Ifferences and connections between groupware and ordinary databases.

Groupware is software that was developed to support teams by providing team members with powerful and convenient ways to schedule their interactions, communicate with each other, and record and update group output. Another (less catchy) name for computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) is computer supported teamwork. Much of the early research in this area was focused on understanding the complex relationships between the social aspects of teamwork and the technical features of groupware and looking for ways to improve the quality both of the teamwork and the groupware. In more recent years, economists have begun to examine groupware and CSCW as well in the interest of determining efficient methods of organizing cooperative work and using groupware.

Here are a couple of good introductory articles on the special problems of databases used to support group applications:

Heer, J. Viegas, F. B., and Wattenburg, M. (2009). Voyagers and voyeurs: Supporting asynchronous collaborative visualization. Communications of the ACM, 52(1), 87-97.

Nedelko, Z. (2008). The role and importance of groupware for teamwork. The Business Review, 10(1), 211-217.

But the fact remains that many groupware applications and the data that support them are improvised or otherwise knocked together:

Microsoft (2011). CSCW in Microsoft research group. Enabling cross-lingual conversation in real time: translator-052714.aspx