Fast Company

Google's Wave Might Find Its Real Home Inside Company Servers

Today it looks like Google's expanding Wave to external servers. If your company has an internal communication problem. If no one else can help. Maybe you can try ... the Wave team.

A-Team WaveThe news has popped up over at TheNextWeb, speculating that Google's literally on the verge of launching Wave's federation server connects today--but the rumor carries more than a little weight, because RWW has spoken to Lars Resmussen, who's one of the system's inventors. Plus Wave has been designed with this sort of implementation in mind right from the start. A sandbox version (with added protection while its still in development) will be the first thing to launch, and Google's already released some code, and the Federation Protocol and Conversation Model for developers and company techies to get to grips with how it'll all work.

google wave

The roll-out will mean one significant thing: You can construct and run your own Wave servers on your own hardware, and have them link up to the greater Web should your Wave conversations need to include people from the outside world. And that means companies can use private Waves as a tool for intra-office conversation and, more in keeping with how Wave is being promoted by Google, as a collaboration tool. In particularly high-tech outfits, you could even imagine that company developers could put together specialist Wave Apps to help with specific tasks or to tailor Wave to the local modus operandi. As a system for facilitating discussion, group working and file sharing Wave just seems to have a better mental fit into this environment than it does as a public system, since one increasingly voiced criticism is that it's all very clever but seems to have not much utility. With a large team, physically distributed across the company and time-critical collaborative task on the table, it's just possible Wave would work out to be very handy indeed.

As with many Google products designed for external-server use, companies are going to have to get past the fact its open source software--with all the attendant misunderstandings about security--but if the White House and the DoD are happy to embrace this tech, then there's no reason commercial entities can't too.

[Via TheNextWeb]

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3 Comments

  • Alvis Brigis

    @ Kit - I see Raindrop as both a defensive and offensive move against Wave/Google and all of the things that might be possible with Wave (as well as vs. FB, Yahoo, Live Mail).

    Wave is a platform first and foremost, not simply as an email replicator, but it's a platform readily capable of spawning a Gmail+ that plays really nicely with browsers. At the same time, anyone can use it (Live Mail, FB, Yahoo - even Mozilla) but do they dare build on the Google-friendly code base? The answer is no. (Though it MIGHT ultimately be the wrong answer for some.)

    Clearly, Mozilla is looking to keep the browser relevant and therefore is looking to become the unifier of disparate social network data and web conversation. They created Thunderbird to make the browser more relevant and, probably, to suck in email functionality as browsers gain more cacheing memory. Raindrop is an effort to protect and expand the capabilities of Thunderbird, and follows a the uber-open, uber-early release pattern of Wave and the Facebook Open Graph announcement.

    The war to retain and gain user interface time is forcing all of these participants to thread together previously discrete functionality as fast as the developing web allows. The nerds at Mozilla, Facebook and Google see this clearly and share a similar vision of the near future of the web (I'd love to tap their brains or recreate what's probably going on in their strategy rooms at a focused conference or such) as convergent and increasingly open, and each seeks to grab as much of the user pie. This requires wooing the increasingly important hard-core and light-weight developers alike to build out these new platforms ASAP. What Mozilla has going for it is that it's not a for profit company like Google and FB.

    Lots of variables here. Very fluid situation. And it's only bound to get crazier as the web gets faster. Just imagine what will happen when 3d, gaming and HD functionality can easily be incorporated into the browser!

  • Alvis Brigis

    Interesting to see Google moving this quickly to open up Wave to 3rd party enterprise and other developers (collab, productivity software and casual gaming). Eerily similar to Facebook Open Graph Announcement yesterday. Do you see any connection> Perhaps that's a pre-emptive strike aimed at preventing a developer platform shift?

    As someone who's developed a game on Wave, whizzlr.com , I see major overlap in what FB currently provides and what Wave will provide. By opening up FB dev to 3rd parties, Zuckerberg seems to be staving off the possibility (however small) of Wave sucking of game developers and ultimately users.
    http://socialnode.blogspot.com...