Effective large-scale E-commerce will require significantly many more applications, and more flexible systems to address the ever growing needs of customers and business. Reusable component and framework techniques must be augmented with a variety of flexible systems based on autonomous agent components and dynamically composed services.
We are building an experimental multi-player e-commerce game, in which agents represent buyers, sellers, brokers and services of various kinds. This is a controlled vehicle for experimenting with alternative individual and group economic strategies, and different agent and component technologies. Software agents are a specialized kind of distributed component, offering greater flexibility than traditional components. We are integrating several technologies, including components, agents, workflow, software busses, UML, XML, Java, aspects and HP E-Speak.'