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Cross-System File Transfer Mechanism with Caching

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011970D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Mar-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Mar-27
Document File: 6 page(s) / 149K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for transferring files between two remote systems using caching. This method makes the transfer of files between different remote systems seamless to a user on a local workstation by encapsulating the task of downloading remote files from one remote system to the local system before uploading those files to a second remote system. The intermediate files stored on the local workstation serve as a reusable cache allowing the performance of file transfers between systems to effectively improve whenever upload operations require files that have already been downloaded.

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Cross-System File Transfer Mechanism with Caching

   Almost all computer users need to manage files. Users need to create, delete, edit, copy, move and rename files. For the most part, managing files is a trivial operation when all the files reside on the same local computer. Modern desktops provide intuitive interfaces for working with files on the local system. For example, copy and move operations may be performed via drag and drop or via clipboard copy mechanisms. The task becomes more complex when users need to manage, not only local files, but remote files. It becomes especially complex when multiple users work on these computers and files need to be moved from one remote system to another.

There are many client tools that are used for transferring files from one place to another. Typical file transfer tools allow the transfer of files between a remote machine and the local machine. Protocols, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol), may be used as the underlying transport layer, while the client tools provide interfaces for specifying and managing the transfer.

Terminology: A: The originating remote system B: The destination remote system L: The local system

F(A): a specific file on system A F(B): a specific file on system B F-temp(A): a local copy of the file F(A)

The following describes the process a user goes through in transferring files from one remote machine
(A) to another (B), via his/her local machine (L): start a tool and use it to locate the remote file F(A) on system A

use the tool to locate a temporary location on local system L

using the tool, download the remote file F(A) on system A to a temporary file F-temp(A) on system L

start the tool again and use it to locate the temp file F-temp(A) on system L

use the tool to locate the remote file location on system B

using the tool, upload the temp file F-temp(A) on system L to the remote file location F(B) on system


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There are two key problems in this scenario. More work than usual, when working only with local files, is required of the user and the task is not optimal.

Problem 1: Poor Usability

From the user's point of view, the problem with this scenario is that the tool is not able to facilitate the whole intended operation of the user, it is only able to be used in subtasks. For each remote system, the tool is used for selecting a remote and local resource and issuing the file transfer. But the user really doesn't care about the local resource F-temp(A), it is just assumed that he/she has to do this task in two phases.

What user wants to do: transfer file F(A) from system A to system B

What user has to do: transfer file F(A) from system A to system L (local machine) transfer file F-temp(A) from system L to system B

Problem 2: Poor Performance

The other problem here is one of performance. The transfer of a file from system A to system B involves not one transfer, but two: one to download from system A to the user's machine and a second to upload...