IBM alphaWorks has posted two new Java tools in XML messaging and intelligent software for developer feedback — SOAP for Java Q and ABLE — as part of IBM’s ongoing efforts to promote open standards on the Internet. SOAP for Java Q XML-based messaging technology has better synergy with other Internet standards than its predecessor. ABLE provides a framework and graphical editor for constructing intelligent software agents in Java. The SOAP specification defines a simple, Internet-friendly way of using XML to send messages and to access services. SOAP is important to e-business because it provides a flexible, natural way of building applications of which pieces are distributed across networks. With XML and SOAP, each business can choose its own internal implementation technology, such as Enterprise JavaBeans, Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM), or traditional languages such as COBOL. In addition to HTTP, SOAP services can now be accessed through a variety of message transports. For example, bindings could be defined to IBM’s MQseries, or to electronic mail messages (SMTP). SOAP data representations and structures have been aligned with the proposed W3C XML Schema language, and it is now possible to apply those encodings in a much broader range of message patterns (e.g., streaming, one-way, multicast, etc). Using SOAP, any business can access a service, such as a parts catalog, or send a purchase order, to or from any other business. SOAP makes it easy to bind to the programming language or object system of the developer’s choice. SOAP’s built-in support for Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) also makes it easy to invoke methods on remote objects, using XML and HTTP, so developers can use SOAP to create distributed systems within their own organizations. This posting on alphaWorks is in Java, and is designed to work well with Websphere and other servlet-based systems. IBM and Tivoli’s ABLE is an agent construction toolkit based on the JavaBean architecture. Targeted to the needs of Java application developers, academicians and researchers working on intelligent agent software, ABLE provides an extendable library of JavaBean software components, called AbleBeans, that includes inferencing and learning algorithms. ABLE’s graphical Agent Editor allows users to quickly construct and test intelligent agents. The library of reusable AbleBeans provides forward and backward chaining inferencing, fuzzy reasoning, genetic search algorithms, and neural network learning capabilities. Application developers can focus on the unique requirements of their application and use the intelligent AbleBean components to create solutions. ABLE is designed to allow Java application developers to easily construct hybrid intelligent agents out of IBM and third-party software components. ABLE provides a flexible mechanism for integrating software agents with Java client and web applications.