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Publication numberUS20010038632 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 08/760,195
Publication dateNov 8, 2001
Filing dateDec 4, 1996
Priority dateDec 15, 1995
Also published asUS6377580
Publication number08760195, 760195, US 2001/0038632 A1, US 2001/038632 A1, US 20010038632 A1, US 20010038632A1, US 2001038632 A1, US 2001038632A1, US-A1-20010038632, US-A1-2001038632, US2001/0038632A1, US2001/038632A1, US20010038632 A1, US20010038632A1, US2001038632 A1, US2001038632A1
InventorsKoichi Matsumoto, Masaaki Inde, Yasunori Fujiwara
Original AssigneeCanon Kabushiki Kaisha
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Data communication apparatus and data communication method
US 20010038632 A1
Abstract
There is provided a data communication apparatus comprises interface means for connecting with a local area network (LAN), reception means for receiving data from a transmission side, notification means for notifying to a receiver on the LAN that the reception means received the data, via the interface means, and management means for managing the data received by the reception means, for each notification destination to which the notification is performed by the notification means, wherein the management means manages the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception by the reception means, and the notification means collectively notifies that the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception which data are managed by the management means were received by the reception means. Thus, it can be improved communication efficiency and communicating traffic even in a case where a number of transmission to the same destination and a number of reception to the same destination are performed.
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Claims(21)
What is claimed is:
1. A data communication apparatus comprising:
interface means for connecting with a local area network (LAN);
reception means for receiving data from a transmission side;
notification means for notifying to a receiver on the LAN that said reception means received the data, via said interface means; and
management means for managing the data received by said reception means, for each notification destination to which the notification is performed by said notification means,
wherein said management means manages the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception by said reception means, and
said notification means collectively notifies that the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception which data are managed by said management means were received by said reception means.
2. An apparatus according to
claim 1
, further comprising detection means for detecting receiver designation information from the transmission side, and
wherein said notification means performs the notification to the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means.
3. An apparatus according to
claim 2
, further comprising judgment means for judging whether or not the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means exists on the LAN, and
wherein said notification means performs the notification to a predetermined receiver in a case where it is judged by said judgment means that the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means does not exist on the LAN.
4. An apparatus according to
claim 1
, wherein said notification means notifies a reception time of each reception by said reception means.
5. A data communication apparatus comprising:
interface means for connecting with a local area network (LAN);
reception means for receiving a transmission request from a client on the LAN, via said interface means;
management means for managing data which is based on the transmission request received by said reception means, for each destination; and
transmission means for collectively transmitting the data which are based on the plurality of transmission requests managed by said management means.
6. An apparatus according to
claim 5
, wherein the transmission request received by said reception means includes control information and image information.
7. An apparatus according to
claim 6
, further comprising file formation means for forming a file of the data based on the plurality of transmission requests, with distinguishing the control information from the image information for each data.
8. A data communication apparatus comprising;
interface means for connecting with a local area network (LAN);
reception means for receiving data from a transmission side;
delivery means for delivering the data received by said reception means to a receiver on the LAN via said interface means; and
management means for managing the data received by said reception means, for each receiver to which the delivery should be performed by said delivery means,
wherein said management means manages the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception by said reception means, and
said delivery means delivers at one time the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception which data are managed by said management means.
9. An apparatus according to
claim 8
, further comprising detection means for detecting receiver designation information from the transmission side, and
wherein said delivery means performs the delivery to the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means.
10. An apparatus according to
claim 9
, further comprising judgment means for judging whether or not the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means exists on the LAN, and
wherein said delivery means performs the delivery to a predetermined receiver in a case where it is judged by said judgment means that the receiver who is based on the information detected by said detection means does not exist on the LAN.
11. A data communication apparatus comprising:
input means for inputting a plurality of data including information for designating a receiver;
detection means for detecting the information for designating the receiver which information is included in the data input by said input means;
sort means for sorting the data in accordance with a detection result by said detection means; and
transmission means for collectively transmitting the data sorted by said sort means.
12. An apparatus according to
claim 11
, further:
comprising interface means for connecting to a local area network (LAN), and
wherein said input means inputs the data via said interface means.
13. An apparatus according to
claim 11
, further comprising management means for managing the data input by said input means, for each destination station, and
wherein said detection means detects the information for designating the receiver, included in the data managed by said management means.
14. A data communication method for exchanging data between a local area network (LAN) and a communication line other than the LAN, said method comprising:
a reception step of receiving the data from a transmission side via the communication line;
a notification step of notifying to a receiver on the LAN that the data was received in said reception step; and
a management step of managing the data received in said reception step, for each receiver to which the notification should be performed in said notification step,
wherein, in said management step, the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception in said reception step are managed, and
in said notification step, it is collectively notified that the plural-time reception were performed in said reception step.
15. A data communication method for exchanging data between a local area network (LAN) and a communication line other than the LAN, said method comprising:
a reception step of receiving a transmission request from a client on the LAN;
a management step of managing the data based on the transmission request received in said reception step, for each destination; and
a transmission step of collectively transmitting the data based on the plurality of transmission requests managed in said management step, via the communication line.
16. A data communication method for exchanging data between a local area network (LAN) and a communication line other than the LAN, said method comprising:
a reception step of receiving the data from a transmission side, via the communication line;
a delivery step of delivering the data received in said reception step to a receiver on the LAN; and
a management step of managing the plurality of data received in said reception step, for each receiver to which the delivery should be performed in said delivery step,
wherein, in said delivery step, the plurality of reception data managed in said management step are collectively delivered.
17. A data communication method comprising:
an input step of inputting a plurality of data including information for designating a receiver;
a detection step of detecting the information for designating the receiver, which information is included in the data input in said input step;
a sort step of sorting the data in accordance with a detection result in said detection step; and
a transmission step of collectively transmitting the data sorted in said sort step.
18. A computer readable program comprising;
a reception step of receiving data from a transmission side via a communication line;
a notification step of notifying to a receiver on a local area network (LAN) that the data was received in said reception step; and
a management step of managing the data received in said reception step, for each receiver to which the notification should be performed in said notification step,
wherein, in said management step, the reception data corresponding to the plural-time reception in said reception step are managed, and
in said notification step, it is collectively notified that the plural-time reception were performed in said reception step.
19. A computer readable program comprising:
a reception step of receiving a transmission request from a client on a local area network (LAN);
a management step of managing data based on the transmission request received in said reception step, for each destination; and
a transmission step of collectively transmitting the data based on the plurality of transmission requests managed in said management step, via a communication line.
20. A computer readable program comprising:
a reception step of receiving data from a transmission side, via a communication line;
a delivery step of delivering the data received in said reception step to a receiver on a local area network (LAN); and
a management step of managing the plurality of data received in said reception step, for each receiver to which the delivery should be performed in said delivery step,
wherein, in said delivery step, the plurality of reception data managed in said management step are collectively delivered.
21. A computer readable program comprising:
an input step of inputting a plurality of data including information for designating a receiver;
a detection step of detecting the information for designating the receiver, which information is included in the data input in said input step;
a sort step of sorting the data in accordance with a detection result in said detection step; and
a transmission step of collectively transmitting the data sorted in said sort step.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to data communication apparatus and method for sending or transmitting data to a terminal connected to a local area network (LAN).

[0003] 21. Related Background Art

[0004] Conventionally, a facsimile apparatus has been remarkably developed on the basis of international standards in the field of communication by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). That is, in the initial stage, the facsimile apparatus had been based on initial international standards Group 1 and Group 2. However, recently the facsimile apparatus has been based on an internal standard Group 3 (to be referred as G3 hereinafter) and thus developed all over the world. Especially, a G3 facsimile apparatus which is most popular at present is defined by ITU Recommendations T.4, T.30, T.5 and T.6 (previous CCITT Recommendations), and it is being planned that the G3 facsimile apparatus is further standardized with new functions in the future.

[0005] In recent years, according to a popularization of a personal computer and the like, it has been desired to connect the facsimile apparatus to a local area network (to be referred as LAN hereinafter) which connects a number of personal computers. By connecting the facsimile apparatus to the LAN, document data or the like produced by the personal computer on the LAN can be transmitted via the facsimile apparatus to a partner's apparatus in response to a transmission request from such the personal computer, and data received by the facsimile apparatus can be transferred to the personal computer on the LAN.

[0006] However, conventionally, when the facsimile apparatus receives the transmission request from the personal computer on the LAN, such the facsimile apparatus immediately transmits the data to the partner's apparatus. Further, when the facsimile apparatus receives the data from the partner's apparatus, such the facsimile apparatus transfers a reception notification or the received data to the personal computer on the LAN every time the data reception is performed. Therefore, there has been a problem that, if a number of transmission to the same destination or a number of reception to the same destination are performed, communication efficiency is seriously degraded. Especially, there has been a problem that communication traffic in the LAN is seriously degraded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] An object of the present invention is to provide data communication apparatus and method which eliminate the above-mentioned problems.

[0008] An another object of the present invention is to provide data communication apparatus and method which can improve efficiency in use of a line.

[0009] A further another object of the present invention is to provide data communication apparatus and method which can reduce a user's load of a terminal on a local area network (LAN).

[0010] A further another object of the present invention is to provide data communication apparatus and method which can perform a collective data transfer for each receiver on the LAN.

[0011] The above and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012]FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing schematic structure of a facsimile apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

[0013]FIG. 2 is a view showing network structure in a case where the facsimile apparatus shown in FIG. 1 is connected;

[0014]FIG. 3 is a view schematically showing a communication procedure according to the first embodiment;

[0015]FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series delivery notification control according to the first embodiment;

[0016]FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series delivery control according to the first embodiment;

[0017]FIG. 6 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series transmission control according to the first embodiment;

[0018]FIG. 7 is a view showing structure of a JPEG data stream;

[0019]FIG. 8 is a view for explaining each marker included in the JPEG data stream;

[0020]FIG. 9 is a view showing structure of a comment marker;

[0021]FIGS. 10A to 10C are views showing data structure of an IP address;

[0022]FIG. 11 is a view showing data structure of an MAC address;

[0023]FIG. 12 is a schematic view showing structure of a TCP/IP protocol;

[0024]FIG. 13 is a flow chart showing a process flow of comment marker analysis control;

[0025]FIG. 14 is a schematic view of a communication procedure according to a second embodiment;

[0026]FIG. 15 is a view showing a BFT data format;

[0027]FIG. 16 is a view for explaining contents of each frame code in the BFT data format;

[0028]FIG. 17 is a view showing file data included in the BFT data format;

[0029]FIG. 18 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series transmission control according to the second embodiment;

[0030]FIG. 19 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series notification control according to the second embodiment; and

[0031]FIG. 20 is a flow chart showing a process flow of series delivery control according to the second embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0032] (First Embodiment)

[0033] Hereinafter, the first embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0034]FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing schematic structure of a facsimile apparatus according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

[0035] A CPU 101 is a system control unit which controls the apparatus entirely.

[0036] A ROM 102 stores a control program of the CPU 101. A RAM 103 which is composed of an SRAM and the like stores data concerning program control change or the like. Further, a setting value registered by an operator, management data for the apparatus, buffer data for various works and the like are stored in the RAM 103. An image memory 104 which is composed of a DRAM and the like includes a buffer memory for storing color image data corresponding to at least eight lines which data is represented by R, G and B color components, a buffer memory for storing color image data corresponding to at least two lines which data is represented by C, M, Y and K color components, and a communication buffer corresponding to a partial page in an ECM (error correction mode) procedure defined by ITU-T Recommendations T.30 respectively in its independent areas. Further, the image memory 104 includes areas which are used to classify the image data by a partner's telephone number and a client.

[0037] A resolution conversion process unit 105 controls resolution conversion such as millimeter-inch resolution conversion of raster data.

[0038] A binary data encode/decode process unit (white/black codec) 106 and a multivalue data encode/decode process unit (color codec) 107 perform encode and decode processes of the image data managed by the facsimile apparatus. The multivalue data encode/decode process unit 107 performs encode and decode in accordance with a known JPEG (joint photographic expert group) standard.

[0039] In order to introduce a JPEG encode system into a G3-standard communication system, there has been provided ITU-T Recommendations T.80. Such the JPEG encode system has been developed to effectively compress halftone image data in which one pixel is represented by multivalue (e.g., eight bits) data. However, in a general base line process, not same as a conventional MMR encode system, it has been known that the JPEG encode system is a non-reversible encode system. This is because the base line process in the JPEG encode system performs compression after executing an approximating process of raw image data (i.e., original image). Further, according to this recommendation, communication of a color image or the like of which information quantity is so large has become frequent. Furthermore, this recommendation takes account of the communication with the computer, so that it can be performed based on this recommendation the communication including symbolized data which is easier to be managed than the raw image data.

[0040] A modem (modulation/demodulation unit) 108 performs modulation and demodulation of transmission and reception signals of the facsimile apparatus. An NCU (network control unit) 109 has a function for transmitting a selection signal (i.e., dial pulse or tone dialer) to a communication line (PSTN) 118. The NCU 109 performs an automatic reception operation by detecting a calling sound and a line control operation.

[0041] A scanner 111 which is composed of a CS image sensor, an original feed mechanism and the like optically reads an original image to separate it into RGB components and then convert an each-color pixel into electrical image data (eight-bit multivalue data). The converted image data is subjected to a correction process by an image process unit 110 and then output as high-resolution image data.

[0042] A console unit 112 which is composed of a keyboard and the like is used by the operator to perform various input operations.

[0043] A line buffer 113 is a line buffer which is used in case of performing transfer control of the image data.

[0044] A LAN interface 114 is an interface which is to connect to a LAN 117. In this case, it is assumed that the LAN 117 in the present embodiment is a network according to a known TCP/IP protocol.

[0045] If a multivalue signal representing each of CMYK colors in a reception image or file data is input, a printer 115 (e.g., an ink-jet printer) converts each color data into binary data to perform color print. A printer formatter 116 analyzes a printer description language to convert it into the image data, in case of printing the file data from a work station or the like.

[0046]FIG. 2 is a view showing structure of a network to which the facsimile apparatus shown in FIG. 1 is connected.

[0047] In FIG. 2, reference numeral 201 denotes the facsimile apparatus shown in FIG. 1. The facsimile apparatus 201 can transmit the data sent via the LAN 117 to a partner-side apparatus via the communication line 118, or can transfer the data received from the partner's apparatus via the communication line 118 to an other apparatus via the LAN 117. Further, the facsimile apparatus 201 can transmit and receive various information to and from the apparatus on the LAN 117. Reference numeral 202 denotes a server machine which is a computer for managing the LAN 117. Also, the server machine 202 functions as a file server for managing files on the LAN. Reference numerals 203 to 205 respectively denote client machines which are connected to the LAN 117. Each of the client machines 203 to 205 can transmit, after forming or producing various data (document data, image data, figure data and the like), the produced data or can receive various data. Further, the client machines 203 to 205 can transmit or receive various information to or from other apparatuses on the LAN 117.

[0048]FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing a communication protocol in the present embodiment.

[0049]FIG. 3 shows an example wherein the communication is performed by using a JPEG data stream which includes the image data corresponding to two pages respectively consisting of the two partial pages for the first page and one partial page for the second page. Although structure of the JPEG data stream will be later described in detail, such the structure essentially includes a comment marker and other markers.

[0050] In a case where the facsimile apparatus communicates with the partner's apparatus via the communication line 118, according to the ITU-T Recommendations, it is declared by using NSF and NSS signals to perform the communication by using the multivalue data (JPEG data stream) as well as transmitting the DIS and DCS signals.

[0051] In the present embodiment, since only the comment marker in the JPEG data stream of the first page is utilized, there is provided the structure that the JPEG data steam of the second page or following page does not include any comment marker.

[0052] FIGS. 7 to 9 are views each showing the structure of the JPEG data stream.

[0053]FIG. 7 shows the JPEG data stream entirely, and includes each marker and image data (JPEG encode data).

[0054]FIG. 8 shows kind, code word and meaning of each marker included in the JPEG data stream.

[0055]FIG. 9 shows structure of the comment marker. In FIG. 9, reference symbol Com denotes a marker representing a comment start. Reference symbol Lc denotes a marker representing a comment segment table in 16 bits, and its allowable value is within a range of 2 to 65535 (decimal notation). Reference symbol Cmi denotes a comment byte represented in eight bits, and its allowable value is within a range of 0 to 255 (decimal notation). In the present embodiment, a user name and ID (individual information such as IP address, MAC address or the like) of each client connected to the LAN 117 has been previously set in the comment byte (Cmi) within the comment marker, and the set data is analyzed.

[0056]FIGS. 10A to 10C are views showing data structure of the IP address. The IP address which represents an address of a network segment is 32-bit address data consisting of a class identifier, a network address and a host address. The structure of the IP address differs in a class (i.e., A, B and C three classes). The class A (FIG. 10A) is used in a large-scale LAN (i.e., national-scale network), the class B (FIG. 10B) is used in a medium-scale LAN (i.e., network within company or university), and a class C (FIG. 10C) is used in a small-scale LAN. The number of bits constituting the network address and the host address differs in each class. Further, the network address represents a segment such as Ethernet or the like to which a host (terminal) is connected, and the host address is used to discriminate the host in each segment.

[0057] For example, in a case where the network address is 129.80 (class B) and the host address is 24.31, the IP address is (129.80.24.31) and actual data is (10000001 01010000 00011000 00011111).

[0058]FIG. 11 is a view showing data structure of the MAC address. The MAC address is an address which is allocated inherently to an equipment connected to the LAN and managed according to IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). In the MAC address, upper 24 bits constitute a maker discrimination code, and lower 24 bits are allocated to the apparatus in a maker. Usually, in the lower 24 bits, upper 12 bits are allocated to a device series address and lower 12 bits are allocated to a device single-body inherent address (serial number).

[0059]FIG. 12 is a view showing packet structure of data used in the communication protocol according to the TCP/IP.

[0060] Reference numeral 1203 denotes the MAC address (six bytes) representing a data transmission destination, and reference numeral 1204 denotes the MAC address (six bytes) representing a data transmission source. This MAC address corresponds to a data link layer.

[0061] Reference numeral 1206 denotes an IP header which corresponds to a protocol of a network layer. In this IP header 1206, an address for accessing the device on the network is set, and further an IP address 1206 a of the data transmission source and an IP address 1206 b of the data transmission destination are stored.

[0062] Reference numeral 1207 denotes a TCP header which corresponds to a transport layer for defining securement of data transfer reliability.

[0063] Reference numeral 1208 denotes a data portion in which the image data, command data and the like are stored.

[0064] Hereinafter, an operation (to be referred as series delivery notification control hereinafter) will be explained. In the series delivery notification control, each client on the LAN 117 is notified of a message that there is the reception image destined for such the client, in order to collectively deliver (by a series delivery) to the same client the image data (i.e., image data received based on other call after disconnecting the communication line 118) which corresponds to a plurality of communications and was received via the communication line 118.

[0065]FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing a process flow of such the series delivery notification control. This flow chart represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of the program stored in the ROM 102.

[0066] Initially, in a step S401, it is judged whether or not the reception image data (a reception notification is not yet performed to the client on the LAN 117) has been stored in the image memory 104. In this case, such a judgment is performed at a predetermined interval. For example, by observing elapsing of a predetermined time or a remaining capacity of the image memory 104, the judgment is performed every time an observed quantity reaches a predetermined quantity or the image is received predetermined times. Then, if it is recognized that the reception image has been stored in the image memory 104, the flow advances to a step S402 to start a delivery control of the reception image.

[0067] Subsequently, in a step S403, the comment marker in the data received from a transmission station is analyzed. However, in the transmission and reception (i.e., exchange) of the signal to and from the transmission station on the basis of the protocol shown in FIG. 3, it is assumed to be notified to the transmission station that the communication is performed by the NSF and NSS signals with using the JPEG data stream. In this case, the reception data has the structure shown in FIG. 7, and the comment marker is included in such the structure. That is, the comment marker has been stored as the data in the comment byte having the structure shown in FIG. 9. In the present embodiment, at the transmission source, the address of the client on the LAN in a reception side and the like have been stored in the comment byte in the comment marker, in accordance with a predetermined format. The LAN in the present embodiment accords to the TCP/IP protocol, and the address of the client on the LAN in the reception side is the IP address representing the address on the LAN or the MAC address of the equipment connected to the LAN. In the step S403, the address of the data stored in the comment byte of the comment marker is analyzed and then converted into a format of the IP address or the MAC address.

[0068] Subsequently, in a step S404, the analyzed comment marker is judged. That is, if it is judged there is a client designation in the comment marker, the flow advances to a step S405 to set the IP address and the MAC address used for accessing the terminal on the LAN in accordance with the comment marker designated at the transmission source, and to store the set addresses in the RAM 103. On the other hand, if it is judged there is no client designation in the comment marker, the flow advances to a step S411 to judge as a partner-unknown area (e.g., station-stopping reception). Then, a client machine of a manager is designated and its address is set to be stored in the RAM 103. However, in such the case where there is no client designation, an unnecessary direct-mail communication and the like may be prevented by cancelling the reception image. In this case, the manager is a network manager, a reception information manager or the like which has been previously determined in the reception side, and its address (i.e., name) has been stored in the RAM 103. However, the plurality of addresses can be registered even in such a case.

[0069] In a step S406, a series image file for series delivering the reception image to the terminal (i.e., client) on the designated LAN 117 is formed on the basis of the above set addresses. In the series image file, the reception images corresponding to the plurality of communications are collectively combined with others with classifying them into each client. The series image file has the structure according to the protocol of the connected LAN 117. In the present embodiment, the series image file has the structure according to the TCP/IP protocol. The series image file is composed of the MAC address, the IP header, the TCP header, a data portion and the like. The data portion corresponds to an application layer. Further, in order to store the delivered image file at a position corresponding to the designated address (i.e., address which was set in the step S405 or S411) on the memory of the server machine 202, there are provided two files, i.e., a command data file for storing the information such as the designated address and the like and an image data file for storing the image data. Then, these two files are sent to the server machine 202 with correlating them each other. A control in the server machine 202 side for storing the file at a predetermined position on the memory is performed such that the server machine 202 comes to be an active state by an application software on the server machine 202 on the basis of the information of the command file and subsequently the data of the received image data file is stored at the predetermined position on the memory. In case of transmitting the file, the address of the server machine 202 is stored at the address to which the file is sent, and the address of the facsimile apparatus 201 is stored at the address from which the file is sent. Then, if it is judged that the formation of series image file terminates for all of the reception images within the image memory 104 in such a manner as above (step S407), the series image file in which the reception images corresponding to the plurality of communications are collectively combined with others with classifying them into the above each address (address which was set in the step S405 or S411) is sent to the LAN 117 via the LAN interface unit 104 of the facsimile apparatus 201 and then transferred to the server machine 202 (step S408).

[0070] After the series image file was sent to the server machine 202, a reception notification mail is formed for notifying that the reception was performed, to the client corresponding to the designated address (i.e., address which was set in the step S405 or S411) (step S409). The reception notification mail is composed of communication information and a message informing that the reception was performed which were formed according to a predetermined format. In the communication information, information concerning a reception time of each reception image, reception partner's information, information concerning the number of receptions and the like corresponding to the plurality of communications are combined with others. Then, the reception notification mail is transmitted to the terminal corresponding to the designated terminal (i.e., address which was set in the step S405 or S411) (step S410). In this case, such a reception notification may be performed by using a conventional mail tool.

[0071] Further, it is needless to say that a broadcasting series communication can be performed on the same network if a plurality of client IDs have been set in the comment marker at the transmission side.

[0072] Furthermore, if it is judged in the step S404 that the client has not been set by the comment marker, the delivery control is not performed. Instead, like an ordinary reception operation, the reception image may be automatically output from the printer unit 115. Moreover, if the client has not been designated and also the manager has not been set in the reception side, the reception image may be printed out.

[0073] The client (i.e., terminal) which received the reception notification mail sent in the step S410 fetches the image file from the server machine 202 to display it on a display apparatus for confirmation, or prints out the fetched image file on a recording paper by a printer or the printer unit 115 of the facsimile apparatus 201, so that the client obtains the reception image. In this case, each of the plurality of image files which have been combined may be individually designated to the output.

[0074] Subsequently, it will be explained an operation (to be referred as a series delivery control hereinafter) in a case where the communication data corresponding to the plurality of communication received via the communication line 118 are collectively and directly delivered to the same client on the LAN 117.

[0075]FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing a process flow of such the series delivery control. This flow chart represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of the program stored in the ROM 102.

[0076] In FIG. 5, contents of steps S501 to S507 and S511 are respectively the same as those of the steps S401 to S407 and S411, whereby the detailed description of these steps are omitted. However, in the command data file, information such as address information for directly storing the series image file at a position corresponding to a predetermined address on the memory of the client machine on the LAN 117. In case of sending the file, the address of each client is stored at the address to which the file is transmitted, and the address of the facsimile apparatus 201 is stored at the address from which the file is transmitted. When formation of the series image file terminates for the all reception images within the image memory 104, the series image files collectively combined for each address (i.e., address which was set in the step S505 or S511) are delivered to the client machine corresponding to such the address after the reception notification (step S508).

[0077] Subsequently, it will be explained an operation in a case where the image data concerning the plurality of transmission requests are collectively transmitted (i.e., in a series transmission manner) for each client of the transmission destination when the transmission image sent from the client (i.e., terminal) on the LAN 117 is transmitted via the communication line 118.

[0078]FIG. 6 is a flow chart showing a process flow of such a series transmission control. This flow chart represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of the program stored in the ROM 102.

[0079] Initially, in a step S601, it is judged whether or not the image data to be transmitted has been stored in the image memory 104. In this case, such a judgment is performed at a predetermined interval. For example, by observing elapsing of a predetermined time or a remaining capacity of the image memory 104, the judgment is performed every time an observed quantity reaches a predetermined quantity or every time image transmission is received predetermined number of times and the received image is input in the image memory 104. Then, if it is recognized that the transmission image has been stored in the image memory 104, the flow advances to a step S602 to start the series control of the transmission image.

[0080] Subsequently, in a step S603, the comment marker in the transmission image data within the image memory 104 is analyzed. In this case, such analysis of the comment marker is the same as that previously explained. Then, in a step S604, if it is judged there is designation of the client (i.e., client on the LAN in the partner's side) in the comment marker, the flow advances to a step S605 to form a transmission image file independently for each address of the client. In this case, the transmission images concerning the plurality of transmission requests from the plurality of operators are sequentially combined with others collectively for the same client's destination to form the transmission image file. Then, in a step S606, the formed transmission image file is transferred to a storage area in the image memory 104 which area is provided for each partner (i.e., telephone number of partner's communication apparatus connected to the communication line 118). However, such the partner's telephone number is notified when the transmission request is received from the client. Then, in a step S607, if it is judged that formation of the transmission image file for the all transmission image data in the image memory 104 terminates, the flow advances to a step S608 to sequentially start transmission to the partner on the basis of the partner's telephone number. In this case, it is notified that the series transmission was performed, to each client of the partner and the client of the transmission source which performed the transmission request. On the other hand, if it is judged in the step S604 there is no designation of client, the transmission image file is transferred to the storage area in the image memory 104 to perform the transmission based on the partner's telephone number. The transmission in the step S608 is to sequentially transmit the transmission image files which have been collectively combined with others for each client on the destination in one communication for each partner (without disconnecting the line on the way).

[0081] Finally, it will be explained the comment marker analysis control in the steps S403, S503 and S603. FIG. 13 is a flow chart showing a process flow of such the comment marker analysis control.

[0082] Initially, in a step S1301, it is judged whether or not the data has been stored in the command byte of the comment marker in the JPEG data stream. If the data has not been stored in the command byte, it is judged that the address analysis is impossible. Then, in a step S1305, it is judged that the client has not been designated, and the address analysis control terminates.

[0083] If it is judged that the data has been stored in the command byte, the flow advances to a step S1302 to analyze the address data included in such the data. In the present embodiment, since the address analysis accords to the TCP/IP protocol, two kinds of address data of the IP address and the MAC address are judged and the data structure of the respective address data are analyzed.

[0084] Subsequently, in a step S1303, it is judged whether or not the client corresponding to the analyzed address exists on the LAN (i.e., connected to the LAN). In the step S403, such judgment is performed by inquiring the server machine 202 of existence of the client. In the step S503, such judgment is performed by previously registering the client existing on the LAN 117 into the RAM 103 and then searching the contents thereof. In the step S603, such judgment is performed by previously registering the client on the LAN for each partner into the RAM 103 and then searching the contents thereof. Then, if it is judged that the client exists on the LAN, the flow advances to a step S1304 to judge there is client designation. On the other hand, if it is judged that the client does not exist, the flow advances to the step S1305 to judge that there is no client designation.

[0085] In the present embodiment, it was explained as the example the structure wherein the facsimile apparatus 201 is directly connected to the LAN 117. However, the present invention is not limited to such the structure. That is, for example, it may be applied structure wherein a facsimile server is connected to the LAN 117 and then the facsimile server and the facsimile apparatus are connected with each other such that the above-described process program is installed in the facsimile server to cause the server to control the delivery and the like. By such the structure, the facsimile apparatus can improve a throughput for the communication control via the communication line.

[0086] Further, it was explained the case where the mail notification control (steps S409 and S410) is performed by the facsimile apparatus 201. However, for example, the server machine 202 may form the notification mail by the application software to transmit it.

[0087] Furthermore, it was explained that the series image file based on the received image data is sent to the server machine 202 (step S408). However, the present invention is not limited to such an operation. That is, the series image file may be stored in a memory of the terminal connected to the LAN, a hard disk connected to the LAN, a hard disk connected to the facsimile apparatus, or the like.

[0088] Furthermore, it was explained as the example that the protocol of the LAN accords to the TCP/IP. However, the present invention is not limited to this. That is, a protocol may accord to IPX/SPX or the like.

[0089] Furthermore, it may be sent not only the notification mail for informing that the reception was performed but also, e.g., an error notification mail in a case where a communication error is generated.

[0090] Furthermore, the comment marker may include not only the address data but also other data, e.g., print request data and the like.

[0091] As explained above, according to the present embodiment, the reception notification can be performed at one time such that, from among the data received by the plurality of communications, the data to be sent to the same client can be collectively delivered to such the client. Further, the data can be collectively combined with others and delivered at one time. Therefore, communication efficiency and the like can be improved.

[0092] Furthermore, in a case where the data is transmitted to the partner's communication apparatus connected to the LAN, all of the data can be transmitted in one communication, and also these data for each destination client can be collectively transmitted. Therefore, communication efficiency and the like can be improved. Furthermore, even if the reception side does not have any series delivery function, the data can be transferred with collecting them for each client.

[0093] (Second Embodiment)

[0094] Hereinafter, it will be explained transmission and delivery methods in a case where a BFT communication system is used.

[0095] The BFT communication system has been regulated based on ITU Recommendations T.30 and T.464, and standardized as a method for defining mutual connection and compatibility between different-kinds apparatuses in a wide range. Data in the BFT communication system has structure composed of an attribute portion and an image data portion, and also has structure composed of indication called as a tag and information representing its contents. In the data, attribute information and data information can be set. Further, in the BFT communication system, it can be used not only image data but also code data.

[0096] Since structure of a facsimile apparatus according to the present embodiment is the same as that in the first embodiment, an explanation thereof is omitted. The facsimile apparatus according to the present embodiment can transmit and receive (i.e., exchange) the data to and from a terminal on a LAN.

[0097]FIG. 14 is a schematic view showing a communication protocol (via the communication line 118) according to the present embodiment.

[0098] As shown in FIG. 14, a calling station can see by a procedure signal NSF that a called station has a special function concerning the present embodiment, and also see by a DIS signal that the called station utilizes the BFT communication system. Then, the calling station notifies the called station such that the called station executes the special function using the BFT communication system, by NSS and DCS signals.

[0099] The calling station sends a command for designating a series delivery to the called station, in accordance with a format based on the BFT communication system. Then, when the calling station receives an MCF signal from the called station, the calling station transmits a plurality of documents as files for respective destinations.

[0100] On the other hand, although not shown in the drawings, in a case where the called station does not have a series delivery control function, the calling station transmits the plurality of documents as a single file for each client.

[0101] FIGS. 15 to 17 are views for explaining structure of a data frame used in the BFT communication system (to be referred as BFT communication frame hereinafter).

[0102]FIG. 15 is the view showing the entirety of the BFT communication frame, FIG. 16 is the view showing contents of symbols included in the BFT communication frame, and FIG. 17 is the view showing structure of file data.

[0103] A user name and ID (individual information such as IP address, MAC address and the like) of each client connected to the LAN, the image data and the like are classified by using the tags, and set in “contents” shown in FIG. 17.

[0104] Hereinafter, it will be explained an operation in a case where data concerning a plurality of transmission requests are collectively transmitted (i.e., in a series transmission) when the data sent from the client (terminal) on the LAN 117 is transmitted via the communication line 118.

[0105]FIG. 18 is a flow chart showing a process flow of a series transmission control using the BFT communication system. The flow chart represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of a program stored in the ROM 102.

[0106] Initially, in a step S1801, it is judged whether or not the image data to be transmitted has been stored in the image memory 104. In this case such a judgment is performed at a predetermined interval. For example, by observing elapsing of a predetermined time or a remaining capacity of the image memory 104, the judgment is performed every time an observed quantity reaches a predetermined quantity or every time image transmission is received predetermined number of times. Then, if it is recognized that the transmission image has been stored in the image memory 104, the flow advances to a step S1802 to start the series control of the transmission image.

[0107] Subsequently, in a step S1803, the data in the image memory 104 is analyzed. That is, contents of the BFT data from are analyzed. Then, in a step S1804, if it is judged that a command for designating restructure is included in the contents, the flow advances to a step S1805.

[0108] In the step S1805, the BFT data frame is divided into control information (IP address or the like) and image information, and it is formed a transmission image file in which the control information and the image information are in turn correlated each other by a frame number or the ID. Then, in a step S1806, the transmission image file is stored in a storage area in the image memory 104 which area is provided for each partner (i.e., telephone number of partner's apparatus via the communication line 118), with distinguishing the file into the control information and the image information.

[0109] In a step S1807, it is judged whether or not the process terminates for all of the image files to be transmitted in the image memory 104. If judged that the process terminates, the flow advances to a step S1808 to generate a call and transmit to the partner the data in the image memory 104 as a BFT data format.

[0110] On the other hand, if there is no designation of restructure from the client in the step S1804, the data received from the client are serially stored in the storage area corresponding to the partner in the image memory 104. Then, in the step S1808, the stored data is transmitted as the BFT data format. In this case, the transmission is divisionally performed for each data, but the line is not disconnected on the way.

[0111] As described above, the data concerning the plurality of transmission requests from the one or more clients can be collectively transmitted. Further, by restructuring the data in such a manner as in the steps S1805 and S1806, the reception side comes to be able to easily perform a series notification control and series delivery control both described later.

[0112] Hereinafter, it will be explained the series notification control in which the reception of the plurality of data is collectively notified, with reference to FIG. 19.

[0113]FIG. 19 represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of a program stored in the ROM 102.

[0114] Initially, in a step S1901, it is judged whether or not a series command is received from the transmission side via the communication line 118. Then, if received, the flow advances to a step S1902 to start the series notification control.

[0115] In a step S1903, the received data is analyzed, and it is judged in a step S1904 whether or not there is designation of client. If there is the designation of client, the flow advances to a step S1905 to set the IP address or the MAC address corresponding to the designated client. On the other hand, if there is no designation of client, the flow advances to a step S1911 to set an address of a previously-registered manager. In this case, in the case where there is no designation of client, such a state is judged as an error state, whereby an error notification may be sent to the transmission source to cancel the reception image.

[0116] Subsequently, in a step S1906, it is formed an image file which was distinguished into each client.

[0117] The image file has structure according to the protocol of the connected LAN. In the present embodiment, the image file has the structure according to the TCP/IP protocol. The image file is composed of the MAC address, the IP header, the TCP header, the data portion and the like. The data portion corresponds to an application layer. In the present embodiment, in order to store the delivered image data at a position corresponding to the designated address on the memory of the file server, there are transmitted two files, i.e., a command data file for storing information such as the designated address and an image data file for storing the received image data. When the file server stores the data at the predetermined position, the file server comes to be an active state by the application software installed in the file server on the basis of the information of the command file, and the data of the received image data file is stored at the predetermined position on the memory. In this case, the address of the client of the transmission destination corresponds to the address of the file server storing the data. Further, the data is stored with correlating the telephone number of the transmission source and its address each other.

[0118] Then, in a step S1907, if it is judged that the process for the received image file terminates as a whole, the flow advances to a step S1908 to transfer the image file to the file server (i.e., server machine 202) and cause the file server to store the file in such a manner as described above.

[0119] Subsequently, in a step S1909, it is formed a reception notification mail for notifying the set client of the data reception. In this case, the formed reception notification mail includes message for notifying of the data reception, a reception time for each file, partner's information, the number of reception pages and the like.

[0120] In a step S1910, the single reception notification mail representing the information corresponding to the plurality of files is transmitted to the designated client.

[0121] The client who received the reception notification mail in such a manner as above can receive all the reception data collectively if necessary, or can receive the image data by designating the necessary file.

[0122] If there is no designation of client in the step S1904, the image may be printed out by the printer 115.

[0123] Subsequently, it will be explained hereinafter an operation (i.e., series delivery control) in a case where the image data which correspond to the plurality of files and were received via the communication line 118 are collectively delivered to the client on the LAN 117.

[0124]FIG. 20 is a flow chart showing a process flow of such the series delivery control. This flow chart represents a flow of control performed by the CPU 101 on the basis of a program stored in the ROM 102.

[0125] Contents of steps S2001 to S2007 and S2011 are substantially the same as those of the steps S1901 to S1907 and S1911, whereby the detailed explanation thereof is omitted.

[0126] In a step S2008, the plurality of image files are collectively delivered to each designated client. Then, if the image file can be normally delivered to the client, such the image file in the image memory 104 is deleted.

[0127] On the other hand, if the image file can not be normally delivered, such the image file is printed out by the printer 115 or delivered to other client.

[0128] As described above, by cancelling the plurality of files into each client and collectively delivering them, traffic on the LAN can be reduced, and further interruption of client's work can be minimized.

[0129] In this case, as a method for judging whether the designated client exits, there are provided a method for inquiring of the server machine 202 about existence of client's address, a method for registering the previously-existing address in the RAM 103 in the facsimile apparatus 201, and the like. In the present embodiment, the MAC address is judged by inquiring of the server machine 202, and the IP address is judged by referring an IP address table which stores therein the IP address which has been previously registered in the RAM 103.

[0130] In a case where the address on the LAN is not set, on in a case where the set address does not exist, coincidence detection of pseudo address data is performed. Such the coincidence detection of pseudo address data is performed by searching a pseudo address data table which has been previously registered in the RAM 103 within the facsimile apparatus 201. In the present embodiment, the pseudo address data table stores therein the pseudo address data and a mail name which is the address data on the LAN. In the pseudo address data table, the plurality of mail names can be registered, and all the equipments connected to the LAN can be registered.

[0131] If the coincidence detection is performed, the address analysis control terminates. On the other hand, if the coincidence detection is not performed, the address analysis is judged to the impossible and then the analysis control terminates.

[0132] In the above description, as the facsimile apparatus 201, the apparatus of a type which is directly connected to the LAN was used. However, the present invention is not limited to such the type.

[0133] For example, a facsimile apparatus of a type which is connected to the terminal on the LAN may be used, so as to cause the terminal to which the facsimile apparatus is connected to operate as the facsimile server for controlling and managing the facsimile apparatus.

[0134] In this case, by collectively sending the reception images to the facsimile server to which the facsimile apparatus 201 is connected, the facsimile server transmits the information such as the address data of the series delivery destination stored in a BFT frame or the like, the communication information in the reception, and the like, to the server machine 202 in accordance with a predetermined format. Based on such data, the file server forms the reception notification mail in accordance with the protocol of the connected LAN, and then transfers the formed mail. such operations are controlled based on the application software of the facsimile server (i.e., terminal) to which the facsimile apparatus is connected.

[0135] Further, in the above explanation, the reception notification control was performed by the facsimile apparatus 201. However, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, it may be took an operation that destination information for transmitting the mail and the command file in which the message information is stored in the mail are transmitted to the terminal such as the server machine 202 or the like, and the notification mail is automatically formed by the application software in the terminal to transmit it.

[0136] Furthermore, the reception image was stored in the memory of the server machine 202. However, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, the reception image may be stored in a hard disk connected to the LAN or a memory in a terminal equipment connected to the LAN.

[0137] Furthermore, the protocol of the LAN is not limited to the TCP/IP protocol, but may be an IPX/SPX protocol or the like.

[0138] Furthermore, the notification mail for notifying of the result in the reception operation is not limited to the above-described type, but may be, e.g., a notification mail which is transmitted only in a case where the communication failed.

[0139] Furthermore, the address analysis control is not limited to the above-described type, but may be performed by, e.g., a command data analysis unit for analyzing command data representing an address type and an object of use.

[0140] According to the above-described embodiments, the transmission data concerning the transmission requests from the clients on the LAN can be collectively transmitted to the same destination (i.e., telephone number) by using the BFT data format. In this case, by transmitting the data after restructuring it with distinguishing the control information from the image information, the file management and the delivery control in the reception side become more easy.

[0141] Furthermore, in the case where the plurality of image files are received, the plurality of reception notifications and the plurality of reception data deliveries can be collectively performed, whereby communication efficiency can be improved.

[0142] The present invention can be applied to a system constructed by a plurality of equipments (e.g., host computer, interface equipment, reader, printer and the like) or can be also applied to an apparatus comprising one equipment (e.g., copy machine, facsimile machine).

[0143] The invention employed by a method whereby program codes of a software to realize the functions of the foregoing embodiments are supplied to a computer in an apparatus or a system connected to various devices so as to make the devices operative in order to realize the functions of the foregoing embodiments and the various devices are operated in accordance with the program stored in the computer (CPU or MPU) of the system or apparatus is also included in the scope of the present invention.

[0144] In such a case, the program codes themselves of the software realize the functions of the foregoing embodiments and the program codes themselves and means for supplying the program codes to the computer, for example, a memory medium in which the program codes have been stored construct the present invention.

[0145] As such a memory medium to store the program codes, for example, it is possible to use a floppy disk, a hard disk, an optical disk, an optomagnetic disk, a CD-ROM, a magnetic tape, a non-volatile memory card, a ROM or the like can be used.

[0146] It will be obviously understood that the program codes are included in the embodiments of the present invention even in not only a case where the functions of the foregoing embodiments are realized by executing the supplied program codes by the computer but also a case where the functions of the foregoing embodiments are realized in cooperation with the OS (operating system) by which the program codes operate in the computer or another application software or the like.

[0147] Further, it will be also obviously understood that the present invention also incorporates a case where the supplied program codes are stored into a memory provided for a function expansion board of a computer or a function expansion unit connected to a computer and, after that, a CPU or the like provided for the function expansion board or the function expansion unit executes a part or all of the actual processes on the basis of instructions of the program codes, and the functions of the foregoing embodiments are realized by the processes.

[0148] According to such the first and second embodiments as explained above, the plurality of data receptions can be notified to the receiver on the LAN by one-time notification.

[0149] Further the reception data corresponding to the plurality of data receptions can be delivered to the receiver on the LAN at one time.

[0150] Furthermore, in the case where the data is sent to the partner's apparatus connected to the LAN, the data which concern the plurality of transmission requests and are to be sent to the same receiver can be transmitted at one time.

[0151] Therefore, communication efficiency, process efficiency and the like can be improved.

[0152] Although the present invention has been described above with respect to the preferred embodiments, the present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiments but many modifications and variations are possible with the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7173721Jul 23, 1999Feb 6, 2007Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.Multifunction machine, server, multifunction machine/server system and program recording medium
US7254567 *Dec 23, 2003Aug 7, 2007The Boeing CompanySystems and methods for aggregating information exchange requirements
US7262791 *Jul 23, 1999Aug 28, 2007Canon Kabushiki KaishaCommunication apparatus and method, and storage medium
US7685094Jun 29, 2007Mar 23, 2010The Boeing CompanyCommon schema for aggregating information exchange requirements
WO2005059778A2 *Dec 9, 2004Jun 30, 2005Boeing CoSystems and methods for aggregating information exchange requirements
Classifications
U.S. Classification370/401, 358/402
International ClassificationH04L12/56, H04N1/32, H04N1/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04L47/26, H04L47/10, H04L47/13
European ClassificationH04L47/13, H04L47/26, H04L47/10
Legal Events
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Sep 24, 2002CCCertificate of correction
Mar 10, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MATSUMOTO, KOICHI;INDE, MASAAKI;FUJIWARA, YASUNORI;REEL/FRAME:008399/0583
Effective date: 19970207