To allow Internet users to find, collect and manipulate information available on the Web, different
solutions have been studied which aim at simplifying the interface as much as possible (search engines)
or even acting on the users’ behalf (software agents). Nevertheless, there is a range of applications
where the overload involved in training an adaptive intelligent system would be unacceptable, while a
traditional browsing approach would result in tiresome, time-consuming effort. This paper shows how a
general purpose data-flow visual programming environment can be effectively used to implement Web applications.
While aiming at building advanced multimedia tools, this approach enforces direct manipulation of visual objects
as a key component of Internet applications development. After a general introduction to basic issues such as
personalized services, software agents and data-flow visual programming, the attention will be shifted to
practical examples, in order to get real insights of the proposed approach.