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Presenting Resource Data in a Distributed System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117107D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Colyer, AM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

When defining, configuring and displaying resources in a distributed systems management environment, it is desirable to avoid unnecessary complexity and present a simple model to end-users. A good example of this is a connection between two systems. Both of the systems must have a definition of a connection to the other (remote) system, and these half-connection definitions must be kept in sync: it is no good if one specifies TCP/IP as a protocol, and the other LU 6.2. Ideally, the user does not need to see the half-connection definitions, and would like to see only connections between systems.

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Presenting Resource Data in a Distributed System

      When defining, configuring and displaying resources in a
distributed systems management environment, it is desirable to avoid
unnecessary complexity and present a simple model to end-users.  A
good example of this is a connection between two systems.  Both of
the systems must have a definition of a connection to the other
(remote) system, and these half-connection definitions must be kept
in sync:  it is no good if one specifies TCP/IP as a protocol, and
the other LU 6.2.  Ideally, the user does not need to see the
half-connection definitions, and would like to see only connections
between systems.

      The approach described here defines a mechanism for creating,
destroying, displaying and manipulating resource data using the
concept of emergent entities.

      Emergent entities arrive because of relationships between other
objects.  In entity-relationship modelling, they would be called
associative objects.  The approach takes the idea of an associative
object out of analysis methodologies, and places it in an
implementation environment.

      Using a metadata repository, when two objects are related via a
given relationship, an emergent entity is created.  For example, when
two half-connection definitions are related by the  my_other_half
relationship, a connection emergent entity should be created.  Each
constituent member of the emergent entity plays a role.  In this
example the roles might be "my_left_half" and "my_right_half".  The
metadata repository specifies the names of the roles that go to make
up an emergent entity, together with the objects that may play those
roles.  In this example, both "my_left_half" and "my_right_half" must
be played by half-connections.  Normally emergent entities have a
visibility flag which is set to VISIBLE, and the constituent members
have their visibility flags set to INVISIBLE.  Thus, the end-user
only sees connections, and not half-connections.

      The attributes of the emergent entity are defined in the
metadata repository, together with the rules for deriving their
values.  The attribute specification language will typically appear
as follows:
  DERIVED_ATTRIBUTE == attribute     :      <name>,
                       derived from  :      CONSTITUENTS
                       usi...