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Asynchronous groupware enables and facilitates collaboration between multiple participants, but not necessarily at the same time. In short, asynchronous groupware supports communication between physically and geographically dispersed groups of individuals at different times, unlike synchronous groupware.
Examples of asynchronous groupware include email, structured messages, agents, workflow, computer conferencing, file sharing systems, collaborative writing systems, and cooperative hypertext and organizational memory.
Emails use recipient names to organize access, with the added advantage of multiple receiver addressing. Structured messages allow users to organize, classify, manage, and filter messages. Agents are autonomous software to which tasks are delegated. Workflow stores messages that define and manage workflows, while accessing conferencing systems or bulletin boards.
Asynchronous groupware users can collaborate on shared data access and modifications anonymously. Asynchronous user collaborations are successfully maintained when users can apply modifications or contributions without restriction. This is accomplished through replicated data management systems with read any/write any access, allowing concurrent user updates.
For example, the DAgora distributed object store (DOORS) is based on a group of servers that replicates related read any/write any object data model access and uses a mechanism to permit client caching of frequently used objects. This mechanism ensures data availability, in spite of voluntary disconnection or network failover. DOORS objects are structured based on object frameworks that further decompose object operations into different aspects, such as awareness support and concurrency control.