It has been interesting to see that SAP is working with Google Wave. SAP has been innovating but not all of the work has been publicized because it was difficult to find the correct format for publishing the research. Some of the results have probably been taken into SAP products, but it is probably very little. The release of Gravity for Wave SAP has showed to the public that they know how to innovate.
In the Demo Jam at SAP Teched 09 in Vienna, Lars Rasmussen (Google Wave Team) and Alexander Dreiling (SAP) did a demo. They had 6 minutes to do the demo in. They first introduced Wave to thee audience and then they showed off Gravity. They show an extension of Gravity, where it was possible to see the execution of the process model. This model was driven by Business Objects Live Enterprise and was a dashboard, which shows how each step performs.
See the video by Dennis Howlett video of the event.
On a wednesday presentation, Alexander showed the next steps for the Wave integration. SAP is working on a tool to design some Gui screens to be used in the process. With a combination of these two tools all the business users can define their processes, build the user interfaces, run the processes and monitor the status. This will be very powerful to be able to do. The tools will target business users with limited IT skills and make them able to develop and run their own processes.
I was lucky to talk to Alexander Dreiling from SAP Labs in Brisbane, one of the people responsible for the Gravity. He said that SAP was trying to figure out what the community meant about Wave and if it was something that businesses want. Being a large organization, it was difficult to get some ideas into the market, if it should follow the normal release procedures. He talked about if an open source model could be used. Releasing the tool under some open source license would make it possible to get the tool into the market much faster and solve some of the support problems. SAP would like to get much more feedback and a faster development cycle.
Before Gravity could be released it had to undergo a rewrite to fix some of the bugs and make the code more maintainable. Alexander also talked about porting Gravity into Flex to have a more stable foundation to use for Wave development. Google Web Tool kit had some limitations.
I was not sure about the status of two other tools was in the development process. A screen capture will be created soon, which demonstrates one or both of the tools. I’m looking forward to see what tools is cable of and it they will be interesting for organizations. It will also be interesting if SAP can create a business model for the tools.
Talking about SAP it is interesting we created a tool that will allow you to test your SAP PI/PO system much faster than other tools so you can automize the tests on the things you are dealing with.