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The University of Otago Studies
Agents and Software Tool Integration

At the University of Otago in New Zealand, researchers are trying to demonstrate the benefits of using agents in the area of software tool integration, using university course administration as an experimental domain. They are building agent wrappers for existing tools such as a VMS-based central records system, a dBase course database and various Delphi, DOS and Excel tools and applications for retrieving and formatting information such as student marks. They are using Java to write front-end programs for existing tools (such as Excel) so that they can communicate with other agents. Amzi! Prolog is being used in the heart of the facilitator agent to store information about other agents and their capabilities and needs. The facilitator agent is key to the operation of the system, because it is the center point where agents register the services they have to offer and submit requests to find other agents to perform particular services.
University of Otago, Software Agents Research Group

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