TeleTools - Groupware and CSCW


On this page you'll find some products, systems and technologies that make teletools seamless, painless and a lot more efficient.

Groupware and CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work)


On this page you'll find some products, systems and technologies that make telework seamless, painless and a lot more efficient. Groupware is technology designed to facilitate the work of groups. Groupware is defined as "computer-based systems that support groups of people engaged in a common task (or goal) and that provide an interface to a shared environment" [Clarence Ellis]. It refers to real computer-based systems like newsgroups, discussion fora, email, hypertext that include awareness of the activities of other users, videoconferencing, chat systems, and realtime shared applications, such as collaborative writing or drawing. CSCW is de study of tools and techniques of groupware as well as their psychological, social and organizational effects. "CSCW a generic term which combines the understanding of the way people work in groups with the enabling technologies of computer networking, and associated hardware, software, services and techniques" [Brian Wilson 1991]. So 'Groupware' is used to specifically denote the technology that people use to work together, whereas 'CSCW' refers to the field that studies the use of that technology.

  • Cugola, Gianpaolo / Picco, Gian Pietro [2002]
    Peer-to-Peer for Collaborative Applications [pdf]
    The advantages of a peer-to-peer architecture reach well beyond the realm of internet file sharing. Peer-to-peer systems have become key in supporting enterprise processes and especially collaborative work involving mobile and geographically distributed users.
  • Collaborative Computing
    An international quarterly journal which covers the areas of groupwork, collaborative systems, telecommunications, computing and distributed systems.


Field, Anne
Group Think 
Issue: Inc. Technology #3, 1996, p. 038. 
Field looks at how groupware allows small-company employees to work simultaneously, saving both time and money.


Google GroupsSimpel Groupware

  • Group Performance Systems (GPS) - Editor: Tom Brink and others 
    A comprehensive site that includes introductions and overviews, indexes, conferences & workshops, papers & abstracts, books & journals, types of groupware, products & companies, empirical studies, research centers, special interest groups, newsgroups & mailing lists.
  • Grudin, Jonathan
    • [1994] Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: History and Focus
      In: IEEE Computer 27(5):19-26. 
      This article describes the participation in CSCW research and groupware development. It ties the emergence of CSCW in the 1980s to the growing interest of product developers in supporting networked groups and the discovery of common interests with those working management information systems, as well as with researchers in the social sciences and other disciplines. Differences in emphasis in Europe and Japan are discussed.
    • [1994] Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers
      In: Communications of the ACM, 37(1): 92-105. 
      Computer support has focused on organizations and individuals. Groups are different. Repeated, expensive groupware failures result from not meeting the challenges in design and evaluation that arise from these differences.
    • and Palen, L. [1995] Why Groupware Succeeds: Discretion or Mandate?
      In: Proceedings ECSCW'95, 263-78. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
      Single-user applications are designed with a 'discretionary use' model. For larger systems however management support is considered crucial to adoption. Which applies to groupware? Grundin and Palen studied on-line meeting schedulars in two large organizations. Versatile functionality and ease of use associated with discrtionary products appeared to be factors leading to adoption.
    • [2004] Six Degrees of Jonathan Grudin: A Social Network Analysis of the Evolution and Impact of CSCW Research 
      Written by Daniel B. Horn, Thomas A. Finholt, Jeremy P. Birnholtz, Dheeraj Motwani & Swapnaa Jayaraman
      The authors describe the evolution and impact of computersupported cooperative work (CSCW) research through social network analysis of coauthorship data. A network of authors as nodes and shared papers as links is used to compare patterns of growth and collaboration in CSCW with other domains, such as high-energy physics and computer science. It is also used to depict dynamic changes in the structure of CSCW collaborations over time.


Hofte, G. Henri ter
(Telematica Instituut, Enschede, the Netherlands)
Working Apart Together - Foundations for Component Groupware
A presentation of a new generation of groupware systems that allows users to pick up and mix the right groupware tools for a cooperative job. It describes how to structure designs of groupsware systems as well-integrated compositions of grouplets. You can get a full on-line version in PDF-format.


IntraNet (sociosite)


Software Tools Online: Groupware - Workflow Management.


Web Conferencing

  • Choosing Web Conferencing Software - by: David R. Woolley. 
    He discusses the principles of webconferencing, categorizes the products you can use, spells out some key considerations and some universal problems. The conclusion is that there is no single best product that is the ideal choice for every situation, because "no conferencing system available excels in everything".
  • Conferencing on the Web - Editor: David R. Woolley. 
    A Comprehensive guide to software that powers discussions on the Web. Information and links on Web software for asynchronous group discussions using stored text messages.
  • The Future of Web Conferencing - By David R. Woolley. June, 1998.
    Analyses some trends in Web conferencing (such as the merging of threaded and linear discussion structures, and merging of real-time chat with asynchronous conferencing) and areas where conferencing software needs to improve (such as finding active discussions).

Groupware Toolkits

  • Grouplab
    A labratory for Human Computer Interation and CSCW, led by Saul Greenberg at the University of Calgary. Design and evaluation of technology that supports geographically distributed small teams.
  • GroupWise - Novell
    A commercial collaboration tool from Novell. Groupwise is a fully integrated, easy-to-use massaging systems that offers a wide range of powerful communication and collaboration capabilities. It includes e-mail, personal calendaring, group scheduling, imaging, automated workflow, task and document management, rules-based message management, and electronic discussion. GroupWise is developed and optimized to run in mixed server environments.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
    A groupware server of Microsoft. Includes a mail server and calendaring server. It runs exclusively on Windows Server operating systems.
  • PHProjekt Management System Resources
    PHProjekt is a free project management web application that supports the coordination of group activities, and the sharing of documents and data, via both intranet and internet structures.
  • Scalix
    An e-mail and groupware server that runs on Linux.
  • Sparrow Web
    Allows for community shared web pages, which can be modified or added to by any interested contributor. Community-shared pages increase the collaborative capability of the web.
  • Web Arrow / Conference
    A high performance, scalable, tailorable, high security web conferencing that allows people to connect to each other, work with each other...interact. And you can easily integrate any part of WebArrow/Conference into your own product, tool, or web-site, via our APIs. Written by T.C. Nicolas Graham, Department of Computing and Information Science, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada.
  • WikipediaCollaborative software
  • Zarafa 
    An open-source groupware application, originated in the city of Delft in the Netherlands. Zarafa was originally designed to integrate with Microsoft Office Outlook and was intended as an alternative to the Microsoft Exchange Server. Zarafa provides its groupware functionality by connecting the Linux-based server with Outlook clients using MAPI.
  • Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS)
    A collaborative software suite, that includes an email server and web client. It runs on Linux.

Video Conferencing

  • Conferencing Software for the Web
    A comprehensive guide to software that powers discussions on the Web. A structured listing of resoures on forum software and real-time conferencing (data conferencing, instant messaging, chat, whiteboards, presentations, web tours, video, audio etc.). Editor: David R. Woolley.
  • CU-See Me
    A free, low bandwidth Internet videoconferencing from Cornell University. With CU-SeeMe, you can videoconference with another site located anywhere in the world. By using “reflector” software, multiple parties at different locations can participate in a CU-SeeMe conference, each from his or her own desktop computer (Macintosh or Windows).
  • INRIA videoconferencing System (IVS)
    A videoconferencing tool for the internet available in the public domain.
  • Talk and Vision
    A Dutch site on videoconferencing from KPN Telecom. It offers a complete portfolio with collaboration solutions, such as videoconferencing, Cloud Services and Managed Meetings.
  • Think of it
    Web Conferencing Review
    An independent guide to software for web collaboration, web conferencing, online communities & social media. The site is maintained by David R. Woolley.
  • UK Videoconferencing Demonstration Service
  • Video Conference Resource Center
    A page designed to help make sense of the technology and not aligned with any one manufacturer. Editor: Adriana Fourcher.
  • Windows Netmeeting
    The Windows real-time collaboration and conferening client. Includes video and audio conferencing, whiteboard, chat, internet directory, file transfer, program sharing, remote destop sharing, privacy protection, and advanced calling.
  • WikipediaMobile VoIP | Teleconference | Videoconferencing | Visual communication


Chat software provides the ability to "talk" using your keyboard in real-time with other people on a network of computers like the internet or a company intranet. This textual real-time way of communicating allows people to join a conversation in a public meeting room during most any hour of the day. Scheduled chats allow people to meet at predefined times to discuss topics of special interest. Chat rooms are a cost effective means to talk to others in different countries where a telephone call would be cost prohibitive. Chat rooms offer an alternative form of communication to email, telephone, regular mail, and in person communication. Chat software is categorized as either IRC or Web-based.
  • ChitChat
    A Macintosh based multimedia communication software packages for networks that supports text communication, speaking into a microphone and displaying images. Text is displayed in a continuous scrolling window, graphics may be displayed in a separate image window. This makes ChitChat perfect for group and remote presentations. The software can be accessed locally via Ethernet or LocalTalk networks or remotely via Apple Remote Access. The demo version is limited to 4 continuous hours, with 5 maximum participants and 5 simultaneous conferences.
  • ParaChat
    A Java based chat system that provides private rooms and the ability to resize and float the chat room window on the client desktop. The administrator can define security to ban users by name or IP address, define room topics, get logs of what was said in the chat sessions, and define room passwords. You can get a free version (advertisement supported) and a professional version (no ads and own room admin. control).s
  • TeamWave Workplace
    For teams who are sometimes physically separated yet still need to work closely together this tool provides an Internet forum where teams collaborate, communicate and share information. Unlike real-time only tools like video conferencing, TeamWave works both when teams can meet at the same time as well as when they can't. TeamWave runs on both Windows and Macintosh platforms, as well as SunOS, Solaris, SGI, AIX and Linux. Users can customize the shared rooms with shared tools like whiteboards, chat, calendars, bulletin boards, documents, brainstorming and voting, so you can fit the rooms to your team's tasks. Team members can work together in rooms any-time, whether meeting in real-time or leaving information for others to pick up or add to later. It is a communication solution for telecommuters, distance education, branch offices, business teams, road warriors — any teams whose members sometimes work apart.
  • VolanoChat — Volano LLC
    A software package with Java based client and server components. It allows Web developers and businesses to create easily customized chat rooms for their public Web sites and corporate intranets. The "VolanoChatPro" includes advanced features for ISP's and corporations interested in providing personal chat room hosting services and password protected membership services.

Email Applications

  • Pegasus Mail 
    A site that allows you to access your own email account from a web-page. That means that where-ever you are in the world you can access your own ISP from any internet connected workstation (be that cyber café; friends house or conference computer) all through a public url and without having to alter any settings. Type in your email address and password and the bot at the site does the rest for you. MailStart allows you to use a browser to read your email, reply, forward, delete and send new messages, making your email accessible from anywhere. But certain e-mail functions will not work. You cannot receive attachments with MailStart because they do not store any of your e-mail locally.
  • ThatWeb 
    An intelligent web based email retrieval service that does not require users to pre-configure any server setting.
  • Resources on electronic mailDMOZ


File Compressing and Expansion

    Compression tool for Windows. Includes enhanced features such as spanning files to multiple diskettes, creating self-extracting files, and creating spanned self-extracting files.
  • WinZip
    The archive utility for Windows.

Mobile Computing

Telecommuting is taking a new turn. As an increasing number of people take the on-ramp to the superinformation highway to cruise the internet, a larger percentage are doing so from the road. "Road Warriors" are using high-tech gadgets that enable them to break free of the traditional office environment and do business on the run. Road warriors use cellular phones, but the also send and receive faxes, e-mail and electronic data files from the confines of their cars. They can be paged and beeped wherever they roam.



The importance of data security cannot be underestimated in today's high-tech business world. For telecommuters, where information regularly travels outside the realm of the traditional office, the importance grows exponentially. This is a selection of new products and systems designed to secure the lifeforce of today's business information age.
  • Bernstein, D.J.
    An online introduction to cryptography.
  • Cryptography: The Study of Encryption
    How to give yourself privacy in electronic communications? Francis Litterio opens your window for the scientific basis for privacy.
  • Cryptography FAQ
  • Cryptography FAQ - RSA Laboratories
    Frequently asked questions about the concept, techniques and applications of cryptography. Includes a section on cryptography standards and laws. In the appendix you will find a brief description of some mathematical concepts and a glossary. RSA Laboratories is an academic environment within the commercial organization RSA Security Inc.
  • Google Groups
  • Internet Security
    Details of the (US) Office of the Vice President's Federal Networking Council working group on Internet Security.
  • Menezes, Alfred J. / van Oorschot, Paul C. / Vanstone, Scott A.
    Handbook of Applied Cryptography
  • PGP - Pretty Good Privacy
    An easy to use and powerful protection system for email encryption and authentication.
  • The Risks Digest
    Forum on risks to the public in computers and relates systems.
  • Security Branch
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Information Technology Security Branch (ITSB) is part of the Technical Operations Directorate and is responsible for the information technology security.
  • WWW Security Resources
    A reasonably comprehensive list of security resources covering mailing lists, HTTP protocol, and links to tasks groups of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Presented by the Rutgers University Network Services.
  • WikipediaCryptography | Cryptanalysis | Encryption | Public key cryptography | RSA (cryptosystem) | Crypto Wars


  • Network Payment Mechanisms and Digital Cash - by Michael Peirce (Trinity College Dublin).
    Information on existing payment mechanisms designed for the Internet and proposed systems, Discussion & Mailing Lists, papers of David Chaum, Implementation Tools and Storefronts.
  • Electronic Money, or E-Money, and Digital Cash
    A list of links to resources on e-money, maintained by Roy Davies (Science Librarian at the University of Exeter, UK)
  • I-Pay
    A Dutch electronic payment system created by Interpay and some Dutch banks. It is based on the Internet Keyed Payment Protocol that uses public key encryption.
  • IPS-Group - Internet Payment Systems
    A site that wants to promote Internet payment means in Russa. The Russian/English language site includes articles from Russian magazines about different Internet payment systems, Russian laws and cryptography.
  • NetCash
    A framework for electronic currency developed at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California (USA). NetCash provides a real-time electronic payment system that satisfies the diverse requirements of service providers and their users.
  • Selected Biography on Electronic Purses
    A huge and detailed collection off- and on-line links, maintained by Leo van Hove (Belgium).
  • WikipediaOnline wallet | Bitcoin | Google Wallet | Paypal | Yandex Money


Workflow management deals with the specification and execution of business processes. Workflow management systems execute business processes. General workflow specifications include the actions to be performed, statements on control and data flow among these actions, agents allowed to execute actions, and policies that describe the organizational enviroment.
  • Computron Software
    A company that produces software for workflow management. AXS-One is a suite of integrated web-based systems designed to automate and manage critical business areas, such as expenses, revenue, procurement, business planning and information management.
  • IMMDG - Research in Mobile Workflow Management
    Department of Database Systems, University of Erlangen (Germany).
  • LinkWorks - Compaq 
    A framework for mission-critical, document-based business processes. LinkWorks integrates personal productivity tools on many desktop types with business specific functions. It is pre-configured with generic functions like role-based access control, compound document management and workflow. It can be tailored to specific customer needs using a powerful workbench. The object-oriented architecture of the framework allows for the inclusion of business-specific "software components" using a programming tool of choice. LinkWorks-based solutions can be implemented stand-alone or on top of industry-standard communication infrastructures like Microsoft Exchange and the Internet.
  • Plesums, Charles [2002]
    An Introduction to Workflow [pdf]
    In: Layna Fisher [2002] Workflow Handbook. Chapter 1.
  • Product Data Management Information Center (PDM)
  • Workflow Management and Groupware
    Includes a systematic overview of the leading workflow and groupware products. Presented by the Fraunhofer-Institute for Software Engineering and Systems Engineering (Germany)
  • Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC)
    A non-profit international body for the development and promotion of workflow standards. The mission of the WfMC is to promote the use of workflow through the establishment of standards for software terminology, interoperability and connectivity between workflow products.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a standard format for the exchange of digital data between electronic means. By adhering to the same standard, two different organizations can electronically exchange documents (such as purchase orders, invoices, confirmations).

WWW Utilities

  • CyberSpyder Link Test
    A Web site management program to be used to verify that the URLs on a site are not broken. It is designed to be used on sites of all sizes; from the very small personal or business Web site with only a few pages, to the very large corporate site with thousands of links. The program includes features found in more expensive programs, but at a price affordable by the owner of a small personal site. This shareware program may be used free for up to 60 days for evaluation purposes.
  • LinkChecker
    A free, GPL licensed website validator. LinkChecker checks links in web documents or full websites. It checks the links recursive and multithreaded and crawls the whole site.
  • W3C Link Checker
  • Web Site Garage
    A great place to tune op your website free. Of course you are a genius, but yet - in spite of all your arduous work - there might be one or two errors in your brilliant site. In this garage you can check your HTML-design, check for dead links (but only the first 25 of them), check spelling errors, check page loading times. They also tell you how popular your site is, checking the sites linking to your page.

Google Scholar - Stand on the shoulders of giants

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