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Method and Apparatus for Indicating Partial Results in an On Demand Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000023312D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 9K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

As requests for information and work become more complex in the electronic world, it is possible that not all work can complete in a desired amount of time, or on schedule (i.e., on demand), but could complete if more time were allowed, and that returning partial results along the way might be better than returning no results until completion. Herein, we describe a way to indicate the status of work and results in an On Demand environment.

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Method and Apparatus for Indicating Partial Results in an On Demand Environment

As requests for information and work become more complex in the electronic world, it is possible that not all work can complete in a desired amount of time, or on schedule (i.e., on demand), but could complete if more time were allowed, and that returning partial results along the way might be better than returning no results until completion. A search is an example of this, where returning some search results might get the requestor started right away, but the system can/will continue to do a more thorough/complete search over time, optionally returning results along the way. However, it also would be important for the requestor to be able to distinguish between these states:

work not started

work started; no results returned; still searching

work started; partial results returned; still searching

work completed; no results found/returned


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Another example is where multiple parties are asked to perform tasks, each generating results to be sent to (possibly multiple) other parties on a given schedule. In this case, it is quite possible that complete results cannot be obtained on the given schedule but partial results can be generated and used.

Here's an example of how partial information can be useful. Let's say a Pharmacy is part of an electronic prescription service that is accessible to Doctors and patients. Doctors can send prescriptions to the store via the service. Normally, the pharmacy would have to be in contact with the patient to verify the order and other information
(e.g., insurance) and wouldn't act on the prescription until that had happened. But, pharmacies keep limited supplies and if it waits for patient contact (i.e., complete information), supply might run out beforehand. If a Pharmacist was able to check the store's server and find that Doctors were sending prescriptions for drugs that the store didn't have or would soon...