Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Watch that stream become a wave

Hello everyone!

We are excited to be working to support the Google Wave Federation Protocol in SAP StreamWork to let tools – collaboration or business – work seamlessly between any wave server, including Google Wave! With SAP StreamWork, we help business be more productive by letting people drive decisions together. Since our first BETA announcement a number of months ago we have been constantly compared to Google Wave, due to the real-time characteristics of the collaboration patterns we use. While products each have a different focus, they are also naturally complementary, and from the moment we saw Google Wave we were excited about the possibilities of connecting the two. This year’s Google I/O is our first opportunity to tell the story of how we plan to work collaboratively with Google, the Wave Federation Protocol, and OpenSocial.

For those of you who are not familiar with SAP StreamWork, it is aimed at transforming the way people work. When Google developed Google Wave it asked the question, “What would e-mail, instant messenger, and collaborative document creation look like if it were invented in the 21st century?” Similarly, SAP asked the question, “How can people solve important business decisions in a natural, fluid way, making every day more effective and fun?”. SAP StreamWork is a new on-demand, collaborative decision-making application that brings together people inside or outside your organization with information for fact-based decision-making and interactive business tools for collecting feedback, strategizing, and brainstorming, and is available today in a free version for anyone. It is also fully extensible by developers using open REST APIs.

Many of you make decisions every day, using a range of tools, from e-mail, to white boards, to shouting matches, to business applications and business intelligence. We get the work done, but it often becomes chaotic and hard to follow and can hinder clear decisions. Wave is modernizing collaborative communication; SAP is modernizing business. SAP StreamWork brings together people, information and proven business methodologies to help teams naturally and fluidly work toward goals and outcomes. Teams can assess situations together, develop strategies and make clear decisions, with a full record of what transpired. What better idea than to include anyone with a wave account?

So this is how we see you rolling in the near future: A supplier just notified you they couldn’t deliver materials that you need tomorrow to continue production. Crap! You bring that context fluidly into SAP StreamWork and assemble a team, bringing experts in that industry to see who might have capacity. Some of the people you know are registered as Google Wave users – instead of having to enter a different system, the business discussion complete with analytical and business tools show up in their wave inbox. It no longer matters where people are, or what tools they prefer – they can safely make decisions, in real-time, and directly drive the business applications that run the largest companies in the world. Now that feels like an improvement, yeah?

At this year’s Google I/O we will show the beginnings of this. But, what exactly, are we talking about?

Passing the Wave (Wave Federation):

At I/O we plan to show how SAP StreamWork has added a Wave Server to the platform to enable conversations between SAP StreamWork and other Wave servers. In SAP StreamWork a user starts an Activity where in they invite other participants to collaborate with them on a work activity like making a business decision. The group can then add the data and tools to guide them through the decision process. When an activity is created, StreamWork creates a new wave and federates the content of that Activity to the Wave server of any Wave users that may have been invited to that activity. With this integration Wave users will be able to seamlessly collaborate with SAP StreamWork users to work on the important decisions they need to make every day.

Go Go Gadget! (Gadget / Method Interoperability):

In order to ensure that content from an Activity or wave is properly federated between each other, we had to ensure that the content found in both systems was compatible with each other, and this included Wave Gadgets and StreamWork Methods. Wave Gadgets are shared programs that run inside waves, and are very comparable to StreamWork Methods which are business tools that run inside StreamWork Activities. Theproof of concept will show the compatibility between a StreamWork business method being federated over to Google Wave. We intend to create a generic compatibility between StreamWork Methods, and Wave and OpenSocial Gadgets so that developers will be able to ensure that gadgets or methods built for one system will work in the other.

These are the early days with our Wave Federation Protocol support and we are still in proof of concept stage, but we are excited to discover together with you how Wave, OpenSocial and StreamWork naturally extend each other, and we intend to deliver value to our customers, based on this work, within the next year. So please let us know your ideas, and we can figure out how the make the world a little more productive every day.

-David Meyer, SAP

1 comment:

  1. [...] Update 20 May 2010: SAP’s Streamwork now supports Google’s Wave protocol. I’m glad they realized the wisdom in adopting wave rather than trying to make an isolated [...]