Browse Prior Art Database

Message Box Agent

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028234D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is software for a Message Box Agent. Message Box Agent software manages message boxes and similar software objects. It can collate, update, and dismiss message boxes based on content or a content identification number.

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Message Box Agent

Disclosed is software for a Message Box Agent. Message Box Agent software manages message boxes and similar software objects. It can collate, update, and dismiss message boxes based on content or a content identification number.

Instant messaging has become one method of choice for system administrators to deliver timely information. Example content of a system administrator message includes virus notices and server or service outage updates. Instant messaging can only deliver the message if the instant messenger client is running on the target's machine. As a result, the system administrator may decide to send out multiple duplicate messages over a few hours. Each message arrives at the target's desktop as a separate message box. If the system administrator sends three duplicate messages over three hours, a user returning to the machine after that time will see three separate, duplicate message boxes. To process the message boxes, the user must gain window focus for each message box, read the message box content, and dismiss the message box window. Processing duplicate message boxes wastes user's time. Once a user has processed the first message box, subsequent, duplicate or very similar message boxes are unnecessary and distracting. Message boxes often flash or otherwise command the user's attention, breaking their train of thought. Instant messaging is used as an example. There are many applications and services that use message boxes to communicate information.

Message Box Agent directly addresses the above issues. The agent can be configured to automatically collate, update, and dismiss message boxes based on content or a content identification number. These items are detailed below:

Content: Each message box may contain text, graphics, and a mechanism to dismiss or close the message box window.

Content identification number: An identification number is associated with a message. The message may be revised over time. Thus a system administrator could send message #8UU7HF77 three times, each with a text revision. For uniqueness, the content identification number may further be defined as the combination of the message source IP address, the port it was received on, and message # string. Content identification number may be configured to supercede content matching if desired, and vice versa.

Collate: The agent will collate multiple duplicate or similar unacknowledged message boxes into one. An unacknowledged message box is one that has not been dismissed or closed. Collating is most easily performed based on content identification number or duplicate text. The user may configure what he considers to be "similar" message boxes. For example, the user may set a two-word threshold. If a subsequent message is missing less than three wor...