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Online Auction companies have opened up their applications to third party application developers to extend the capabilities and increase revenue. API interfaces were developed using XML which enable third party developers to build applications that use the back-end of the online auction.
Economists use special software to study human behavior in auctions by running auctions in a lab. There are diverse software tools for laboratory economic experiments, which allow fast programming of auctions. For instance, z-Tree programming language allows programming an experimental double auction in less than a day. This practise led to appearance of multiple scientific publications exposing results for generalized second price auctions, Dutch auctions, all-pay auctions and other auction types.
Blockchains with smart contract like Ethereum functionality allow definition, execution and enforcement of auctions between untrusted parties without the involvement of a trusted third party. A smart contract is code that is executed on top of the blockchain. Blockchain auction ensure transparency and prevent cheating by auctioneers and collusion by bidders.
Auction sniping software
Auction sniping can be done by software on the bidder's computer, or by an online sniping service. eBay Germany banned automated sniping services in 2002, but the ban was declared illegal by Berlin's County Court, and revoked.