Browse Prior Art Database

A Process for Selective Routing of Servlet Content to Transcoding Modules

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123894D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 184K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Pasley, T: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

The use of servlets is becoming an increasingly popular approach for generating web content. Also becoming increasingly prevalent is the use of mobile and wireless handheld pervasive computing (PvC) devices to access Web content such as that generated by servlets. These type of devices have browsing and screen size capabilities that are drastically different from desktop workstations, and because of this, require content to be custom tailored (i.e., transcoded) for the pervasive computing device. For example, custom tailoring may include the removing or shrinking of images, the creation of summary pages of headings, page splitting, etc.

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A Process for Selective Routing of Servlet Content to Transcoding
Modules

   The use of servlets is becoming an increasingly popular
approach for generating web content.  Also becoming increasingly
prevalent is the use of  mobile and wireless handheld pervasive
computing (PvC) devices to access Web content such as that generated
by servlets.  These type of devices have browsing and screen size
capabilities that are drastically different from desktop
workstations, and because of this, require content to be custom
tailored (i.e., transcoded) for the pervasive computing device.  For
example, custom tailoring may include the removing or shrinking of
images, the creation of  summary pages of headings, page splitting,
etc.  Thus, one important issue that must be addressed in order to be
able to support PvC devices is the ability to route servlet generated
content to some notion of a transcoding engine that is able to tailor
or reformat the content for the PvC device on which it is intended to
be displayed.  Simply routing all content generated by servlets to
a transcoding engine is not an acceptable solution as it can lead to
unnecessary performance degradation for the common case when
transcoding is not required .  This performance degradation is due to
the fact that transcoding engines typically employ some complex
notion of rules that orchestrate the invocation of one or more
transcoding modules.  While the overhead for this process is
negligible when compared to the overhead of actually performing most
types of transcoding,  this overhead is not acceptable for servlet
generated content for which it can be determined that no transcoding
is required.

   In this disclosure, we present a process that permits
servlet generated content to be selectively routed to a transcoding
module in an efficient manner by quickly recognizing content that is
a candidate for needing transcoding support.  Thus, servlet generated
content that is clearly not a candidate for transcoding is
dynamically routed such that it avoids going through the transcoding
engine and instead directly sent to the user's browser.  As a result,
the extra overhead that results from the use of the transcoding rules
engine is avoided.  Servlet generated content that is identified as
requiring transcoding is selectively routed to the transcoding
engine, permitting the necessary transcoding to be performed, and of
course incurring the overheads associated with this process.

   The solution is a process whereby user and device
preferences, which can be queried in a highly efficient manner, are
the basis for characterizing the expected servlet generated content
as achieving candidacy for being sent to the transcoding engine.  For
example, a user in a particular session may have the following device
preferences:
  user=uniqueUserAndSessionId     UserAgentWinCE=1
  UserAgentThinkPad=0    UserAgentPalmPilot=1

   Thus, for this particular user, the content generated b...