30 Groupware Servers Interview Questions and Answers

Dear Readers, Welcome to Groupware Servers Interview questions with answers and explanation. These 30 solved Groupware questions will help you prepare for technical interviews and online selection tests conducted during campus placement for freshers and job interviews for professionals.

After reading these tricky Groupware questions, you can easily attempt the objective type and multiple choice type questions on this topic.

How do local settings get stored in groupware?

The local settings are stored in the hard disk and these settings acts as a blueprint of the actual settings. The settings are saved under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE that refer to the local machine settings and it includes those settings that are currently being used. As soon as the user uses Groupware sync then these settings gets transferred to HKEY_CURRENT_USER, which stores the setting user wise. This way multiple users can use the same machine but, it doesn’t allow seeing each other’s local settings when moving from one user to another.

What is the content that is used to customize the groupware integration module?

Customizing is a feature that is given as the part of IMG (Integration module of groupware) environment and it can be accessed through the transaction SPRO (SAP Project Reference object) in CRM (customer relationship management). The synchronization has to be done between the CRM and SAP. The setting of the client will be generated on demand.

The customization is allowed for both CRM and SAP and the settings include:
Property Name Default Value Description

DEFAULT_APPT_PROC_TYPE - 0000 - Default transaction type
DEFAULT_TASK_PROC_TYPE - 1003 - Default process type for new tasks
REL_NAME_MY_ACCOUNTS - CXP001 - Relation for accounts of interest
REL_NAME_MY_CONTACTS - BUR011 - Relation for contacts of interest

Explain different types of setting’s properties included for customizations in groupware?

The setting’s properties which are involved in groupware having, value and description attached to it. These are as follows:

This is a transaction type that is used to create a new appointment and used in the CRM. This allows the process type to be chosen including the types like Business activity or meeting. This type gets created by default and user will be prompted for it.

This is also a transaction type that is used to create new tasks related to the once chosen by the user.

This is a property that consists of the relationship between the account and employee that is used to mark the accounts that are relevant for synchronization. This includes the information of the user that has associated accounts for synchronization.

This is a property that consists of the relationship between the contact and the employee that is associated with the company and it is used to build synchronization between the two.

How is the synchronized information stored?

There is a history that is maintained to store the information of the two entities that are related to each other and are already synchronized. This also keeps the information about the entity that is last updated on the server. This information is required to keep the link between the two always synchronized. This will help in not loosing any data and maintaining tasks, appointments and contacts as synchronized entities. It is very necessary for a large system to keep the data preserved. The syntax of the history file will be given as follows:
Where EntityName in {“app”,”tsk”,”cont”}

What are the reasons involved in having groupware servers and its services?

There are two different reasons that are required to have a backup mechanism to store the history information. These reasons are as follows:
1. If any file is deleted from the computer or the file gets corrupted, stolen or lost due to server error or some particular reason then it is very hard to compute it without having any previous knowledge in this regard. The effect of this will come on the linking of the two entities which is no more available so the synchronization will take more space.
2. If the user synchronizes the same information on two different machines and having the same user in both different machines then the history information that is store on both the machines will be different. There will be a mismatch of the history and one will over write another one.

What is the process, if the synchronization of same file has to be done on different machines?

The problem that arises due to the synchronizing the same file on different machines will have an impact on the overall system. This will happen due to outdated file on one system has to overwrite or an error might occur when trying to overwrite the file due to signature problem.

The process that can be followed is as follows:
1. Load history files that consist of the information regarding the server’s transaction.
2. Check with the server that the new entries exist when the other machine’s history file will be copied. If there is no history file then all the data gets copied successfully.
3. The history information that is added will be stored in the internal collection and it will be written in the local file. Add history data returned from server to internal collection.

What are the different types of modules that are included in groupware?

Modules are assigned to every folder structure, in groupware it is maintained in the form of tree structure. The permissions have to be set respective of the users or groups and the folders associated with it.
The modules that are associated with groupware are as follows:
- Portal module is a customizable module having an overview page that consists of the summaries of the folders and web-pages.
- Search module offers wide range of global search results by searching it throughout the folder items.
- Tasks module offers automatic highlights of the tasks and the services that is being offered by the groupware servers.

What are the steps taken to ensure the proper management of the system?

The steps that are taken by the users to ensure the management of the system are as follows:
1. Create a restore point and make a backup of the current data so that it can be restored at later stage.
2. Manage the session of each user to store their part of data and prepare it for necessary backups.
3. View all the system logs that are associated with logins, performance and the problems associated with the system.
4. View statistics received about the pages that are viewed, uploads happened, downloads done by users and other statistical information.
5. Manage database processes and the variables that are associated with it.
6. Manage contents and administrative tasks.

How is the data accessed with mount-point?

There are several data sources through which the simple groupware can be accessed. The accessing services are as: IMAP, SMTP, POP3, etc. The data that is outside the database need to be read by creating a folder and creating a mount-point for that data source. The data source can be imported by uploading the files to “<sgs-dir>/import” folder and the mount-point is set on that folder. The mount-point that is externally defined will allow easy integration of the groupware tree structure and it will copy all the data sources in that structure only. This allows the groupware database to be synchronized to get the better search results for all the users. The external folder structure can be shared by giving it all the permissions to be accessed through all the servers and systems.

What are the steps involved in building a custom export in groupware?

To build custom export certain steps has to be followed:
1. Construct a special URL in the browser to build a custom export and the URL should have the folder in which your installation step is present.
2. Choose parameters that are data specific like folders, view, begin, etc.
3. Navigate through the tree and place the complete dataset in the folder structure in which others are also placed. The folders can be represented by a number or a string. The example shows that: e.g. folder=10 or folder=/Workspace/Mails/
4. Find out the folder’s ID by analyzing the URL where the folder structure is residing and same view is maintained throughout.
5. Every folder consists of different views that represent the same or different data.

Write a program to show the URL being written for groupware?

The URL consists of a link and the path of the folder structure where all the files are located and associated with each other. The example is given below:

This is used to export the data like news feed in RSS format and display according the view that is selected. The time can also be added to represent the actual date on which the export is being done or made. The time includes the date and the year in which the transaction has taken place. It is represented as:

What are the different filters used while creating URL of the groupware?

The entries in the URL that is entered can be filtered by using the syntax as:
The filters can be chained with one another to match the datasets within the query and give the results up to the point.
The chaining will be represented as:

The operators that are used in between the fields and the values are as follows:
eq A equal B
neq A not equal B
lt A lesser than B
gt A greater than B
like A contains B
nlike A not contains B
starts A starts with B

Write a program that shows all the consolidated appointments at one place?

The program below shows all the appointments in a folder that is consolidated and filter is being used to sort out the result:
&filters=handle|eq|this is used to get all appointments together
The appointments are good way to remain organized and allow the data to be maintained in an orderly manner. The filters are used to handle the appointments and using to find out the result according to the query that is being entered.

What is the difference between contact and account synchronization?

Contacts are synchronized using the business partners and their co-operation in synchronizing the contacts, whereas the accounts are not synchronized using this method.
Contacts consists of the individual listing of all the clients associated in groupware, whereas accounts consists of the consolidated list of all the contacts in total that are present in the overall groupware management panel.
Contacts are synchronized using the company information that includes address and contact number, whereas accounts are synchronized using the contacts that are stored in the panel.

What is the difference between Groupware Appointments and CRM activities?

Groupware Appointments are synchronized using mapping techniques, whereas the CRM activities are getting class or category appointments using the CRM techniques.
CRM activities don’t include the exception that has occurred in the meeting series, whereas all the logs and exceptions are maintained in Groupware system.
CRM activities are present in different category but they are represented in task based list and then they will be synchronized to the groupware. Whereas, the category that is being transferred to the groupware will be synchronized but it can’t be returned back to the original state.

What are the steps involved in identifying new or deleted entries in groupware?

The entities that are new or deleted can be identified by groupware just be seeing the history that consists of all the records and the data for the entry. The entry in the history usually is having a missing entry on one side and it is to be deleted. The appointment can be checked in this case by moving the timeslot that is not included in the current time frame. The new or deleted entries can be identified by looking at the ID and have a search for the entries in the database. If the exact result is being met then it shows the result and from there the status of the entries can be found.

What are the rules required to detect the changed objects?

To detect the changed objects there are some rules that has to be followed or else the result can be unwanted.

The rules are as follows:
- All the entities that is being mentioned in the objects must have a flag of “LastModified” through which the system can recognize the time at which it has been changed and the changes can be detected very easily. If the date of the object is newer then it gets stored in the history, and it has to be changed as the later object comes into action.
- The reaction to a reminder gets stored in the object usually in groupware systems and record is made to notice the changes that is being done leading to a re-synchronization of the tasks that has been done but not in sync.
- The change in any of the object series will be treated as the change that leads to synchronization and it occurs in time frame.

How to handle the addresses for the contacts in groupware?

Address handling of contacts is not an easy task as it requires quite up and down from the server. It requires the data to be transferred from server to client and this is simple. The data that is sent to client is overwritten or if it is not already created then it gets created at that time. The transaction from client to server is complex procedure as the contacts that are being given from client to the server requires ample amount of time and it requires the server to accept the messages from the client as well. This requires the server to be having the information regarding the client location and the services through which the transfer of the addresses are happening.
- To handle the addresses for contact, the client makes a request and the server responds to it.
- Server then searches its repository and tries to find out regarding the client’s request.
- If found successfully the result is returned to client, if not then error message is sent to the client regarding his request.

What are the issues that come while transferring the contacts from client to server?

It is not easy to transfer the records from client to server as it requires lot of handling of the data and the node has to be ready that is going to make this transfer possible.
There are two main issues that come while transferring from client to server and they are as follows:
- Client side consists of account data that compromises of name and address/phone data. It doesn’t have an ID through which the data can be transferred. So, for every transaction there will be a search to, find the exact matching of the account on the server.
- The business address is another issue that includes the business related data of the contact and doesn’t have an ID. So, it becomes difficult to locate the address on the server and try to find out the existing one.

What are the possibilities that can occur if the contact is created or changed on groupware system?

Changing of contact or creation of it requires some steps to change few settings to allow it to be synchronized with the groupware system:
- If there is any change in the contact then for the private data there won’t be any special handling that has to be done.
- If there is any business related data that includes account name, work address and phone number, etc. then a request is sent to the server to synchronize all the addresses and it links the changed account with the server. A search is made on the server to find out the exact match of the account on the server.
- Any list that is returned from the server gets evaluated and the exact matching account is used.
- If there is no exact matching then the possible addresses are added to the contact and a list of all the possible results will be sent to the client, from which it can select the combinations that is matching his account.

What are the four condition of time-space matrix used in groupware systems?

The classification of groupware system is based on the time-space matrix.
This time-space matrix includes different scenarios like:
- Same place same time: this includes the face to face interaction and doesn’t require anything complex. This is one of the easiest scenarios.
- Same place different time: This includes asynchronous interaction. The complexity that is involved with this is not that much but to create the interaction one has to be synchronized with another person.
- Different place different time: This includes of synchronous distributed interaction. This includes example of recording of a certain lecture and uploading it on the website so others can view and use it according to their time and place.
- Different place same time: This includes synchronous distributed interaction. This includes the example of a website that is visited by the many people at the same time and the resources are also available for them to use.

How are the groupware systems classified?

Groupware systems are classified on the basis of the functions performed by them at higher levels.
The functions those are included:
- Computer mediated communication- this includes direct communication with one another and have in implementation the meeting and decision support system to understand the nature of the conversation.
- Shared applications- this includes the applications that are shared over the network like the objects that are required for the communication. The shared applications can be taken by anyone who is associated in the network and allow everyone to share more and more applications.
- Artifacts that are used by the clients support the interaction of clients with one another that uses the shared work objects.

What does the groupware system architecture involve?

The groupware system architecture is a generic architecture that is common for all the people and parties that is using it.
It includes the following three layers:
1. Infrastructure: This is the lowest level in the architecture. It includes:
   a. Content exchange mechanism that allows users to exchange the data that they are working on and communicate    with another party using this.
   b. Authentication services that allow more than one user to be communicating with each other at the same time.
   c. Directory services that allow the recording of the addresses that are communicating at that moment of time.
2. Communication: This is the layer that is on top of infrastructure and allows user to communicate through electronic mail with each other.
3. Collaboration: This is on the top of communication layer and allows real time conversation to take place and enhance the communication to the next level where the video chats are also a possibility. This includes:
   a. Calendaring and Scheduling
   b. File and printer services
   c. Electronic document management

What are the functionalities performed on the front end of the server?

The front end server includes communication protocols that are used to communicate from one system to another system.
This includes:
- Mail User Agent (MUA) - This allows easy delivery of mails from one user to another user and allows the user to communicate with one another as well.
- Email Messages- This includes composing of the mails, managing the mails and taking certain actions on them, sending them to other person, and receiving mails from other people with whom the communication is associated.
- Embedded services- This includes addressing, packaging, signing, and encrypting outgoing messages and it is a secure method that doesn’t allow third party to hinder in transferring of the message. This also includes the decrypting service that takes the message and displays it.
- Polling server updates such that it will be available to all the clients at one go.

What are the different types of nature in groupware systems?

Groupware systems come defined under two natures.
These natures are as follows:
- Synchronous groupware: includes the class of application that assist a group of physically separated people to interact with one another using real time systems or objects that are shared over the network. Synchronous groupware requires real-time coordination with their clients to find out the exact nature of the communication they are having.
- Asynchronous groupware: includes the use of electronic mails, structured messages, agents, etc. in the system for the communication. It also requires a specified workflow, and computer conferencing, techniques to set a communication between two different parties. The collaborations are only be performed and maintained if there is no restriction on the transfer of the data.

What are the levels of collaboration in which groupware systems can be divided?

There are certain levels of collaboration levels used in communication, conferencing and coordination between different people doing online collaboration with each other. This includes certain creation, management, information sharing and collaborative projects tools to make the transaction successfully. Communication is an important aspect of the collaborative computing and requires unstructured interchange of information between the parties like instant chat or messages.
Conferencing on the other hand is more of an interactive work performed by different individuals to attain a goal that is given.
Coordination is also an aspect and plays an important role in collaboration. It requires complex calculations and interdependent work to reach the goal that is given.

What are the functionalities performed on the back end of the server?

The functionalities that are performed from backend as follows:
The server usage the message storage directories and the directory user agent to keep track of all the clients that are in sync with the server or communicating with it.
- Directory services are provided to manage the names of the clients, their email addresses and the distribution lists so that they can be reached in case of any loss of information.
- Message Transfer Agents (MTA) delivers the email to the recipients who are residing somewhere else from time to time and allow them to answer them back.
- Email Application Programming Interface (API) allows easy integration of the subroutines and function that enable the program to access various components like MAPI, VIM, etc to be used with the email system.
The use some predefined protocols to establish the communication between the two computers or two servers defined at a location.

What is the function of Binary Large objects (BLOBS) in groupware systems?

Binary Large objects (BLOBS) allow the application to be portable and that they can be multi-platform. These applications are platform dependent but not the architecture dependent. They provide copies of the application that can be used on different platforms. The files that are created get stored in a single database file and proper indexing is being done to make the search faster. B+ tree algorithm is used to make the search function and pointers are used that points to the beginning of the file to make it easier for the client to get the result. The object consists of the information about the file in the beginning of the storage location and allows it to be retrieved from that place. The database that is included supports transparency, isolation and locking of the files to make it more secure and usable.

What are the issues involved with communication and collaboration layers?

The issues involved in communication as well as collaboration layers are as follows:
- The email system that is designed to support the client must be able to handle the text, images, video and sound and allow the clients to upload or use the same.
- The email support system should be able to check the format that is being used by the files that are getting uploaded or used. No file should have the same format.
- The email support systems are not need to be compatible between different organizations.
- The storage of the files that are in unstructured format should be addressed and indexed properly.
- Collaboration layer should allow different types of electronic document to be used by the system.
- They should have easy sharing options of these documents.
- The system should be able to store and locate the files over the network and allow the downloading to be done on the client machine.

What are the general implementation issues in the groupware systems?

The groupware systems are easy to implement but due to lack of hardware and software knowledge they always have implementation issues that need to be reported and sorted out before collaborating or communicating.

The issues involved are as follows:
1. Collection: The collection of all the files at one place need to be done to increase the possibility of having the files properly indexed.
2. Organization: The resources need to be properly indexed and organized to make the search faster in case of any query.
3. Management and Processing: The management of the resources needs to be done to allow the processing of new entries and replacing the old entries with the new one.
4. The function need to be transparent of the physical location where the users and search tools are deployed, this helps in making the communication more secure.
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