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Definition: collaboration software

Software that allows people to work together on the same documents and projects over local and remote networks at the same time. Also called "social software," collaboration software eliminates sending files back and forth via email or a copy service such as Dropbox or Box in order that multiple users can participate. Collaboration software allows updates on a single file in one location, whether saved locally or in the cloud.

Communications Are Included
Collaboration software also embraces the communications platforms, including email, instant messaging and videoconferencing. For example, many videoconferencing systems allow the user's screen to be shared among participants.

Notes Was the First
Dating back to the late 1980s, Lotus Notes (later IBM Notes) is considered the father of "groupware," which was the first term coined to describe collaborative software. Today, Slack is an example of comprehensive collaboration software (see Slack). See groupware, application sharing, wiki, data conferencing and videoconferencing.