ActiveBuddy Introduces Software to Create and Deploy Interactive Agents for Text Messaging; ActiveBuddy Developer Site Now Open: www.BuddyScript.com.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 15, 2002
ActiveBuddy today announced the immediate availability of the BuddyScript SDK (software development kit) for developing interactive agents, and BuddyScript Server Enterprise Edition for deploying interactive agents over text messaging services. Online developers can now create interactive agents like SmarterChild, ActiveBuddy's popular demonstration agent, and make them available to users of public or private messaging networks.
Interactive agents are software applications, often called "bots," that interact with users over Instant Messaging or other text messaging services. ActiveBuddy validated the category of interactive agents on messaging systems in June 2001 with the debut of GooglyMinotaur, an interactive agent created for Capitol Records. SmarterChild, which provides a variety of content and services including movie listings, horoscopes, stock quotes, and games, was also made public in June 2001. Intended as a demonstration of ActiveBuddy technology, SmarterChild attracted more than 8 million Instant Messaging users in one year. ActiveBuddy has applied its technology to many more interactive agents for clients in the past year including New Line Cinema and eBay Inc.
With the release of the BuddyScript SDK and BuddyScript Server, companies can now create and launch interactive agents to add a high level of efficiency to their business operations in addition to communicating with customers. Interactive agents in an enterprise can facilitate everything from human resources functions (answering repetitive employee inquiries like "How many vacation days do I have left?" and "Where can I find a pediatrician in our plan?") to supply-chain logistics ("How many more widgets can we produce with our current parts inventory?") in a conversational way, across a variety of computing platforms that support text messaging.
"ActiveBuddy-powered interactive agents have proven to be enormously successful for our clients, so naturally, we have seen significant interest from developers for a wide range of applications," said Timothy Kay, ActiveBuddy chief technology officer and founder. "Without compromising power, our SDK provides the tools for a knowledge domain expert to quickly create and launch interactive agents."
"We see many opportunities where the combination of messaging and interactive agents can enhance collaboration within the organization and with our sponsors," said Anita King, Multimedia and Collaboration department head at The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit firm that provides systems engineering and information technology support to the government. MITRE, Ogilvy and Reuters Group PLC are among firms testing ActiveBuddy software to develop enterprise solutions.
Interested developers can download the BuddyScript SDK free of charge at www.BuddyScript.com. Available today for Windows and later this summer for Linux, the BuddyScript SDK includes:
-- The BuddyScript IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for developing interactive agents. The IDE includes tools for editing, project management, debugging, and deployment. -- BuddyScript Server Developer Edition, a full-featured server for testing your interactive agent. -- The BuddyScript Library, which provides code for recognizing common English phrases, testing and debugging, and various other tasks. -- The BuddyScript SDK Documentation, including a quick-start tutorial, a developer's guide, and a complete reference manual. -- Sample interactive agents, demonstrating a wide range of BuddyScript features and illustrating potential applications for enterprise and consumer-facing agents.
BuddyScript.com provides additional resources for the developer, including discussion forums so that developers can exchange information.
"We are convinced of the enormous potential for interactive agents for customer service applications, so we have invested heavily in developing BuddyScript expertise," said Will Bernstein, president of Digital Enterprise Systems of Studio City, Calif., an ActiveBuddy value added reseller. "An automated point of contact available 24/7 is a no-brainer decision for any company dedicated to engaging its customers."
BuddyScript Server Enterprise Edition enables companies to deploy interactive agents within the enterprise, delivering maximum performance and reliability. BuddyScript Server logs an interactive agent into one or more messaging networks, where it offers users fast, easy access to information and services. Once the agent is online, users interact with it by sending and receiving text messages, just as they communicate with their coworkers and business partners over the same messaging networks. BuddyScript Server is compatible with all major public instant messaging services, and also includes an HTTP module for deploying interactive agents on Web pages. BuddyScript Server handles all aspects of running an interactive agent, including connectivity, message routing, data access, message formatting, user and session management, and detailed usage tracking.
ActiveBuddy is the leading provider of software for developing and hosting interactive agents, or software robots that "live" in any text-messaging environment. Marketers, content and service providers, and businesses use ActiveBuddy-powered interactive agents to increase the volume and quality of personal interactions with customers and employees without driving up the cost of personal service. ActiveBuddy's customers include eBay, Ford Motor Company, Keebler, Warner Bros. Records, NewLine Cinema, Ogilvy Worldwide, Reuters, and Lagardere Active's ElleGirl. Founded in March 2000, ActiveBuddy is based in New York, N.Y., and Sunnyvale, Calif.