Dear JADE users,
We are pleased to announce the release of the version 3.6 of JADE that we named “Workflows and Agents”.
The name of this release is related to the contemporary release of version 1.0 of WADE (Workflows and Agents Development Environment), a domain independent software platform, built on top of JADE, that gives JADE agents the ability to execute tasks defined according to the workflow metaphor. The key component of the WADE platform is the WorkflowEngineAgent class that extends the basic Agent class of the JADE library embedding a small and lightweight workflow engine. Besides normal JADE behaviours, a WorkflowEngineAgent is therefore able to execute workflows represented according to a WADE specific formalism. This formalism is based on the Java language: a WADE workflow is actually a Java class with a well defined structure. This approach makes it possible to combine the expressiveness of the workflow metaphor with the power of a programming language such as Java, and enables the usage of workflows for system internal logics definition.
In principle WADE supports (notepad-programming) in the sense that there is no hidden stuff that developers can’t control. However, especially considering that one of the main advantages of the workflow approach is the possibility of representing processes in a friendly graphical form, WADE comes with a development environment called WOLF that facilitates the creation of WADE-based application. WOLF is an Eclipse plug-in and as a consequence allows WADE developers to exploit the full power of the Eclipse IDE plus additional WADE-specific features.
WADE and the related documentation can be downloaded from the WADE section of the JADE web site (http://jade.tilab.com/wadeproject).
Considering that this is the first official release of WADE, we are aware that its usability and effectiveness can be significantly improved. For this reason comments and suggestions are very welcome.
A part from all the modifications necessary to support WADE, JADE 3.6 includes a number of improvements such as the possibility of defining topic templates and the preservation of Java primitive types (int/long, float/double) when using JADE ontologies.
New add-ons have also been released such as an improved version of WSIG (Web Service Integration Gateway), the new JADE-Android add-on that allows running JADE agents on the Google Android platform and the Bit Efficient ACL Encoding, Bit Efficient Envelope Encoding and HTTP MTP kindly provided by Telia Sonera in the scope of the CASCOM Project (http://www.ist-cascom.org/).
As usual, a sensible effort was spent in consolidating existing features, fixing bugs, and improving the documentation. Refer to the ChangeLog file on the web site for the full list of changes and improvements in respect to the previous version of JADE.
JADE 3.6 is expected to be fully backward compatible with previous versions.
JADE is distributed OPEN SOURCE by Telecom Italia S.p.A. under the terms of the LGPL Version 2 License and it can be downloaded at http://jade.tilab.com/. JADE (Java Agent Development Framework) is a software framework that simplifies the implementation of multi-agent systems through a middle-ware that complies with the FIPA specifications and through a set of tools that support the debugging and deployment phases. JADE has successfully participated at the FIPA interoperability tests held in Seoul on January 1999 and in London on April 2001, and it has been extensively used within a number of European projects. It is completely implemented in Java language and the minimal software requirement is the version 1.4 of Java.