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A method of using badge icons for switching perspectives in IT systems visualization panels

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239646D
Publication Date: 2014-Nov-21
Document File: 5 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The article describes a visualization method of displaying IT infrastructure topologies providing overview of all other topologies that each item of current topology is part of and allowing quick and easy navigation to any other related topology (switch of viewing perspective).

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A method of using badge icons for switching perspectives in IT systems visualization panels

The IT infrastructure elements like Computer Systems, Software Servers, Network Devices might very often perform multiple functions or be seen from multiple perspectives. Typical IT infrastructure management tools are showing using topology views to present IT infrastructure ecosystems i.e. infrastructure elements and their relations (connectivity, logical groupings and/or dependencies). When single elements performs multiple functions it might be part of multiple topologies, in that case person using topologies to understand overall IT infrastructure might want to see all the functions performed by given element not only as list of the functions but also might

want to see broader perspective of how other elements relate to the given element depending on the perspective.

Example:


Physical Computer System elements might have three major functions/perspectives: a) from the operating systems interoperability perspective it might be seen as an operating system instance (e.g. AIX, Linux, MS Windows) that is connecting to other operating systems or is being connected from other operating systems via TCP/IP connectivity.

b) Operating System (e.g. Linux) might be also configured to act as an network IP router, becoming in that case a part of IP routing infrastructure

c) Computer System can be also configured as a part of clustering solution (e.g. high availability)

That means the computer system might be visualized from three different perspectives as a part of three different topologies.

If analysis of all functions in context of each perspective is needed (e.g. in aim to solve infrastructure problem) then a way of quick switching between topologies is required. Typical existing solutions include: a) all three perspectives shown on a single topology - is such case single topology is very complicated, also single item which is performing different functions in different topologies needs to be either displayed as three separate elements or information about all performed functions is lost due to use of 'function agnostic' representation b) showing just one topology and allowing switching topology via context menus - the drawback is that context menus are not presenting all the perspectives available for the items on the list only the for which context menu has been opened.

The idea presented in this article is based on use of two major approaches: a) use of icon badges (smaller icons attached to bigger main icon) to provide to the UI operator quick concise view of all the other topologies/perspectives that are available for any element on the topology view, b) use badges as a quick switch of perspective keeping chosen element as a switch context, by clicking on the badges.

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The main advantage of that solution is that user might not only switch perspective for any element of topology (by clicking badge) but also very quickly see other...