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CERC Technical Report Series

Technical Memoranda

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This effort was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects

Agency (DARPA), under Grant No. MDA972-91-J-1022 for the DARPA Initiative in Concurrent

Engineering (DICE).

Concurrent Engineering Research Center

West Virginia University

P. O. Box 6506, Morgantown WV 26506



G. Almasi, et al.

April 1994

Proceedings of the IEEE Third Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collabo-

rative Enterprises, April 17-19, 1994, Morgantown, WV, pp. 225-38. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE

Computer Society Press, 1994.


This paper describes an attempt at specifying a generic and reusable set of services for computer-supported collaboration among teams engaged in any collaborative process within a distributed organization or group of organizations. The services are cataloged under the headings: Information Management, Group Communications, Group Management, Process Management, and Infrastructure Support.

1: The collaboration environment

1.1: Introduction

The combination of computers and telecommunication networks has inspired a new class of computer applications that support groupwork. Such computer applications would be employed by people to mediate their interactions in cooperative problem-solving. Programmers building such applications find themselves faced with a host of new requirements that deal with overcoming distance barriers, coordinating team activities, and providing common visibility of critical information. Since many of these requirements are generic to any collaborative activity, it is natural to define those generic services and basic building blocks with which domain-specific solutions may be developed quicker. In this paper we review the need for a comprehensive set of such services, and identify those services which would be useful for building workgroup solutions.