|Lesson 6||Search agents and price-bots|
|Objective||Explain the use of search agents in eBusiness applications.|
Agents and bots can be used in many different ways in
eBusiness applications. The FlipBook below describes some of the ways in which bots can be used.
As we've discussed in the Slide Show above, bots can actively and dynamically cooperate to problem-solve, complete tasks, and arrive at solutions
despite incomplete or inconsistent knowledge or data. It has been argued by some that bots are harmless, by others that they are intrusive, and yet
others that they are even destructive.
Because bots can be intrusive, supply erroneous or redundant information, or slow down the performance of sites, they should be deployed with care. Some sites block-out the use of bots altogether or have trust and distrust lists of approved and disallowed bots. Standards are starting to emerge that specify what a bot can and cannot do.
As an architect, you must consider the potential benefit of bots and agents for your solution, but also their limitations. Bots may interfere with content, or interrogate your information in their site; you should consider how the site will be referenced by bots or agents to ensure appropriate representation.
For additional information on the use of bots on the Web, check the Resources page.
Some companies are already deploying intelligent agent technology to turn Web hits into business relationships, to connect suppliers and customers
with core business, and to use profiling and analysis to surface emerging patterns in their data. Others use bots to automatically retrieve
information (i.e., stock prices, news, sports scores, weather, and so on) from Web sites for repackaging and inclusion in other Web sites. Some of
this information is clearly copyright-protected, and some is not.
What are the issues concerning copyright, branding, and accuracy/legality for this third-party information? Where else do Web bots and intelligent agents have potential and actual application for gaining competitive advantage?