In an unprecedented move by a Fortune 500 company, Hewlett-Packard Company has made its e-speak source code freely available to software developers and the public via the Internet at http://www.e-speak.net.
More than 1,000 software developers are working with HP to develop applications on the e-speak platform; HP also is working with more than 100 business partners to create e-speak services. Examples of such businesses include an engineer dispatch e-service by Ericsson and a multimedia broker for training services by Helsinki Telephone.
According to Rajiv Gupta, HP's chief architect of e-speak, "Just as HTML gave rise to a new set of economic models that radically transformed e-business in Chapter 1 of the Internet, we expect a whole new wave of business models and revenue opportunities to emerge as the Net leaps off the PC and into our daily lives. By open-sourcing e-speak, HP is providing the technology underpinnings for creating a new breed of intelligent services and appliances. We aim to make it possible for requests for services to be automatically brokered, bid and transacted on the Net, from any device."
E-speak, announced by HP in May, is an Internet software technology platform developed by HP Labs designed to revolutionize the way people and businesses use the Net. Much like how HTML made it easy for people to find and access information anywhere on the World Wide Web, e-speak will make it possible to request and locate services on the Net.
E-speak is central to HP's vision of evolving the Internet from a collection of Web sites accessed with a PC to a network of nimble interconnected e-services that come together on-the-fly to solve a problem, meet a need or complete a task. E-speak will make it possible for Internet systems and services to have intelligent conversations. For example, not only will people be able to put out a request to identify a restaurant with room for four, they'll be able to book the reservation instantly from any Internet device.
The e-speak development project has succeeded in leveraging existing technologies and standards. Therefore, even some of the key innovations in e-speak, such as the specification of negotiation policies and contracts that programs can understand and execute, use existing standard protocols such as XML. Leveraging HP's stewardship of open systems, e-speak supports key technologies to accommodate a heterogeneous operating environment:
-- E-speak complements device-to-device communication, such as HP's Chai, Sun's Jini and Microsoft(R)'s UpnP.
-- E-speak leverages key collaborative technology-standardization efforts, such as RosettaNet, ontology.net and Microsoft's BizTalk.
-- E-speak utilizes open technology standards on the Internet, including XML, LDAP, HTTP, WAP, SSL, SLP and SNMP.
The e-speak development project has also spawned several new technologies. The most significant innovation in e-speak is the simple but powerful service abstractions presented to e-speak users. These abstractions are embodied in a uniform service interface and in a set of uniform service interactions.