SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ACCELERATING USER INTERACTIONS ON TOUCHSCREEN DEVICES
1. A method for improving interfacing with a configurable device, the method comprising:
- launching a document viewer to spawn a document viewer window that displays a document;
launching a spliced network management (SNM) session to spawn a SNM session window to establish a connection to a network device;
in response to a user selecting one or more items in both the document viewer window and the SNM session window, associating the document with the SNM session;
in the document, identifying commands for modifying a configuration state of the network device;
injecting a user-selected command into a command line of the SNM session window to modify the configuration state of the network device.
Disclosed systems and methods provide an integrated hypermedia engine (IHE) that monitors and predicts user activity on spawned document windows and spliced network management CLI/GUI sessions. In embodiments, the IHE pro-actively assists a user to efficiently use device-related documentation in an intuitive manner that requires minimal user interaction and, thereby, reduces the likelihood of human error, e.g., when configuring network devices involves multi-tiered, dynamic configuration paths. The IHE may acts as bridge between document windows and spliced network management sessions, for example, to enable seamless transfer of a CLI command from a document window to an inline GUI panel launched by a CLI session when constructing a command line. In embodiments, a context-ware THE may create and take advantage of documentation tags by interpreting relationships between commands to enable auto-navigation of the document. Certain embodiments provide for monitoring and mapping a CLI/GUI output back to the appropriate documentation.
- 1. A method for improving interfacing with a configurable device, the method comprising:
launching a document viewer to spawn a document viewer window that displays a document; launching a spliced network management (SNM) session to spawn a SNM session window to establish a connection to a network device; in response to a user selecting one or more items in both the document viewer window and the SNM session window, associating the document with the SNM session; in the document, identifying commands for modifying a configuration state of the network device; injecting a user-selected command into a command line of the SNM session window to modify the configuration state of the network device.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- 9. An integrated hypermedia engine (IHE) comprising:
one or more processors configured to cause a parser to parse a document to identify commands for modifying a configuration state of a network device, the one or more processors further configured to cause a spliced network management (SNM) session to launch, the IHE monitors and manages interactions between a user, a document window, and a SNM window to enable auto-navigation within the document, the IHE configured to perform steps comprising; in response to a user selection, associating a document displayed in the document window with the SNM session, based on a type of the document; injecting the command into a command line of the SNM window to modify the configuration state of the network device.
- View Dependent Claims (10, 11, 12, 13)
- 14. A system to accelerate command line interface interactions, the system comprising:
an integrated hypermedia engine (IHE) comprising; a processor; a document handler; and a session handler; a network device coupled to the IHE, the document handler and the session handler respectively launch a document viewer and a spliced network management (SNM) session, the document handler being used to identify commands for modifying a configuration state of a network device in the document viewer, the IHE configured to perform steps comprising; in response to a user-selection, associating a document displayed in a document window and the spliced SNM session, based on a type of the document; verifying that the document may be mapped to the network device; injecting the command from the document viewer into a command line of an SNM window and executing the command to modify the configuration state of the network device; and instructing the document handler to auto-navigate to another SNM command.
- View Dependent Claims (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
This patent application is a continuation of and claims the priority benefit of co-pending and commonly-owned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/083,182, filed on Mar. 28, 2016, entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ACCELERATING USER INTERACTIONS ON TOUCHSCREEN DEVICES,” which patent document is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety and for all purposes.
The present invention relates to information handling systems and, more particularly, to systems, devices, and methods of improving user interactions on touchscreen devices.
As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.
Many existing information handling systems still require cumbersome manually data entry that involves a great number of keyboard strokes and mouse clicks, for example, to transfer data from one window to another when managing the configuration of various components of the information handling systems, such network devices (e.g., network switches). Accordingly, what is needed are solutions that provide for more efficient systems and methods to manage information handling systems.
Reference will be made to embodiments of the invention, examples of which may be illustrated in the accompanying figures. These figures are intended to be illustrative and not limiting. Although the invention is generally described in the context of these embodiments, it should be understood that this is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to these particular embodiments. Elements in the figures may not be drawn to scale.
FIGURE (“FIG.”) 1 is a general illustration of a system to accelerate user interactions on touchscreen devices, according to various embodiments of the present disclosure.
In the following description, for the purpose of explanation, specific details are set forth in order to provide an understanding of the invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the invention can be practiced without these details. One skilled in the art will recognize that embodiments of the present invention, described below, may be performed in a variety of ways and using a variety of means. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that additional modifications, applications, and embodiments are within the scope thereof, as are additional fields in which the invention may provide utility. Accordingly, the embodiments described below are illustrative of specific embodiments of the invention and are meant to avoid obscuring the invention.
Reference in the specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, characteristic, or function described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearance of the phrase “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” or the like in various places in the specification are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment.
Furthermore, connections between components or between method steps in the figures are not restricted to connections that are affected directly. Instead, connections illustrated in the figures between components or method steps may be modified or otherwise changed through the addition thereto of intermediary components or method steps, without departing from the teachings of the present invention.
In the present disclosure the term “document” general refers to “documentation” and includes any number and type of document. “Touchscreen” and “touchscreen device” include handheld devices, tablets, touchscreen laptops, convertibles, and any other device in comprising a touchscreen. “Network” and “network device” include switches, routers, and any other network elements recognized by one of skilled in the art. The use of CLIs and GUIs is not intended as a limitation since the embodiments of the invention may be extended to all types of user interactions. The terms “document tag,” “tag,” and “command tag” refers mainly to visual indicators that highlight locations and/or text in a document displayed on a screen.
Document handler 110 may be a built-in handler that supports viewing various types of documents, such as Command Line Interface (CLI) references, configuration guides, application notes, field notices, plain text documents, xml/html documents, pdf documents, emails, etc., via document viewer window 120 on touchscreen device 138.
Session handler 112 is designed to launch a SNM session, display it on touchscreen device 138 in spliced session window 130, and establish, e.g., via communication path 132, a connection to network device 140 based on the properties of network device 140 (hardware, software version, user privileges, etc.).
In operation, IHE 102 uses document handler 110 and session handler 112 and their spawned windows to monitor and predict user activity on touchscreen device 138 to pro-actively assist a user to navigate multi-tiered, dynamic configuration paths for network device 140, while seamlessly utilizing document sources with a greatly reduced number of user interactions. In embodiments, IHE 102 is automatically launched in response to a user starting a corresponding software, such as a CLI application. IHE 102 may, in turn, launch document handler 110 to open a document in document viewer window 120, e.g., as a child application of IHE 102. In embodiments, while the user has the ability to navigate the open document as in a standard document viewer, user interactions with the document are guided and tracked by IHE 102.
In embodiments, IHE 102 further launches session handler 112 that performs one or more functions, such as managing how the user interacts with touchscreen device 138; receiving user input via various means; performing screen reading rendering; launching GUI/CLI panels; selecting parameters such as numbers and interface names and managing the injection of commands into an SNM session via a buffer. For example, session handler 112 may receive from SNM session a command to be injected into a current session and launch spliced session window 130 that publishes the command on the touchscreen. In embodiments, SNM session window 130 is opened as a child session of IHE 102, based on user privileges.
In embodiments, session handler 112 creates the SNM session and establishes a connection to network device 140 via communication path 132 using any known communication protocol, such as SSH, telnet, COM, Rlogin. In embodiments, session handler 112 is built into a version of a client, e.g., SSH, telnet, COM, or Rlogin, such that session handler 112 need not launch external utilities or applications to start an SNM session (e.g., a CLI session).
SNM session may be spliced, i.e., when it opens SNM session window 130 presented to a user, window 130 is managed and rendered by IHE 102 that monitors the input and output to session handler 112 and instructs document handler 110, for example, how to navigate the document in document window 120. In embodiments, IHE 102 has the context of and correlates both document handler 110 and session handler 112, e.g., via correlator 104.
In embodiments, after an SNM session is launched, e.g., via telnet, and opens SNM session window 130, IHE 102 automatically queries the connected network device 140 (e.g., by using “show . . . ”) command, to obtain and learn configuration information, such as the hardware version of network device 140, the OS version that is running, the current hardware or software configuration, and the like. Having obtained the type of hardware, IHE 102 may also infer which parser database it should use for that particular network device in the subsequent tag generation. In addition, due to the nature of the SNM session being a spliced session, and the parser database already containing some information, IHE 102 may also learn about features and pre-configured and to-be-configured commands. This learning may conveniently occur in the back-end without user involvement. It is noted that a user may open any number of documents for any number of devices to launch SNM sessions to study documents and apply commands to spliced session window 130.
In embodiments, the SNM session feeds commands received from network device 140 back to IHE 102 for interpretation. Once a command output by network device 140 is interpreted by IHE 102, that information is passed to the document handler. As an example, once the user configures a particular feature (e.g., CLI item #1) and the CLI executes the command, IHE 102 learns from the fed back command about the executed command, so that the IHE 102 may instruct the document handler to move to the next command in the document.
It is noted that while certain tasks herein are performed by session handler 112 and others by document handler 110, the separation is not intended as a limitation, as each handler may perform some or all tasks of the other.
In embodiments, IHE 102 opens a backend connection to network device 140 to facilitate input/output operations. While a user has the ability to operate SNM session window 130 like a standard CLI session client, in embodiments, user interactions with SNM session window 130 and commands transmitted to network device 140 are monitored by IHE 102. Similarly, the output of network device 140 may be monitored, parsed, learned, and rendered to SNM session window 130. In embodiments, session handler 112 comprises a built-in parser that supports various network devices 140, e.g., various types of switching products. Typically, once SNM session window 130 is opened, IHE 102 issues, via back-end CLI console 200 session, a command, such as “show tech,” “show running-config,” “show system,” “show version,” and “show inventory,” to learn a configuration state of network device 140.
In addition to enabling the configuration of network devices by using IHE 102 that causes a document handler to auto-navigate a document from feature to feature for each configuration, i.e., by generating a flow from the document viewer to the SNM session, the presented framework may also aid in reverse-mapping the a SNM session output back to the appropriate documentation. This may help a user to properly interpret a document in document viewer window 120. For example, once a command is executed, and the SNM session generates an error message that indicates that a particular feature cannot be configured, based on the SNM session, IHE 102 may determine whether the opened document (e.g., a configuration guide) contains useful error interpretation information that may explain to the user the meaning of the error message. IHE 102 may then find and correlate the error to a location in the document that containing the useful information and instruct document handler 110 to auto-navigate to and display the appropriate document location. As a result, the user need not independently search documents to gain access to sought after information.
In embodiments, the integrated application that runs IHE 102 allows the user to interact with the touchscreen via one or more interfaces to enter and modify configuration settings (e.g., document parsing options for the document handler). The SNM session window, for example, may be either a CLI or a GUI.
In embodiments, based on type or content of the document, IHE determines whether the opened document matches a particular network device, such as a network switch that is selected in the SNM session. If a match is found, IHE provides a visual indication of the association between the document and the SNM session. Otherwise, if a match is not found, IHE issues a warning or error message to indicate that the association has been rejected.
Visual indication of the association between windows may be accomplished, for example, via visual markers. As depicted in example in
In embodiments, once the IHE associates document viewer window 120 with the SNM session for which the IHE opens a backend connection to the network device, i.e., the IHE maps the document to the network device, the IHE may provide to the document handler a list of one or more commands for that particular network device. In embodiments, after the IHE validates that a particular document can be mapped to particular network device, the IHE identifies from a database of commands a list of SNM commands that is appropriate for the opened SNM session. Upon receipt of the list, the document handler launches document viewer window 120 and uses the list to parse the document to identify commands therein (e.g., CLI commands) and generate document tags adjacent to identified commands in document viewer window 120.
As illustrated in
Command types may include pre-configured commands that already exist in the configuration of the network device, commands that already exist in the document but cannot be executed in the network device (e.g., due to software version mismatches or feature dependencies), and commands that are blocked (e.g., due to lack of appropriate user privileges). Configuring a feature may involve one or more of the following: 1) multiple steps to configure a feature; 2) dependencies on other features and, therefore, links to other feature configuration sections; and 3) links to sections in other documents.
In embodiments, a parser built into the document handler of the IHE identifies and classifies commands (e.g., CLI commands) in the document and groups a sequence of commands into sub-groups having a particular feature configuration. If feature configuration requires several steps that span numerous pages in the document, the user starts with step 1, and after execution of each subsequent step, the parser causes document viewer window 120 to auto-navigate and scroll to the next location without user intervention. In embodiments, the user may optionally lock the document to prevent auto-navigation.
In embodiments, dependencies between features within the document, i.e., between different locations within the document, are maintained when auto-navigating or scrolling across sections, pages, numbers, paragraphs, etc., the document. In embodiments, maintaining dependencies involves using features of a dependency tree, as will be discussed further below with respect to
In embodiments, the user injects a command from document viewer window 120 into a corresponding SNM session (e.g., into an associated CLI session'"'"'s current command line) by selecting the command, e.g., by touching the tag adjacent to that command in document viewer window 120.
It is noted that most existing methods open (e.g., via an SSL or telnet connection) a CLI session and a pdf document. Then the user manually enters data, i.e., via copy and paste from the document into the CLI session. In contrast, the methods disclosed herein capture in a document viewer a command, selected or identified via corresponding tags, and pass the command to an IHE that infers the user'"'"'s intent to issue the selected command, as the IHE already knows that the document viewer and the document comprising the tagged command are associated with that particular CLI session. As a result, the IHE sends the command to the SNM handler associated with a session, so that the SNM handler can issue (or execute) the command, i.e., send the completed command to the back-end device after verifying that that it may be issued. In embodiments, the SNM session handler receives a response form the back-end obtained in the SNM session and displays it on back-end CLI console session window 200.
In embodiments, the command that the user injects is targeted at the network device that has been mapped to the document in document viewer window 120. Based on the context, the command may be issued right away, or remain in a CLI session buffer for further processing based on the session handler. In embodiments, once the SNM handler knows that the command has no multiple parameters, the user may inject the command directly, i.e., the SNM handler directly injects the command into the back-end session. Conversely, parameterized commands are sent to the back-end session via the spliced session. In embodiments, when user attempts to inject multi-parameter commands from document viewer window 120 into the CLI session, the session handler intercepts the command in the command buffer and presents possible options within SNM session window 130, for example, “inline” by using a GUI panel.
It is noted that although SNM session window 130 may be opened as a typical command line interface, the screen is controlled and rendered by the IHE that monitors user inputs before they are displayed on that window. One of skill in the art will appreciate that if multiple devices are associated with a document displayed by a single document viewer, it may be necessary to re-associate from one device to another prior to injecting the command.
In embodiments, once the command “mon session 300” is selected by the user to create a monitoring session, the command may be injected into the SNM session. The command is a single parameter command that may be used to monitor or sniff data packets entering or exiting a particular interface, e.g., to monitor multiple source ports and packets sent to a destination interface. Multiple sessions may be monitored. The user may have already created five independent monitoring session IDs, e.g., 0, 10, 20, 30, and 300. The monitoring session number is an ID that may be created at an interface VLAN.
In embodiments, the user may also use the command to enter a new session ID to create a new session. As shown in
In embodiments, once the user enters a valid input via any acceptable input method, the IHE constructs and issues the command associated with that input. The command may then be executed in the backend session at the switch, and the output of the switch may be reflected in the CLI session in SNM session window 130 accordingly.
When the injected command has multiple parameters, in embodiments, the IHE guides the user through each parameter presenting to the user options how to input data. Based on user settings and device availability, user input may be received via a GUI, a voice input interface, and the like. In example in
In embodiments, the IHE is context aware with respect to both the document viewer and the CLI session, i.e., the IHE does not necessarily treat each injectable command in the document viewer independently, but rather within the context of the documentation, the relationship between tagged commands, and the status of a CLI or GUI. The IHE continuously learns the current configuration state of the network device as well as the state of the current SNM session window. In embodiments, the IHE is aware of CLI modes (EXEC, EXEC-privilege, CONFIG, and interface) etc., and automatically enters and exits the corresponding modes based on a selected command.
As previously indicated, the document viewer is not restricted to any CLI configuration or command reference documents. Therefore, in embodiments, the user may open, for example, a blank text document to enter to-be-parsed text for the IHE.
In embodiments, the IHE does not merely add the prefix “no” to the list of to-be-deleted commands; rather, the IHE determines a proper order in which the commands should be negated before injecting them to the CLI session. For example, in
a) conf t
b) interface TenGigabitethernet 4/15
d) no port-channel 32 mode active
e) no port-channel-protocol lacp
At step 2004, a network device output is received, and may be communicated to the SNM window via the spliced SNM session. In embodiments, the output may be received in response to connecting, via the back-end connection, to the network device and sending appropriate commands to elicit a response by the network device, and may be parsed to learn about the network device and/or a network connection, for example, a configuration state of the network device 2002.
At step 2006, for example in response to a user selecting a document viewer window and the SNM session window, the user-selected document window is associated with the SNM session, for example, by the IHE.
At step 2008, it is verified that the document may be mapped onto the network device. Verification may be performed by the IHE, for example, based on the type of the document in the document viewer window.
At step 2010, the document is parsed, for example, by identifying network device commands in the document. In embodiments, parsing is performed by the document handler that selects from a database provided by the IHE a list of commands that is compatible with the network device.
At step 2012, tags that are associated with network device commands in the document viewer are generated in the document viewer, e.g., by a document handler.
At step 2014, a user-selected command from the document viewer window is injected into the network device, e.g., via a command line of the SNM session. In embodiments, this is accomplished via an inline GUI panel that is auto-launched by the IHE to guide the user to input parameters, e.g., for parameterized commands. In embodiments, the command is modified prior to injecting it into the command line.
At step 2016, for example in response to determining a configuration feature, commands are sent to the network device for execution, for example, via the back-end connection and without any user involvement.
At step 2018, the document handler is instructed by the IHE to proceed to the next command. In embodiments, based on a sequence of commands entered by the user, the IHE may determine a feature that is being configured in the SNM window, and cause the document viewer to auto-navigate through subsequent feature configuration steps to guide the user though the document. In embodiments, the command sequence are grouped as features and based on a feature dependence tree to ensure that dependencies within the parsed document are maintained.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that fewer or additional steps may be incorporated with the steps illustrated herein without departing from the scope of the invention. No particular order is implied by the arrangement of blocks within the flowchart or the description herein.
It will be further appreciated that the preceding examples and embodiments are exemplary and are for the purposes of clarity and understanding and not limiting to the scope of the present invention. It is intended that all permutations, enhancements, equivalents, combinations, and improvements thereto that are apparent to those skilled in the art, upon a reading of the specification and a study of the drawings, are included within the scope of the present invention. It is therefore intended that the claims include all such modifications, permutations, and equivalents as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.
Data and/or programs may be conveyed through any of a variety of tangible computer-readable media including, but are not limited to: magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROMs and holographic devices; magneto-optical media; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store or to store and execute program code, such as application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), flash memory devices, and ROM and RAM devices.
Aspects of embodiments may be encoded upon one or more non-transitory computer-readable media with instructions for one or more processors or processing units to cause steps to be performed. It shall be noted that the one or more non-transitory computer-readable media shall include volatile and non-volatile memory. It shall be noted that alternative implementations are possible, including a hardware implementation or a software/hardware implementation. Hardware-implemented functions may be realized using ASIC(s), programmable arrays, digital signal processing circuitry, or the like. Accordingly, the “means” terms in any claims are intended to cover both software and hardware implementations. Similarly, the term “computer-readable medium or media” as used herein includes software and/or hardware having a program of instructions embodied thereon, or a combination thereof. With these implementation alternatives in mind, it is to be understood that the present document provide the functional information one skilled in the art would require to write program code (i.e., software) and/or to fabricate circuits (i.e., hardware) to perform the processing required.
It shall be noted that aspects of the embodiments may further relate to computer products with a non-transitory, tangible computer-readable medium that have computer code thereon for performing various computer-implemented operations. The media and computer code may be those specially designed and constructed for the purposes of the present invention, or they may be of the kind known or available to those having skill in the relevant arts. Examples of computer code include machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files containing higher level code that are executed by a computer using an interpreter. Aspects of embodiments may be implemented in whole or in part as machine-executable instructions that may be in program modules that are executed by a processing device. Examples of program modules include libraries, programs, routines, objects, components, and data structures. In distributed computing environments, program modules may be physically located in settings that are local, remote, or both.
One skilled in the art will recognize no computing system or programming language is critical to the practice of the present invention. One skilled in the art will also recognize that a number of the elements described above may be physically and/or functionally separated into sub-modules or combined together.
It will be appreciated to those skilled in the art that the examples and embodiments herein are exemplary and not limiting to the scope of the present invention. It is intended that all permutations, enhancements, equivalents, combinations, and improvements thereto that are apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the current document are included within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.