This FAQ details all sorts of useful information (such as how to get free access) to the collaborative process modeling tool in SAP StreamWork (#Gravity).
It is thanks to Tammy Powlas who faithfully recorded all the ASUG questions and answers from an interactive web-session relating this tool to modeling in SAP Business Workflow that this blog exists. But it is generic enough to be useful anyone wanting to graphically describe processes or project flow.
In fact Susan Keohan told me it was so interactive that some of the participants were "on stage" without bothering to access the WebEx conference URL in the first place!
BTW: If you are not part of ASUG but would like this presentation given to your local user group then please contact me directly.
Q: Why is this tool offered free of charge?
A: To collaborate effectively you have to be able to reach out to individuals on an ad hoc basis such as during a phone call and involve them in discussions immediately without hurdles, such as payment.
SAP StreamWork also offers commercial licenses such as the Enterprise license or the Professional licenses, which offer significant corporate advantages as shown in the slides, but the tool can be used without this and without restrictions.
So there is no charge to use the basic capabilities of SAP StreamWork, or the full capabilities of the modeling tool itself, but you can upgrade later to gain the corporate advantages of the SAP StreamWork environment.
Q. What is the tool called?
A: This is a tool offered in SAP StreamWork along with many other tools that are very helpful in collaboration during projects or decision making activities.
The proper name of the tool is collaborative process modeling tool in SAP StreamWork, which is quite a mouthful so you will often find it referred to by its project name - gravity.
Q: What are the benefits of the collaborative modeling in SAP StreamWork over a tool such as traditional tools?
A: Traditional tools focus on documenting processes in detail. StreamWork is not intended as a repository of processes but as a collaboration workspace focusing particularly on freestyle processes (such as how should our decision-process flow) or modeling processes where you need to consult different experts in different locations. The tool shown in the WebCast is just one of the many collaborative tools in SAP StreamWork. Do not confuse with SAP Solution Manager, which is the central repository for processes as described in this blog: http://scn.sap.com/community/bpm/blog/2012/01/25/uncovering-the-value-of-collaborative-process-modeling-with-sap-streamwork
So the collaborative process modeling tool in SAP StreamWork is ideal for collaboratively designing and discussing processes.
Q: How do we restrict other members from making changes to the workflow when the creator of the workflow wants complete ownership?
A: Visible demonstration through locking item
Q: Do we have templates that can be used by users to quickly build a commonly used workflow?
A: A nice idea – process fragments - great idea to do on a collaborative basis
Can use import and export so that they can be used to jumpstart building new processes.
Q: Can we attach a link to an object in the workflow?
A: You can add a links in the comments section of streamwork. These are assigned to the workflow and have the advantage of producing RSS feeds so that other people working on the workflow are informed as the links are added.
Q: Most missed feature?
Currently, panning or navigating large process diagrams in an intuitive way. You can do this using the pan button (and accelerator keys described in the online help) with a minute or two of practice but we in development admit that we hadn't expected it to be used so much in such complicated scenarios so we would like to make this more intuitive. The good news is that since this is cloud-based, updating with improved features is straight-forward.
Q. Why did SAP develop this tool?
a) to be of use to customers, and make it easier to deploy SAP BPM software.
b) to enhance the existing capabilities of SAP StreamWork so that decisions can be made and planned.
c) a first step in the direction of BPM as a service (BPMaaS.) Watch this space.
Q. Is there a short overview video that anyone can access?
A: Yes, on YouTube. Warning: The video is not yet as up-to-date as the tool itself (that's cloud for you ) - http://youtu.be/TgazDL5nc9U
Q: How do I get access to the tool?
A: You can use the free license to have access to the tool. In fact, if you have an SCN/SDN account you already have direct access through this link:
Or you can go to www.sapstreamwork.com to create an account or simply logon using your Google account. In fact if you use Google Apps, you can add SAP StreamWork to your Google or gmail menu by selecting it from the Google marketplace (illustrated in the video).