DOCUMENT TRANSFER PROCESSING FOR BLOCKCHAINS
1. A method, comprising:
- configuring a blockchain network comprising first and second blockchain nodes;
providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node;
accessing a document corresponding to the data reference, by the second blockchain node, from the first blockchain node; and
providing by the second blockchain node, a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
An example operation may include one or more of configuring a blockchain network comprising first and second blockchain nodes, providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node, accessing a document, by the second blockchain node, from the first blockchain node, and providing by the second blockchain node, a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
- 1. A method, comprising:
configuring a blockchain network comprising first and second blockchain nodes; providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node; accessing a document corresponding to the data reference, by the second blockchain node, from the first blockchain node; and providing by the second blockchain node, a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
- 8. A system, comprising:
a blockchain network, comprising; a cloud broker comprising a root node; a first blockchain node, configured to; provide a data reference; a second blockchain node, configured to; receive the data reference from the first blockchain node, and in response; access a document that corresponds with the data reference from the first blockchain node; and provide a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
- View Dependent Claims (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
- 15. A non-transitory computer readable medium comprising instructions, that when read by a processor, cause the processor to perform:
configuring a blockchain network comprising first and second blockchain nodes; providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node;
- View Dependent Claims (16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
This application generally relates to blockchain networks, and more particularly, to document transfer processing on a distributed ledger (such as a blockchain).
A ledger is commonly defined as an account book of entry, in which transactions are recorded. A distributed ledger is ledger that is replicated in whole or in part to multiple computers. A Cryptographic Distributed Ledger (CDL) can have at least some of these properties: irreversibility (once a transaction is recorded, it cannot be reversed), accessibility (any party can access the CDL in whole or in part), chronological and time-stamped (all parties know when a transaction was added to the ledger), consensus based (a transaction is added only if it is approved, typically unanimously, by parties on the network), verifiability (all transactions can be cryptographically verified). A blockchain is an example of a CDL. While the description and figures herein are described in terms of a blockchain, the instant application applies equally to any CDL.
A distributed ledger is a continuously growing list of records that typically apply cryptographic techniques such as storing cryptographic hashes relating to other blocks. A blockchain is one common instance of a distributed ledger and may be used as a public ledger to store information. Although, primarily used for financial transactions, a blockchain can store various information related to goods and services (i.e., products, packages, status, etc.). A decentralized scheme provides authority and trust to a decentralized network and enables its nodes to continuously and sequentially record their transactions on a public “block”, creating a unique “chain” referred to as a blockchain. Cryptography, via hash codes, is used to secure an authentication of a transaction source and removes a central intermediary. Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of records in the blockchain blocks, which are secured from tampering and revision due to their immutable properties. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. Blockchain can be used to hold, track, transfer and verify information. Since blockchain is a distributed system, before adding a transaction to the blockchain ledger, all peers need to reach a consensus status.
Conventionally, document transfers between entities involving secure gateways lack an immutable record of document transfers and receipt verification. As such, what is needed is a multi-entity blockchain network to provide a receipt record for all transferred documents and overcome these limitations.
One example embodiment may provide a method that includes one or more of configuring a blockchain network comprising first and second blockchain nodes, providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node, accessing a document, by the second blockchain node, from the first blockchain node, and providing by the second blockchain node, a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
Another example embodiment may provide a system that includes a blockchain network including a cloud broker including a root node, and first and second blockchain nodes. The first blockchain node is configured to provide a data reference. The second blockchain node is configured to receive the data reference from the first blockchain node, and in response access a document from the first blockchain node and provide a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
A further example embodiment may provide a non-transitory computer readable medium including instructions, that when read by a processor, cause the processor to perform one or more of configuring a blockchain network including first and second blockchain nodes, providing, by the first blockchain node, a data reference to the second blockchain node, accessing a document, by the second blockchain node, from the first blockchain node, and providing by the second blockchain node, a proof of receipt for the document to a shared blockchain ledger.
It will be readily understood that the instant components, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, may be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following detailed description of the embodiments of at least one of a method, apparatus, non-transitory computer readable medium and system, as represented in the attached figures, is not intended to limit the scope of the application as claimed, but is merely representative of selected embodiments.
The instant features, structures, or characteristics as described throughout this specification may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. For example, the usage of the phrases “example embodiments”, “some embodiments”, or other similar language, throughout this specification refers to the fact that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment may be included in at least one embodiment. Thus, appearances of the phrases “example embodiments”, “in some embodiments”, “in other embodiments”, or other similar language, throughout this specification do not necessarily all refer to the same group of embodiments, and the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.
In addition, while the term “message” may have been used in the description of embodiments, the application may be applied to many types of network data, such as, packet, frame, datagram, etc. The term “message” also includes packet, frame, datagram, and any equivalents thereof. Furthermore, while certain types of messages and signaling may be depicted in exemplary embodiments they are not limited to a certain type of message, and the application is not limited to a certain type of signaling. Example embodiments provide methods, devices, networks and/or systems, which provide biometric threat intelligence processing for blockchains.
A blockchain is a distributed system which includes multiple nodes that communicate with each other. A blockchain operates programs called chaincode (e.g., smart contracts, etc.), holds state and ledger data, and executes transactions. Some transactions are operations invoked on the chaincode. In general, blockchain transactions typically must be “endorsed” by certain blockchain members and only endorsed transactions may be committed to the blockhcain and have an effect on the state of the blockchain. Other transactions which are not endorsed are disregarded. There may exist one or more special chaincodes for management functions and parameters, collectively called system chaincodes.
Nodes are the communication entities of the blockchain system. A “node” may perform a logical function in the sense that multiple nodes of different types can run on the same physical server. Nodes are grouped in trust domains and are associated with logical entities that control them in various ways. Nodes may include different types, such as a client or submitting-client node which submits a transaction-invocation to an endorser (e.g., peer), and broadcasts transaction-proposals to an ordering service (e.g., ordering node). Another type of node is a peer node which can receive client submitted transactions, commit the transactions and maintain a state and a copy of the ledger of blockchain transactions. Peers can also have the role of an endorser, although it is not a requirement. An ordering-service-node or orderer is a node running the communication service for all nodes, and which implements a delivery guarantee, such as a broadcast to each of the peer nodes in the system when committing transactions and modifying a world state of the blockchain, which is another name for the initial blockchain transaction which normally includes control and setup information.
A ledger is a sequenced, tamper-resistant record of all state transitions of a blockchain. State transitions may result from chaincode invocations (i.e., transactions) submitted by participating parties (e.g., client nodes, ordering nodes, endorser nodes, peer nodes, etc.). A transaction may result in a set of asset key-value pairs being committed to the ledger as one or more operands, such as creates, updates, deletes, and the like. The ledger includes a blockchain (also referred to as a chain) which is used to store an immutable, sequenced record in blocks. The ledger also includes a state database, which maintains a current state of the blockchain. There is typically one ledger per channel. Each peer node maintains a copy of the ledger for each channel of which they are a member.
A chain is a transaction log which is structured as hash-linked blocks, and each block contains a sequence of N transactions where N is equal to or greater than one. The block header includes a hash of the block'"'"'s transactions, as well as a hash of the prior block'"'"'s header. In this way, all transactions on the ledger may be sequenced and cryptographically linked together. Accordingly, it is not possible to tamper with the ledger data without breaking the hash links. A hash of a most recently added blockchain block represents every transaction on the chain that has come before it, making it possible to ensure that all peer nodes are in a consistent and trusted state. The chain may be stored on a peer node file system (i.e., local, attached storage, cloud, etc.), efficiently supporting the append-only nature of the blockchain workload.
The current state of the immutable ledger represents the latest values for all keys that are included in the chain transaction log. Because the current state represents the latest key values known to a channel, it is sometimes referred to as a world state. Chaincode invocations execute transactions against the current state data of the ledger. To make these chaincode interactions efficient, the latest values of the keys may be stored in a state database. The state database may be simply an indexed view into the chain'"'"'s transaction log, it can therefore be regenerated from the chain at any time. The state database may automatically be recovered (or generated if needed) upon peer node startup, and before transactions are accepted.
For business partners to exchange business data, it is commonly required for one partner to configure a gateway capable of sending & receiving data to and from its business partners. Traditionally the best practice is to set up exchange profiles (e.g. based on B2B CPA specification) that define exchange details among trading partners such as transport level and security level requirements. However, this process normally requires non-trivial efforts because it involves manual processes from multiple parties to define the exchange details. Also, connectivity may be another major problem since these gateways typically located in protected networks, where an organization'"'"'s firewalls make it much harder to connect the gateway for configuration purposes from the internet. To solve those problems, what is needed is a mechanism that sets up a virtually connected business network to enable smart contracts between business partners to manage document transfers.
Each of the blockchain nodes 104 has an associated gateway 116, shown as gateway 116A associated with blockchain node 104A, gateway 116B associated with blockchain node 104B, and gateway 116N associated with blockchain node 104N. Gateways 116 each include a configuration that contains communication parameters (e.g. encryption, credential, and port). A common existing practice to exchange gateway configuration using a manual process (e.g. B2B CPA profile), and the major challenge to automate this process is the gateways 116 are commonly located in a segregated network that prevents other system from accessing and configuring the gateway. A CPA file is an XML document that enumerates the valid, visible, and enforceable interactions that are required for two partners to collaborate and interchange B2B documents. The CPA file contains the communication protocol, reliable messaging process information, request and response security, message transport, and document envelope details.
A blockchain provides an infrastructure for partners to exchange credentials to setup a virtual private network (VPN) for communication, but another challenge of using blockchain networks for business-to-business (B2B) use cases is that partners are often not comfortable placing critical data or documents outside their organization in a blockchain. Currently, a general approach is to put sensitive data or documents within another data store (with a pointer, URL, and included hash to prove validity of documents).
Blockchain network 112 includes one or more cloud brokers 120, which include a root node 128 and a smart contract 124, which each of blockchain nodes 104 sign. A smart contract 124 includes an IP address and/or port identifier for the root node 128, and a set of credentials for each of the business partners/blockchain nodes 104 that wish to transfer documents 136. A communication agreement within a smart contract 124 may be created on the cloud broker 120 and imported to each gateway 116. Based on the communication agreement in the smart contract 124, each partner could join a blockchain network 112 with limited scope (for example, only partners 104 with a signed communication agreement or smart contract 124 may join).
Documents 136 are transferred outside of the blockchain transactions 132 between the blockchain nodes 104. When ready to share one or more documents 136 or a configuration, an originating node 104 sends a data reference (e.g. a URL) of the data to blockchain network 112. Participant nodes 104 that have signed the smart contract 124 are then able to access the document(s) 136 via the data reference and pull a copy to their own network storage using their credentials. Participant nodes 104 provide proof that they have received the document(s) 136 by combining a hash of the document 150, a salt 154, and their own identifier 158 to form a receipt 144, signing it, and creating a blockchain transaction 132. This may only be performed if participant nodes 104 have accessed and hashed the document 136.
A salt is random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that “hashes” data, a password, or a passphrase. Salts are closely related to the concept of nonce. The primary function of salts is to defend against dictionary attacks or against its hashed equivalent, a pre-computed rainbow table attack. Salts are sometimes used to safeguard passwords in storage. Historically a password may be stored in plaintext on a system, but over time additional safeguards have been developed to protect a user'"'"'s password against being read from the system. A salt is one of those methods.
In response to transferring documents 136 between blockchain nodes 104, blockchain transactions 132 are generated by blockchain nodes 104 that receive documents 136. The blockchain transactions 132 store receipts in the distributed shared ledgers 108 associated with each blockchain node 104, as described with reference to
Receipt contents 144 each include one or more of a hash of the document(s) 150, a salt 154, and a receiving node identifier 158. For N receipts 144, corresponding to receipts 144A through 144N, there are corresponding hashes of documents 150A through 150N, salts 154A through 154N, and receiving node identifiers 158A through 158N, respectively. A hash is a function that can be used to map data of arbitrary size to data of fixed size. Thus a hash of a document 150 reduces the hashed document to a fixed size. A salt 154 is random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that “hashes” data. A receiving node identifier 158 is any alphanumeric or other type of string that uniquely identifies a receiving node 104.
In some cases. participant nodes 104 may elect to accept a risk of receiving a wrong document 136 by not creating and submitting a receipt 144 to the blockchain. However, receiving a wrong document 136 may have a business cost or other adverse result. If a participant node 104 denies having accessed a document 136, there if proof (through the receipts 144 stored in the shared ledgers 108) they did.
The blockchain base or platform 212 may include various layers of blockchain data, services (e.g., cryptographic trust services, virtual execution environment, etc.), and underpinning physical computer infrastructure that may be used to receive and store new transactions and provide access to auditors which are seeking to access data entries. The blockchain layer 216 may expose an interface that provides access to the virtual execution environment necessary to process the program code and engage the physical infrastructure 214. Cryptographic trust services 218 may be used to verify transactions such as asset exchange transactions and keep information private.
The blockchain architecture configuration of
Within chaincode, a smart contract may be created via a high-level application and programming language, and then written to a block in the blockchain. The smart contract may include executable code which is registered, stored, and/or replicated with a blockchain (e.g., distributed network of blockchain peers). A transaction is an execution of the smart contract code which can be performed in response to conditions associated with the smart contract being satisfied. The executing of the smart contract may trigger a trusted modification(s) to a state of a digital blockchain ledger. The modification(s) to the blockchain ledger caused by the smart contract execution may be automatically replicated throughout the distributed network of blockchain peers through one or more consensus protocols.
The smart contract may write data to the blockchain in the format of key-value pairs. Furthermore, the smart contract code can read the values stored in a blockchain and use them in application operations. The smart contract code can write the output of various logic operations into the blockchain. The code may be used to create a temporary data structure in a virtual machine or other computing platform. Data written to the blockchain can be public and/or can be encrypted and maintained as private. The temporary data that is used/generated by the smart contract is held in memory by the supplied execution environment, then deleted once the data needed for the blockchain is identified.
A chaincode may include the code interpretation of a smart contract, with additional features. As described herein, the chaincode may be program code deployed on a computing network, where it is executed and validated by chain validators together during a consensus process. The chaincode receives a hash and retrieves from the blockchain a hash associated with the data template created by use of a previously stored feature extractor. If the hashes of the hash identifier and the hash created from the stored identifier template data match, then the chaincode sends an authorization key to the requested service. The chaincode may write to the blockchain data associated with the cryptographic details. In
Referring again to
In response, the endorsing peer node 281 may verify (a) that the transaction proposal is well formed, (b) the transaction has not been submitted already in the past (replay-attack protection), (c) the signature is valid, and (d) that the submitter (client 260, in the example) is properly authorized to perform the proposed operation on that channel. The endorsing peer node 281 may take the transaction proposal inputs as arguments to the invoked chaincode function. The chaincode is then executed against a current state database to produce transaction results including a response value, read set, and write set. However, no updates are made to the ledger at this point. In 292, the set of values, along with the endorsing peer node'"'"'s 281 signature is passed back as a proposal response 292 to the SDK of the client 260 which parses the payload for the application to consume.
In response, the application of the client 260 inspects/verifies the endorsing peers signatures and compares the proposal responses to determine if the proposal response is the same. If the chaincode only queried the ledger, the application would inspect the query response and would typically not submit the transaction to the ordering node service 284. If the client application intends to submit the transaction to the ordering node service 284 to update the ledger, the application determines if the specified endorsement policy has been fulfilled before submitting (i.e., did all peer nodes necessary for the transaction endorse the transaction). Here, the client may include only one of multiple parties to the transaction. In this case, each client may have their own endorsing node, and each endorsing node will need to endorse the transaction. The architecture is such that even if an application selects not to inspect responses or otherwise forwards an unendorsed transaction, the endorsement policy will still be enforced by peers and upheld at the commit validation phase.
After successful inspection, in step 293 the client 260 assembles endorsements into a transaction and broadcasts the transaction proposal and response within a transaction message to the ordering node 284. The transaction may contain the read/write sets, the endorsing peers signatures and a channel ID. The ordering node 284 does not need to inspect the entire content of a transaction in order to perform its operation, instead the ordering node 284 may simply receive transactions from all channels in the network, order them chronologically by channel, and create blocks of transactions per channel.
The blocks of the transaction are delivered from the ordering node 284 to all peer nodes 281-283 on the channel. The transactions 294 within the block are validated to ensure any endorsement policy is fulfilled and to ensure that there have been no changes to ledger state for read set variables since the read set was generated by the transaction execution. Transactions in the block are tagged as being valid or invalid. Furthermore, in step 295 each peer node 281-283 appends the block to the channel'"'"'s chain, and for each valid transaction the write sets are committed to current state database. An event is emitted, to notify the client application that the transaction (invocation) has been immutably appended to the chain, as well as to notify whether the transaction was validated or invalidated.
A blockchain developer system 316 writes chaincode and client-side applications. The blockchain developer system 316 can deploy chaincode directly to the network through a REST interface. To include credentials from a traditional data source 330 in chaincode, the developer system 316 could use an out-of-band connection to access the data. In this example, the blockchain user 302 connects to the network through a peer node 312. Before proceeding with any transactions, the peer node 312 retrieves the user'"'"'s enrollment and transaction certificates from the certificate authority 318. In some cases, blockchain users must possess these digital certificates in order to transact on the permissioned blockchain network 310. Meanwhile, a user attempting to drive chaincode may be required to verify their credentials on the traditional data source 330. To confirm the user'"'"'s authorization, chaincode can use an out-of-band connection to this data through a traditional processing platform 320.
The configuration process 400 begins when the originating node 401 and each of the participant nodes 402A, 402B are defined (not shown). There are many ways each of the nodes 401, 402 may be defined, and such definition is situationally dependent. Once each of the nodes 401, 402 are defined, each node 401, 402 defines configuration parameters 410 Configuration parameters 410 include registration and login parameters used to login to the cloud broker 403, such as a URL, a username, and a password. Each of the nodes 401, 402 transfers the configuration parameters 411 to the cloud broker 403. The originating node 401, initiating creation of a blockchain network 112, sends a contract request 412 to a cloud broker 403. The cloud broker 403, in response to receiving the contract request 412, creates a smart contract 415. All nodes 401, 402 that are to be included in the blockchain network 112 are required to sign the smart contract 415.
The cloud broker 403, after creating the smart contract 415, sends the smart contract 416 to each of the blockchain nodes 401, 402. The blockchain nodes 401, 402 receive the smart contract 415 and sign the smart contract 420 using a private key associated with each node 401, 402. Contents of the smart contract 415 are parsed and imported by each of the gateways 116. For example, there will be several virtual gateways created as the representation of each node'"'"'s different partners. In other words, if node A has 2 partners and there will be 2 virtual gateways created to represent each of them. This mechanism applies to all partners, (ie. partner A, B, C, etc).
Finally, each of the nodes 401, 402 return the signed smart contract 421 to the cloud broker 403. At this point, the blockchain network 112 has been configured and document transfers may commence.
The document sharing process 450 begins when the originating node 401 identifies one or more documents to share 460. The documents are stored behind a gateway 116 within network infrastructure of a node 104, perhaps within a database of a networked portion of the node 104. Next, the originating node 401 provides a data reference 461 to one or more participant nodes 402 that the originating node 401 wishes to share the documents 460 with. The data reference 461 is typically a URL pointing to a location in the originating node 401 where one or more documents are stored. The one or more participant nodes 402, after receiving the data reference 461, uses the data reference 461 to pull the identified documents 465 from the database of the originating node 401. The documents 466 are not processed as a blockchain transaction 132, but rather are transferred outside the blockchain network 112, 451 as described with reference to
Once the participating nodes 402 have received the documents 466, each participating node 402 creates a receipt 470. The receipt 470 includes a hash of the received documents 466, a salt, and an identifier of the participating node 402 that received the documents 466. Each participating node 402 then initiates a blockchain transaction 471 including the receipt 470. The blockchain network 451 validates the transaction(s) 471, and stores each receipt 470 to the blockchain 475. Specifically, the receipts 470 become part of the shared ledger 108 so that an immutable record of document transfers is maintained on the blockchain.
Once the document is received by the system 554, it is usually encrypted. At step 558, a blockchain transaction is created that includes the encrypted document or a hash thereof, this transaction is then submitted to the blockchain.
After being received at the blockchain, the transaction is stored in the blockchain 562. In some embodiments, the transaction is “from” the submitter and “to” one or more editors. In certain embodiments, the transaction is ‘to” one or more approvers. If an editor is required, the editor is set and then notified. In certain examples, an editor is notified via email or the like that a document is ready to be reviewed and edited.
At step 566, the editor edits the document by accessing the document that was stored in accordance with the submitted blockchain transaction. Each edit session by the editor system may correspondingly cause the creation of a blockchain transaction for the edited document.
This new blockchain transaction is then submitted to the blockchain where it is stored 570 therein. Depending on the nature of the job, the transaction that is created may be from the editor back to the same editor (e.g., in the case of further edits being required), may be from the editor to another editor(s), or may be from the editor to one or more approvers. Different editors may use the same editor system or a different editor system (e.g., a different computer system). After editing, the system may determine (e.g., in accordance with the set job details) that the document no longer is being edited and then finalize the document. Finalizing the document may cause the creation and submission of another blockchain transaction by the system to the blockchain. Accordingly, the finalized document may be incorporated into the blockchain (e.g., by being cryptographically verified).
After finalizing the document, the system may also convert the document into a format that will be used for disseminating the document to the recipients. The converted document may also be saved to the blockchain. It will be appreciated that each successive blockchain transaction for a document may refer back to a prior blockchain transaction for that document (e.g., the unspent “outputs” of one blockchain transaction are used as “inputs” for a successive blockchain transaction). This may facilitate the creation and stability of an audit trail from the submission of the initial document through the eventual dissemination of the document to the recipients.
In any event, once the document has been finalized and is in the format that will be disseminated, the approvers will be notified. In certain examples, the notification may be a message that is delivered to an approver system, and in other examples the notification may be, for example, an email that is sent to an email address associated with an approver. The approver may approve, reject and discard, or reject and request further modifications via the approver system. If the approver completely rejects the document (e.g., via a reject command provided from the approver system), another blockchain transaction may be generated “to” a special trash address that is on the blockchain. The key for this address may be held by the system such that no outside parties (or perhaps even the system) could then unlock the document (or the transaction that contains the document) because it is signed by a public key for which no party has access to. The process would then repeat.
Finally, the approver may also approve the document for release (e.g., via an approval command provided from the approver system). When an approver approves the release of a document they may effectively be signing (from the perspective of the blockchain) the final transaction. Once signed, then any other conditions associated with the transaction (e.g., a timed release) would then wait to be fulfilled. In the meantime, the system monitors the blockchain for when the script associated with this “final” transaction has been fulfilled. If it has been fulfilled, then the system may notify the recipients 574 that the document is now available on the blockchain and/or recipient systems may directly monitor the blockchain such that blockchain effectively notifies the recipients of the expiration of the script associated with the final blockchain transaction. In certain example embodiments, the document may be made available by having the system send an email or other communication to the recipients with the document. Accordingly, the document that was initially uploaded may be secured and timely delivered to the intended recipients.
The above embodiments may be implemented in hardware, in a computer program executed by a processor, in firmware, or in a combination of the above. A computer program may be embodied on a computer readable medium, such as a storage medium. For example, a computer program may reside in random access memory (“RAM”), flash memory, read-only memory (“ROM”), erasable programmable read-only memory (“EPROM”), electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (“EEPROM”), registers, hard disk, a removable disk, a compact disk read-only memory (“CD-ROM”), or any other form of storage medium known in the art.
An exemplary storage medium may be coupled to the processor such that the processor may read information from, and write information to, the storage medium. In the alternative, the storage medium may be integral to the processor. The processor and the storage medium may reside in an application specific integrated circuit (“ASIC”). In the alternative, the processor and the storage medium may reside as discrete components. For example,
In computing node 700 there is a computer system/server 702, which is operational with numerous other general purpose or special purpose computing system environments or configurations. Examples of well-known computing systems, environments, and/or configurations that may be suitable for use with computer system/server 702 include, but are not limited to, personal computer systems, server computer systems, thin clients, thick clients, hand-held or laptop devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based systems, set top boxes, programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputer systems, mainframe computer systems, and distributed cloud computing environments that include any of the above systems or devices, and the like.
Computer system/server 702 may be described in the general context of computer system-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by a computer system. Generally, program modules may include routines, programs, objects, components, logic, data structures, and so on that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. Computer system/server 702 may be practiced in distributed cloud computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed cloud computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote computer system storage media including memory storage devices.
As shown in
The bus represents one or more of any of several types of bus structures, including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, an accelerated graphics port, and a processor or local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. By way of example, and not limitation, such architectures include Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, Enhanced ISA (EISA) bus, Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) local bus, and Peripheral Component Interconnects (PCI) bus.
Computer system/server 702 typically includes a variety of computer system readable media. Such media may be any available media that is accessible by computer system/server 702, and it includes both volatile and non-volatile media, removable and non-removable media. System memory 706, in one embodiment, implements the flow diagrams of the other figures. The system memory 706 can include computer system readable media in the form of volatile memory, such as random-access memory (RAM) 710 and/or cache memory 712. Computer system/server 702 may further include other removable/non-removable, volatile/non-volatile computer system storage media. By way of example only, storage system 714 can be provided for reading from and writing to a non-removable, non-volatile magnetic media (not shown and typically called a “hard drive”). Although not shown, a magnetic disk drive for reading from and writing to a removable, non-volatile magnetic disk (e.g., a “floppy disk”), and an optical disk drive for reading from or writing to a removable, non-volatile optical disk such as a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or other optical media can be provided. In such instances, each can be connected to the bus by one or more data media interfaces. As will be further depicted and described below, memory 706 may include at least one program product having a set (e.g., at least one) of program modules that are configured to carry out the functions of various embodiments of the application.
Program/utility 716, having a set (at least one) of program modules 718, may be stored in memory 706 by way of example, and not limitation, as well as an operating system, one or more application programs, other program modules, and program data. Each of the operating system, one or more application programs, other program modules, and program data or some combination thereof, may include an implementation of a networking environment. Program modules 718 generally carry out the functions and/or methodologies of various embodiments of the application as described herein.
As will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, aspects of the present application may be embodied as a system, method, or computer program product. Accordingly, aspects of the present application may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment (including firmware, resident software, micro-code, etc.) or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects that may all generally be referred to herein as a “circuit,” “module” or “system”. Furthermore, aspects of the present application may take the form of a computer program product embodied in one or more computer readable medium(s) having computer readable program code embodied thereon.
Computer system/server 702 may also communicate with one or more external devices 720 such as a keyboard, a pointing device, a display 722, etc.; one or more devices that enable a user to interact with computer system/server 702; and/or any devices (e.g., network card, modem, etc.) that enable computer system/server 702 to communicate with one or more other computing devices. Such communication can occur via I/O interfaces 724. Still yet, computer system/server 702 can communicate with one or more networks such as a local area network (LAN), a general wide area network (WAN), and/or a public network (e.g., the Internet) via network adapter 726. As depicted, network adapter 726 communicates with the other components of computer system/server 702 via a bus. It should be understood that although not shown, other hardware and/or software components could be used in conjunction with computer system/server 702. Examples, include, but are not limited to: microcode, device drivers, redundant processing units, external disk drive arrays, RAID systems, tape drives, and data archival storage systems, etc.
Although an exemplary embodiment of at least one of a system, method, and non-transitory computer readable medium has been illustrated in the accompanied drawings and described in the foregoing detailed description, it will be understood that the application is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications, and substitutions as set forth and defined by the following claims. For example, the capabilities of the system of the various figures can be performed by one or more of the modules or components described herein or in a distributed architecture and may include a transmitter, receiver or pair of both. For example, all or part of the functionality performed by the individual modules, may be performed by one or more of these modules. Further, the functionality described herein may be performed at various times and in relation to various events, internal or external to the modules or components. Also, the information sent between various modules can be sent between the modules via at least one of: a data network, the Internet, a voice network, an Internet Protocol network, a wireless device, a wired device and/or via plurality of protocols. Also, the messages sent or received by any of the modules may be sent or received directly and/or via one or more of the other modules.
One skilled in the art will appreciate that a “system” could be embodied as a personal computer, a server, a console, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cell phone, a tablet computing device, a smartphone or any other suitable computing device, or combination of devices. Presenting the above-described functions as being performed by a “system” is not intended to limit the scope of the present application in any way but is intended to provide one example of many embodiments. Indeed, methods, systems and apparatuses disclosed herein may be implemented in localized and distributed forms consistent with computing technology.
It should be noted that some of the system features described in this specification have been presented as modules, in order to more particularly emphasize their implementation independence. For example, a module may be implemented as a hardware circuit comprising custom very large-scale integration (VLSI) circuits or gate arrays, off-the-shelf semiconductors such as logic chips, transistors, or other discrete components. A module may also be implemented in programmable hardware devices such as field programmable gate arrays, programmable array logic, programmable logic devices, graphics processing units, or the like.
A module may also be at least partially implemented in software for execution by various types of processors. An identified unit of executable code may, for instance, comprise one or more physical or logical blocks of computer instructions that may, for instance, be organized as an object, procedure, or function. Nevertheless, the executables of an identified module need not be physically located together but may comprise disparate instructions stored in different locations which, when joined logically together, comprise the module and achieve the stated purpose for the module. Further, modules may be stored on a computer-readable medium, which may be, for instance, a hard disk drive, flash device, random access memory (RAM), tape, or any other such medium used to store data.
Indeed, a module of executable code could be a single instruction, or many instructions, and may even be distributed over several different code segments, among different programs, and across several memory devices. Similarly, operational data may be identified and illustrated herein within modules and may be embodied in any suitable form and organized within any suitable type of data structure. The operational data may be collected as a single data set or may be distributed over different locations including over different storage devices, and may exist, at least partially, merely as electronic signals on a system or network.
It will be readily understood that the components of the application, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, may be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the detailed description of the embodiments is not intended to limit the scope of the application as claimed but is merely representative of selected embodiments of the application.
One having ordinary skill in the art will readily understand that the above may be practiced with steps in a different order, and/or with hardware elements in configurations that are different than those which are disclosed. Therefore, although the application has been described based upon these preferred embodiments, it would be apparent to those of skill in the art that certain modifications, variations, and alternative constructions would be apparent.
While preferred embodiments of the present application have been described, it is to be understood that the embodiments described are illustrative only and the scope of the application is to be defined solely by the appended claims when considered with a full range of equivalents and modifications (e.g., protocols, hardware devices, software platforms etc.) thereto.