This section shortly describes how you can define, develop and start your first agent-based "application". Even this is a very simple example, it will demonstrate the principle on how you can extend Agent.Workbench with your own agents and further user functions. Since the workbench is based on OSGI / Eclipse bundles, you have to develope OSGI plug-ins for your agent projects too. In the course of the text we are mixing-up these terms from time to time, but their meaning is the same (plug-in = bundle). For further reading and a practical introduction into the modularity concept of OSGI, we recommend to read this tutorial: http://www.vogella.com/tutorials/OSGi/article.html.
Eclipse Projects & Agent.Workbench Projects: We would like to mention here that, in the context of Agent.Workbench and Eclipse, the word "project" is used with two meanings. Since Agent.Workbench handles agents or Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) as self-containing projects on one hand site, also Eclipse uses the term "project" for Java or plug-in developments. This, in turn, makes it sometimes misleading, if we speak about an "agent project" in general. More precisely, we have to distinguish these project types to avoid a lingusitic misunderstanding.
As a prerequisite, we assume that you have an installed Agent.Workbench and an Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that enables you to develop plug-ins (an IDE that enables Java developments only, wil not be sufficient). For further details see the Getting Started tutorial.
In short words: Our goal here is to create an Eclipse-Plug-in and a first agent, start and debug this agent from the Eclipse IDE and finally, to export the developed agent into a Agent.Workbench project so that the agent application can work on its own (without the IDE). For this the following steps are to be done:
Create a new Plug-in-Project in the Eclipse IDE.
Create an Agent: Define your desired package structure and create your first agent class.
Define a Debug-Configuration
Debug an Agent:
Export your agent bundle / plugin into the workbench's project directory and Agent.Workbench standalone. Open the above defined workbench project and have a look at the tabs [Resources] and [Agents], where you will find your exported bundle and your first agent.
Define a setup and start your agent application.