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Online service automates grunt work


A free online service from IBM records step-by-step processes for Web users, then automatically runs those processes, eliminating repetitive or mundane tasks.

Created at the IBM Almaden Research Center and available on alphaWorks, an IBM online community for early adopters, CoScripter enables users to go to a Web site and capture their actions as a “script” which can automatically perform those tasks.

CoScripter simplifies repetitive processes on the Web such as checking email, checking flight arrival times and status, or searching for WI-FI hotspots in the area. 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.

“This new service is an effective means of giving time back to users who have generally lost many hours repeatedly going through the same motions when using the Web,” said Kathy Mandelstein, Director of Worldwide Developer Programs for IBM. “CoScripter not only makes it easier for users to take advantage of the Internet, but it also encourages community and the sharing of information through the Web.”

Businesses also can use CoScripter to document difficult or complex processes and share the recordings with all employees who need them.


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