Entries from November 2009 ↓

Wave Bot: Annoty

I was looking at the Wave robot Annoty. Annoty is a Google Wave robot which is able to change the text as you write.

To add the robot simply, add annoty@appspot.com to the Wave.

The robot implements usage of regular expression, which makes it easy to extend the robots functionality. The robot contains option to add commands, when you are typing commands like the following.

<annoty add 'italic' 'style/fontStyle' 'italic'>

When the user enters italic, the text will be converted to italic. A regular expression could also be used, which will make usage much easier.

The robot also contains easy linking to ie. bug reports which could be identified by a Jira number or debian number.

A demonstration of the robot can be seen on the video blow.

The robot is an example on how the robot can be used to help with providing more context to a conversation. It is like the demo DJ Adams where he retrieves the complete text from sevice calls in the SAP backend. See his demo below.

The robot did not respond during the review, so it is only based on the video.

Would you recommend any robots, which also can help with adding context to the Wave?

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Virtuel Reception demo

I was amazed how Colayer had a virtual reception. Colayer is developing a collaboration product which work a bit like Google Wave for realtime collaboration. Colayers products adds more context to the conversation like if it is a question you are asking. When the conversation has more meta data, it is possible to make better selection of data.

By using a virtual reception it is possible to contact a person in Colayer with out knowing their address.  I thought that it could also be possible to use a Wave robot to front your organization. It could be to find the relevant persons to get in contact with.

I implement a demo on how it could be possible to use a Wave robot for this. The result is published in this video.x

The demo show how some simple character based search is working to identify which results to show. When the user types something, which should like an employee or group name the robot returns the list of possible employees/groups. The user can then select which user to connect to. The robot connects the user to that employee by adding him to the Wave. After connecting the user to the selected employee the robot goes to standby.

There is a lot of possible improvements. The application should be more clear on when it can add any users. I have implemented the Soundex Java library for string comparison, but are not clear on who to implement it best and what the thresholds should be.

Also it would make a lot of sense to connect the data to the companies directory or Google Apps hosted application. If the user has Wave for his domain this would make a lot of sense, since they must have all the informations hire. It is fairly easy to extract data from the company directory and use this data together with the robot and redirect the user to the correct account. To have the full use it is required that you are using the same usernames on both wave and email.

Speaking of Wave for your domain, can you also create robots on your domain. So you have welcome@masteringwave.com or something similar as the robot you are connecting to.

Do you think this would be a solution, with some development could it be implemented in your organization? Why would it make sense for you to have such a solution?

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Books on Google Wave

ANDROIDIt is interesting to see how new technologies are adopted. One marker is the number of books in the field. The more books on a topic the more it looks like it is gaining traction.

Google Wave is becoming popular and popular everyday as developers and new users learn and find ways to improve it. We have heard of so many reviews, websites and seen video tutorials about the wave. Many said it will replace the traditional email, instant messengers and other means of communication. Nevertheless, the Google Wave so to say is the next big thing in the industry of social networking. It is so much applicable to almost all sorts of environments; be it offices, schools, or homes; wave enables people interact without limits. Even though the wave may have rough edges and unstable operations, the Google team, with so many developers are making the best to provide the world with the most convenient and limitless tool. I know for sure that many internet fans out there crave to test out Google Wave.

O’reilly Media will release the book “Google Wave: Up and Running”. It costs $29.99 and you can purchase it here (http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596806002). The book aims to provide tutorials and even some easy step by step procedures on how to use and build extensions for Google Wave, the exciting new real-time communication and collaboration technology that unifies email, instant messaging (IM), wiki, and social networking functions in one integrated platform. With this book, you’ll quickly learn about Google Wave client and how to use Google Wave’s APIs to extend the platform and customize its functions and display.”

The book which has already been published is the Complete Wave Guide, which covers how users can interact with Wave. I have just read the online version, but it is fairly easy to read and contains lots of practical informations. The books is available online, but you can also download the book for 6$. I have not seen a book like this for Android.

A way to compare the release of books with with how Android books has been released. The beta release of Android SDK was from August 18 2008. The first book I have found is 29 July 2008, so it was based on the alpha SDK of Android. It does make sense that the book can be published before the SDK, because Android was public much earlier in the process. Where as Wave as private until May 2009.

The full list of Android books the releases is the following, according to what I could find.

  • ANDROID A PROGRAMMERS GUIDE July 2008
  • Professional Android Application Development Nov 2008
  • Hello, Android: Introducing Google’s Mobile Development Platform Dec 2008
  • The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development Febuary 2009
  • Google on the Go: Using an Android-Powered Mobile Phone Febuary 2009
  • Unlocking Android April 2009
  • Android Application Development: Programming with the Google SDK May 2009
  • Beginning Android June 2009
  • Android Wireless Application Development September 2009

It is a kind of impressing that this many books has been released on the topic of Android. I’m not sure on how stable the API is, is the first books for the beta relase already outdated. I could imagine Wave development books also will be outdated quite fast, since the APIs are not stable yet.

There has been published 8 books on just over a year on Android. Will we get more with Wave? Will there be any e-books for developers?

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Interview: Using Wave in a large company

I was speaking with a large company (LC) about around Google Wave. I talked around different areas of Google Wave and how it could relate to LC usage. The audience was very keen to help with their take on the different concepts presented in the document.

A large pain was that it was difficult to get approved new programs by IT. So it was not likely that they could get Firefox installed easy because it had to be tested on other applications. The same is true for new service. They had to be approved, before it could be implemented in the organization. I think that this will be valid in many organizations. IT doesn’t want to support too many features or services and want to consolidate on fewer services. Consolidation has been a mantra for many IT architects to get a environment, which is easier to understand. So there needs to be a lot of reasons to install a new implementation.

The company is currently using Microsoft Communicator and Sharepoint. It seems only to be really well used in some departments. The usage depends on if they have found it useful and their colleagues also are using it. Collaboration without anyone to collaborate with is not fun. It will probably also be true for how Wave can be implemented, the usage will vary much based on the departments. If you know that nobody in marketing is using Wave, then you don’t want to start a Wave with them because you will never get a response.

It could be difficult for find a single use case, where Wave will have a business case. There might be lots of smaller, but it was not easy to find. It would be easier to get wave implemented if it could help customer service with saving x minutes pr call.

They looked for a unified product for communication. If they had to continue to have Email, Skype, MS communicator, Facebook, Sharepoint and portals along with Google Wave, it will be to take some extra time for organizing. They would then have to check all inboxes at the same time.

We also talk around cloud computing and SaaS. LC is currently using offsite project management system to control their implementations. They feel confident in this tool and that their data are safe. It is a kind of interesting to see they are 100% secure in a product they have used for a long time, even it is run at remote hosting partner probably using a shared service. In general LC is not into SaaS, because of the potential security risks or lack of control.

Gravity

The Wave modelling tool created by SAP.

LC is a large SAP shop and have implemented SAP for all their businesses. LC have not selected any BPM suite at the moment, but was looking into different options. I showed a short demo of how the Gravity gadget works; they were impressed with the collaboration part. LC is currently using Ids Sheers ARIS for processes modeling, which is a modeling tool with a lot of integrations to SAP.

  • Use of Gravity requires a lot of process knowledge. Currently the business uses cannot define the processes them self. To define the processes business users are meeting with the process architects and trying to agree on a process model.
  • Aris is currently standard for modeling in the company. The problem is that Aris models are used in different ways across the organization. So it is difficult to use a common model. Gravity or an easy collaboration tool could be interesting for having a single place for documenting the model.
  • Gravity and Wave can be a place where process documentation is made. If the correct meta data is create it easier for the users to find the relevant process information.
  • Gravity should be easier for the business users to use, so they have a fair chance of drawing processes. With Aris it is a bit difficult to get started with modeling. It was unclear, if the business could draw the whole process them self or if they needed help. The business was able to make changes to the process already created.
  • There was a focus on creating the process model as a collaborative process. After the model was complete, the model should be handed over the development department. Development should do the implementation of the processes. That way it will be possible for all parties to be involved.
  • It would be nice with two way import/export features, but it did not seem like the most relevant. Especially not since they have not selected a BPM tool.
  • It could assist over telephone or other ways to help the business remote with designing their processes.

I did talk with a medical firm about their needs for sign their processes model. They need to be sure the process was reviewed by somebody to pass the requirements in various medical laws. Currently this is not possible using Gravity, but it could be possible to make some steps and a place to have your processes.

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Wave presentation at Dong Energy

On Thursday Daniel Graversen gave a presentation on Google Wave at Dongenergy, one of the largest companies in Denmark. The presentation was given as part of a SOA workshop, and Wave was introduced as a place where SOA could be leveraged.

The presentation was only on 15 minuttes, so there was not a lot of time to go into all the details, only the basics of Wave was covered:

  • Wave editing and chat demonstration
  • How the Gravity client works and real time editing of the Wave.
  • SAP customer service robot which demostrates the use Wave as a Enterprise Service client.

You can see the slides below.

The most interesting was a 1 hour workshop, where we discussed how Wave could be used in organizations the size of Dong Energy. The result of this discussion will be posted in a future blog post.

If you need a presentation on Google Wave for our company or organization send a mail to dgr@WaveOnBusiness.com or Wave to dgraversen@googlewave.com, and we can arrange a presentation.

Cross posted to Wave on Business.

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