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The Collaboration Series: Chapter 4 – What Is Application Sharing?

What is application sharing?

Application sharing is just what it sounds like. A moderated process of allowing other users to access applications, or even share your desktop, essentially, it allows users to access information remotely. Whether they’re using a mobile device or personal workstation, and no matter how many people require access, they can get to it in real time – simultaneously.

Application sharing can come under two umbrellas; unified communications, and collaborative software. The information or application shared generally operates on a host computer, where access to shared content is provided (or moderated).

Application sharing is beneficial as each digital asset of an organisation can be placed in one centralised system, rather than being scattered about in cloud-based storage accounts, chat programmes, or emails. Now, internal requests can be dealt with immediately; time no longer needs to be spent tracking down files.Types of access

Once applications or documents have been submitted into the shared communication network, there are generally two types of access that can be granted to remote users.

View access: With view access, the host user only allows remote users to view content, without being able to edit or effect change.

Control access: Control access, on the other hand, allows remote users to control, edit and effect change on the shared content. The majority of application sharing software allows host users to reverse access in real time. During controlled sessions, the keyboard and mouse of the host computer are remotely controlled – a hot key is provided to reverse access.


Typically, access is granted in one of three ways. The way access is granted is dependent on the nature of the application sharing software.

Should the software permit shared content to be accessed from the web; the host user is responsible for defining and providing login details to remote users. This allows users to access the relevant website and shared material. Screen sharing can help to improve business processes, as one unified communication service can save time and increase productivity. A network for unified communications helps to drive rapid development, and deployment of new product purpose.

If both parties require software to allow access to the shared application, that type of software will orchestrate the granting of access – though this also will require user authentication.

The shared content can be accessed using a permission tailored software approach. Such a technique will help to ensure that any applications or the desktop being controlled cannot be accessed without direct live approval. By doing this, any security risks of taking control of a desktop while the user is not present, will be eliminated. So, even though application sharing may seem insecure – the moderator has full control of the process at all times.

Read about how application sharing integrates into Unified Communications and how it can help improve enterprise efficiency and tackle the challenges of the future.