RealTime IT News

ActiveBuddy Turns to Developers

Looking to spread the gospel about its BuddyScript SDK for the making of instant messaging bots, New York-based ActiveBuddy is seeking help from an unlikely source.

ActiveBuddy, which makes IM bots that run on AOL's AIM and Microsoft's MSN Messenger platforms on Monday launched two incentive-based programs for developers who market the BuddyScript bot-making kit.

The move to target developers with the incentive programs comes at a crucial time for ActiveBuddy. Immediately after the company won a crucial patent covering all aspects of the IM bot technology, developers heavily criticized the patenting process, arguing that the availability of prior art renders the patent unenforceable.

Despite the public relations nightmare, ActiveBuddy is pressing ahead with its BuddyScript Certified Developer Program, which provides developers with "significant marketing benefits in recognition of their expertise using the BuddyScript language to create interactive agents."

The company, which is backed by Reuters and Wit Soundview, said more than 3000 developers had downloaded the free BuddyScript SDK since July and those certified developers who recommend and implement the software customers are eligible for discounts to resellers based on annual sales of BuddyScript Server products.

The company did not provide details on the discounts or referral fees.

In addition to marketing benefits, developers spreading the BuddyScript program can find listing on the BuddyScript home page and the use of the 'BuddyScript Certified Developers' logo for their web sites and other communications.

To become certified, ActiveBuddy said a developer must submit a complete interactive agent application for review. After evaluation to verify the developer's mastery of the BuddyScript language, interactive agent design principles, and techniques for integrating agents with external data providers and applications, certification is granted, the company explained.

ActiveBuddy's news also comes as instant messaging plays are discussing the use of IM as an enterprise tool at a two-day Conference and Expo sponsored by InstantMessagingPlanet.com, EarthWeb and Jupitermedia Corp. , the parent company of internet.com and this Web site.