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The term groupware refers to software intended to help a group work together more productively. Such software is known more generically as "collaborative software".

Groupware is increasingly web-based, rather than being a desktop application; this is probably due to the following factors:

  • web software is much easier to deploy and maintain (one installation; users just create accounts, access from anywhere)
  • web software is cheaper to develop, especially when it makes use of open-source development resources (project hosting, free developer hours, open source platforms)

All software listed on this page is web-based as well as free and open source, though paid "premium" versions may also be available.

See also: webmail clients


Groupware comes in several broad categories, with some overlap:

  • web office
  • project management
  • content production

web office

Web office suites are intended to provide support for business office activities, and usually include some combination of email, internal messaging, contact management (address book), document management, calendar, task lists, and billing. Web office systems are geared towards internal consumption (i.e. you have to log in to access most content, and creation of a new account requires review by an administrator), though some provide outward-facing features.

Web office suites are essentially web-based office suites.

Prominent examples:

  • eGroupware ( calendar, address book, email, file manager, problem tracker, project manager, timesheet, wiki, resources management (inventory), knowledge base, and several other features
    • installed it on Xubuntu from apt repository, but got stuck partway through setup --Woozle 01:28, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Feng Office: calendar, address book, email, document manager
  • Group-Office (
  • Open-Xchange (Wikipedia): seems to be written in Java. Emphasis is on paid versions, but there is an open-source "community edition" available for non-commercial use.

project management

Project management suites are similar to web office, but provide more project management functionality and fewer or no other features.

Prominent examples:

content production

Content production is focused on the generation of original content for public consumption. It includes (but is not limited to) wiki software. See content management system.