IEEE Internet Computing, 1(4):58-67, IEEE Computer Society Press, 7, 1997. Website abstract bibtex
Mobile computers have become increasingly popular as users discover the benefits of having their electronic work available at all times. However, because network conditions vary from connection to connection, using Internet resources from a mobile platform is a major challenge. Mobile agents are one solution. A mobile agent is an autonomous program that can move from machine to machine in a heterogeneous network under its own control. It can suspend its execution at any point, transport itself to a new machine, and resume execution on the new machine from the point at which it left off. On each machine, it interacts with service agents and other resources to accomplish its task, returning to its home site with a final result when that task is finished. Agent Tcl is a mobile-agent system whose agents can be written in Tcl, Java, and Scheme. Agent Tcl has extensive navigation and communication services, security mechanisms, and debugging and tracking tools. In this article we focus on Agent Tcl's architecture and security mechanisms, its RPC system, and its docking system, which lets an agent move transparently among mobile computers, regardless of when they are connected to the network.