UD Supported Collaboration Tools

Choosing a Collaboration Tool

This Web site lists lists some popular collaboration tools. Some tools are hosted at UD, and some are external services. There are a number of questions, listed below, to keep in mind when choosing a tool for collaborative work.

After you've asked yourself these questions, the linked specifications for individual tools should help you match your collaborative project to an appropriate collaboration tool.

Are there security requirements for your project?

If so, you will need to match those security requirements with a tool that provides that security for your project. If you are considering an off campus solution, we suggest reviewing our advice about using cloud services.

Who will need to access the files for your project?

Do some files need to be kept private? Will some files need to be publicly available? Will anyone outside of the University of Delaware community need access to the files? Some services do not allow users outside UD to access the files. Other services might require that someone have a separate account at an outside service.

Who controls the permissions on the project?

Are you comfortable with controlling access to your project? Would you consider having to call or email requests for access changes too time consuming? Who can add new users to your project?

Who can help?

Is the utility easy to use? Who can help or train people who have access to the project? Is the product well documented, and is there online help available? Who would you contact for support, and is there a service agreement?

What about backups and version control?

Will you be able to track changes to a document? Is there document versioning or document approval control? Who's responsible for backing up the project, and would you be able to recover material that's been accidentally deleted? What happens to your files after your collaborative work is finished?

What's the budget for your collaborative workspace?

Some services are provided by UD or are available for free. Other services have a per month fee, or require payment after baseline service is exceeded.

What tools do you need for your project?

Some services allow only file sharing. Other services might have chat utilities or provide project charts, email alerts, shared calendars, and other tools.

How will users access the files?

Does the project require real time collaboration? Will users need to access the work from off campus? Should people be able work on files at their desktop and synchronize to the collaborative workspace and/or other computers?