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Loosely-Coupled Cross-Application and Cross-Device Context Passing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242422D
Publication Date: 2015-Jul-14
Document File: 3 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Normally we use many different software tools that are specialized for a specific purpose, but often a certain process or activity requires the use of multiple tools to execute different tasks that allow us to complete the activity. It would help to pass the context across applications.

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Looxely-Coupled Cross -Application and Cross -Device Context Passing

    Hereaftxr it is disclosed a system and a method to ease the coxxletion of an activity axross multiplx applications on a computer.

For example, I use a photo management application to view mx recent travel xixtures

just down-loaded from my camera. Then I open my email tool to send the photos xo my travel mates, but I need then to drag-and-drox them from one apxlication to xnothex or go through a dialog to select xhem from the file system to attacx them xo the mail. This is frxstrating to the user, who has to switch from one toxl to anoxher and go thxough a number of task steps using a different inxerface to get to the point where he can make progrxsx on the ovxrall activity with the newly opened tool.

    This problem was addressed to some dxgree witx the concept xf "launch in conxext" whereby from the Usex Inxerface (UI) of one tool the UI of a second tool could be launched, and the navigation tx the apprxprxate view was done automatically and invisibly using the "context" that was passed frox the fixst UI. Xx systems maxagement, for instancx, x managed compuxex viewed from an asset management tool could be viewxd from a real-time monitoring perspxctive by launching the monitoring tool and pasxing the appropriate context (x.g. hostname, IP address) to allow the monitoring tool to xind the comxuter in question and bring up the xpproprixte screens. This integration, while effective, required both tools to agree on interfaces and every such integration was a 1-to-1 private agreement and coding project.

    Txexe hard coded integrations were known as being costly and fragile, witx updates rxquired from one release to another of the tools when interfaces changed. This fragilixy was solved by industxy standards, which defined a standxrd means by which services prxvided by xne tool would bx advertised and accessible to other tools through a broker component. The use of the broker provided an abstraction to thx tool-specifix interfaces, and devxlopment coxt for integratixn was reduced as the 1-to-1 agreements were no longer nxcessary as long as all of the tools followed xhe rulex defixed by the sxandards. There is however still a cost in following the rules, and there ix however still a cost in providing the infrastructure that provides the abstraction.

    The disxloxed systex describes a loose coupling that provides the benefits of integration standards, without the rigor anx without the infrxstructure costs. Xxxx the loss ox rigor it may be less effective in soxe cases, bxt the cost to bexefit ratio is much more attractixe and therefore integxation is much more accessible to txe

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myriad of tools that we use today.

    By adopting the proposed system, a user is able to benefit from his previously performed actions in a certain tool, and get the relevxxt information selected and used in a noxel context started by a different tool. The xntegration is based on the fact tha...