Internet bots are computer programs that perform easy, repetitive tasks. Bots are often used in business, since they can take care of monotonous jobs quicker than an actual person could. Some bots can work on one computer while being controlled by another remote computer. While there are seemingly endless languages for programming scripts and many types of bots to choose from, there are a few basics to follow when planning your bot and writing the script.
Choose the type of bot to create. Bots can do such tasks as send out an auto-answer instant messages, search the Internet for keywords, compile research notes, or send out bulk emails.
Select the type of programming script that will be used to write the bot. Just about any programming language can be used to create a bot, so it’s best to choose one that’s already familiar. Examples of programming languages are C, TCL, Perl and Python.
Look up the different script commands available for the programming language of choice.
Read bot scripts written in the programming language to see how other computer programmers have written their own bot scripts.
Write the script to respond to “On” commands. This means that the bot will react in a certain way to certain events. For example, an instant message bot can write back to a “Hello” message from a client with, “Please hold for the next available service representative” or “Type in your troubleshooting question.”
Tips & Warnings
- Start slowly. Instead of trying to create a bot that has several different functions right away, start with one function and test it. Add new functions as you get more familiar with script writing.
- An alternative option to writing a script is to use a public-domain script that was written by another computer programmer, and add to it or alter it to customize it for your specific purposes. There are several websites that offer these scripts.
- While bots can be time-savers in business, they can also slow down a computer. Running a bot is like having an additional user working from the same computer.
- When copying a bot from an Internet source, beware of malicious software. Some bots are used to jam up computer networks and open up “backdoors,” or holes in the computer’s security system. This is how some hackers or viruses infect your computer. These types of bots can also be used to scalp tickets or increase the prices of online auctions, and using a bot for these reasons is illegal and subject to penalty.
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