Developing a collaborative modeling application

In this blog post I will show you a cool application that I have worked on outside Pidoco. Some of you might be familiar with using modeling tools. For example if you are a software developer, chances are you have to design architecture diagrams from time to time. Or if you are at a big company, you might have seen one of these complicated process models that explain how your business works. If that’s the case and you use this kind of software, the Editor might make your work a lot faster and more convenient.

The Editor is a fully collaborative modeling application that lets you create technical diagrams with several people at the same time. All changes that you or others make to the diagram are automatically synced between all participants in real-time – just as you know it from the Pidoco Prototype Creator. It is written as an extension to Google Wave, a powerful new collaboration platform from Google, that helps you create all sorts of documents and artifacts with multiple people very quickly. If you did not have the chance to give Wave a try yet, let me explain how it works: You start a new Wave, an artifact which is often described as “equal parts conversation and document”. You then invite the other people to that Wave to let them participate. And with a click on a toolbar button you add our editor to the document, and start modeling. A typical use case is shown in this video. The cool thing is that you can use Wave’s powerful conversation capabilities to discuss the model while you create it.

To try out the editor yourself, visit – it is free and open source. We currently support modeling in different languages from the areas of software and process modeling, such as the Unified Modeling Language, Petri nets, Business Process Modeling Notation or Event-driven process chains. The work was done by my bachelor’s project team at Hasso Plattner Institute, the place where I study when I am not developing server components of pidoco’s Prototype Creator. Google actually liked our work so much that they invited us to demo it in a talk at Google’s biggest developer conference, Google I/O in San Francisco.

Speak up! Let us know what you think.