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Design of a Multi-Functional Communications Software Package

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128560D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 9 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

G. Michael Schneider: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The areas of data communications and computer networks have under- gone a phenomenal growth. This has resulted in an enormous proliferation of hardware, software, and communications protocols. However, as needs change and new technologies are developed we frequently find that existing software is no longer capable of handling the new configurations and rapidly becomes obsolete. This paper will be describing the design and implementation of a new data communications software package, entitled COMMPAC, to address just these problems. The package is modular and multi-functional in structure and supports the entire hierarchy of communications protocols. In addition, it has been designed to easily adapt to system changes and to provide the software resources necessary for the development of new modules to meet these changes. Design of a Multi-Functional Communications Software Package

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Design of a Multi-Functional Communications Software Package

by G. Michael Schneider and Leo E. May

Computer Science Department

136 Lind Hall Institute of Technology University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455 Technical Report 79-3 January, 1979

Cover design courtesy of Ruth and Jay Leavitt

Abstract

The areas of data communications and computer networks have under- gone a phenomenal growth. This has resulted in an enormous proliferation of hardware, software, and communications protocols. However, as needs change and new technologies are developed we frequently find that existing software is no longer capable of handling the new configurations and rapidly becomes obsolete. This paper will be describing the design and implementation of a new data communications software package, entitled COMMPAC, to address just these problems. The package is modular and multi-functional in structure and supports the entire hierarchy of communications protocols. In addition, it has been designed to easily adapt to system changes and to provide the software resources necessary for the development of new modules to meet these changes. Design of a Multi-Functional Communications Software Package

1.' Introduction

The areas of data communications and computer networks are currently undergoing a phenominal growth and change. Both manufacturers and suppliers are constantly introducing new device controllers, interfaces, terminals, protocols, and end-user applications. In .addition, there is a great deal of international activity in the area of standardization of transmission media and communication protocols. This overall volatility has resulted in an enormous proliferation of communications hardware and software packages. Then, as needs change, or new perturbations enter the system, we frequently find that the existing software is no longer capable of supporting the new specifications and subsequently becomes obsolete. This continuous development of new communications software is expensive and leads to a duplication of effort. Worst of all, the new software often lacks the flexible design needed to survive the inevitable next round of change, thus perpetuating the problem. Because of this rapid rate of change, the development of any general purpose data communications package should concentrate on achieving two very specific and desirable characteristics: a. Multifunctionality. It should address the entire range of tasks encountered within a communications environment. This would allow for sharing those parts of the package common to a number of different, but related, tasks, thus avoiding the duplication of effort. b. Modularity. It should be composed of small independent units, called subsystems,which can be arbitrarily changed without causing an unexpected change to any other subsystem. This will allow the package to be easily updated in response to new needs, new standards, or n...