Interactive Development Environment with Integrated Messaging Support
Original Publication Date: 2005-Feb-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
This article outlines the addition of a live chat window to an Interactive Development Environment (IDE) to aid the IDE user with live help, when the existing help does not solve a particular problem.
Interactive Development Environment with Integrated Messaging Support Main Idea
Users of tools on computers typically find, in the course of one project or another that they need advanced help with a particular aspect of the tool they are using. This help need can come at any time, and if the help goes unanswered may slow the user's progress in completing the project.
One tool for providing real-time communications is the notion of a chat program. With a chat program, one user connected to a network, may contact another known user on the network. Sometimes chats are used for informal friend-to-friend communications. Chat can also be used as a help device with one user asking another user a question, and receiving an answer. Advanced chat programs support the transfer of media: pictures, files, etc, may be transferred from one user to another.
This publication discloses the basic process of integrating a chat function into a given computer tool, and introduces several extensions of the integration to provide a robust, personal, and effective service mechanism for the tool.
The preferred embodiment of the publication is the integration of a chat window into the WebSphere Studio line of tools. All WebSphere Studio versions are based on the Eclipse tools platform, and include an interactive development environment. The following is a depiction of a typical WebSphere Studio IDE Window:
Figure 1 - WebSphere Studio IDE
A chat window can be integrated into the IDE:
Figure 2 - WebSphere Studio IDE with integrated chat window
The basic process of the disclosure is outlined below.
When a user of a WebSphere Studio IDE is using a function of the IDE, and requires help that has not been provided in the local help content, the user can begin a dialog in the chat window. The following general process is followed:
User Enters Question Into Chat Window
The chat window accepts the user's question, and also gathers information about the user, and the user's version WebSphere Studio and related operating system. The following is list of informational data that may be collected, this is not an exhaustive list of the items that could be collected, rather a representative sample:
Operating System Release
Operating System Maintenance Level
WebSphere Studio Version
WebSphere Studio Java JVM Version
WebSphere Studio Plug-in Last Used by User
User Phone Number
Determine Message Recipient
The chat subsystem gathers this data and forwards it to the message agent for the chat system . The message agent determines the next respondent of the message. This process is a selective process based several factors. Again this is not an exhaustive list, but...