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AbstractThe introduction of collaboration applications on the Internet has enriched communication between diverse users via chatting, and audio and video conferencing. It has also facilitated numerous real life tasks such as conducting of business meetings on the web, distance learning, and distributed authoring. Unfortunately, there are several difficulties that prevent collaboration applications from being ubiquitous on the Internet. The major difficulty is the lack of standards for communication between different collaboration applications which restricts collaboration to only instances of the same implementation, and in turn, limits the usability of such applications. In this paper, we propose a novel collaboration protocol for the exchange of information between users in collaborative environments. The proposed protocol is not tied to a specific implementation of collaboration tools which would enable several tools of the same type to communicate with each other independently of their implementation details. We also discuss a framework architecture for integration of several collaboration tools into one application. The proposed framework utilizes our proposed protocol, and adopts an HTTP-based communication model in order to overcome another difficulty which is possible firewalls constraints. In particular, we extend the standard HTTP streaming technology to accommodate several forms of collaboration.