Groupware is a program or application which facilitates communication and collaborative work between people to promote more productive work. People connected in this way access a shared computer network to transmit data when distance or time separates the participating individuals. Files and data can be shared between users or stored on a server for all to see and work on. With a groupware individuals can share calendars, email, access to databases, or participate in electronic meetings while working collectively. Groupware members can participate in real time meetings or interaction or simply exchange emails or documents through shared access to a database. Groupware can be split into three categories based on the tools used to participate in the exchange of information. Electronic communication tools such as email, instant messaging, and wikis allow individuals to share information. Electronic conferencing tools such as internet forums, video conferencing and application sharing allows information sharing with an increase in interaction. Lastly, collaborative management tools such as electronic calendars and workflow systems work to enhance group functionality and efficiency. In general, the collaborative interactions of groupware combine the efforts of multiple individuals to develop and work on a common project, idea or shared objective. Many companies actively use groupware applications today such as Cisco Webex, Skype, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint. There is a large push within the working world today to find new ways to collaborate with each other in different formats. These applications allow people to work and collaborate together real time without having to be in the same room as each other.


  • Groupware can afford researchers a collaborative environment in order to provide better treatments and services to patients especially when time and distance are issues.
  • Groupware can allow clinicians to share information in a functional and interactive manner, improving patient care, regardless of the distance between participants.
  • Efficiency of administrative functions can be greatly improved when multiple individuals are involved with a process, such as hiring of personnel, or when some form of training is required.
  • Reduces cost by allowing fellow researchers and clinicians to communicate and collaborate from different areas of the world
  • Allows for faster sharing of information and can lead to greater breakthroughs in medical research due the vast amount of collaboration that will be occurring
  • Research could be conducted faster and more efficiently if you are able to connect candidates to researchers and use Groupware to facilitate communication and even one day conduct experiements

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Related Terminology:

Messaging/Voice/Workflow Software
Collaborative Software
Collaborative Media




Lotus Notes collaborative software

Video-conferencing software