Video: 2 minute intro; Tutorial: Worked examples; Help: Contents

Feb 11, 2010

Real-time collaboration overview

bCisive Online offers orderly real-time collaboration.  Multiple site members can access a Space simultaneously, but only one will be in control at any one time.

However, the other occupants will be able to see that person adding and moving boxes around in real-time, and everyone gets a remote pointer to gesture with while they talk over an audio link (e.g. try our click-to-Skype integration):

Learn more about the details of bCisive Online's features for real-time collaboration here.

What you can do when you're not in control

In a real-time collaboration session you may be in control, hence able to edit the workspace and everything else besides.  When you're not in control there are still several useful things that you can do:
  1. Explore the workspace by panning and zooming
  2. Use remote pointing and audio tools to contribute to the discussion
  3. Request control

Using remote pointing

When you're in a Space, but you are not in Control you can still point with your mouse, and other occupants of the space will see what you are referring to:

This feature is mainly intended to be used in conjunction with an audio link.  Here Dan Prager is gesturing from a remote computer, and making a verbal point about the Question over an audio link.


  • The Pointer of the person in control appears in red, everyone else's pointer appears in purple
  • You can't see your own pointer: you just see your regular mouse pointer

Using audio and video tools with bCisive Online

Real-time collaboration with bCisive Online works best with an audio link (video is nice too).  You can use whatever service you and your colleagues prefer.  The simplest choice right now is Skype, which is now integrated with bCisive Online to allow one click calls.

With an audio hook-up to other participants your remote pointer becomes a real aid to discussion.   It allows you to point at a box on the workspace with your remote pointer, and everyone can see what you're referring to, whether you are in control, or not.

Also,  the power to edit the space can be passed around in an orderly fashion.

Passing around control

When multiple people are inside a Space, only one person at a time can edit.  That user is in control.   It's a lot like the idea of a talking stick, where only the stick-holder can talk; here only the person in control can edit.

Members and owners of the space can be "given control", and "request control", while viewers and guests cannot.

Any changes made by whoever is in control of the space can be seen in real-time, by everyone:
  • boxes fly around and reconnect
  • the position of the controller's mouse cursor is visible in red as an arrow (see below);  other participants remote pointers  may also be visible in the workspace (not shown)
Here's the view of someone not in control:

The grey background is an additional cue to tell you that you cannot edit, unless you gain control.

Who's in the Space?

From the Spaces area in the Home page of your site, you can expand the information about a Space by clicking on its black triangle:

Among other things, this tells you who is in the space -- the current occupants.  If you now enter the space you should be able to engage in real-time interaction with them.

From inside the Space, click on the Occupants drop-down to get a listing:

Feb 9, 2010

Edging towards commercial launch

Starting tomorrow -- with the new look for bCisive Online -- we will be rolling out updates culminating in commercial launch.

For posterity, here is a comparison of the old public page,

 and its replacement:

To follow later this month, before we remove the "beta" insignia:
  • Free sites will continue to be available, but we will be restricting the number of Spaces per site, probably to 3.
  • Pricing: Expect a base rate of around $25 per user per month / $250 per user per year
  • Lots of tweaks and improvements