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Architecture for a Visual System Administration User Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113044D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 583K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Banning, KR: AUTHOR [+8]

Abstract

Disclosed is a general structure for a family of graphical user interface applications that are composed of a standard set of building blocks. This general visual structure may be used by any system management function. The Visual System Management (VSM) user interface model provides an extension of the OSF/Motif 1.2 model to this unique user. The VSM model is built from that base with additional structure and rules to facilitate the administrative tasks.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Architecture for a Visual System Administration User Interface

      Disclosed is a general structure for a family of graphical user
interface applications that are composed of a standard set of
building blocks.  This general visual structure may be used by any
system management function.  The Visual System Management (VSM) user
interface model provides an extension of the OSF/Motif 1.2 model to
this unique user.  The VSM model is built from that base with
additional structure and rules to facilitate the administrative
tasks.

      The tasks of performing standard system administration of
machines are complex and have not received as much attention as
applications to be performed on those machines.  A model of how to
display information and structure interaction for the administrator
is required.  While this structure should not violate existing user
interface model rules, it should allow this unique user to
effectively execute their tasks.

      These new technologies are predicated on a set of simple
principles for manipulating system data in the user interface.

1.  The first of these principles is object orientation.  We extend
    the concept of objects to include all that is necessary to
    complete any action for the objects included in the application.

2.  The second principle is direct manipulation.  All actions are
    performed by the direct manipulation of objects on the screen
    using drag and drop.

3.  The third principle is synthesized views of the system.  The
    applications will show objects and information that is collected
    by several system commands into a complete image set of the
    system.

4.  The fourth principle is feedback on the capabilities and results
    of the objects and actions.

      The objects are collected into several areas common across the
VSM designs.  The VSM structure is composed of four key areas.  These
are:  the template area, the action area, the work area, the
information area.  These areas may have sub-areas based on the
specific needs of the application.  The Figure shows a typical layout
of a VSM application window.

      The first of these areas is the Template area.  The Template
area is a collection of all the basic types of objects that can be
manipulated in this application.  The scrollable space shows all the
valid template objects for the selected type of object.  The types
shown can be changed by selecting the appropriate type button.  All
objects are created from templates by dragging the selected template
to the desired location in the work area.

      Note the area icon in the left end of the area title bar.
Selection of this icon minimizes the area to just the title bar if no
interaction is needed with the area.  The other areas adjust to fill
the available space.

      The second area is the Actions Area.  All actions valid for the
object in this application are contained in this area.  Exe...