Aglets is a Java mobile agent platform and library that eases the development of agent based applications. An aglet is a Java agent able to autonomously and spountanously move from one host to another.
Originally developed at the IBM Tokio Research Laboratory, the Aglets technology is now hosted at sourceforge.net as open source project, where it is distributed under the IBM Public License. Aglets is completely made in Java, granting an high portability of both the agents and the platform.
Aglets includes both a complete Java mobile agent platform, with a stand-alone server called Tahiti, and a library that allows developer to build mobile agents and to embed the Aglets technology in their applications.
Aglets has been developed at the IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory (TRL) from Mitsuro Oshima and Danny Lange. The original name of the project was AWB, that stands for Aglets WorkBench, changed then simply in Aglets. IBM was responsible for the most of the 1.x releases, while from the version 2.x Aglets is totally open source and is hosted at Sourceforge.net. The web page of the original project, still hosted at TRL, issues:
Think of the Internet as a distributed, massively parallel supercomputer that connects information repositories, databases, intelligent agents, and mobile code. Imagine sending your own personalized agents to roam the Internet. They will monitor your favorite Web sites, get you the ticket you couldn't get at the box office, or help you to schedule meetings for your next overseas trip.
Aglets is not the only one mobile agent development kit, but it is quite simple to learn and to use, and this probably helped its spread. Aglets has been immediatly involved in the realization of TabiCan, a kind of virtual agent-populated travel agency.
Unfortunately, after a good start, IBM decided to give Aglets to the open source community, and this is when SourceForge appears. In the beginning, the SourceForge releases have been only bug-fix ones, but then something changed and the library version evolved to the 2.x series.
The 2.x thread has new improvments in the security management, and is more compatible with the Java 2 security mechanism than the 1.x releases. Furthermore, it includes a log4j based logging system and a few bug-fixes of the older version.
After a couple of releases in the 2.x branch, the development stopped again. Now, starting from the 2.0.2 release, the development is going to restart, so stay tuned for newer versions!