Collaborative software or groupware is an application software designed to help people involved in a common task to achieve their goals. One of the earliest definitions of collaborative software is 'intentional group processes plus software to support them.' - wikipedia
Collaborative software is a broad concept that overlaps considerably with computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). According to Carstensen and Schmidt (1999) groupware is part of CSCW. The authors claim that CSCW, and thereby groupware, addresses "how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems." Software products such as email, calendaring, text chat, wiki, and bookmarking belong to this category whenever used for group work, whereas the more general term social software applies to systems used outside the workplace, for example, online dating services and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The use of collaborative software in the work space creates a collaborative working environment (CWE).
Finally, collaborative software relates to the notion of collaborative work systems, which are conceived as any form of human organization that emerges any time that collaboration takes place, whether it is formal or informal, intentional or unintentional. Whereas the groupware or collaborative software pertains to the technological elements of computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative work systems become a useful analytical tool to understand the behavioral and organizational variables that are associated to the broader concept of CSCW.
# See also