This page describes computer software apps with Stanford or SLAC specific support, which aid collaboration through IM style messaging, video conferencing, and document management.
Slack Messaging App
IM style chat with SLAC colleagues
Slack is a messaging and chat application that allows you to have conversations with individuals or groups online. You can search through your conversation history to find messages and files.
Getting Started with Slack
Stanford as a whole is represented as a Slack organization, within which SLAC is a workspace. Conversations in a workspace are arranged as a channels (basically a chat room about a specific topic).
Sign up and register using your Stanford email address at https://slac.slack.com/signup. Find the SLAC workspace. Then browse the list of channels in SLAC, join channels that are used by you and your team, or create a new channel for a topic relevant to you.
You can also send "direct messages" to inviduals to start a one-on-one conversation. Slack provides a comprehensive guide on how to get started, available here: https://slack.com/resources/slack-101.
Stanford University IT administers the Stanford enterprise organization with Slack, of which SLAC is a workspace.
Zoom is teleconferencing software, usually used in a web browser. With Zoom, you can hold distibuted audiovideo meetings, where participants join online, possibly from their office or home. It also helps in the context of a physical meeting room, where Zoom can run presentations on a meeting room screen, that can be seen both by the room participants, and the remote participants.
Getting Started with Zoom
To create a meeting, go to https://stanford.zoom.us. Login with your Stanford computer account (SUNet ID), and authenticate
Select Meeting from the menu on the left-hand side
Then hit button Schedule a new meeting and fill in the details. Some common selections are Mute participants on entry to improve audio; leave Video of Participant off (so participants can choose whether to share video on start); and tic Enable join before host
Hit Save. Once saved, you will be given the web link for your meeting (find the link next to Join URL:"). The is the URL at which your online meeting will take place, you and all participants should browse to this link for your meeting. The URL will look something like https://zoom.us/j/820046448 (this example is of a Zoom hosted test meeting you can use to verify your computer settings). Back to your meeting scheduling, if you click on Copy Link Invitation you'll get more text, including meeting time, dial-in options and so on, which is suitable to be emailed to participants
Email, slack message, or otherwise communicate the meeting details from the previous step (especially the URL) to all the meeting participants.
Participants of a meeting do not need Stanford login ID to join the meeting, they simply visit the meeting link.
Note that VPN should be avoided while using Zoom. Zoom meetings do not require any of the participants, nor the organizer, to be on the SLAC network.
Stanford University IT administers Zoom for the Stanford Community, including SLAC.
Shared document repository, oriented towards Microsoft Office
SharePoint is Microsoft enterprise software we use to host documents and web pages. It is the server software behind the web site we call SLACSpace. SharePoint is mainly used as a repository for documents at SLAC. It also host web pages, and includes some collaborative tools interfaced through your web browser, that allow you to create team and personal web sites to manage and share information with other users across the lab.
Confluence is an enterprise wiki which enables groups to quickly create web pages and host documents, in order to help online collaboration on projects, experiments, and workshops. By default, Confluence web pages and other contents, are open to the public. The wiki is open to all SLAC users who have read and acknowledged the Acceptable Use Policy and use the tool in a respectful and professional way.
Document repository and online interactive document collaboration
Box is a cloud-based file sharing tool. Stanford provides basic document management and collaboration through Box.com. Box is an easy-to-use platform that you can log into with your Stanford credentials. Box supports creation, management, and collaboration for documents that have been written in common desktop tools (for example, Microsoft Word, Excel). It also includes a drag and drop interface, versioning, and close integration with Google Docs.