Collaborative software

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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 are 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.