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3/16/2011
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SAP Adds OpenSocial API To StreamWork

Apps built with the social Web development standard can be made available to users of SAP's collaborative decision-making software.

SAP has expanded its potential base of application partners for StreamWork by adding support for OpenSocial, a common set of programming standards in use by many social Web application developers.

SAP StreamWork is collaborative decision-making software, designed to make it easier for individuals -- both inside and outside an organization -- to work together. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) application synchronizes data to ensure people are using the same information at all times, and lets users work with existing programs such as WebEx, Evernote, Microsoft Outlook, and Google Gmail, according to SAP.

"If you've developed an application using the popular OpenSocial API, you'll now be able to register it with SAP StreamWork and make it available to users in the SAP StreamWork tools catalog," SAP said on its Web site.

Already, at least six third-party developers have adopted SAP StreamWork, according to SAP. Atlassian; CS Odessa; Doodle; Google; Got Decisions; and MindMeister have registered with SAP and offer their applications through StreamWork's catalog.

Atlassian integrates both its enterprise wiki-tracker Confluence and issue-tracker JIRA with SAP StreamWork, enabling SAP users to embed gadgets into an activity. This provides them with more insight, allowing them to more efficiently and speedily come to decisions, said Alex Loddengaard, product marketing manager at Atlassian, in a blog post.

A user could embed a JIRA gadget, for example, in SAP StreamWork to show the rate at which issues are created and resolved.

"Software developers and product managers have become familiar with using issue trackers and wikis, but now have a new opportunity to become more productive using SAP StreamWork. Such a gadget would help a software development team understand their backlog and general development rates," Loddengaard said.

Organizations that want to use MindMeister's mind-mapping capabilities must first create a gadget from within SAP StreamWork's partner tools section of the tools catalog and then can begin using the software as part of the creative process, said Dan Taylor, director of marketing at MindMeister, in a blog post.

"By employing MindMeister mind maps within your SAP StreamWork collaborative decision-making process, everyone on board is able to visualize each idea and understand where it originated," he said.

CS Odessa's ConceptDraw MindWave is a visual mind-mapping collaboration application that supports team content generated during Web-based meetings. The software lets users quickly build interactive maps that represent current or future projects and tasks, the developer said.

Got Decisions also addresses the complexities of decisiveness. The software's wizard analyzes data, asks a series of questions that allows a user to create preferences for the decision-making criteria, and then creates a customized decision application used to rank possible results.

"By providing an interface that allows you to rank data based on tradeoffs, Got Decisions can help you make smarter and more informed decisions. In contrast to other search models, the tradeoff-based approach presents a graphical, intuitive, and simple view of data. Combined with the collaborative environment of SAP StreamWork, it's a powerful tool for understanding the priorities driving your organization's decisions," according to Got Decisions.

Scheduling time often is a time-wasting component of reaching a decision, especially at organizations where personnel are scattered across offices and time zones. Doodle addresses this headache by using consensus-based scheduling, and the integration in SAP StreamWork delivers Doodle where teams need it, so they don't have to switch back and forth between calendar, email client, and workflow to set up a meeting, according to Doodle.

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