Browse Prior Art Database

Recursive addition of contacts based off LDAP directory

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201102D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-08
Document File: 6 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system which allows Instant Messaging users to more quickly and efficiently build and update their contact list for the application. The system builds the contact list recursively based on a hierarchical directory listing. The result is a hierarchical contact list which mimics that of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory structure.

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Recursive addition of contacts based off LDAP directory

Within most instant messenger (IM) clients, contacts must be added one at a time and manually sorted/filed into appropriate user-defined groups. The mechanisms for single contact addition vary from direct addition via the IM client functionality, to right-clicking on emails received and adding the sender accordingly. Both of these approaches are by their nature for addition of a single contact; therefore, multiple contact addition is relatively time consuming.

Within one existing IM system, if a user wishes to add a team into a subgroup they must:
1. Create a subgroup and provide an associated name e.g. "Jim Hudson's Team"
2. Once the group is created then each team member must be added individually under Jim's team. If this is a large team, then this is a very time consuming task. In the event that Jim Hudson is a senior manager there is the possibility that there will be multiple teams under Jim and the time requirement is increased dramatically.

No solutions exist that are relevant to that being disclosed here.

The disclosed invention allows for instant messaging contact lists to be built recursively based off a hierarchical directory listing. The result is a hierarchical contact list which mimics that of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory structure.

In a preferred embodiment, an additional drop down menu on the IM client contact screen offers three options:
• Add Current Contact Only
• Add Contact and Subordinates and Add Peers
• Contact and Subordinates

In an alternate embodiment, the invention is encapsulated within the product setup/first time execution to allow the user to automatically build the desired contact list in one simple step.

Use Case 1 - Dynamic Selection via Visualization
1. A user of an IM application wishes to add a contact/number of contacts
2. The user selects their direct line manager
3. The user checks the option to "Add Contacts and Subordinates"
4. A dynamic graphical representation of the organizational hierarchy is shown to the user with appropriate icons
a) Male/Female icons can be displayed based upon the designation shown within LDAP: Mr., Mrs., Ms, etc.

b) A localized subset of the organizational hierarchy is shown to the user with the desired contacts highlighted.

c) The default name for the team is also included within the graphical representation. This default naming may be altered by the user at this

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point or later in the IM application in the typical way subgroups are renamed.

As shown in Figure 1, the contact added was "Sandra Lyons" and her subordinates are "Lisa Dunne", "John Carter", "Shay Quinn" and "Niall Davis". "Sandra's" immediate peers are shown in a partially transparent manner and her direct line manager is also shown in a partially transparent manner.

Figure 1: Adding a contact

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5. The user may selectively add or remove contacts by...