Single View Account Manager
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-26
Disclosed is software that allows a user to manage more than one account from a single view. An account may include email, calendar, address book, to-do list, or a combination of the four. The disclosed software allows a user to keep accounts separate but view them simultaneously from a single location.
Single View Account Manager
Disclosed is software that allows a user to manage more than one account from a single view. An account may include email, calendar, address book, to-do list, or a combination of the four.
Users often have several accounts that they'd like to or need to keep separate. For example, a user could have a business account, a dial-up personal account, and a wireless service account. Some of the disadvantages of separate accounts include:
1) Wastes user's time: The user has to repeatedly log-in, manage, and log-off of each account.
2) Learning curve: The user has to learn how to operate each accounts user interface. Some types of account user interfaces, like web-based accounts, tend to change frequently. The user is often forced to accept the changes and relearn the interface.
3) Limited view: While the user is actively managing one account, it is often not possible or is difficult to manage other accounts at the same time on the same display.
4) Lack of cross-account functionality: Functionality may include same level virus protection, search, email filters, and conflict management.
The Single View Account Manager directly addresses each of the above disadvantages.
1) The disclosed software offers a single view from which the user can manage more than one account. All content across accounts is virtually merged in this view.
2) The disclosed software functionality may be integrated into the user's favorite account software or offered as a plug-in. Only one interface to learn.
3) Single view offers easy access to all accounts at the same time on the display.
4) Single view handles account specific function seamlessly to the user. Some accounts may not provide a search function across all account content. Single view may open and search all items in the account individually to provide this function. Single view may have an integrated virus scanner that the user has update control over. Thus all files across all accounts are scanned at the same level of virus definitions. Some files may have to be pulled into a local sandbox for scanning. Single view may also have conflict management functionality to resolve cross-account calendaring issues.
1) The Single View Account Manager needs a description file for each account. The description file details the operational characteristics of the account. For example, the description file may detail the login mechanism and how to delete an email. This file may be provided by the account provider or it can be generated by the user via a training wizard.
2) The Single View Account Manager determines common columns and other formatting details across enabled accounts in the view. For example, because both user accounts have an email date column, the manager automatically displays a date column in the single view. The user can refine the single view format to include uncommon data. Below is an example of an email view so...