Near real-time collaborative conceptual modeling on the web
Collaboration during the creation of conceptual models is an integral pillar of design processes in many disciplines. Synchronous collaboration, in particular, has received little attention in the conceptual modeling literature so far. There are many modeling and meta-modeling tools available, however most of these do not support synchronous collaboration, are offered under restrictive licenses, or build on proprietary libraries and technologies. To close this gap, this paper introduces the lightweight meta-modeling framework SyncMeta, which supports near real-time collaborative modeling, meta-modeling and generation of model editors in the Web browser. It employs well-proven Operational Transformation algorithms in a peer-to-peer architecture to resolve conflicts occurring during concurrent user edits. SyncMeta was successfully used to create meta-models of various conceptual modeling languages. An end-user evaluation showed that the editing tools of SyncMeta are considered usable and useful by collaborative modelers.