need shared audio channels for making the communication.
Asynchronous Groupware: In this groupware, multiple users perform their tasks at different time duration. Asynchronous groupware allows different services like as email handling, file sharing, structured messages, workflow, collaborative writing system, and other.
Groupware contains highly-structured communication in between multiple clients, this structure can done different large and small scale organization to organization, task management groupware system that offers to common workflow along with these companies, and their tasks are managed by team managers and finally assigned to a worker. Then those workers can get notifications related to assignment and begins working. When, workers end their assigned work, or they change status of their work then team manager automatically get notification related it.
Examples of Groupware Software
There are Examples of Groupware tool; such as –
- GROVE (GRoup Outline Viewing Editor)
- Novell GroupWise
- Lotus Notes/Dominos
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft Word
- Lotus WordPro
- Corel WordPerfect
- Netscape Navigator
- Microsoft Explorer
- Net Meeting
Other Examples of Groupware (Collaborating) Software are:
- ConnectWise Control
- Zoho Projects
Tools of Groupware
There are three categories of groupware tools; like as
Communication Tools: These tools help to send all types of messages and files, emails, file sharing, web publishing, and more.
Conferencing Tools: These tools are used for making real-time interaction like as chat, forums, video and audio conferencing, etc.
Collaborative Management Tools: These types of tools are used for handling group activities such as workflow system, information management system, project management system, etc.
Applications of Groupware
There are three types of Groupware Software Application; like as
Single Function Groupware Applications: These applications are used for only single function purpose; for examples E-mail handling, Text based conferencing, file sharing, etc.
Multi-functions Groupware Applications: These applications are implemented for multi-functions areas like as E-mail handling, Text based conferencing, file sharing, etc.
General functions Groupware Applications: For examples are Word processors, spreadsheets with e-mail, collaborative authoring features, and more.
Web Browser Groupware Applications: These are internet based groupware applications; like as E-mail, news conferencing, etc.
Operating System Groupware Applications: For example – Bundled applications
Advantages and Features of Groupware
In this section, we will spread light on the several benefits of Groupware. Below explain each one:
- It offers to make communication and collaboration in between team of clients like as online chat, forum discussion, and private mailboxes.
- It allows right to you for monitoring all status, which is done by all clients.
- All team of members have to right for making telecommute.
- Saving to travel cost because doesn’t need any physical meeting while using of Groupware software.
- It helps to solve for several issues like as a group.
- With using of groupware, team manager can manage all team members without sitting in own office.
- Groupware helps to make structure which allowing all team members for viewing their goals, purpose, and set up tasks schedules.
- It helps to make creativity in between all users, so all users have to right for sharing their ideas which help to improve work efficiency they work on.
- Easy to manage your schedule with built in calendar.
- You have option to save documents like as faxes, spreadsheets, email, and other related to your business files, and you can access this file anywhere while linking internet.
- You can keep track your using resources like as projectors, vehicle, conference hall, and other.
Disadvantages of Groupware
There are various drawbacks and challenges of groupware; below explain each one-
- It is not trust able system because it is totally depended on the server, if this server performance gets down then all users get disconnected to each other.
- Harder to convince clients for using groupware software
- Need to skill users that how to use it.
- Non-verbal communication cannot be used in between all users.
- It has logistical and security problem.
- It is more expensive because it needs more money to buy and better maintain them.
- Groupware environment, in which big challenge to observe gestures and facial expressions and hear voice inflections