Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic Software Dignostics and Resolution System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011623D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Mar-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Mar-10
Document File: 8 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Rafael Diaz: AUTHOR

Abstract

Today’s small, embedded devices such as PDA’s, compact PC’s, 2-way radios, cameras, and cell phone devices have become more and more complicated in both hardware and software components. Specifically, the software in these devices is increasing more and more complex. With this increase complexity comes software issues that are nearly impossible to discover up front during testing before the device leaves the factory. Also, specific factors that can only be duplicated in the field will arise that the testers cannot duplicate in the lab. The result is that software defects in the field will occur and currently, there’s no automatic way for the device to be able to diagnose itself when a problem does occur and have the ability to repair itself when it is possible to do so in the field. This white paper will describe in some detail a method for a communication device to automatically detect a defect/or operational error within its own operating software and automatically attempt to correct this defect or operational error through a series of inquiries of an online knowledge based system. Furthermore, this paper will automatically acquire a known solution (if it exists) and repair itself by automatically downloading the said fix to itself through the network. This paper furthermore describes the method of also presenting the user with alternatives if the exact fix is not discovered and can download workaround solutions or help text showing the user how to get around a known issue until the real solution is found by engineers from the device’s manufacturer.

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Automatic Software Dignostics and Resolution System

By Rafael Diaz

Abstract

Today’s small, embedded devices such as PDA’s, compact PC’s, 2-way radios, cameras, and cell phone devices have become more and more complicated in both hardware and software components. Specifically, the software in these devices is increasing more and more complex. With this increase complexity comes software issues that are nearly impossible to discover up front during testing before the device leaves the factory. Also, specific factors that can only be duplicated in the field will arise that the testers cannot duplicate in the lab. The result is that software defects in the field will occur and currently, there’s no automatic way for the device to be able to diagnose itself when a problem does occur and have the ability to repair itself when it is possible to do so in the field.

This white paper will describe in some detail a method for a communication device to automatically detect a defect/or operational error within its own operating software and automatically attempt to correct this defect or operational error through a series of inquiries of an online knowledge based system. Furthermore, this paper will automatically acquire a known solution (if it exists) and repair itself by automatically downloading the said fix to itself through the network. This paper furthermore describes the method of also presenting the user with alternatives if the exact fix is not discovered and can download workaround solutions or help text showing the user how to get around a known issue until the real solution is found by engineers from the device’s manufacturer.

The Current Problem

Today, the user must report the problem to the service provider or service shop. The service shop must then report the problem to the field engineers or sales person whom they originally got the device from. Then the field people have to report this problem back to the device manufacturer who then eventually reports this back to the department in charge of that particular device’s software where the attempt to re-construct the problem and resolve it is done. The resolution cycle is then to reverse the process and therefore incur the expense of re-calling devices from the field and re-flashing the software. This invention will short cycle this process by having the device diagnose itself, report the problem in real time to the service center (if possible), and be able to fix itself by downloading the appropriate patch software if the problem is something that has already been resolved previously. Another related problem this paper describes and attempts to resolve, is when, in fact, a known problem does occur in the device, the user may have an option to work around the problem if they knew what to do. This paper shows a method which take cares of the case where a known problem is reported to a central knowledge database by the user’s device and the user is automatically sent a text messa...