On Demand Device Driver Management
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-04
Large network attached devices, such as printers, scanners and storage devices, allow several people on the same network are share a single device. An example of one such device would be a network printer. The device drivers needed to communicate with these network attached devices are often made available through an a website. For example, the network printer device drivers for a diverse array of devices and operating systems can be obtained from the IBM Global Print Solution Website. The problem with the current solution for accessing device drivers is that it requires multiple, time consuming steps. For example the IBM Global Print Solution Website requires a person to find the website, identify their respective geography, identify the location of the networked device, identify the operating system of the device needing the driver, and finally request the driver. If there is more than one device for which drivers are needed, this multi-step process must be repeated for each device. This is cumbersome and time consuming. Moreover, if the person does not intended to keep these drivers permanently, say they are visiting a location for a meeting; the process of managing these device drivers is quite inefficient. This patent proposes the idea of allowing the networked device to house it?s own device drivers, such that device drivers are shared directly from the networked device to the device seeking the driver. In this way the process of managing (adding and removing device drivers) is done at the local level. This is a more robust solution because it reduces the time and effort to establish a connection and increases workplace efficiency. Network communication parameters and device drivers could be delivered to requesting devices by the networked device itself. That is the device seeking to get drivers would query the networked device, communicate its OS and required parameters. The networked device would push the correct driver and communication parameters to the requesting device. Advantages 1) Allows for on demand device driver management 2) Requesting device OS will not have to maintain a large number of diverse device drivers 3) Device drivers would be kept current based on "on demand" requests 4) Makes use of universal http protocol available on most computing devices
On Demand Device Driver Management
This solution could be implemented in several ways. Here, it is assumed that the networked device has the computing resources to support a lightweight installation of a local web server, a flat file database (for example Informix db) and a custom application. The custom application would have a web server plug in component such that requests to the web server could be passed to the application for processing. In addition the application would also have a component that communications with the database to retrieve device driver and communication information.
A. Request Device
(PDA, Laptop, Cellphone,etc.)
B. Networked Device
1. A person carrying a device requiring drivers, Device A, identifies a networked attached device that they would like to use. They bring up a browser and enter a specified URL for the device they would like to communicate with, for example http://machinename/devicedriver. This string is passed from Device A to Device B using standard http protocol. This could be accomplished either by a hardwired or wireless network connection.
2. The web server on Device B would receive the request and pass it to the custom application for processing. In response the application would generate a web page with a form requesting information about Device A, that would be passed via http to Device A. An example of the type of information that would be requested includes: the type of device, the...