Combing the Deep Web to stay compliant

MassHousing has migrated to the Agent Community Gen2 platform from Connotate, the company announced this week.

Formerly known as the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, MassHousing, which provides affordable housing to Massachusetts, began using Connotate's Intelligent Software Agents in 2006 to comply with contract terms from the Housing and Urban Development Department.

Connotate's technology mines the Deep Web, the 500 billion or so Web pages that rarely show up in Web searches, the company said.

MassHousing uses the intelligent agents to automate compliance monitoring and reporting details provided by HUD to process hundreds of contracts each month, Connotate officials said.

'Connotate Agents play a vital role in our administration and compliance efforts of Section 8 contracts,' said Jim McCaughey, MassHousing's IT manager. 'Agents monitor the hundreds of Deep Web pages where compliance bindings can change on the HUD Web site. Since deploying Connotate's Agents, we've never missed a contract milestone and we've transformed a highly manual process into an automated process, freeing up staff resources to take on more critical roles.'

MassHousing administers more than 600 Section 8 contracts each month, Connotate representatives said. Using Intelligent Software Agents, MassHousing employees can find compliance term changes posted deep within the HUD Web site and present the data in a single report for the rental housing business staff, subsidiary administrators and contract administration team.

Connotate's software agents can do anything a human can do to mine, monitor, analyze, mashup and deliver high-value content, the company said. Gen2 users who lack programming experience can create an intuitive graphical user interface. Content can be delivered via XML, RSS, e-mail, text messaging, file systems and direct feeds to SQL databases and Excel spreadsheets, Connotate said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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