Dynamic Configurable GUI
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-03
In the current business and enterprise usage environment there is a challenge of tailoring a single product to be a proper solution for multiple users.
Dynamic Configurable GUI
For example in the backup and restore application space there is a need for an interface that will meet the requirements of a fully trained system administrator / help desk operator and also a novice user. This issue gets even more complex as enterprise level products try to penetrate the over growing segregated market of SMB. The main challenge is this market is plethora of ISV's that provide highly customized solutions to small sets of customers.
In current solutions each ISV ends up tailoring a specific solutions with a specific look and feel and set of functions, creating a wide range of different products. Any enterprise level product with a rich set of functionality is challenged to provide specific solutions for specific ISV's and thus there is a need for a different approach. Current solutions are limited to multiple discrete and unique products built from the base product (through OEM or use of API, specific versions of the product - for example data retention).
Also current dynamic configuration is limited to graying-out (visually disabling) functionality (similar to the Wisehouse offering which employed an ini file for defining which functions to display) or not displaying functionality based on an existence of a Plugin like IMAGE, NAS, WAS, DOMINO etc.). These solutions are an all or nothing type interface and are not customizable. The real need is for a true dynamic configurable interface that could be driver by an Admin or by paid licenses per function so that ISV's can easily use a single base product that provides multiple tailored solutions.
The problem being solved is presenting different types of GUI interaction based on functionality, server capability, plugins, user capability, and Admin customization. Have a dynamic GUI that is tailored to specific usage - with a different look and feel and different functional capability all within one product.
The core of this invention is having the capability to provide a customizable interface to an ISV through a number of mechanisms. By providing well defined high level functionality based building blocks such as - hub, panels, wizards, navigation trees that are built around the existing functions : backup, restore, archive retrieve, options, image etc .. the ISV can create their own specialized product from all the existing functionality. The base product provides ALL available functionality and ALL available options with those functions. The ISV can choose which of the functions to enable and which ones to display, further more it is possible to alter these selections by a simple setup locally or on the server so that if a different user is using the product they can have a different set of functionality. This is done by providing a mechanism to dynamically choose which functions will be available (see bellow for details), and a mechanism to present a coherent and streamlined GUI based on these functions. So for example in the Hub view the cur...