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The BSCW Shared Workspace System OrbiTeam Software GmbH & Co KG Bonn, Germany December 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "The BSCW Shared Workspace System OrbiTeam Software GmbH & Co KG Bonn, Germany December 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 The BSCW Shared Workspace System OrbiTeam Software GmbH & Co KG Bonn, Germany December 2007

2 2 History 1994: BSCW research project at GMD-FIT (now: Fraunhofer-FIT) First entirely web-based groupware system world-wide 1995: first public release (Version 2.0) 1995: public BSCW server, free of charge (still in operation) 1996: BSCW wins European Software Innovation Prize (ESIP ’96) 1998: professional marketing and support by Spin-Off OrbiTeam 1996 – today: numerous European research projects around BSCW (CoopWWW, CESAR, ITCOLE, CYCLADES, MILK, MOSAIC, COMIST, IPerG, ECOSPACE, CoSpaces...) September 2007: release of BSCW 4.4

3 3 Excursion: Groupware software to support communication, cooperation and coordination for a group of people – across time and space communication – messaging, conferencing – end-user centered users are geographically dispersed or at same place communication synchronous or asynchronous cooperation – shared information spaces – joint synchronous editing – time-deferred (asynchronous) group cooperation coordination – time scheduling, process planning – execution of group activities in compliance with causal and temporal dependencies

4 4 „3C“-Classification cooperation communication coordination document management shared workspaces decision support meeting support discussion forums audio/video chat/IM conferencing project management workflow management time scheduling

5 5 audio/video – convergence of telephony and Internet (VoIP) – examples: Skype, GnomeMeeting, Netmeeting – a „classic“, ubiquitiously available to just anyone – from text-only format to multi-media content – media flogged to death (?) – examples: MS-Outlook/Exchange, Mozilla Thunderbird chat – text-based synchronous communication – indicates availability (Presence & Awareness and Instant Messaging systems) – examples: ICQ, OpenScape, AOL/Yahoo/MSN Messenger etc. Communication Tools

6 6 Document Management Systems (DMS) – central repository, individual access – document classification and search tools – examples: network drives (Samba), „classic“ DMS tools (FileNet, Saperion) Shared Workspace Systems (SWS) – shared workspaces: shared information space – access to heterogeneous articfacts: documents, appointments, addresses,… – provides awareness about other users‘ actions – examples: BSCW, LiveLink, e-Rooms, SharePoint, Notes discussion forums – originally text-based exchange of opinions, persistent to others – recent developments allow for multi-media contents – examples: classic forums (Usenet News), WiKis, Blogs meeting support – in situ: meeting room equipment, support of team meetings and brainstorming – distributed: synchrone Kommunikation, shared whiteboard, application sharing – examples: MindMaps, SmartBoards, Web-Conferencing (WebEx, Netmeeting, Marratech, PlaceWare) Cooperation Tools

7 7 Coordination Tools project management – resource management, planning and tracing – coordination of miles stones and work packages – examples: Timeline, MS-Project / project server workflow – structured processes – step-by-step directives following process definition – ranges from rigid processes to flexible, variable processes – examples: Aris, COSIMA, Prominant, X-Flow, Ultimus time scheduling – appointments in private and shared calendars – negotiation of appointments – inspection of private calendars (free/busy time slots) – examples: MS-Outlook/Exchange, Lotus Notes, Schedule+

8 8 BSCW – Shared Workspace System BSCW – Basic Support for Cooperative Work – document management, time management, coordination – supports team work by using shared workspaces – focus: document management in work groups BSCW is … – platform for cooperation in distributed groups – generic tool, not a specific application BSCW facilitates … – project work across sites – networking and exchange of knowledge – central document management – group management and group awareness

9 9 BSCW – Shared Workspace System BSCW – Basic Support for Cooperative Work – web-based groupware system – document management, time management, coordination – supports team work by using shared workspaces – focus: document management in work groups platform for distributed cooperation – cooperation in closed teams – exchange of data with external partners not just a „standard DMS product“ – BSCW supports project teams geographically dispersed – BSCW supports self-organizing work groups – BSCW provides extensive group awareness

10 10 Where does BSCW fit? cooperation communication coordination document management shared workspaces discussion forums ad-hoc workflows project management time scheduling chat presence

11 11 Use BSCW to cooperate and to coordinate your work as a Document Management System – central repository, individual access – hierarchical folder structure plus search tools as a Shared Workspace System – shared workspaces: shared information space – System bietet shared workspaces: gemeinsamer Informationsraum – access to various artifacts: documents, appointments, contacts, links,... – management of membership and access rights as a mediator – awareness of group activities: who did what when and how? – extensive notification functions as a coordinator – time scheduling – coordination of appointments – group calendars – flow folders for simple and sequential processes – planning and execution of complex business processes

12 12 BSCW improves team work by… employing only wide-spread technology (Web) facilitating usage across organizational boundaries quick start-up, ad-hoc usage self-organization and group awareness group management and access control improving exploitation of existing knowledge (Knowledge Management) support of flexible organizations (virtual teams)

13 13 Functionality – Whats‘s in BSCW? Document Management – including version management and locking mechanisms document editing – direct editing of Web and MS Office documents self-organized group management – Benutzer können neue Benutzer einladen fine-grained access control – by a flexible role concept and pre-defined default roles coordination of business processes – electronic flow folders granting sequential access to documents – ad-hoc, ‚user defined‘ workflows to coordinate business processes – shared management of appointments

14 14 What else is in BSCW? polls and discussion forums annotations and rating of documents event history of user activities notification of activities in shared workspaces distribution of documents via synchronization of central server and local workstation document conversion and archiving mobile access via PDA and mobile phone archiving of shared workspaces into standard formats, e.g., zip interfaces to , fax, SMS and synchronous communication tools support of standards, e.g., LDAP, XML-RPC, iCal, vCard, SSL, WebDAV, X.509

15 15 How does BSCW work? access to central BSCW system – from local workstation using standard Web browser (z.B. Internet Explorer, Firefox) – authentication using user name and password – no additional software needed access to documents – upload and download via browser – documents reside on central BSCW server – multiple object types can be stored

16 16 User Interface self-organizing groups documents event indicators access control adaptable interface contacts contextualized menu based control folder hierarchy

17 17 Shared objects in BSCW document note URL (Link) folder search folder calendar discussion forum project flow folder task community poll contact list document set

18 18 Main Functionality - Overview Document Management communication via blogs and discussion forums access control and membership management awareness & event notification coordination support

19 19 Document Management shared workspaces – basic means of organization – documents structured hierarchically – folders grant access to one or several members document access – document upload using Web browser – built-in 'drag and drop' upload feature – alternative using 'Web Folders' (WebDAV access) access control – roled based access control model – manager defines roles – members are invited to workspace with specific role

20 20 Document Management shared workspaces – documents structured hierarchically – folders grant access to one or several members attributes of documents – edit document attributes – add individual annotations and ratings simple upload of documents – drag ‚n‘ drop documents

21 21 Document Management via BSCW document attributes – meta data (name, description etc.) – tags (≥ version 4.4) – search for meta data version management [1.0] – replace or revise documents – older versions remain in system document locking – locks prevent conflicts of concurrent access – lock can be set by user before s/he edits document coordinated access – access control and roles – final documents can be ‚frozen‘

22 22 tags – keywords of documents – pinned on documents like labels tags in BSCW – pin tags on documents, folders or blog entries – tags are displayed in folder views – search for related documents using tags Tags – Information in Context

23 23 Alternative Access to Documents (via WebDAV) integrated into MS Windows – open shared workspaces as ‚Web Folder‘ – access content using standard file explorer upload document by copy and paste or drag ‚n‘ drop directly open document by double clicking it

24 24 Document Upload via „web folder“ in file explorer (WebDAV) via dedicated upload application (BSCW Desktop)

25 25 Document Editing standard web editing: download, edit, upload – download (and lock) document from BSCW – edit on your PC, e.g., using MS-Word – upload document, replacing it or creating new version integrated editing – integration of MS Office in MS Internet Explorer – directly edit document using integrated „edit“ action in BSCW (simple edit cycle requires WebDAV) direct editing – directly edit web documents (HTML format) in BSCW – prepare set of documents as website folder – Wiki-like, document centered

26 26 Website Folder „mini website“ in BSCW – collection of linked documents – direct editing of documents in web browser – integration of BSCW system functionality into web documents (e.g., date of last change, links to event history,...) adapted view of BSCW folders – a website folder is presented in two ways as list of objects (default BSCW view) web view (adaptable, same for all workspace members)

27 27 Website Folder web view defined by – layout template layout template defines general appearance all web documents (=HTML pages) in website folder are displayed using layout template – index page index page is entrance (=home page) into folder content – document collection = set of editable documents – adapt documents using Wiki-like syntax – comfortable editing by integrated HTML editor tool add BSCW elements and links to other pages format content and design attractive look and feel

28 28 Website Folder: Example

29 29 Document Management application areas – document repository in shared workspaces storage of ‚final‘ documents shared access to ‚living‘ documents – shared document editing coordinated editing of documents (under version control) – document collections using website folders e.g. minutes, shared glossaries, FAQs,... limitations – editing of documents requires special editors, e.g. MS Word

30 30 Main Functionality - Overview Document Management communication via blogs and discussion forums access control and membership management awareness & event notification coordination support

31 31 Discussion Forums discussions – contain Notes note = subject + text – independent objects in a workspace (forum) – comparable to short messages on a white board – can be attached to documents (lilke post-its) – only workspace members can read and annotate notes discussion threads – notes referring to other notes – view can be customized to display threads members may… – create notes, read notes – reply to notes – attach documents and links to notes

32 32 Blogs – Online Diaries blog = web log – personal website – Internet: diaries or blogs related to a particular subject – displayed in reverse chronological order blogs in BSCW – create and publish blogs – blogs can also be edited cooperatively – blog entries can be annotated by BSCW users – blogs are integrated into BSCW (≥ V4.4) – customizable views

33 33 Blogs – Online Diaries

34 34 Synchronous Communication – Online Status & Communication Tools display online status (≥ BSCW 4.4) – who is currently available and online? – displayed in a BSCW workspace: active/all members configurable contact attributes for direct communication with other users – e.g., Instant Messaging – via menu: „Change Profile“ – contact details on user‘s info page

35 35 Communication via Blogs & Forums application areas – forums: informal coordination in a team e.g., to prepare decisions and to form opinions – blogs: document processes in project context e.g., as a project diary – online status: directly contact team limitations – blogs & forums: asynchronous communication (time deferred) – online status: integration of external (synchronous) tools (no integrierted chat tool in BSCW!)

36 36 Main Functionality - Overview Document Management communication via blogs and discussion forums access control and membership management awareness & event notification coordination support

37 37 Access Control secure access to data – user name and password (login) – encrypted data transfer (SSL, optional) – authentication using X.509 certificates (optional) self-organization – membgers invite new members – workspace manager controls access roles and access rights – access rights defined by roles which members are assigned to – inviting member assigns role to new member – scope of roles: systemwide or for a workspace only – pre-defined roles manger, member, restricted member additional pre-defined roles possible

38 38 Invite New Workspace Members invite other users and define their role in shared workspace invite – registered users – new users (via ) new users – register with BSCW

39 39 Changing and Assigning Roles  each role can be changed individually  each member of a workspace can be assigned a different role or additional roles

40 40 Member Management personal address book – management of BSCW users – automatically updates when new users are invited – makes finding and inviting new users easier – direct access to contact data of users workspace members – list of authorized members – displays role(s) of members – easy adding or removing of members

41 41 Member Management workspace members – list of authorized members – displays role(s) of members – easy adding or removing of members

42 42 Member Management – Example workspace members – members are invited to „main (upper) folder“ – members are granted access to entire folder sub-structure – members hold role(s) individual views on structure – each user only perceives „his/her“ workspaces – new workspaces appear in personal home area JohnDoe (manager) workspace X documents contracts offers... workspace Y documents templates letters... WandaWoe (member) WandaWoe (manager) TimToe (member)

43 43 Access Control & Member Mgt. application areas – set-up of team spaces (shared workspaces) – invitation of external partners – management of access rights based on roles limitations – workgroups are tightly coupled with workspaces (basic concept of BSCW)

44 44 Contacts manage shared contacts – special folder „contact list“ – contact list contains contact data – one entry per contact person (not the same as list of „workspace members“!!!) contact data – personal data (name, telephone, address) – easy to edit – categories (e.g., personal, business) import/export – via vCard format („name.vcf“) – transfer to/from MS-Outlook

45 45 Main Functionality - Overview Document Management communication via blogs and discussion forums access control and membership management awareness & event notification coordination support

46 46 Awareness & Notification Features goals – information about activities in your workspaces – reminders about important appointments and re- submission of documents in the future – history of events on all objects (who did what and when?) advantages – increased transparency – easier coordination at less costs

47 47 Event History information about activities – events record activities – changes in system are signalled – processes can be permanently tracked via event history – changes/events can be confirmed individually events contain – date and name of user – more details (e.g., where an object originally came from) – event icons: new object changes made to object object was read changes in sub folders

48 48 Notification of Changes BSCW provides awareness by – daily/direct messages – event history – RSS feed

49 49 Activity Tracking: BSCW Monitor Monitor Applet – additional tool in separate window – displays information on active users current events – advantages supplies up-to-date information enables direct reaction

50 50 reminders of appointments – remind yourself or all participants re-submission of documents – re-submit document at certain points of time – users receive message containg link to document Reminder Features

51 51 Notification Features application areas – keep being informed at all times by event history or activity tracking by daily notification – ‚subscribe‘ to selected areas via direct notification (event filter) via RSS feeds – be reminded of documents and of appointments limitations – RSS reader must provide means of authentication (authentication with BSCW server using name/password)

52 52 Main Functionality - Overview Document Management communication via blogs and discussion forums access control and membership management awareness & event notification coordination support

53 53 Coordination Support calendar – personal calendar – group calendar project management – projects and dependencies of time flow folders – documents and distribution slips – sequential processing and branching task management – tasks and responsible persons – personal to do list

54 54 Group Calendar organize personal and group appointments various views (day, week, month,...) notify invitees via attach documents to appointments (e.g., agenda) define recurring appointments (e.g., ‚jour fixe‘) remind yourself or others of appointments

55 55 Flow Folders metaphor for sequential workflows („ interoffice mail“) – workspace: shared repository, accessible at anytime – flow folder: sequential access according to task list application areas – coordinated access along pre-defined task list – simple, linear processes (may include branches) (mini workflow) flow folder in BSCW – creator defines task list and persons responsible – additional comments upon task completion – forwarding by members in order defined by task list

56 56 Projects and Processes simple project planning define milestones of project e.g., start and end date dependencies between milestones bar chart of chronological process negotiation of delays no resource management

57 57 Workflow: Task Management user-defined workflow – concept: requestor/contractor – input and output data fields – documents attached how to use workflows – creator defines task and contractor – contractor accepts task – task is listed in personal task list – contractor completes task and defines output fields (if any) – requestor accepts result – task completed!

58 58 Coordination Support application areas – coordination of appointments in group calendars by invitation and by individual confirmations/refusals – coordinated access by flow folders Dokumente (mit Aufgaben) in Umlauf bringen – task management assign tasks and work on own tasks – project planning define dependencies of time between milestones limitations – calendar: no peeking into personal calendars – projects/tasks: no resource management – projects: no formal milestones, simple overview

59 59 More Features Search – for users, documents, objects, in web… templates – make arbitrary objects available as templates document encryption – encryption and digital signature maps of document events – visualization of user-document relations communities and public areas data synchronization – import/export links and bookmarks polls/surveys

60 60 create copy from template templates: any BSCW object documents, tasks, folders, polls,... templates are placed in template folders ‚scope‘ of templates – for personal use only – for entire workgroup – for all users in BSCW system Templates

61 61 Document Event Maps visualize events – relation of users and documents

62 62 Document Encryption application – user encrypts document (optional) locally, before upload to BSCW system – encryption via electronic keys private key group key – encryption key determines who else may decrypt document increased security – exchange of keys via BSCW server (optional) technical basis: PGP (public/private key method) features in BSCW – key management, encryption, document upload – BSCW Desktop client

63 63 Document Encryption BSCW Desktop client – key management create, import, export keys – document encryption electronic en-/decryption and digital signature – document upload upload of (encrypted) documents to BSCW requirements – BSCW Desktop client application (optional) – automatic installations via BSCW via Java Webstart – requires Java Runtime (≥ Java 5)

64 64 Communities communities in BSCW – grants equal access to data spaces to very large groups of users (potentially open in contrast to closed workspaces) various ways of subscription – open communities visible to all registered BSCW users registered users can decide to join community – closed communities visible to all registered BSCW users registered users must ask community manager before joining – hidden communities not visible except to members membership only upon explicit invitation by community manager

65 65 Public Data Area single public area per BSCW server – contains all objects which are public – anonymous access for general public - no authentication needed create public data area – any workspace can be made ‚public‘ – by default: read-only access for anonymous user (other actions can be allowed) – public submissions may be subject to moderation objects submitted by anonymous user at first are not visible to others publication only by explicit ‚release‘ by member of workspace control of public access – special group icon – special user „anonymous“ is member

66 66 any user can set up polls – poll: one or several questions – various types of questions and answers – start/end dates or open-ended polls polls can be public – participation by non-members polls are automatically evaluated – answers remain anonymous results are visibile to participants – always or never or – visibile only after having voted Polls

67 67 Data Synchronization & Import/Export data synchronization – synchronization of BSCW server and local PC – documents: synchronization using briefcase tool – appointments/contacts: synchronization with MS Outlook import/export – appointments: vCalendar format – contacts: vCard format – documents: archiving formats (e.g., zip/tar)

68 68 BSCW Briefcase – Synchronization briefcase – personal area for synchronization – synchronization of documents with local computer how to use the briefcase tool – select workspace for synchronizationOrdner – start synchronization – edit documents on local computer (e.g. offline) – repeat synchronization on regular basis requirements – Windows operating system – browser is Java enabled (plugin) – no installation required!

69 69 Synchronization with MS Outlook extension of BSCW calendar – synchronize appointments with Outlook extension of BSCW contacts – synchronize contacts with Outlook features – synchronization of BSCW contact folder or BSCW calendar with an Outlook folder requirements – Windows operating system, MS Outlook – web browser and Java plugin (≥ Java 5) – no software installation required – no Outlook plugin! – ≥ BSCW Version 4.4

70 70 Application Areas Virtual teams, ad-hoc formation of teams – improves project work across sites – particularly suited for small and medium teams E-Learning Projekts, communities, expert networks – spontaneous communication – exchange of documents and other vital information Intranet – internal document repository in work groups Telework and start-up companies

71 71 Why BSCW? In a Nutshell features – documents are stored centrally and are always up-to-date – all changes are traceable – simple exchange of information in flexible work groups – reduction of coordination effort and of document exchange via – no more „version chaos“ from a user‘s point of view – access to vital information anytime from any platform (Windows, Mac, Unix) – no additional installation of software – easy to use, steep learning curve from a system administrator‘s view – installation quick and easy – next to no administration effort – many server platforms

72 72 Example of Use: eLearning university of Bern (CH) users teachers and students exchange of teaching material

73 73 Services Provided by OrbiTeam marketing and support system development – long-term development and maintenance – in close cooperation with Fraunhofer FIT consultancy with installation and operation training – training courses for end-users and system administrators server hosting (ASP model) customer projects – development and customization – competent, demand-oriented, at short notice

74 74 More Information OrbiTeam Software GmbH & Co. KG BSCW system bscw.fit.fraunhofer.de


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