This section is about suppliers and developers of agents and agent-based applications. However, in many places in this section, both these parties can be interpreted in a (much) broader sense: i.e., "suppliers" can also relate to suppliers of (information) services on the Internet using agents in some way for their service [1], and "developers" can also be related to researchers investigating the agent technique and related areas (such as that of Artificial Intelligence).


Two very important questions with regard to suppliers are who is going to offer agents and why/with what reasons they are doing this. For developers/researchers a very important question is what (functionality) agents will be offering. However, things will get very complicated in the future as both suppliers and developers can play the other's role as well; e.g. a supplier of agent software can do research into agents as well, which it can then use in all sorts of agent applications. And: suppliers and developers can be users of agents too!
It is probably not surprising that this makes it (very) difficult to predict how in the future these separate roles and aims might be intertwined.

[1] e.g. to deliver better services, to collect all sorts of (user) information, or to communicate with other/middle layer agents.

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"Intelligent Software Agents on the Internet" - by Björn Hermans