Browse Prior Art Database

A System for improving software systems by collection of usage logs through the Internet

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014391D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Feb-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Problem

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  A System for improving software systems by collection of usage logs through the Internet

Problem

    After creating a software application, software companies
often encourage selected users to use the software free-of-charge
or at a reduced cost. This invention includes a tracking program,
which logs all actual uses made of the software, and a central
site on the Internet, where the logs are sent and analyzed, to
look for possible improvements of the software.

    This invention is designed for software systems used in a similar manner by a large number of users on computer systems with access to the Internet, or another electronic messaging system.

Solution

    This invention allows software systems manufacturers to
obtain logs of the way users actually use their system, and
enables them to gain insights as to how to improve the future
versions of the software.

    The computer system used by the selected users must have the
ability to periodically send messages, preferably through the
Internet or another medium, and to continuously run a client
computer program. This program creates a log of the software
system use.

    On the central site, logs from users are analyzed to assess
possible improvements in the software system or in the operation
of the software system. Log file features suggesting such
improvements include bugs encountered by users, frequently
performed tasks requiring unnecessarily complex user interaction,
missing features which are compensated for by abusing existing
ones, etc.

    This solution can be implemented in several different
embodiments, as described below:

    Tracking multiple software systems: In another
representative embodiment of the invention, the selected users
run multiple tracked software systems on the same computer, or in
a cluster, network, or any other configuration of computers. In
this embodiment, collected log files indicate how the user has
used the combined software systems. This would allow the creators
of the software systems to gain insight as to how to improve the
interoperability of the separate software systems, either
separately or as a joint effort. This setup would also allow
software manufacturers to detect missing features, compensated
for by performing the task in a different software system.

  Tracking hardware systems: In another representative
embodiment of the present invention, the client program tracks
the way the user use...