Groupware refers to programs that help people work together collectively while located remotely from each other. Programs that enable real time collaboration are called synchronous groupware. Groupware services can include the sharing of calendars, collective writing, e-mail handling, shared database access, electronic meetings with each person able to see and display information to others, and other activities. Sometimes called collaborative software, groupware is an integral component of a field of study known as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work or CSCW.
Groupware is often broken down into categories describing whether or not work group members collaborate in real time (synchronous groupware and asynchronous groupware).
Some product examples of groupware include Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, both of which facilitate calendar sharing, e-mail handling, and the replication of files across a distributed system so that all users can view the same information. Electronic "face-to-face" meetings are facilitated by CU-SeeMe and Microsoft NetMeeting.