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MOTU : a working environnement for virtual teams

Scientific Project

Motu system overview

Motu system current state

Image d'exemple

Scientific project

The Motu system allows a virtual team to share data supporting in the mean time awareness. It appears to be a tool such as BSCW, TeamScope or SourceForge. It includes an awareness system within a shared data manager. The Motu system distinguish itself with its richer awareness system as a sharper and a more active detection of users activity, indeed users are informed live. 
This work is done for the project « Environnement & COOperation » (ECOO) of LORIA.

Motu system overview

The Motu system must allow a virtual team to share data supporting in the mean time awareness.
  • Virtual team : group of people who work across space, time and organizational boundaries to reach the same goal. Nowadays we can easly imagine companies such as  Bull, IBM and Hitachi Japan delegate few engineers in one of these teams to work in new technologies which need intelligence spread throughout the world and time zone. 
  • Data sharing : a shared data manager must allow the team to :
  • Store documents which will be available for all the members : meta-data, deployment facilities.
  • Guarantee the changes following : Who did what ? When ? Why ?
  • Guarantee the security and the data protection : authentification, integrity, non-repudiation, confidentiality, access right. 
  • Guarantee data existance and maintenance: storage and resistance to breakdown. 
These features are today enrolled in distributed configuration management tools like: ClearCase, Continuus, CVS  servers or sharper tools like electronic documents management.
  • Awareness : Awareness : When a few people work simultaneously on the same data, the real problem in this case is coordination between these users. One possible solution is to inform each members about past, current and incoming events (time distribution). Yet, we must be able to synthetize judicious and acceptable information.  Awareness could be shown in many ways : to be aware of the presence with tools like ICQ or AOL messenger, to be aware of the activity with logging tools, notifications, processes awareness with tools such as workflow etc. 

Motu system current state

The prototype contains more than 400 Java classes. It manage multiversioned et shared file system. The file manager is tolerant to breakdown and it also manages access right (ACL).An event system has been built in the file manager to notify users about any past and current occured changes. A presence manager has also been set in the prototype as well as a few groupware tools as : instant messages, chat, Visio-conf... 
A graphical interface allows the users' prototype to work easily on the files and to be aware meanwhile about the others' activity instantly.

If you are interessed about the Motu and if you want to know about it. Come, visit, be concern  and see the Motu evolution on Sourceforge.

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