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This paper aims to explore the inherent connection between Heisenberg groups, quantum Fourier transform (QFT) and (quasi-probability) distribution functions. Distribution functions for continuous and finite quantum systems are examined from three perspectives and all of them lead to Weyl-Gabor-Heisenberg groups. The QFT appears as the intertwining operator of two equivalent representations arising out of an automorphism of the group. Distribution functions correspond to certain distinguished sets in the group algebra. The marginal properties of a particular class of distribution functions (Wigner distributions) arise from a class of automorphisms of the group algebra of the Heisenberg group. We then study the reconstruction of the Wigner function from the marginal distributions via inverse Radon transform giving explicit formulae. We consider some applications of our approach to quantum information processing and quantum process tomography.