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Web-based collaboration is an advance in technology that makes it possible for a team of individuals from various points around the globe to work on a single project, just as if they were sitting together in the same cubicle. This phenomena is also commonly called online collaboration, web collaboration, or Internet collaboration. Web-based collaboration tools such as the online storage of files, web teleconferencing, and real-time editing make it possible for team organizers to utilize team members' strengths where they are most needed, regardless of geographical limitations. The individual members of the team have access to the various project files needed, allowing them to read and edit the files in real-time.
The software used in web-based collaboration serves a number of purposes. One important feature is its ability to enable real-time communication between individual team members and the digital base of operations. Web-based collaboration software may include the abilities of text-based group chat and private messaging, or it may include real-time audio and video teleconferencing. This ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important features of collaborative software: it keeps all team members focused on the forward momentum of the project.
Web-based collaboration software also has the ability to store and edit files from a remote location. While some companies may choose to store projects in the home-based company server that is easily accessed by the computers on the local network, cloud storage is another option that may be more useful for web-based collaboration efforts. Cloud storage allows project files and documents to be stored in a remote location accessible to individuals who know the location of and have been granted access to these files. Using cloud-based file storage methods is often preferable to the in-house storage of files because it removes some of the load from the local network servers. It also keeps files secured in a secondary location in the event of system malfunction or disaster, and allows for an easy method of collaborating with remote team members without sacrificing the security of a local network.
Another important feature of web-based collaboration software is the ability to perform real-time editing on project documents. Real-time changes make it possible for team members to implement project changes almost instantly, thus reducing development time and improving efficiency. In higher end web-based collaboration tools, this real-time editing feature may also be accompanied by a change log or tracking system. Such a system can keep track of who made specific changes to the document and what was changed in case the file needs to be reverted to its original form.