LivingDocuments features

Collaborative near real-time distributed environment

LivingDocuments is an application that allows to create, edit and discuss documents collaboratively. It provides a near real-time update of all the content within the system that is distributed to others, and hence fostering engagement in a collaborative work situations. This ranges from user avatars, document comments to collaborative writing area, if a change happens it is directly reflected to the clients of other users. The platform provides for its users a collaborative multi-component working room, also called a living document, where real-time changes are instantly shared not only for the document content but also for tags, comments, subdocuments, and attachments in corresponding user interface areas.

Change history

To convey the current status of a living document to persons that join late to already existing documentation work, and to enable users in a general way to retrace past discussions in order to understand how the decisions were made, living documents offers a change tracking feature. When a document has reached a certain level of maturity, users still want to be able to see the detailed discussions that led to this outcome.

Content Awareness

In order to foster content awareness there are two main ways for notifications. One is to actively send someone a notification in-app and / or to their email address (Mentioning). The other one is to subscribe to be notified about changes of other users to any component of a living document (Subscriptions), e.g. when writing a new comment, changing the shared document text as well as creating subdocuments.

Both functionalities are configurable by the receiving user.


For collaboration in larger networks creating awareness about related documents and individuals, who have expertise in a related area, is a useful extension. LivingDocuments provides recommendations based on tagging of resources (individuals and documents) by comparing the relation of tags of different resources.

Maturity Indications

LivingDocuments allows users to engage in a near real-time collaborative editing. A living document can be edited by several users. The larger the content of a document is, the more likely multiple co-editors have been collaborating. In such large document spaces providing reliable information to a user who has not participated is not trivial, especially when conversations have been made over a long period of time. Therefore, the objective of maturity indicators is to measure the degree a document remains relevant in a specific context and has not been outdated. Within LivingDocuments as preparation the needed logging infrastructure has been introduced to collect usage data needed to make use of automatically calculating document maturity later.

Usability and Access Management

Besides standard functionality also available in other tools like listing documents by contacts, storing documents in folder structures etc. Living Documents provides specific additional usability features.