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Graphical Definition of Configuration Objects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108932D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 6 page(s) / 239K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Werdel, WS: AUTHOR

Abstract

A method is described for defining graphical representations of detailed hardware and software objects that can have complex parts. The definition is structured so that each object can be defined uniquely to the level of detail required for the end user to recognize the object and interact with it to accomplish a task. For example, consider a system configuration task.

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Graphical Definition of Configuration Objects

       A method is described for defining graphical
representations of detailed hardware and software objects that can
have complex parts.  The definition is structured so that each object
can be defined uniquely to the level of detail required for the end
user to recognize the object and interact with it to accomplish a
task.  For example, consider a system configuration task.

      In representing configurations, users define objects
graphically and also define graphic groupings (views) of these
objects for particular purposes.  Configuration definers also select
ports or subsystems within an object, connect the object or its
sub-objects to other objects or sub-objects, and relate these objects
graphically to other objects in a single view or between views.

      The method for defining objects and views should be the same
across many diverse hardware and software technologies and must
collect the graphic and product attribute information for the objects
in data, not in code.  The method must allow expert users to create
complex objects and groupings required for a specific technology.  No
graphic expertise must be required on the part of the expert
user/definer.  The only knowledge necessary on the part of the expert
is what parts of a given object need to be represented and the
groupings of those objects to perform the technology specific task.

      The method is implemented with three constructs and their
interrelationships.  The constructs are:  models, instances, and
usage views.
      1.  Models
      Product specific graphic representation of a hardware or
software object are constructed from line segments. The line segments
defining the object are associated with the object and stored in a
Structured Query Language (SQL) table.  Sub-objects belonging to the
object, such as ports in a hardware device, are also defined from
line segments and included with the definition of the parent object.
This inclusion relationship is recursive and a given object can be
defined with any desired level of complexity. Each graphic object
defined in this way is a product specific representation of a
configuration object called a model.  These models are defined by
expert users and stored in SQL tables as a library of templates.
      2.  Instances
      Instances of the models defined in step 1 can be created from
the models and placed in collections called usage views.
Graphically, the usage view is a window which contains one or more
graphic copies of a model or models.  These instances are placed in
the view interactively by the user, or at a coordinate location
derived from physical location data specific to the instance.
      For example, from a model definition for a Multiple Station
Access Unit (MSAU), a Local Area Network (LAN) configuration planner
might place several instances of the MSAUs in a usage view (i.e.,
window) representing a w...