Exploring web-based groupware tools

GROUP DYNAMICS

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Open source groupware tools have come of age. You are no longer limited to email and an address book. Some of these tools surpass the commercial alternatives – once you get them installed.

Web-based groupware tools offer simplicity for today’s busy workgroup. From any web-ready computer with access to the groupware system, you can read your mail, examine your calendar, and check off items in your ToDo list. But which tool is right for your network? I decided to compare some of the more promising open source, web-based groupware collaboration alternatives.

Because I cannot do justice to all of the various products in this growing field, I have limited the study to products for which the emphasis is not on a specific task but, rather, on providing a collection of classic groupware collaboration options such as email, calendaring, contacts, and task management. Some of the shared task components included in this article are simple lists, and others are more like full-blown project management tools.

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