Browse Prior Art Database

Heads Up Display for Monitoring Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000024649D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The core idea of this invention is to use a Heads Up Display (HUD) that briefly hovers over a portion of the working view when an application in the monitoring view receives new events. Inside the HUD the user can see the most important attributes of the new events such as Description and Business Impact. Based on this information the user can quickly decide whether to dismiss the HUD or save his work and switch to the monitoring view.

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Heads Up Display for Monitoring Applications

In a systems management application the user interface is often segmented into two views - a monitoring view and a working view. While this arrangement of views can be seen in many different types of applications, it is especially common in the Portal environment because in this environment several monitoring applications are often combined into a single dashboard view, and therefore each application must occupy as little screen real estate as possible. Another reason this arrangement is common in the Portal environment is because the monitoring view automatically refreshes itself and the refresh action can interfere with the user's ability to interact with the user interface (partial data entered into a form is lost, focus management becomes aggravating, UI scrolls and flickers, etc).

Monitoring applications use events to signal that a situation which requires the user's attention has occurred. When an event is received by an application in the monitoring view the user resolves it by selecting it and switching to the working view. While in the working view any new events that are received by the monitoring application will not be seen until the user switches back to the monitoring view. Since many Service Level Agreements (SLAs) require that events are handled within a matter of minutes, a problem can arise when the user is focused on an event in the working view and a new event of greater importance arrives in the monitoring view. If the user does not recognize and deal with the new event quickly then the SLA could be violated.

Users often try to work around this problem by starting two instances of the application - one that shows the monitoring view and the other which shows the working view. This technique has limitations, though, because the monitoring and working views are logically disconnected and multiple window management is required. Application developers sometimes address this problem by using HTML frames. However, frames are not available in the Portal environment and are less than ideal anyway because they divide the screen real estate and therefore limit the amount of space that is available to each view. Application developers will also sometimes try to solve this problem by designating an area of the screen such as the banner where an icon which attracts the user's attention can be displayed. This technique is inadequate because it does not provide users with enough information to help them decide whether or not to interrup...