Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic GUI Adaptive System for Self-Describing Device Configuration

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021475D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 117K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Up to now, each time new devices (e.g. cards) or features have to be integrated into a given network element (NE), new versions of the network management system with new applications or components have to be produced and released. A special code has to be implemented in order to explicitly support the new devices and/or features. The approaches that have been proposed to address this problem are tailored to other application domains (e.g. front end applications for databases) and not to network element configuration. They present GUI (Graphical User Interface) generation based on parsing XML (eXtensible Markup Language) interface specification files and automatically build GUI components, but only at compile time. By adapting and generating GUIs for network element configuration tools at run time, new devices and/or features that were not previously supported by the application at compile time can automatically be supported. The here proposed solution applies to a wide range of network elements from different equipment families (e.g. Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, Wavelength Division Multiplexing, access networks, etc.) that support self-describing features, e.g. via XML descriptions of configuration parameters.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Page 1 of 3

S

Automatic GUI Adaptive System for Self-Describing Device Configuration

Idea: Pedro Neto, PT-Amadora

Up to now, each time new devices (e.g. cards) or features have to be integrated into a given network element (NE), new versions of the network management system with new applications or components have to be produced and released. A special code has to be implemented in order to explicitly support the new devices and/or features. The approaches that have been proposed to address this problem are tailored to other application domains (e.g. front end applications for databases) and not to network element configuration. They present GUI (Graphical User Interface) generation based on parsing XML (eXtensible Markup Language) interface specification files and automatically build GUI components, but only at compile time.

By adapting and generating GUIs for network element configuration tools at run time, new devices and/or features that were not previously supported by the application at compile time can automatically be supported. The here proposed solution applies to a wide range of network elements from different equipment families (e.g. Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, Wavelength Division Multiplexing, access networks, etc.) that support self-describing features, e.g. via XML descriptions of configuration parameters.

The idea is based on parsing the configuration interface description files at run time. As a result of this parsing, the GUI components are generated on the fly. This enables the user to immediately perform configuration actions. The approach assumes that the management application has knowledge ('shared knowledge') of the basic features of the network element. In the here described scenario, XML interface descriptions retrieved from a network element are used to build at run time a Java based GUI that meets the described functionality. It allows for the application to detect the equipment and automatically adapt itself to it. This is depicted in Figure 1. All data transfers between the device (NE) and the management application (LCT, Local Craft Terminal) are XML data streams according to the defined XML schema.

When a new card is detected via equipment notifications, the interface description (e.g. XML file) of the device is forwarded to the management application. The file is parsed and converted into Java objects at run time. The generated Java objects for the interface description are used to generate GUI components (e.g. windows, menus) on the fly when the user tries to interact with the new device. The same principle is valid for building user interfaces in programming languages other than Java. Basically, the management application learns new equipment interfaces and generates a GUI that addresses the desired functionality. GUI is generated via generic Java classes that are able to interpret the interface specifications on the fly. The interface descriptions and/or generated Java objects can be stored so that the m...