The BSCW Shared Workspace System

Thilo Horstmann, GMD/FIT

The BSCW system provides facilities for collaboration over the Internet. It is based on the `shared workspace' metaphor: an object store for group work, with some simple awareness functionality that allows users to keep an overview of what is happening in the workspace. A workspace user can browse through a shared workspace (if he or she has permission to do so) with an unmodified WWW client on any platform.

BSCW allows users to upload all kinds of documents from a client machine to a BSCW workspace using drag-and-drop to a W3 browser. To support distributed authoring of HTML pages the BSCW system also allows uploading of HTML documents using the PUT mechanisms found in some W3 browsers/editors, e.g. Netscape Navigator Gold or America Online AOLpress. In addition, the BSCW system provides the following functionality:

The talk gives an overview of the system. It focuses on the facilities BSCW provides to support distributed documents creation within widely dispersed working groups. We also summerise our experiences of using current W3 standards and components to support collaborative work .