Spaces vs Groups vs Projects

Discussion created by jscottbrown on Sep 18, 2008

Case #32552


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I was asked by some users to explain the differnce between spaces, groups, and projects.  As a neophyte, I started diigging through the docs, but found no real clear definition of how/when to choose one over the other.  Can you point me to a reference for same, or can you explain to me in laymens terms clearspace's conceptual utilization of these features?  I am stuck with the folder paradigm as my only model, and I think that limits my ability to understand.





Hi Scott,


I am also new to Clearspace, so hopefully I'll be able to answer your question from a perspective you can relate to .


Spaces are the closest thing to the hierarchical/folder paradigm we're all accustomed to. Typically, an organization will model their Spaces based on their "traditional" hierarchy, i.e. functional groups like Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Human Resources, etc. The idea is that while users may occasionally have cross-functional needs that require them to visit a variety of spaces, they will generally spend most of their time and energy in the space dedicated to their functional area. In this way a community administrator can set up Clearspace to model the functional and logical divisions most users will expect. Users do not necessarily belong to a specific Space, but you may want to configure their permissions based on their role within the organization.


Groups, on the other hand, can be used to bring people together in the kind of informal social networks that form spontaneously within an organization. Groups might form, for example, between a handful of employees from different functional areas who happen to handle a particular customer account. Or a set of individuals interested in a new innovation initiative might create a group to bounce ideas off of one another. Or people who root for the same football team might convene for a "water cooler" discussion. Groups are likely to evolve to mirror the organizational culture, whatever that may be. Users may be members of any number of groups.


Lastly, a Project is a place for managing the status of a specific project against its goals. It offers similar features to many other project management software products, and allows the same social software features that are used throughout Clearspace. A Project resides within a particular space.


Hopefully that clears things up for you. I would also encourage you to take your time exploring Jive's Support and Clearstep communities, where you will find a wealth of information regarding how best to configure Clearspace to fit your specific needs.




excellent.  thanks.

also helpful to me, thanks!!

Very clear explanation, certainly useful for a newbie

Very helpfull, thanks.

Definitely helpful to me too. Thanks! By the way, I am trying to get a copy of "Jive for Dummies", unfortunately it is no where to be found, not even on Amazon online. May I ask if anyone has come across a handy reference book to recommend for someone completely new to Jive? Thanks!

i found some resources here on Community portal...

Groups vs Spaces

Groups vs. Spaces

Groups vs. Spaces in v4.5 (a decision matrix)


some are outdated but they helped me a lot.

Milos & Teresa,

You might also find some useful content here: Jive Training



Nick Church

Account Support

Great tip Nick

Still lost a bit in community portal.

It does take a bit of getting used to, that's why we're here.



Thanks Nick! I am going through some tips from the Jive Training as well.

Jive has many "places" where a user can generate its content. These places or containers are tied to each and every content.

For example a Blog Post is tied to Blog, Discussion, Document etc are tied to either Space or Social Group or Project etc. (Remember that there is Permission Group also that is also sometimes called Group, so referring group as Social Group)


The most important difference here is "who can create"


Spaces or Communities -> Mostly used for discussions and collaboration. Simple to use. Space permissions can be customised for permission groups and moderation.


Projects -> As name suggests used to manage project to team of users and manage tasks etc...


Groups -> restricted -> follows concept of membership -> *"Can not have sub-groups"