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SMART COMMAND LINE INTERFACE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000251868D
Publication Date: 2017-Dec-07
Document File: 9 page(s) / 711K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

David Sounthiraraj: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A Smart Command Line Interface (CLI) is provided that serves a number of key purposes in order to address several challenges. This Smart CLI provides a quick introduction of new features or missing configuration knobs in Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for firewalls. The Smart CLI also provides a CLI-like experience without the complexity of the CLI. Features introduced via the Smart CLI can migrate seamlessly to a GUI.

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Copyright 2017 Cisco Systems, Inc. 1

SMART COMMAND LINE INTERFACE

AUTHORS: David Sounthiraraj Priyanka Jalisatgi Francesco Ruta

Hiral Vora

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

ABSTRACT

A Smart Command Line Interface (CLI) is provided that serves a number of key

purposes in order to address several challenges. This Smart CLI provides a quick

introduction of new features or missing configuration knobs in Graphical User Interfaces

(GUIs) for firewalls. The Smart CLI also provides a CLI-like experience without the

complexity of the CLI. Features introduced via the Smart CLI can migrate seamlessly to a

GUI.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Often, when a product is fairly new in the market, its User Interface (UI) may be

lacking Command Line Interface (CLI) configuration knobs. Developing a brand-new UI,

to allow the user to configure the missing configurations would require a considerable

amount of time. The Smart CLI described herein addresses these challenges and improves

the product with the required depth of feature set.

Traditionally, firewalls were managed and maintained through a CLI, which offers

an extremely poor and outdated interaction experience with the device because it requires

in-depth knowledge, memorization of command syntaxes, knowledge of existing

configurations (e.g., names of other elements, interfaces, addresses, rules, etc.), and in

general makes configuring the firewall a daunting experience. Over the years, Human

Machine Interface (HMI) solutions in all industries have moved toward GUIs, thereby

offering simplified and more user-friendly ways to configure a firewall and eliminating or

reducing the need to directly use CLI commands. However, this trend creates other

challenges because the time required to develop features via a GUI increases exponentially,

since a well-designed GUI has to navigate between the needs of simplification (e.g.,

Copyright 2017 Cisco Systems, Inc. 2

reducing the number of configuration widgets) and the fine-tuning needs required by

advanced users. As a result, designing the interface for each individual feature requires a

lot of time, interactions with focus groups, analysis of usage patterns, new help pages, new

training, etc.

To address these challenges, described is a rich CLI widget, called Smart CLI, that

serves a number of key purposes. First, the Smart CLI provides the ability (for advanced

users) to configure the missing configuration knobs in the context of an existing simplified

GUI. In the example of Figure 1 below, the regular GUI used to configure the sub-

interfaces of the device is missing a few rarely used knobs that, in some special situations,

may still be required. The Smart-CLI widget on the top-right menu...