I finally received my Blueprint beta account on the weekend, although I haven't had time to do much more than sign in, and there was an interactive webinar today for about 20 beta testers to see the new features in this release, and hear a few things about what will be in the GA release on April 30th.
New in this release:
- To do list on the home page.
- Some easier-to-use UI controls.
- Enhancements to collaboration to allow you to see who's viewing a project right now and who's online (via Google Talk), and provide the ability to easily invite new collaborators.
- In the process view, there is a wiki-type view to add documentation to a process, which will appear in the PowerPoint presentation that you generate from this process.
- The process outline now generates a more detailed BPMN model of the process, although it looks like it doesn't support some of the more complex BPMN structures such as transactions (I'll check this out in the product myself soon).
- You can view differences between versions of a process.
In the GA release, they'll be adding BPDM export so that the processes modelled here can be imported into a BPM execution environment such as TeamWorks, but no round-tripping from TeamWorks back into Blueprint until the next version of TeamWorks is released in May. I'm not sure if that means that Blueprint can't import BPDM or if TW just can export it, but I think that they're still working on how to do the round-tripping without losing any information that might be added on in the TW environment.
I asked about a shared process repository between Blueprint and TeamWorks, and it sounds like it's something that they're thinking about or working on, but no definite dates. Ideally (in my mind), there should be an option for a shared model so that there's no round-tripping at all, but that Blueprint and TW just provide different views on the same model.
I also asked about support for other IM clients besides Google Talk (since Skype is my fave): they're looking at alternatives, and suggested that I throw my suggestion in via the feedback functionality within the product. I guess that I really need to get on and start playing around with it soon :)