Configurable Data Querying via Sametime Connect Instant Messaging and Lotus Notes
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-12
The following research disclosure is based on the generic implementation of a query 'Bot' (robot), an automated process that is used to perform the task of querying data sources within a the Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging (IM) environment. For the purpose of this disclosure it is necessary to define the following terms: Bot: Application that automates processes within an IM environment IM User: A human user of an IM environment. Someone that initiates IM conversations with a bot IM Server: A server (or combination of servers) that provides a central point for IM Users to log into, and send messages to each other Instant Messaging provides for ad hoc conversations in a real time environment. An IM 'chat' session will be held usually between 2 or more IM Users, logged into a common environment that supports a chat facility. Users within these environments are identifiable by having a unique identifier, similar to an email address. Messages sent between users predominantly will consist of, but are not limited to, text. It is also possible to have applications logged into these environments. These applications masquerade as users and provide the ability to automate processes. Since it is a messaging environment part of these processes must include functionality to send and receive messages. It is these automated processes and applications that earn the term 'bots'. As well as receiving and sending messages, bots will usually perform actions with the messages that they will receive, and send messages back to other users. A standard scenario of interaction for a bot would be: a) An IM User sends a message to a bot b) The bot processes the message c) The bot send a response back to the IM User This invention disclosure represents an implementation of a Bot whose specific task is to perform queries of data sources at the request of IM Users. There are other Bots that perform queries of data sources, however, this particular Bot is unique in the following ways: 1) The Bot is based on an open standard for deployment, written in Java. 2) The Bot utilizes the Sametime Instant Messaging Platform from Lotus Corporation. 3) It uses the concept of a shared Query Repository. The instruction set for the Bot is not hardcoded into the Bot itself. Rather the bot interprets commands and parameters from messages sent by IM Users, and uses these commands and parameters in conjunction with the shared query repository to determine where and what data should be returned. This makes the Bot generic in nature. It is not restricted to a fixed set of queries, or specific business purpose for those queries. It is possible to create queries for different data sets within the same shared query repository. The shared query repository is based around Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes integrates well with Sametime Instant Messaging and Java.