CA2221026A1 - System and method for providing internet-based groupware application functionality - Google Patents

System and method for providing internet-based groupware application functionality

Info

Publication number
CA2221026A1
CA2221026A1 CA 2221026 CA2221026A CA2221026A1 CA 2221026 A1 CA2221026 A1 CA 2221026A1 CA 2221026 CA2221026 CA 2221026 CA 2221026 A CA2221026 A CA 2221026A CA 2221026 A1 CA2221026 A1 CA 2221026A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
site
web
means
dedicated
internet
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2221026
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Randy Remme
Gerry Smith
Chuck Tatham
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
OPEN TEXT ULC
Original Assignee
CHANGEPOINT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US95556997A priority Critical
Priority to US08/955,569 priority
Application filed by CHANGEPOINT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION filed Critical CHANGEPOINT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Publication of CA2221026A1 publication Critical patent/CA2221026A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Abstract

The present invention provides a system for providing a virtual office, the system comprising: (i) an internet-connected server having input and access capabilities; (ii) a means on the server for receiving instructions input from a first remote site and for creating a dedicated internet web-site having a unique address based on the received instructions; (iii) means to communicate the unique address of the dedicated web-site to a nominated second remote site; (iv) means to access contents of the dedicated web-site by the second remote site via a web-browser installed at the second remote site; and (v) means to store information in the dedicated web-site input via a web-browser installed at the first or the second remote site. A method of using the system is also provided.

Description

B~CKGROUND OF THE INVBNTION
FIEL,l:) QF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the field of collaborative software systems.
More specifically, the invention relates to a system and method for providing internet-S base groupware application functionality.

Dl~SCRIPI ION OF THE Pl~IOl~ ART
Recently, the need for collal~o~dtiv~ colll~,u~ing envi.~ x has been receivingincreasing attention. People are finding that it is more and more important to share 10 illrol~Lion a~d work together to meet C~ llOl~ goals. With illC~illg spec;~1i7~tinn in the .~. kt ~ ce, there is rr~u~ need to work together with people from di offices, ~irreLe.ll olgs~ and even dirr~,;e;ul c~ rs to satisf~ the re luil~,.l~u~
of a particular project or goal. M~n~ging collabolalive iniliali~ of this type is not a simple matter.
Electronic ~ woll~ based, project m~n~gem~.nt server systems are known. Por eY~mr1e, United States patent uul~ er 5,548,506 ~SliLuv~sa~] ~ cJose~ an ;1~ J~
electronic network based, project managememt server system for m~n~in~ multiple work groups. The system colll~lises a core piece of sor~w~, which runs on a hostserver co~ ulel system and interacts with a m~Ss~in~ system such as e.mail or 20 f~rsimile. The system compiles multi-project plans into a multi-project ~t~h~e and tracks the ownc,~ of ~loje~iLs, tasks and reS~ulCCs within the plans. The systemol..~ ~1y checl~s all lesoul~ L~ue~ and if le~~.uree availability limits are exceeded then lesuu,~ces are allocated on ~roje~i based on ~liOliliCS and project plans are f~.h~n~l accol-l~ly. The system is also progl~ll~d to send out remin-lPr.~ and 25 follow-ups and the ~ es are continll~usly u~d based on status ~~h~n~ ~olled by work group ...~ . Sr~ teaches that the c~ ;on ~t;lwolL may be cimile, local area ~Lwo.~ ~.N), wide area ll~,tw.Jlk (WAN) or t~lo.rhnn~ lwolh.
One of the disadvantages of known elecL,~ollic ~,twolk-based, col1~hor~tive server ~y~L~ms is that the user must install all the ~"""".~ on li~es, server 30 t~hn- logy and support sonwaL~ and have e~.L~ n~ . y to implement the system.The in~t~ tion and ~ of such a system is time collsull-~l,g and costly.

-It is an object of the present invention to obviate and miti~te at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, in one of its aspects, the present invention provides a system for providing a virtual offilce, the system co~ isillg:
(i) an intelrn~t-conn~cte~ server having input and access capabilities;
(ii) a means on the server for leceivi~lg instructions input from a first remotesite and for creating a cle~lic~ted internet web-site having a unique address based on the 10 received instructions;
(iii) means to co~ -ir~t~ the unique address of the ~lerlir~tf~l web-site to a noll~i~led second remote site;
(iv) rneans to access contents of the d~~ web-site by the second remote site via a web-browser installed at the second remote site; and (v) means to store inro"ll~lion in the cledi~trd web-site input via a web-browser installed at the first or the second remote site.
In another aspect the present invention provides a system to provide a team of users with internrt-based ~ou~w~e application filnrtic n~lity, CO~ isiug:
(i) an internet~..~;l~ server having a means to receive an i~itiate 20 instruction from a remote primary user;
(ii) a means to create a d~lir.~t~l web-site on the server in ,e~ollse to the initiate instr,u~tion;
(iii) means to send i..r~ )n inrllltlinp~ the address of the det1ir~tecl web-site to at least one secondary user n~ A~l by the primary user;
(iv) means to receive inr,lll~lion at the cle-lie~tecl web-site sent by the at least one secondary user over the internet;
(v) means to store infolll~li~ll at the d~lir~t~l web-site at the request of the~y and the at least one secondary user;
(vi) means to permit processing of the iuÇ~ lion stored at the clellic~t~
web-site by the primary and the at least one seco~daly user; and .

(vii) means to access stored and processed ill~llllation to the ~li,llaly user and the at least one secondar,v user for display.
In yet another aspect, the present invention provides a method for providing a virtual offlce, comprising:
(i) providing an internet-connected server having input and access capabilities;
(ii) receiving instructions input from a first remote site and for creating a de~ ~ted internet web-site on the server, the cle~lir-~t~ web-site having a unique address based on the received instructions;
(iii) co~ ting the unique address of the ~letlir~t~l web-site to a n~ second remote site;
(iv) downlo~-lin~ c~ --lx of the cl~ir~t~ web-site to the second remote site via a web-browser installed at the second remote site; and (v) storing i~ru~ lion in the ~1e~ t~l web-site uploaded via a web-15 browser inct~ll~l at the first or the second remote site.

~3RIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
An embodiment of the present illvelllioll will be described, by way of example 20 only, with l~,f~,.e,lce to the ~e~~ yillg drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is s~h~ 1ir- r~lcse~ on of a system in accol-l~ce with one embodiment of the present illvt;~n;
Figure 2 is an flow~l u~ the Op~,.dliOIl of the system; and Figures 3a-3g are reproductions of web-pages from a web-site created in accordance with the present invention.

~ETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBOI)IMENT
A system to provide a team of users with internet-based ~. u~w;ue appli~tion filn-tion~lity in acco~ ce with the present iuv~ n is shown s~ ly in Figure 1.

3~1q~q~ lE-' Fl~O~l F~ FII ~ llFP.FI I [~CIrlFF~E~ TO ql~l~qq,~l3~ p.l~ CA 02221026 1997-11-07 15.20 Server 10 compns~ a me~ns to crcate a decl~ed wel~s~e 2~; Old the se~et in ~esponse f~om an ~iate r~ om a fir~ ~ user 30 ~tff~ w~s~:
5 3~ ha~. a ~e internet ad~,s. Serve~ 10 fi~er cO..~S a ~ms ~ send info~tion, indudi~ e rm~qlle ~d~ess of ~e ~ir~t~l w~S~t~, tt> ~t least one secondaIy user 40, nvll~t~ by the ~
For ease of u~ , "p~ use~ 30" w~ll he~ d to as "Grou~ I~er" a~d "at least one se~-nd~y ~er 4~" will be~i~ be ~d tt~ as ~0 "Wor~er I't. Other s~cond~ ~sers ~ill be iefel~l to ~s "Wor~r ~", "Wc~ier ~"
etc.
~ o~ Grwp ~er ~nd Worker I c~ co...~ te ~ sen~ 10 ~3r me~s of a ~I;~i~d internet b~ such as Net~p~ Navi~atorm or M~ro~f~ ~P, i~e., the~e is no r~h~e~L t~l;lt eIther Gro~ der or Wo~r ~ve ;~;ess to 15 ~;peei~ 7.~1 $~e~p~ ro~er to lllili~thf~sy~ep~ ~:~
O~ce oomlect~d to de~ d web-sitc 25 c~te~l on ~e~ ~p Leader ~d Wor'~e~ b~h have aooess to at k~st svme of t ~L~ s~ at tl~ w~i$e.
~he abil~ty to acc~ and prwe~s at ~ea~t solIle of t~ nfo~ti~ d the ~r to ~t aud store processed andlor new i~o~ ion. All the s~i~ w~c 20 pro~des t~e fu~lio~l ~ ~ to ~ive ~roup ~der an~l ~or~er ~e a~
is prov~ded by server 10 ~a d~t~:l we~site 25 Once a~ C~rwp L0~ and Worker do not ~ulre ~ny s~lized sof~ware applica~îons other ~m a sta~d internet b~3w~er.
It wi~ ~ t~t, ~s the syste~n o~ the pre~t illv~ i~erDet~?
25 the sature of C~ iOIl l~es. such ~ line 15 betweeD sen~s l0 ~nd C~
L,ead~r? is uot p~rticul~rly lm~it~d. Suitable ~:nterrlet-~daptable c~...~ t.o~ ~es i:uclude p~blic telepl~one ~lwull~, private telep~e netwo~k~, s~ll~ ~;, e~e~
links, etc These ~unic:~lioll l~es a~e already i~ place i~ C~ Le~
W~ker have exi~ng i~et access As stated ~o~e7 serve~ 10 ~s i~e~~o~ ~3.
30 ~s wîll als~ Jp~ e~:lt, the geographic loca~io~s of S~ up Le3der7 Wo~ ~d se~

TOTfiL P. ~-' 10 are only limited by internet ~ssihility, i.e., all three need not be in the same city, county or even contin~nt The web-site created in response to the initiate request can be thought of as being a virtual private office suite. The virtual office suite is effectively rentable from S the server on which it is created for a period of time desired by the rentor, after which time the offlce suite ceases to exist. The offlce comes complete with all the application software required to permit group activity within the virtual office. The operator of the server can construct a particular virtual private office suite to include the specific applications requested by the user. Thus, an advantage of the present system is that 10 the user is providedl with a ,;~ ";,~l, secure offlce site in which the user and his/her team can access applications software without the need for each team member to have individual copies of each applic~tion.~ sofhvare. The system of the present invention is "end-user friendly~, i.e., neither Group Leader or Worker need specialist co~ ul.,, knowledge to make use of the system. There is no re(lui,c,lleuL for the user to have an 15 in-house Il~o. ,~ ;on Technology spec~ t The system of the present invention is further understood when described by its mode of operation and with lert;,cuce to Figure 2.
In order to create a virb~al office suite, a Group Leader contacts the home pageof a remote int~rn~t conn~ct~l server (110) and the server cl~ s whether the20 Group Leader is an eYi~ting system user (120). If the Group Leader is not an ~Yi~ting user, the server enters an ~ . d~ion ~ulJ~y~l~lll 130 which feg~ (140) the user.
~ fl...;..i~l.a~ion sub~y~le~ 130 controls all the day to day management of subscriber ~cco~lnts on the system. It contains all the code and script lc~lui~ to ,...I.~...~le billing, for invoice ge~ ion, for WOl~ vu~ size IllOl~ilC~lillg and ~l~t~h~e 25 size ll~oml. Ih~g. Further, the ~lmini~tration sub~y~lelll is lesl)ollsible for mol~ilo~iug server traffic and hit counts and the control of the offering of additional subscriber applications.
If the Group Leader is an exi~cting user, the server d~ s whether the Group Leader wishes to enter an ç~i~tin~ WOI~ OU~) with a pre-defined web-site or 30 whether the Group Leader wishes to create a new WlJll~lOU~) with a new, unique web-site (150).

If the Group Leader wishes to enter an existing workgroup the server permits access to the pre-delSned web-site (160). As will be apparcllL, the Group Leader could enter the pre-defined web-site directly from his/her web 1)l'OWSC1. It is not n~r~ss~. y to enter the server home page before entering a wolh~,roup once a dedi~ted web-site S has been set up.
If the Group Leader wishes to create a new wolhyl~ou~, he/she is provided with a wc~lh~,loup creation template form (170) which permits the Group Leader to define parameters (e.g., the scope of the projection being undertaken) of the wolhg~oup, such as the name of the workgroup and the web-site to be created.
Once this form has been completed, the server creates a d~ir~terl web-site (180) having the name chosen by Group Leader and the Group Leader is plo--~Lcd to identify the llulllber and contact addresses of the group Illculb-,-s and the types of user applications which are to be utilized during the project. The server then sends details of the newly created ~ie~lir~tP~d web-site to the members of the group (Workers)I~.".,i~ by the Group Leader (190). The details of the web-site are generally sent in the form of an E-mail mPc~e which provides each Worker with the address of the web-site, an invita~ion to join the wOl~ou~ and, if ~plical~'-, the p~w~Jld lc~luihcd for gaining access to the site (see later). In an ~ ive system, it is envisioned that Workers m~y be n-~tifiPsl of the details of the Web-site by f~r~imile or by pager.
Once the Workers have been notified of the Gxi~ r-e of the web-site, the wolh~,loup LC~iJi S operational until all WOl~iou~ a~;livilies have been completed (200). When the Group Leader decides that there is no longer a re~ui~ llGu~ for the woll~up, the WUlhgl~Up iS closed (210) and the ~lP~lir~t~l web-site is deleted from the server (220). Prior to closure and deletion of the we~site, Group Leader is given the option of downloa~lin~ and storing all the data from the site for archive purposes.
During the creation of a web-site, Worker nomin~tion, WUlhglOU~) activity and eventual closure of the wc lhglvul, and deletion of the web-site, all the ~ aLi~e details of the W~JI~OUP activity are ~-llo---~ r~lly fed into the ~ alivG
~ulJ~y~Glll for proc~ing Security is an hll~l~ feature of most of IJusiuess activity and the system of the present invention provides rnany levels of se ;u ily which can be selected by the Group Leader to suit his/her individual needs. For example, a basic form of security is to provide the ~ t~d web-site created with a pas~word must be entered by boththe Group Leader and the Workers to gain access to the workgroup. This password may be the same for the Group Leader and all the Workers, or every Worker may be5 provided with a unique password. Providing each Worker with a unique password also permits Group Leader to set up ~lirr~ul levels of il~fol ul~lion which can be ~cessecl within the wc ,~-ou~ by each Worker, i.e., ~he workgroup can be created on a "need to know" basis. Examples of other security Çealu~es include the ability of the Group Leader to decide: who has the authority to add new Workers to and/or delete existing 10 Workers from the group after its creation; who has access to the ~ il . ali~e records of the woL~ou~; and when and if p~s~.wo,ds and/or se~;u,ily levels are to be el,~
As will be ~ e,l~, there are many dirre,eu~ types of wulhg,vup activities which can be ~1Ç~ ed on a system in acco~ ce with the present invention. In fact, it is envisioned th~t the present system could be adapted to perform many of the tashs 15 of conventional LAN- or WAN-based group collaboration ~y~ s. P,erell~d wulhg~ou~ a~;livily appli~tion~ of the present system include project collaboration, sj~n, issue m~na~emlont, change control and sof~w~e management.
A project collaboration application provides the Group Leader and Workers with a cc,~ lcte ellvilul~ nl in which to collaborate on a particular project. The 20 Group Leader can assign tasks with due dates and effort ~e~ if)n~. Workers receive E-mail ~ yi~g them of the wulh~u~'s web-site address as well as their user name and p~ 7~1VUl'IL Workers see only those tasks ~ ~l to them (in a "need to know" set up) and they may give fee~ aclr as to plu~,l'eS., e~l~;tel completion date as well as time spent on their tasks. The project collaboration application provides all the 25 discussion and doc~ .e.,~ "~ f~-~iliti~s to support the entire collaboration process.
A f~ sion application allows the Group Leader and Workers to Cf~""..l~ir~te and share ideas in a secure central location. Central ~ cll~sion~ are much more efficient than E-mail. Rather than all ~ ci~ 1~ i~u~ n e~ ting in ~c;l;.onal E-30 mail in-box, available only to the individual, the data resides in a central knowledge base for all to benefit from. User ~nth~ntir~tion helps ensure that only the original _ author of a docl-mrnt or 11iecn~jon item may edit or delete it. A variety of i~ llalion displays are available and include, for example, showing date in date order, by author or by category. Full text searching of the data is also an option.
An issue m~n~gPmPnt application is a collaborative group application designed 5 to manage the raising and resolution of issues. In workgroups it is preferable that every Worker of the group of Workers has the ability to raise, track, assign andevaluate the impact of issues. Efficient tracking and resolution within the team ensures faster and better results. This application allows the Group Leader and/or Workers to compose an issue which ~uLo..-~ir-~lly notifies the other Workers by E-mail. The10 Group Leader can then assign the issue to one of the Workers in the group and follow the status through to resolution.
A change control application provides a process for identifying, e~ and approving cl~u~es to a project plan and provides a clear framework for management of project scope.
A software m~n~gf mrnt application is a specialist application aimed at softwareand ihlr.-.-~i1lion technology dc;p~L~ ~. The software management application permits such o~ n~ to provide cnstom~rs with a secure, completely interactive web-site for ~ iug their software products or intrrn~l applications. Customers and users can log feature requests and bugs, download current software versions, askquestions a~d probe a knowledge base easily, using only a standard web-browser.
An example of the use of the system of the present invention is shown in Figures 3a-3g. The Figures provided a step-by-step look at how a Group Leader (here~lel referred to as Terri) created a ~ r~tecl~ secure "virtual office" for a project. team"ltili7.ing a project collaboration application.
Terri first contacts the server, clicks on a Create Workgroup icon and fills outa registration forrn, in~1ir~tinp the name she wishes to use for the ~le(lic.~tecl web-site (nwww.involv.netll~ .. n.efl'). Within a matter of seconds, the web-site is created and Terri is linked to her team's new, secure collaborative project site. Terri is f~ 1y r.h~ .n~1 for her user name and pas~wold (Figure 3a). When user name 30 and password have been verified, Terri is aUowed to access her group's home page (Figure 3b). Terri's web-page is provided with a "Toolbar" to facilitate operation, a "Navigator" to f~-.ilit5~t~ o,g~ni~ )n and a "Workspace" p~ information to be input and ~ccesse~l by Terri and the other group members (Figure 3c).
One of Terri's first tasks is to enter details of all the team members in the "Member Profile" . Each team member is aUlU~ l ir~lly sent an e.mail invitation to join 5 the group (Figure 3d).
Once details of all the team members have been entered, Terri can start to create projects (Figure 3e) and assign tasks within each project to individual members of the team (Figure 3f~. The Navigator allows easy tracking of group activities and allows details to be displayed in a variety of formats (Figure 3g).
Once all projects have been completed, Terri can permanently close the wor~ up and delete the "I~l,iLealll" web-site form the server.

Claims (8)

1. A system for providing a virtual office, comprising:
(i) an internet-connected server having input and access capabilities;
(ii) a means on the server for receiving instructions input from a first remote site and for creating a dedicated internet web-site having a unique address based on the received instructions;
(iii) means to communicate the unique address of the dedicated web-site to a nominated second remote site;
(iv) means to access contents of the dedicated web-site by the second remote site via a web-browser installed at the second remote site; and (v) means to store information in the dedicated web-site input via a web-browser installed at the first or the second remote site.
2. A system to provide a team of users with internet-based groupware application functionality, comprising:
(i) an internet-connected server having a means to receive an initiate instruction from a remote primary user;
(ii) a means to create a dedicated web-site on the server in response to the initiate instruction;
(iii) means to send information including the address of the dedicated web-site to at least one secondary user nominated by the primary user;
(iv) means to receive information at the dedicated web-site sent by the at least one secondary user over the internet;
(v) means to store information at the dedicated web-site at the request of the primary and the at least one secondary user;
(vi) means to permit processing of the information stored at the dedicated web-site by the primary and the at least one secondary user; and (vii) means to download stored and processed information to the primary user and the at least one secondary user for display.
3. The system according to claim 1, wherein the primary user sends the initiate instruction via a web-browser.
4. The system, according to claim 1, wherein the means to send information comprises e.mail.
5. The system according to claim 1, wherein the means to receive information comprises a web-browser.
6. The system according to claim 1, wherein the means to permit processing of the stored information comprises providing the primary user with a workgroup activity application.
7. The system according to claim 1, wherein the workgroup activity application is selected from the group comprising project collaboration, discussion, issue management, change control and software management.
8. A method for providing a virtual office, comprising:
(i) providing an internet-connected server having upload and download capabilities;
(ii) receiving instructions uploaded from a first remote site and for creating a dedicated internet web-site on the server, the dedicated web-site having a unique address based on the received instructions;
(iii) communicating the unique address of the dedicated web-site to a nominated second remote site;
(iv) downloading contents of the dedicated web-site to the second remote site via a web-browser installed at the second remote site;
(v) storing information in the dedicated web-site uploaded via a web-browser installed at the first or the second remote site.
CA 2221026 1997-10-22 1997-11-07 System and method for providing internet-based groupware application functionality Abandoned CA2221026A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US95556997A true 1997-10-22 1997-10-22
US08/955,569 1997-10-22

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2001057746A1 (en) * 2000-02-07 2001-08-09 Apex Software International Limited Dissemination of data
WO2001095166A2 (en) * 2000-06-09 2001-12-13 Brokercom Inc. Web-based groupware system
US7287055B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2007-10-23 Involv International Corporation Web-based groupware system
US10108613B2 (en) 2004-09-03 2018-10-23 Open Text Sa Ulc Systems and methods for providing access to data and searchable attributes in a collaboration place

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7523162B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2009-04-21 Brokercom Inc. Web-based groupware system
US7734694B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2010-06-08 Brokercom Inc. Web-based groupware system
US7287055B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2007-10-23 Involv International Corporation Web-based groupware system
US7299258B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2007-11-20 Involv International Corporation Web-based groupware system
US8176122B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2012-05-08 Open Text S.A. Web-based groupware system
US8412776B2 (en) 1997-10-22 2013-04-02 Open Text S.A. Web-based groupware system
WO2001057746A1 (en) * 2000-02-07 2001-08-09 Apex Software International Limited Dissemination of data
WO2001095166A3 (en) * 2000-06-09 2002-04-04 Brokercom Inc Web-based groupware system
AU2001267199B2 (en) * 2000-06-09 2008-04-17 Open Text Sa Ulc Web-based groupware system
WO2001095166A2 (en) * 2000-06-09 2001-12-13 Brokercom Inc. Web-based groupware system
EP2273436A1 (en) * 2000-06-09 2011-01-12 Brokercom Inc. Web-based groupware system
US10108613B2 (en) 2004-09-03 2018-10-23 Open Text Sa Ulc Systems and methods for providing access to data and searchable attributes in a collaboration place

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