Shab-2006 - XBoard A Framework for Integrating and...

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XBoard: A Framework for Integrating and Enhancing Collaborative Work Practices Ted Shab NASA Ames Research Center/QSS [email protected] Abstract Teams typically collaborate in different modes including face-to-face meetings, meetings that are synchronous (i.e. require parties to participate at the same time) but distributed geographically, and meetings involving asynchronously working on common tasks at different times. The XBoard platform was designed to create an integrated environment for creating applications that enhance collaborative work practices. Specifically, it takes large, touch-screen enabled displays as the starting point for enhancing face-to-face meetings by providing common facilities such as whiteboarding/electronic flipcharts, laptop projection, web access, screen capture and content distribution. These capabilities are built upon by making these functions inherently distributed by allowing these sessions to be easily connected between two or more systems at different locations. Finally, an information repository is integrated into the functionality to provide facilities for work practices that involve work being done at different times, such as reports that span different shifts. The XBoard has been used on the Mars Exploration Rovers mission at JPL, and is currently being used or considered for use in pilot projects at Johnson Space Center (JSC) Mission Control, the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (Phoenix Mars Lander), and MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute). 1. Introduction The XBoard is designed to be an extendible platform that allows customization of both the general functionality and the adding new functionality to the core facilities by means of a plugin architecture. This, in essence, makes it a collaborative framework for extending or integrating work practices for different mission scenarios. XBoard relies heavily on standards such as Web Services and SVG, and is built using predominately Java and well-known open-source products such as Apache and Postgres. Figure 1 Sol Tree tool use at MER Increasingly, organizations are geographically dispersed, and rely on “virtual teams” that are assembled from a pool of various partner organizations. These organizations often have different infrastructures of applications and workflows. The XBoard has been designed to be a good partner in these situations, providing the flexibility to integrate with typical legacy applications while providing a standards-based infrastructure that is readily accepted by most organizations. The XBoard began as the result of ethnographic observations made during the 2001 FIDO Test at JPL. Many ad-hoc collaborative activities were found to be unsupported in the mission suite of tools. Although none of these were mission critical, solving them seemed to useful, especially in two main areas, enhancing the ability for teams to collaborate about science planning, and enhancing collaboration to support engineers in Tiger Team work in the event of unforeseen engineering issues.
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course CS 91.550 taught by Professor Yanco during the Spring '11 term at UMass Lowell.

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Shab-2006 - XBoard A Framework for Integrating and...

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