Browse Prior Art Database

Method for Enhanced Message Information and Delivery

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129264D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Method for Enhanced Message Information and Delivery

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Method for Enhanced Message Information and Delivery

In reviewing typical message scenarios across multiple product families, a large gap between error messages and solutions for the customer often exist. While many solutions are available for providing local help information, if a message that is provided is not helpful, or cannot be found, the majority of solutions suggest that the user call the company and seek help or try to search for answers through self-help avenues or pointers to Web sites. In most cases, help information that is created as part of the development of an application or system is static, and cannot be easily changed after a product has shipped or been installed by the user.

Patches and fixpacks can provide updated help information and convey newer information about problems likely to be encountered, but these methods of distribution are cumbersome and place much of the burden on the user or the IT staff of a company to manage. While updated information and a more dynamic information store about product messages and errors can be made available through online hosting and Web access, if the user decides to look for answers at particular Web sites, such sites often require that you type in the message identifier correctly, and know how to search for possible support information and workarounds, fixes, or solutions. This process can be time consuming and frustrating, if the user does not know how to navigate a particular Web site or use the proper keywords.

This method suggests that when an error message displays, if the user needs more information, a click of the error message identifier displays a Web page that has detailed information that relates to that particular message in the localized language of the user. The user does not have to enter the ID or any other information to get to the target information. The target page can provide the up-to-date information that is known of a product, some of which could be known only after a product has been released and errors have been reported. This method can provide a "late binding" of the error message to any known information about the error, causes, and possible corrective actions that are known.

On this Web page, you can identify what you were doing last before the error was generated. The error message, explanation, and user actions can be presented with a list of associated technotes, best practices, and other pertinent information related to that particular message. An advantage to this technique is that the program providing the error message has contextual information that can be useful in determining corrective action or problem determination, and can therefore provide this information to the linked error page to provide streamlined access to proper information pertinent to the problem.

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