We are pleased to announce the release of version 4.2 of JADE and 3.1 of WADE.
As far as JADE is concerned the main enhancement focuses on the Back-End Management Service that manages split containers using asynchronous I/O and ensures high scalability. Several improvements and fixes where introduced so that a single instance of the service can now handle thousands of split containers in a robust and efficient way. Other noteworthy improvements regard the Web Service Integration Gateway (WSIG) Add-On that was modified to support the most common types of security (basic and SSL authentication and WS-Security) and the Miscellaneous Add-On where a ready-made file management feature was made available.
Since the last few years, however, the biggest effort of the JADE Team is dedicated to WADE, the extension of JADE that allows defining agent tasks as workflows. This release in particular includes:
- The support for interactive workflows, i.e. workflows that guide a user through the steps of a procedure that may follow different branches depending on user inputs. More in details this feature involves an Interaction Description Framework comprising a set of classes designed to specify an abstract description of each user interaction step and an Interactivity FrontEnd module responsible for presenting the interaction forms to the user and managing user inputs. Two implementations of the Interactivity FrontEnd module exist at present: one for the Android Operating System to be used inside applications running in Android terminals and the other for ZK-OS to be used inside web applications based on that technology. This new feature is fully described in the tutorial Exploiting Interactive Workflows on Android devices.
- The support for “Wait Multiple Case” activities, i.e. activities where a workflow suspends waiting for different types of event. As soon as one of such events occur the workflow is resumed and the event parameters (if any) are made available for processing.
- Many improvements in the Wolf graphical development environment such as new wizards to create workflows as well as WADE projects, the workflow reference feature that retrieves all references to a given workflow and several fixes that make the tool more robust and user friendly.
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 and WADE.
JADE 4.2 and WADE 3.1 are expected to be fully backward compatible with previous versions.
JADE and WADE are distributed OPEN SOURCE by Telecom Italia S.p.A. under the terms of the LGPL Version 2 License and 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 5 of Java.