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Configurable Data Querying via Sametime Connect Instant Messaging and Lotus Notes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012991D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-12

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The following research disclosure is based on the generic implementation of a query 'Bot' (robot), an automated process that is used to perform the task of querying data sources within a the Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging (IM) environment. For the purpose of this disclosure it is necessary to define the following terms: Bot: Application that automates processes within an IM environment IM User: A human user of an IM environment. Someone that initiates IM conversations with a bot IM Server: A server (or combination of servers) that provides a central point for IM Users to log into, and send messages to each other Instant Messaging provides for ad hoc conversations in a real time environment. An IM 'chat' session will be held usually between 2 or more IM Users, logged into a common environment that supports a chat facility. Users within these environments are identifiable by having a unique identifier, similar to an email address. Messages sent between users predominantly will consist of, but are not limited to, text. It is also possible to have applications logged into these environments. These applications masquerade as users and provide the ability to automate processes. Since it is a messaging environment part of these processes must include functionality to send and receive messages. It is these automated processes and applications that earn the term 'bots'. As well as receiving and sending messages, bots will usually perform actions with the messages that they will receive, and send messages back to other users. A standard scenario of interaction for a bot would be: a) An IM User sends a message to a bot b) The bot processes the message c) The bot send a response back to the IM User This invention disclosure represents an implementation of a Bot whose specific task is to perform queries of data sources at the request of IM Users. There are other Bots that perform queries of data sources, however, this particular Bot is unique in the following ways: 1) The Bot is based on an open standard for deployment, written in Java. 2) The Bot utilizes the Sametime Instant Messaging Platform from Lotus Corporation. 3) It uses the concept of a shared Query Repository. The instruction set for the Bot is not hardcoded into the Bot itself. Rather the bot interprets commands and parameters from messages sent by IM Users, and uses these commands and parameters in conjunction with the shared query repository to determine where and what data should be returned. This makes the Bot generic in nature. It is not restricted to a fixed set of queries, or specific business purpose for those queries. It is possible to create queries for different data sets within the same shared query repository. The shared query repository is based around Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes integrates well with Sametime Instant Messaging and Java.

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Configurable Data Querying via Sametime Connect Instant Messaging and Lotus Notes

1. Technology Summary The following is a summary of technologies used in the functioning of the Bot: Technology Platform Type Usage Lotus Sametime Services Instant Messaging

Provides the 'place' for users to Serverconnect. The Bot connects to this place as a user.

Java 'Bot' Custom

                    Connects to the Lotus Sametime ApplicationServices. Processes messages from users as requests for data. Interacts with the Query Repository. This technology piece has been built specifically for the data querying function
Lotus Notes/Domino Server The Lotus Notes/Domino Server provides a location to host Lotus Notes databases. This is in the same physical location as the Bot

Query Repository Custom

A Lotus Notes application that Applicationresides on the Lotus/Domino Server.

                               Stores queries that can be used multiple times by the Bot. This technology piece has been built specifically for the data querying function
Lotus Notes Databases Application Lotus Notes Databases can be used as sources of data for querying. Queries can be created in the Query Repository that will be run against a Lotus Notes data source

Relational Databases Application /

Relational Databases can be used as Serversources of data for querying. Queries can be created in the Query Repository that will be run against a relational data source

The following sections contain descriptions of the custom built items

1a) Query Repository The Query Repository is a Lotus Notes databases that stores queries for use by the Query Bot. These queries are indexed by the name of a command.

Having a repository of this nature provides for the following: * Removal of hardcoded query logic from the application * The ability to configure queries within a user friendly interface * Having a storage mechanism where other pieces of data that are pertinent to the Bot application can be stored

The Query Repository supports the following query types:

Lotus Notes queries to gather fielded data from a single document by using a key to

search the first sorted column of a Lotus Notes Database view. Lotus Notes queries to gather fielded data from one or more documents using the

'Search' feature in conjunction with one or more parameters. Lotus Notes queries to gather fielded data from one or more documents using the


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2.


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4.

table using an SQL Select statement.

Each query in the Query Repository is indexed by a command name. This equates to a command that an IM user can input in their message to the Bot.

Each command is contained within a separate lotus notes document within the Query Repository, and these can be created and viewed using Views within the Query Repository

The following is a list of configurable fields in a command: Field Type Options Mandat Descriptionory

Comm
Editableand Y The name of the command to be used. This is an index value used for looking up a command


Param
Editableeters Y Number of Parameters to us...