YEdit IconDocument collaboration software > Archive > Paper talk (Slides)

This is an archived version, please use the menu on the left.

Table of Contents

Business Collaboration Over the Web
What is Business Collaboration?
Why collaborate?
Current methods for collaboration
Current methods for collaboration
Problems with those methods
Why use the Web to collaborate?
Current progress
Current progress, specifics
The Future
Conclusion 1
Conclusion 2
Conclusion 3
Conclusion 4

Author: Daniel Hean

Business Collaboration Over the Web

  • D.R. Hean and W.H. Page
  • Institute of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Massey University, Palmerston North
  • New Zealand
  • December 1999


  • What is Business Collaboration?
  • Why collaborate?
  • Current methods for collaboration
  • Problems with those methods
  • Why use the Web to collaborate?
  • Current progress
  • The Future

What is Business Collaboration?

  • Business collaboration is where people assist and co-operate with colleagues and other contacts to further a particular aspect of the business that they share.

Why collaborate?

  • Leverage many people's ideas
  • Build on each other's ideas
  • Refine ideas quickly
  • Get more done in the time available
  • Prompt ideas that people may not have thought about

Current methods for collaboration

  • Word processor document sharing by
    • Directory sharing
    • Email
  • Paper based
    • Typewritten with manual mark-up

Current methods for collaboration

  • Real time conferencing
    • Face to face meetings
    • Video & Phone
    • Net conferencing
  • Real time typing
    • Talk (Unix Talk)
    • IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
    • ICQ (I seek you)

Problems with those methods

  • Not everyone has the same software
    • Let alone the same versions of the software
  • They are either
    • Interactive (eg Video conferencing)
      • Hard to capture the information (other than remembering who said what, when)
    • Non-interactive (eg emailing documents)
      • Harder to brainstorm together
  • Often there is no audit trail to show how the current document was reached

Why use the Web to collaborate?

  • The Web has the potential to include the best from the interactive and non-interactive methods
  • Original intent of the Web
  • Potential ease of use
  • Easy access

Current progress

  • Written in Java
    • Why?
      • The advantages of Java are a good match for the needs of the engine
  • The engine has been defined and created in a very general way
    • This will allow it to be extended and used with relative ease

Current progress, specifics

  • A basic command line interface is working
  • A basic storage system using the systems file system is working
  • A basic Web interface is working, and will have some refinement before users test it
  • Storage in a database is the next step before it goes out for it's first public testing

The Future

  • The engine is only limited by the interfaces that people decide to implement
  • The engine can handle
    • Any file type
    • Any version system
  • Plug into backend systems such as CVS (Concurrent Versions System)
  • Plug into any application


  • Business Collaboration is where people co-operate and work together towards a specific business goal
  • The reason that we should collaborate is because it allows for a larger pool of ideas, resources, solutions, and allows these to be refined quicker, and often to a higher level


  • Commonly collaboration is either word processor/paper based, or real time talking
  • Some problems exist with those methods:
    • Audit trails (in most cases), don't exist; Who changed what, when and to what
    • It is harder to trust the information without it's history (esp. if it is public)
    • Easy to lose information (both intentionally and non-intentionally)


  • We should use the Web to collaborate because it was originally designed as a collaborative medium, before it's popularity outstripped it's development. Most people who have access to the Internet have access to the Web, and the potential for ease of use (if done right) is high


  • Currently the engine is working
    • with interfaces to a bare file system storage, command line and a simple web interface
    • and will soon have interfaces for a more advanced web interface and a database to store the information
  • The Future
    • Test the engine in the wild with the general public (after private testing has been completed, and the engine has been refined), and then release the final product