October 5th, 2010 by

For those of us who use the computer frequently there are some tasks we end up doing over and over again. Perhaps it’s resizing an image. Or maybe you need to place a watermark on a series of documents. Whatever the case may be, inevitably we find ourselves doing the same redundant tasks.

Of course programs can be written to assist with this. One of my previous colleagues was a Python guru. If he ever needed to sort through a long list of information he’d quickly write a Python script. For the rest of us, writing a script is usually more cumbersome than the original task.

Wappwolf

That’s where Wappwolf comes in. They provide the first ever virtual assembly line for your documents. Let’s say you have a series of pictures that all need to be resized and then put into a slideshow. With Wappwolf you can set up two web applications to work together. The first will take your photos and resize them, the second will combine them into a slideshow. Then it will return the final result to you.

“Wappwolf is raising the idea of ‘software as a service’ to a whole new level in the way it revolutionizes the interaction with individual solutions and, thus, saves private customers and businesses time and effort.” Matt Marshall, executive producer of DEMO.

Wappwolf works by connecting what’s known as web services. These are applications that other programs can access over the web. A good example is a website that converts a Word document to a PDF. The main website will allow you to upload a document manually and then make the conversion. This is the web application. If they set up a web service then a computer program can also send a document to it and then receive the document back in PDF form. A good way to think about it is a web application is something a person accesses, a web service is something a program accesses. Both can have the same function but web services can be automated so we don’t have to do anything manually. So, wrapping it all together, Wappwolf allows developers to chain multiple web services together such that you can first convert the document to a PDF, then add a watermark, then have it emailed to a specific address. All the user does is upload the document they want processed. They can even drag and drop it into their web browser. The possibilities are endless so long as there’s a web service available to perform each step. These are called flows, from which Wappwolf’s name is derived. Web Application Flow (flow is wolf spelled backwards).

Creating a Wappwolf flow is most typically an undertaking for developers. Wappwolf makes it as easy as possible with a GUI interface (pictured below) to indicate how the various parameters are to relate to each other. Developers have a couple options. First, they can work with the existing web applications already imported into Wappwolf and connect them together to create the flow. Or, they can add a new web application so that developers can use it to create new flows.

Wappwolf flow

For non programmers Wappwolf has a couple options. They can use any of the existing workflows, or they can submit their app flow request to the Wappwolf forum. The forum serves as a great place for developers to see what workflows are of interest for their next project.

Developers actually have the opportunity to make money from their flows. When they create a new web applicationthey can set a fee, measured in credits, for each use of their flow. Pricing for credits is still being established but users will be able to purchase them to utilize the document flows.

Wappwolf is an innovative solution to automate document processing. It gives developers the flexibility they need to create workflows for any purpose. The ability to make money makes it a profitable enterprise for developers. It’s also a great place for those who need to process their documents. A better view of Wappwolf is best heard directly from the founder during his featured presentation at DEMO. Be forewarned, it gets a little crazy around the two minute mark.

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