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A groupware server is a computer server utilized as a connection for various clients who use it to host and share files as part of a collaborative work environment. The number of clients connected to this server typically depends on the scope and nature of the project. Since this is part of a groupware project, there is typically software installed onto the various client computers to allow for better communication between the clients and access to the server. A groupware server can be used to reduce unnecessary or repetitive communication between team members and to increase productivity.
Groupware typically refers to software programs, or suites of applications, used to allow collaboration on a project among multiple users who may not be geographically near each other. The use of a groupware server is often central to this type of project, as the server allows these users to more effectively share and work on computer files. A groupware server, for example, is often used for hosting files that different users working on a project are sharing with each other.
Each person working on a project will typically be using a computer, and these computers are the clients that connect to the groupware server. These connections are usually encrypted and secured through the use of passwords and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access and to protect the project data. The leader of a small team working on a new software program, for example, could upload the latest build of that software to the groupware server. Other members of the team could then access that file on the server and begin running tests or bug fixes on the software, before then uploading it back to the server.
The use of a groupware server allows the members of a team to see what others have done and uploaded. This can be beneficial as it can better prevent different members from completing the same work. The use of a groupware server can also reduce redundancy in communication and bandwidth usage since files do not have to be sent to each individual on the project separately. Since each person can access the server to download files as necessary, the entire process can be streamlined. Some types of groupware can also utilize a server to allow each client to connect and view what others are doing to files on that server in real time, allowing for the creation of collaborative media and greater online interaction.