Developmental Outlines for a Desktop-based Online Tool for Collaborative Processes

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Virginia Tech


This research revolves around the rapidly evolving computer-based conferencing technology and the growing need for applications tailored for collaborative environments. It focuses on tools for collaborative processes using an existing software application — CyberQuest as a case study. CyberQuest is a problem solving and innovation support system its main intent being - to help people come up with ideas and with ways to implement them.

The objective behind this research is to illuminate the need for desktop based tools for online conferencing, which do more than just audio-video linking and is more than just a simple Internet based "meeting" software. It aims at analyzing the existing CyberQuest software and outline the methodology to be followed to convert it to a Web-based tool for problem solving and innovation support. Chapter 1 describes the existing features of CQ and the reasons as to why this application is suited for adapting to a network environment such as the Internet or an in-company intranet. It elucidates the steps involved in converting CQ to a Web based application and briefly describes the process of how files are processed on the Web. Chapter 3 gives a brief introduction to the Internet and the Web and distinguishes between the two. It also explains what intranets are and the main constituents of a web system. Chapter 4 and 5 explain the conversion issues in detail and list the various scripting languages available and the process of translating the application from Visual Basic into a scripted language. Chapter 6 surveys the results of using an application sharing software to share CQ over 2 or more computers. Lastly, Chapter 7 lists the findings and the future direction of all that is discussed in this study.

When fully developed, WebCQ (Web-enabled CyberQuest) would most certainly prove to be a valuable tool for enabling technology that will support collaborators in different disciplines by connecting them to a vast database of information to help them find solutions and improve performance in almost any field.

The study also includes a set of re-designed user interfaces for the WebCQ.



online conferencing, online collaboration, Groupware, group problem solving