Visual Programming of VOP Actions and Masking Rules
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-14
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Business processes are often defined as a sequence of operations on a single system or a set of systems, composed of interactions with screens, navigating between them, validating information, etc. This disclosure extends our VOP (Virtual OPerator) technology, which automates such processes by mimicking a human user using OCR and scripting technology, and our masking technology which is also based on OCR, with a way to provide a visual interface for entering and presenting business process and masking rules, directly on images of the UI windows and fields of the business application they relate to.
Business processes are often defined as a sequence of operations on a single system or a set of systems. This flow is composed of interactions with screens of the system in which the operator needs to verify the information in order to make sure content is valid, take note of certain values of certain fields for later processing, and enter new information or update existing fields. Typically, the operator also has to navigate between different screens in the system.
Our VOP (
approach and technology, and other scripting methods, allow for automating such business processes by writing scripts that contain/mimic human operator actions (mouse and keyboard actions) such as navigation between screens by sending keystrokes or mouse events,
sometimes there is a need to mask sensitive data from operators in such systems. See for example our masking patent (IL8-2007-0320 - Masking Screen Displays at Run-Time using OCR technologies). In these cases, masking rules are written that are based on masking by location (coordinates on screen), by context (e.g., mask the filed next to the title "Name"), or by content (mask numerical fields with values higher than 100).
In both cases,
writing the scripts or rules is not simple and prone to errors.
Furthermore, creating such scripts or operation definitions is disconnected from the actual business application they come to serve. Often, the development environments on which these rules are defined are very different from the applications they come to serve.
As a result,
even an experienced user of those applications will find it hard to create them or maintain them.
Our suggested approach shows a system and method which provides a visual interface for entering and presenting business process and masking rules, directly on images of the UI windows and fields of the business application they relate to. See for example the picture below, in which the image of a screen of the target mainframe system is marked directly to specify a part of a business process (all text fields are blurred).
into fields, etc.
It should be noted that the drawing of the Red above is not done on the actual screen but rather on a saved image of the screen, from within a development environment that contains it.
Any time an area is marked,
it receives a letter that
becomes its reference,
which user can later use to refer to this field
Defining the business process is done by marking fields and windows on images of the target application, and later connecting the referenced objects with more rules; Our approach greatly simplifies the task of business process modeler
who prepares automation with VOP or masking with a masking application,
the definition process in its most intuitive manner, i.e. over the images of the application itself.
Furthermore, since this intuitive manner is the most widely used manner in operator-training material, our way of defini...