IBM tool simplifies the web

IBM has launched a free online service designed to automate users' daily internet activities.

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IBM has launched a free online service designed to automate users' daily internet activities.

Called CoScripter, the tool records the processes internet users do regularly, then reruns them automatically, eliminating the need to repeatedly perform the same searches and tasks.

CoScripter was created at the IBM Almaden Research Center and is available on IBM's AlphaWorks site. AlphaWorks gives early adopters access to new software from IBM's research and development labs.

CoScripter enables users to go to a website and captures their actions as a script, which then can automatically perform those tasks. The information can also be shared with other users, IBM said.

"CoScripter simplifies repetitive common daily processes on the web such as checking email, checking flight arrival times and status, or searching for Wi-Fi hot spots in the area," IBM said in a statement. "The service uses a technique called 'programming by demonstration' to capture the steps of a process by watching people do it and recording those steps into a script. The scripts are integrated with a wiki, so they are easily shared with other users."

IBM said the service gives back time to users who have spent many hours online doing the same actions and tasks.

Although developed for consumers, IBM said CoScripter can also be used by companies that want to be competitive in the Web 2.0 marketplace, where conducting repetitive tasks online is commonplace.

"It streamlines the process of doing tasks and eliminates the need to spend hours conducting the same searches on the internet," IBM said. "This saves the companies money, as their resources are no longer wrapped up conducting repetitive tasks online."

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