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The development of collaborative applications should take into account static and dynamic issues, as well as different technological aspects that allow adapting them to either several working groups' needs or new collaborative scenarios, since these applications have to be continuously running its correct functionality. For this reason, this paper presents a service-based layered architectural model which provides the appropriate infrastructure to support the inherent complexity of the development of long-time, scalable, complex and adaptable collaborative applications in heterogeneous environments, so that these applications allow carrying out effectively group work. Every model layer is briefly explained and an example of a collaborative application built with our architectural model is shown. The application we have chosen for this purpose is a Conference Management System.