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Visual Portlet Relationship Manager Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028239D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 210K

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A process for that allows for a visual indication of interacting relationships among portlets within a web portal environment.

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Visual Portlet Relationship Manager

Portlets are defined to be a set of commonly-related tasks displayed upon on a given web page within a web portal. Currently, there exists no limit to the number of portlets that may be displayed on a given web page and therefore the management of relationships of portlets on a web page can appear to be overwhelming to a user. Portlets have the ability to communicate data to one another; each time a portlet is updated, the entire web page within a browser must be redrawn and may place the user in a "confused" state. Therefore, when changing the data of any portlet that forces the entire web page to be redrawn, users should have a general understanding of the relationships between portlets on given web page in order to understand which portlets are changed/updated when changing data for a specific portlet. For example, assume a web page contains portlets A, B, C, D, E, F, as shown below in Fig.1.

Fig. 1 - Portlet relationships

The following relationships exists between the portlets: When portal A is updated (by user input), information is communicated to portlet B, requiring a recalculation of values. In turn, portlet B also updates portlet C and therefore requires a recalculation of values in portlet C. In addition, a change in data within portlet D updates and recalculates the data within portlet E. F does not communicate with any other portlet. Given the set of intertwined relationships among portlets A,B,C,D,E,F, the user has no indication of the relationships among the portlets may not realize how the change of data affects the current data displayed within the portlets. Currently, there is no mechanism that allows users to understand the set of relationships among portlets within a given web page.

The solution to this problem is to allow the user to understand the relationship among portlets within a given web page with the use of visual indicators. When placing the focus on an interactive GUI component within a given portlet, the web page should be redrawn with all the possibly affected portlets (in relationship to the portlet containing the current focus on a GUI component) and display a visual color indicating that a change of data with the interacted portlet will result in a direct change of data in the given set of portlets. Each t...