The goal of the project is the development and enhancement of the BSCW Shared Workspace System which provides facilities for collaboration over the Internet and the WWW in particular. A primary goal of the project is to achieve cross-platform interoperability (at least across various Microsoft Windows versions, Macintosh OS and various Unix flavors) to enable cross-platform and cross-organisational cooperation, e.g., in locally dispersed communities.
The BSCW system is based on the notation of a shared workspace, a joint storage facility that may contain various kinds of objects such as documents, tables, graphics, spreadsheets or links to other Web pages. A workspace can be set up and objects stored, managed, edited or downloaded with any Web browser. The BSCW system will keep the members of a group informed about each others' relevant activities in a shared workspace.
The software developed within the project, i.e., the BSCW shared workspace server – an extension to a normal WWW server – and other tools, e.g., for transfering files from a local file system to a BSCW server, is publicly available for download for a trial period of 90 days. Licenses for the BSCW server software are available from FIT's spin-off company OrbiTeam Software GmbH & Co. KG. Furthermore, FIT runs a public BSCW server at bscw.fit.fraunhofer.de where everyone is invited to establish their own workspaces and use them for collaboration with friends and colleagues.