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Mechanism to dynamically configure third-party provider specific social profile details in a provider neutral implementation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202305D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-13
Document File: 6 page(s) / 121K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an application which provides a common graphical user interface (GUI) across many user profile service providers. The method provides a machine-readable description of a user profile and then uses the description to generate the user interface for that profile. This method also provides the feature of "pluggable adapters", where users can easily modify or add new service providers to provide the user profile service.

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Mechanism to dynamically configure third -party provider specific social profile details in a provider neutral implementation

User profile information is a critical component of social networking applications. This information is usually managed by a third-party provider, and is made available to applications that need to use it. The data that constitutes a user profile varies among service providers, which presents a problem to end-user applications. For example, some providers require an email address field that is mandatory, while other providers only offer an optional email address field or none at all. This is challenging for applications that need to retrieve and modify user profile information in a consistent manner across various service providers.

In one known solution to the problem, a system provides hand-crafted user profile interfaces for each social networking service provider. The primary drawback to this solution is that it requires additional development effort when any aspect of the user's profile changes (e.g., the addition of a new field or a change to a field validation condition). Adding a new profile service provider also involves development effort for both the server side and client side (i.e. User Interface (UI)) implementations.

The disclosed invention specifically addresses the situation where an application needs to provide a common graphical user interface (GUI) across many profile service providers. This novel user interface allows users to retrieve existing profile information, create new profile information, or update existing information. Further, the end-user is unaware of the profile service provider implementation.

The solution provides a machine-readable description of a user profile including field names, data types, and validation characteristics. The invention uses the description to generate the user interface for the profile. When the application executes, the system determines the desired profile configuration and presents the generated user interface to the end user. The interface is fully interactive, including input and output modes. The main objective of this invention is to enable dynamic generation of user interfaces so that a consistent GUI can be provided for the different profile service providers. In such a case, adding a new profile service provider would only involve server side development while no development effort would be required to generate the user interfaces.

This solution provides a user profile description that can be read during the application lifecycle. For example, this description can be read before the application executes, allowing the user interface to be partially or fully generated ahead of time. This in turn enables the generated artifacts to be stored in a location that is reachable by a web server cache.

Following are two implementations of the invention:

Flow A: Profile rendering after application startup

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1. The software developer crea...