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Technique for describing dynamically constrained user groups

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014389D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 82K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a technique for describing dynamically constrained user groups. This invention provides an implementation independent mechanism for serializing dynamic constraints that are used to describe a group of people. A group of people can either be described by preparing a list of specific people, or alternatively one or more constraints can be defined. Anyone who satisfies all of the constraints automatically belongs to the group of people. This invention is only concerned with groups that are described be specifying constraints. In order to implement a function that will evaluate the constraints and determine if a specific user is part of a dynamically constrained group, a rules engine, a database query, or some other mechanism could be used. This implementation is beyond the scope of this invention. The dynamic constraints used to describe a group of people can be arbitrarily complex but can always be expressed as a single boolean expression. This invention describes a mechanism for storing the constraints as a boolean expression in XML format.

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Technique for describing dynamically constrained user groups

   Disclosed is a technique for describing dynamically constrained user groups. This invention provides an implementation independent mechanism for serializing dynamic constraints that are used to describe a group of people.

A group of people can either be described by preparing a list of specific people, or alternatively one or more constraints can be defined. Anyone who satisfies all of the constraints automatically belongs to the group of people. This invention is only concerned with groups that are described be specifying constraints.

In order to implement a function that will evaluate the constraints and determine if a specific user is part of a dynamically constrained group, a rules engine, a database query, or some other mechanism could be used. This implementation is beyond the scope of this invention.

The dynamic constraints used to describe a group of people can be arbitrarily complex but can always be expressed as a single boolean expression. This invention describes a mechanism for storing the constraints as a boolean expression in XML format.

The document type definition is as follows:

<!DOCTYPE constraints [

<!ELEMENT constraints (orListCondition | andListCondition | simpleCondition | trueCondition)>

<!ELEMENT orListCondition (not?, (orListCondition | andListCondition | simpleCondition)+)>

<!ELEMENT andListCondition (not?, (orListCondition | andListCondition | simpleCondition)+)>

<!ELEMENT simpleCondition (not?, variable, operator, value)>

<!ELEMENT trueCondition (not?)>

<!ELEMENT not EMPTY>

<!ELEMENT variable EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST variable name CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT operator EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST operator name CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT value EMPTY>

<!ATTLIST value data CDATA #REQUIRED> ]>

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The constraints element can contain one of the following four elements: orListCondition - this element describes a boolean expression that consists of several boolean expressions joined by the boolean OR operator.
andListCondition - this element describes a boolean expression that consists of several boolean expressions joined by the boolean AND operator.
simpleCondition - this element describes a boolean expression that consists of a variable/operator/value tuple.
trueCondition - this element describes a boolean expression that always evaluates to true.

The orListCondition and andListCondition elements can start with an optional not element. The presence of the not element indicates that the boolean NOT operator should be applied to the boolean expression. These elements must also contain one or more of the orListCondition, andListCondition, or simpleCondition elements.

The simpleCondition element can be used to describe a simple relational condition between a variable and a value. The presence of the not element indicates the boolean NOT operator should be applied to the condition. This element must contain the following elements: variable - this element is used to...