We've seen in this chapter that, as with any development project, you need to do a little planning before creating an agent. In particular, you must understand the capabilities of the application in question, since it may not be possible to make an application highly available if it has particular characteristics. Furthermore, defining the scope of your project—what the agent will and will not do—will help set realistic expectations when the system is put into production.
You should also understand how an application works: how it is started and stopped, and how it can be monitored without manual intervention. It's important to realize that understanding how an application operates is the most crucial part of integrating it into the cluster framework.
In this chapter we also looked briefly at the various tools available to you for developing agents. We'll look more closely at one of them in the next chapter, "Developing with the SunPlex Agent Builder."