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Google Wave relies on kindness of strangers

Copy our cloud, please

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Dreamforce 09 Google has been stumping for its Wave real-time collaboration system among the Salesforce.com faithful.

Wave lead business development manager Jeff Eddies told Dreamforce the search behemoth needs their support for Wave to succeed.

Unveiled in May, Wave is still in an embryonic state. Google's manager told Salesforce.com developers and users Thursday that it needs lots of people either running Google Wave, building their own versions of Wave using the 40,000 lines of code Google has open-sourced, or interoperating between the Google Wave and their own Waves.

By way of incentive, Google said it plans to deliver a stable set of specification and a reference implementation of the Wave client and server code and the all-important Federation Protocol, open-source the "lions' share" of the client and server code, and ship an open port of the federation protocol. There were no dates.

Dreamforce attendees were also directed to the Google Wave Federation Protocol web site to participate in building the specification to help get Wave finished.

"What we would really love to do, for it [Wave] to really succeed, is to have to have lots of people running Google Wave, or have things that look like Google Wave or interoperate between the two systems," the business development manger told Dreamforce.

"We are also thinking very hard about companies that might want to do that in a very secure way. It's one thing to say: 'We are all open, let's collaborate,' but it makes CIO's very nervous. Hopefully we've got a way to get around that."

Salesforce.com technology architect Quinton Wall used the event to demonstrate building a Wave robot to talk to the Salesoforce.com platform. Robots are a part of the Google Wave API that automate common tasks, such as spelling correction or translations. Gadgets are the other part of the API and are embedded in web pages and can be shared. Robots can access Gadgets.

Salesforce.com is a big Google partner and fellow cloud evangelist. On the more traditional business-user front, Novell has so-far stepped up with Pulse, its implementation of Wave with features added for the use by the enterprise. SAP, meanwhile, has built a prototype plug-in to Wave called Gravity to work with the enterprise giant's business process modeling functionality. ®

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