Docbases can function as groupware applications in quite a few different ways. To see what I mean, we’ll look at the docbases that were available on the BYTE web site and explore how each of them exhibited different kinds of groupware properties. Table 5.1 characterizes these docbases in terms of their size (number of documents), collaborative breadth (number of authors), reach (number of readers), and scope (public or private). It also introduces some terms that need explanation.
The repository format defines a docbase’s raw data store. For mail and news, that’s usually something like Example 5.2. For a web docbase it’s often a markup language—Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), XML, or perhaps simply HTML.
The input tool moves content into the repository. It might be a text editor, or an export filter, or a web form coupled with a scripted handler.
The delivery format is the data store that a server application uses to deliver a docbase to a client application.
When repository and delivery formats differ, a transformation tool bridges the gap between them. This is usually true for web docbases but not always. In the case of the BYTE Magazine archive, for example, a non-HTML repository format was transformed into an HTML delivery format. But in the case of the Virtual Press Room, a docbase that contained a collection of press releases, the repository format was already deliverable HTML, so no transformation was needed. In later ...