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Gravity is a prototype developed by SAP Research in Brisbane, Australia and SAP NetWeaver Development providing real-time, cloud-based collaborative business process modelling within Google Wave. Google Wave is Google's new real-time collaboration platform that combines features of e-mail, social networking, wikis and instant messaging in one integrated browser-based client. Google Wave offers rich developer APIs to extend the core functionality with custom components. We have embedded Gravity as a Google Wave "gadget" that can be added within the Google Wave client. Leveraging the collaborative features of Google Wave, all business process modelling activities get propagated in near real-time to all other participants of the Wave. In addition, participants of the Wave can use all other features provided by Google and its developer community to enrich the collaborative modelling experience.
In the demo we see how Gravity can be used to facilitate the development of high level process descriptions for two merging companies, BCD South Bank and FH Insurance. These two companies are merging in a tough economic climate and management need to quickly re-engineer their business processes in order to capitalise from cross-selling opportunities between banking and insurance products. In addition to the near real-time propagation of model content to all participants of a Wave, various features of true real-time collaboration are shown, such as different colour-coding for each individual modeller, history of a model, asynchronous and synchronous editing, and more. The demo also shows how robots (automated components that act as Wave participants) can be leveraged in order to syntactically correct the model on the fly. In the end, we will see how models are exported using BPMN 2.0 XML. They will then be imported into SAP Netweaver BPM for further refinement and execution.
The demo shows how new technology can be systematically leveraged in order to facilitate what Business Process Management is really about: business user collaboration within and across departments of one or more organisations.
Please check out the high resolution screencam by clicking on the Gravity screenshot above. If you experience problems with the Podcast, please click here for more versions including a low resolution of the screencam or view the embedded screencam below.