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Publication numberUS20080091761 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/732,496
Publication dateApr 17, 2008
Filing dateApr 2, 2007
Priority dateAug 6, 2002
Also published asUS20110119594, US20120221957, US20120226746, US20130132853
Publication number11732496, 732496, US 2008/0091761 A1, US 2008/091761 A1, US 20080091761 A1, US 20080091761A1, US 2008091761 A1, US 2008091761A1, US-A1-20080091761, US-A1-2008091761, US2008/0091761A1, US2008/091761A1, US20080091761 A1, US20080091761A1, US2008091761 A1, US2008091761A1
InventorsSheng Tai Tsao
Original AssigneeStt Webos, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for information exchange over a web based environment
US 20080091761 A1
Abstract
With the ever increasing size and the explorative growth of digital document and content, the traditional electronic information exchanging tool such as email and instant message, web-meeting etc. can not fully satisfy massive user's needs. With the development of central controlled distributed scalable virtual machine (CCDSVM) and the web-based computer user working (operating) environment (WCUWE), the problems mentioned above can be easily solved by introduce a common “dynamic work space” technology of this invention within frame work of CCDSVM and WCUWE. With “dynamic work space” technology, user can use conventional browser to instantly post or un-post messages, digital documents or contents or said resources without install specialized software, without size limitation, with security, and further to obtain capability of anywhere and anytime peer-to-peer exchanging information within organized user-group or in one-to-one fashion. In addition, WCUWE of CCDSVM provides each user a private work space and each group a common work space under the dynamic work space umbrella, therefore, WCUWE provide users of CCDSVM a safe secure infrastructure hierarchy for users or group of users to efficiently manage, sharing, and access the right information in time anywhere on the network.
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Claims(36)
1. A web-based central controlled distributed virtual machine (“CCDSVM”) for providing dynamic work space for users in groups performing tasks of post or un-post their messages, files, folders and other resources in said CCDSVM to one or more audiences on a network, said CCDSVM comprises:
a control system configured to provisioned one or more provisioned systems connected through a communication network;
at least one client system coupled to said control system and coupled to said communication network;
at least one console system coupled to said client system and configured to connect to said communication network; and
wherein said control system includes console support software, which is configured to provide one or more login users from a web-browser of any system over said communication network with instant performance of posting or un-posting messages or files or folders or system resources information on said control system or on said provisioned system with group based model or non-group 1-to-1 model to one or more audiences across said communication network.
2. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein said control system, said provisioned systems, said client system, and said console system are computational systems, wherein each said computational system includes a CPU, a network connecting media, wireless cards, a storage media of memory, disk drives, tape drives, and memory stick; and
wherein said computational systems are server, desktop, laptop, handheld devices, and cell phone.
3. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein said communication network is Internet, or Intranet or local area network (“LAN”) or a combination of Internet, Intranet, and LAN, and further includes switches, routers, various cables, network connecting media, domain name services (“DNS”), gateways, communication protocols, or firewalls; and
wherein said communication protocols employed by said communication network includes HTML/HTTP, TCP/IP, WML/WAP, or proprietary based protocols.
4. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein said control system is configured to include web-server software, console support software, and web-browser software;
wherein said provisioned system includes service software modules, web-browser, and web-server software, wherein said service software modules are configured to transmit data between said provisioned system and said console support software;
wherein said console support software is configured to provision said provisioning systems through an automatic provisioning protocol, wherein information relating to said provisioned systems is organized into a list of tables stored in said control system after provisioning process, and said console support software further configured to communicate and manage said provisioned systems, said console support software coupled to said web interface software for transmitting data between said console support software and a web-browser of any system visaid web-server software over said communication network;
wherein said console support software, service software, web-server software, and web-browser are implemented by C, C++, Java, or JavaScript programming language; and
wherein said console support software, web-server software modules, service software modules are coupled and create a web-based computer user work environment (“WCUWE”).
5. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein said console support software includes said web-browser for displaying web-pages to users; wherein each of said web-pages is encoded with HTML, XML, or WML; and
wherein said web-browser is capable of transmitting tasks of posting objects or un-posting objects to said control system.
6. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein each of said users is registered with console support software,
wherein said control system verifies authentications of said users and assigns a private work space for each of said users;
wherein said private work space is assigned with various system resources on control system or on provisioned system;
wherein said console support software is configured to facilitate a login CCDSVM authentication process for each of said users via a web-based communication network, wherein said console support software is further configured to provide authenticated users with web-pages displaying their private work spaces, wherein said console support software allows said users to perform various permitted tasks within said private work space.
7. The CCDSVM of claim 6,
wherein said tasks include posting messages, un-posting messages, posting files, posting folders, system management, folder management, file management, network management, storage device management, and authentication management;
wherein said assigned resources include system-groups over said communication network, provisioned systems, control system, and associated information, wherein said associated information includes one or more piece of memory, CPU, storage media of disk drives or RAID or memory stick or tape drives, storage volumes on disks, file systems, folders, sub-folders, files in any folder, messages, and user security profile, groups, user's specific access location/point, email addresses, network information of network interface cards or ports, DNS, gateway, or broadcast;
wherein resources associated with displayed private work space of each login user are dynamically assigned by a privileged user thereby allowing said login user to view assigned resources; and
wherein said login user may permit to change said assigned resources and said tasks in response to security permission assigned to said login user.
8. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein if said users who perform tasks of posting or un-posting messages or file or folder or said resources to said one or multiple audience on said communication network and at least one or more audiences are in same user-group as said user with, said communication model is group based model, wherein if said user who perform said tasks of posting or un-posting messages or file or folder or said resources to only one said audience, wherein said one audience has a registered account with said CCDSVM, wherein said communication model is non-group based 1-to-1 model; and
wherein said audience on said communication network is a user having an account with said CCDSVM, wherein said massive users do not have registered accounts with said CCDSMV.
9. The CCDSVM of claim 1,
wherein if said user communicate to said audience with group based model, said user configured to be assigned to a group account of said CCDSVM;
wherein said group account is created by privileged users of said CCDSVM;
wherein said console support software assigns a common work space to each group account during group creation time;
wherein said common work space is initially assigned with said resources based on security scope and permission of said group; and
wherein said resources of said common work space is dynamically assigned to authorized users.
10. A method of supporting multiple users in multiple groups, each from a web-browser of any systems on network to instantly perform tasks of posting or un-posting information of private files, folders, messages, or resources of each original user to/from common work space of each targeted groups, or to/from private work space of peer-user in a CCDSVM environment, the method comprises:
providing privileged users of CCDSVM login to CCDSVM from a web-browser of a system to perform tasks of creating group or user accounts;
assigning said users to one or more specific groups, and assigning associated passwords, security privileges, initial resources either on control system or provisioned systems, and related information to each said user or group;
providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile;
providing validation of one or more said users to login CCDSVM each from said web-browser;
providing each validated user a dynamic private work space and associated group a dynamic common work space by dynamically retrieving and converting said assigned resources and information into presentable web-format (web-page) to be displayed in web-browser of each validated user;
providing each validated users from said web-browser on any system to instantly concurrently perform tasks of posting or un-posting messages or information of files, folders, or said resources stored in said private work space of validated user to/from said common work space of each targeted groups, or to or from private work space of each targeted peer-user through operation menu associated with group based model or 1-to-1 model;
obtaining and parsing related task information transmitted from each said user's browser, wherein said task information includes operation types, original users, type of resources to be posted or un-posted, targeted user, and time stamps;
executing special designed posting or un-posting tasks, and setting up results of tasks into each targeted user's private work space, or into each targeted group's common work space;
converting said results of tasks into presentable web-format (web-page) to be displayed in each targeted peer users' web-browser; and
providing automatic refreshing to said web-browser of said each targeted peer user to update new information of said file, folder, messages and said resources.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein said providing privileged users of CCDSVM login to CCDSVM from a web-browser of a system to perform tasks of creating group or user accounts further includes:
creating distinguished account type for each said user and group and assigning with different resources;
assigning same group identification (“ID”) to said users in same group and groups, wherein a group may have at least one user up to maximum number of users the console support software has supported, wherein said security privilege includes which user can access what resource and perform what kind of tasks on what system;
said task information of creating user and groups transmitted from said web-browser of any system to said console support software of said control system, and
said user and group account information automatically stored into storage media in a form of database on said control system upon console support software executing said task; and
said storage media being memory or disk or both.
12. The method of claim 10, wherein said providing privileged users of CCDSVM login to CCDSVM from a web-browser of a system to perform tasks of creating group or user accounts further includes:
if said assigned resource of a user or group being a private folder of said user, said user permitted to perform tasks of creating or deleting sub-folder, deleting files, posting or un-posting file and folder, upload or download, renaming files and folder, copying or moving file or sub-folder in or out between said private folder and folders on permitted systems, which includes control system, provisioned systems, and non-provisioned system;
if said permitted system provisioned system, said console support software of control system working together with service software modules of provisioned system to provide user a method to directly copy or move folders or files between the folders of permitted system and the assigned private folder area of private work space on either control system or on provisional system without size limitation; and
said console support software provided said users to directly upload files from user's local storage on said client system, or on provisioned system, or on console system to the user's assigned private folder area of private work space on either control system or on provisional system without size limitation.
13. The method of claim 10, wherein said assigning said users to one or more specific groups, and assigning associated passwords, security privileges, initial resources either on control system or provisioned systems, and related information to each said user or group:
said user login validation including the validation of user account name, password, permitted access point (from what system with what IP address), and related information against counter part information stored in said user account profile;
said presentable web-format may encoded with HTML, XML, or WML and transmitted between to web-browser of any system and said control system via communication link;
said encoded presentable web-format including one or more pieces of run-time code to be run in web-browser and such run-time code implemented with JavaScript; and
the choice of selecting said web-format depending on the communication link and the associated protocol of communication line between the control system and the system wherein said web-browser resides on and said associated protocol is HTTP, SOAP, or WAP.
14. The method of claim 10, said assigning said users to one or more specific groups, and assigning associated passwords, security privileges, initial resources either on control system or provisioned systems, and related information to each said user or group:
said privileged user instantly assigning a resource to a general user or group for accessing or instantly withdrawing the previously assign a resource from said general user or group in real-time;
said user's private work space being a per user dynamic work environment, which dynamically includes various permitted assigned information of said resources and allows each user to perform various task over said resources; said resources of private work space including private message area and file and folder area, network or storage information area;
said group's common work space being a per group dynamic work environment, which also dynamically includes various said permitted resources and allows each users in same group to perform various task; said resources of common work space including group common message area, file and folder area, network or storage information area;
said resources being dynamically retrieved from said database stored on said storage media and to be converted to presentable web-format and to be displayed in each user's web-browser depending on the needs;
with security permission, said user in a group moving information back and forth between user's private work space and group's common work space; and
said console support software of control system organizing said work space of each group and user into a dynamic work space of said WCUWE of CCDSVM.
15. The method of claim 10, wherein said providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile includes:
to support posting or un-posting messages, the web-page provided by said console support software containing a messages input area section and a messages display section;
to support posting or un-posting file or folder, the web-page provided by said console support software containing a file and folder management section, which is either graphically displayed as a file and folder tree or non-graphically displayed and has an associated operation menu; and the web-page including a displaying posted files and folders section for said group based model only, and
to support posting or un-posting said resource information, the web-page provided by said console support software containing said sections to display various different type of resources information, which is information of storage devices, network cards or IP address, CPU status or memory usages on a system of CCDSVM.
16. The method of claim 15, further including:
to support said group based model, said message display section displaying messages in common message area of common work space of said group for all posted messages by users in the same groups;
to support said 1-to-1 model, said message display section displaying messages in private message area of private work space of each peer user for all posted messages by both original user and peer user; and said message display section including an additional input field to indicate a targeted peer user; and
said message displaying area associated with an operation menu.
17. The method of 15, further including:
to support said group based model, said displaying posted files and folders section displaying files and folders in common file and folder area of common work space of said group for all posted files or folders from users in said group; and
to support said 1-to-1 model, said file and folder management section displaying file and folder tree containing the files or folders of private file and folder area of private work space of said user, which includes the files or folders posted by said peer user in addition to the files and folders belong to the original user; an operation menu associated with said file and folder management section.
18. The method of claim 10, said providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile further includes:
to post a message, said user typing a message in said message input area section and clicking an associated submitting button to submit the task of posing a message or with a equivalent submitting method to send the task of posing a message from said web-browser on said any system to said console support software of said control system;
to post a file or folder, said user selecting a file or folder from said file and folder tree in said file and folder management section, and then selecting and clicking on a posting operation from said operation menu to submit the posting task from said web-browser on said any system to said console support software of said control system; and with 1-to-1 model, said user providing a targeted user in responding to a pop-up prompt provided by said designated run-time script encoded in said web-page; and
said system being said client system, console system or control system.
19. The method of claim 10, wherein providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile includes:
to un-post a message, if it is permitted; said user selecting a targeted message in said message display section, and then selecting and clicking on un-posting operation from said operation menu to submit the task of un-posting a message from said web-browser on said any system to said console support software of said control system; and
to un-posting a file or folder for both said model, said user selecting a previously posted file or folder from the file and folder tree in said displayed file and folder management section and then selecting and clicking on un-posting operation from said operation menu to submit the task of un-posting a file or folder from said web-browser on said any system to said console support software of said control system; and with 1-to-1 model, said user providing a targeted user to response to a pop-up prompt provided by said designated run-time script encoded in said web-page.
20. The method of claim 19, further includes:
said console support software providing said an alternative method for group based model of un-posting a file or folder;
said alternative method providing an operation menu to said displaying posted files and folders section in said web-page for said group based model; and
if it is permitted, said user selecting a previously posted file or folder, regardless belong to which user, from said displaying posted files and folders section, and then selecting and clicking on un-post operation from operation menu to submit un-posting task from said browser to console support software of control system.
21. The method of claim 19 further includes:
said console support software providing a special personal share management section on a web-page for 1-to-1 model to list all previously posted files or folders belong to the original user, and providing an operation menu to allow said original user performing said tasks of un-posting file or folder; and
said special section containing and displaying all previously posted files and folders along with associated information of who is the targeted user, which system the targeted user logging in from, when said file or folder posted.
22. The method of claim 15, further includes:
said displayed file and folder tree displayed in file and folder management section of said web-browser being dynamically updated along with the permitted selection of the file or folder for posting operation by said user from their web-browser; and
said file and folder tree being designed with multiple layers for displaying and operating the entire underneath file system for browser base management.
23. The method of claim 10, wherein said providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile includes:
said console support software of control system providing designed operation menu associated with resources being a pop-up menu or a non-pop-up menu, and displayable on each user's web-browser;
said operation menu for file and folder management including tasks of rename, copy/past, delete, move, upload, and download; and
said operation menu for operating said resources being provided with corresponding operation menu depending on the needs.
24. The method of claim 10, wherein providing automatic storing information of created user/group into storage media on control system as user account profile includes:
the screen layout of said web-page provided by said console support software being depending on applications and communication model of this invention without limitation;
a group based online meeting including four sections in said web-page; said message input area section, said group message display section, said displayed file and folder tree management section of user's private work space, and said displayed section of files and folders in group common work space, which contains files or folder posted by users in same group;
a group based online meeting including two sections in said web-page; said message input area section, and said group message display section;
a group based online meeting including two sections in said web-page; said displayed file and folder tree management section of user's private work space, and said displayed section of files and folders in group common work space, which contains files or folder posted by users in same group;
a non-group based 1-to-1 meeting could including three sections; said message input area section, said message display section for messages from both 1-to-1 party, and said displayed file and folder tree management section of user's private work space, which includes files or folders posted/shared from peer users in addition to files and folders belong to the original user;
a non-group based 1-to-1 meeting including four sections; said message input area section, said message display section for messages from both 1-to-1 party, and said displayed file and folder tree management section of user's private work space, which includes files or folders posted/shared from peer users in addition to files and folders belong to the original user, and said special personal share management section;
a non-group based 1-to-1 meeting including only two sections; said message input area section, and said message display section for messages from both 1-1 party;
a non-group based 1-to-1 meeting including only two sections; said displayed file and folder tree management section and said personal share management section;
a model of dynamic posting or un-posting messages or file or folders by users in a group to each web-browser of massive Internet or Intranet online un-registered users having two web-pages, one for users in said group and another for said massive un-registered users; the first said web-page for said massive user containing one section of either said message display section or said displayed files and folders section of common file and folder area of common work space of said group; said first web-page containing two sections of said message display section and said displayed files or folders section; the second said web-page for said users in said group containing said four sections to instantly post or un-post messages, files or folders, instantly posting or un-posting messages, or files and folders; and
with each communication model, said participating users getting and viewing a same web-page with identical number of screen sections layout; and
getting an identical contents view on message display section and on file and folder display section for said common work space of said group if said user participating group based model of communication;
each user getting an unique view on said file and folder management section, which contains file and folders in their own private work space.
25. The method of claim 10, wherein providing each validated user a dynamic private work space and associated group a dynamic common work space by dynamically retrieving and converting said assigned resources and information into presentable web-format (web-page) to be displayed in web-browser of each validated user further includes:
said console support software of control system executing said posting or un-posting tasks based on obtained and parsed information with following rules,
(1) if said original user posts information of private files or folders in user private work space to targeted users in the same group, the information of said file or folder is deposited to the file and folder area of group common work space of designated group;
(2) if said user try to un-posting previously posted files or folders in a group common work space, said console support software searching a matched file or folder in said common file and folder area of group common work space based original user and information of file or folder, if there is a match, the matched entry is deleted from said group common work space;
(3) if said original user posts files or folders in his/her private work space to a targeted user with said 1-to-1 model, said information of files or folders of said user deposited to the file and folder area of private work space of targeted user;
(4) if said user un-posts a previous posted file or folder for targeted user with said 1-to-1 model, said console support software searches a matched file or folder in said private file and folder area of targeted user's private work space based information of original user and information of file or folder, if there is a match, the matched entry is deleted from said targeted user's private work space;
(5) if said user posts a message to multiple users in the same group, said message will be deposited to the common message area of targeted group's common work space;
(6) if said user posts a message to a targeted users with said non-group based 1-to-1 model, said message is deposited to the private message area of private work space of targeted user;
(7) if said user un-posts a message in group based communication, said console support software searches a matched message with information of original user, message identification and time stamp in said common message area of a group, if a match is found, the corresponding entry is deleted from the common message area of targeted group's common work space; and
(8) if said user un-posts message in said non-group based 1-to-1 communication, said console support software search a matched message with information of original user, message identification, and time stamp in said private message area of targeted user's private work space, if a match is found, the corresponding entry is deleted from the private message area of targeted user's private work space.
26. The method of claim 25 further includes:
said console support software of control system executing each task of posting or un-posting file or folder or messages or any said resources initiated by multiple said users concurrently in memory speed; and
during said depositing information of file or folder or depositing a message to said any work space, a lock mechanism deployed to protect the integrity of task operation.
27. The method of claim 25, further includes:
said console support software of control system also providing privileged user to perform tasks of saving messages in either said group common message area or in said private message area by write messages into either a record file or text file on external storage media such as disk; said records in record file containing message identification number, the original user, the targeted user and the message its self;
said console support software also providing privileged user to perform task of resetting said message area in either group common work space or said user private work space by emptying said message area.
28. The method of claim 10, wherein providing each validated users from said web-browser on any system to instantly concurrently perform tasks of posting or un-posting messages or information of files, folders, or said resources stored in said private work space of validated user to/from said common work space of each targeted groups, or to or from private work space of each targeted peer-user through operation menu associated with group based model or 1-to-1 model includes:
a designated said run-time code encoded in said web-page setting up and periodically initiating the task of said automatic refreshing web-page of said web-browser of each user;
the rate of periodically auto refreshing said web-browser adjusted by said console support software depends on the needs of communication; and
each said user also manually refreshing said web-page by clicking on a designed refreshing button to submit the task.
29. The method of claim 10, wherein providing each validated users from said web-browser on any system to instantly concurrently perform tasks of posting or un-posting messages or information of files, folders, or said resources stored in said private work space of validated user to/from said common work space of each targeted groups, or to or from private work space of each targeted peer-user through operation menu associated with group based model or 1-to-1 model further includes:
upon receiving task/request of refreshing web-page/web-browser, said console support software obtaining and parsing the requested task to determine which user, which browser, and which section of browser need to be refreshed, and what information need to be update; and
based on parsed information, said console support software retrieved corresponding information either from said user's private work space or group's common work space, and further converting said information into said presentable web-format, and finally transmit the converted new web-page back to the corresponding sections of said browser for displaying.
30. The method of claim 10, wherein providing each validated users from said web-browser on any system to instantly concurrently perform tasks of posting or un-posting messages or information of files, folders, or said resources stored in said private work space of validated user to/from said common work space of each targeted groups, or to or from private work space of each targeted peer-user through operation menu associated with group based model or 1-to-1 model further includes:
in both said group based communication or non-group based 1-to-1 communication model, each user seeing files (digital documents and contents) posted by each peer user, each user retrieving files posted by peer users to realize the exchanging files between communication party with conventional web-browser and without size limitation.
31. The method of claim 10, further include:
said console support software providing each said users a center view for personal share control and further to effectively control the massive previously posted file or folder during 1-to-1 communication;
said user conveniently selecting a previously posted file or folder and further to perform un-posting task via an operation menu.
32. The method of claim 10, further includes:
with said different security permission hierarchy imposed on various users and groups, said console support software providing a leader in a work team to post one or more folders without entering group online meeting model, and to be access by all members in a team while do not permit other individual member to do the similar task;
each team member still having privilege to perform non-group based 1-to-1 posting or un-posting operation and sharing for files and folders; and
said privileged user dynamically setting each user's security permission and roles in real-time, and therefore, the each users in said team having a changed scope and view of resource for access when their roles are changed.
33. The method of claim 10, further includes:
said division of each user's private work space and each group's common work space provided by said WCUWE of CCDSVM enforcing security protection for each user and each group of users to perform posting or un-posting or said tasks concurrently without interfering with each other; and
letting each user or group of users to securely work together and sharing each other throughout the universe of Intranet, Intranet, and LAN.
34. The method of claim 24, further includes:
said rich resources information assigned by WCUWE of CCDSVM and contained in each users' private user work space or group common work space providing displaying and sharing information with various web-page layout to satisfy various applications; and
combining said rich resources information and each user's ability of performing concurrent multi-tasks from a single web-browser on any system provided by WCUWE, user can perform various tasks over network, storage, system monitoring and so on far beyond the file or folder or message's post and un-post operation over CCDSVM.
35. A method of web based information exchange, comprising:
receiving a first posting request from a first user resided across an Internet;
identifying a first posting object in response to said posting request and posting requirements associated with said first posting request;
determining a first group in which said first user is a member;
obtaining a list users within said first group from a local storage device;
generating a first web page including said posting object; and
providing said first web page to users of said first group via users' systems through the Internet; and
monitoring said first web page and determining whether any of said users have access said web page.
36. The method of claim 35, further comprising:
receiving a second posting request from a second user resided across an Internet;
identifying a second posting object in response to said second posting request and posting requirements associated with said second posting request;
generating a second web page including said second posting object;
un-posting said first web page;
providing said second web page to users of said first group via users' systems through the Internet; and
monitoring said second web page and determining whether any of said users have access said second web page.
Description
PRIORITY

This application claims the benefit of priority based upon U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/787,653, filed on Mar. 31, 2006 in the name of the same inventor and entitled “Instant Post Document and Messages to Users from Central Controlled Distributed Scalable Virtual Machine,” and this application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/713,904, filed on Aug. 12, 2002 in the name of the same inventor and entitled “Concurrent Web Based Multi-Task Support for Control Management System,” and is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/713,905, filed on Aug. 12, 2002 in the name of the same inventor and entitled “Method and Apparatus for Web-based Storage On Demand.”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to communications network. More specifically, the present invention relates to web based communications system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With increasing popularity of using the Internet and World Wide Web (“the Web”) for the rapidly changing digital world, individuals as well as enterprises, exchange (or swap) large volumes of information through the Web. The demand for larger and faster information exchange has increasingly grown in recent years. For example, various business meetings and conferences are conducted over the Web with attendees scattered around the world. To enhance the communication between the meeting attendees, not only voice (and/or image) information is important, but also information exchange can be critical.

Fast, volume, and secure information exchange is important in enhancing the efficiency of a communications network. A problem associated with a conventional network is limited size and speed. For example, a typical email system limits the size of each email, such as 10 megabytes, thereby a reasonable speed of delivery of such email can be achieved. Another problem associated with a conventional network is that various hosts require software installation before a user can use their platform. For example, Skype™ requires users to install its proprietary software on the user's systems before it allows them to use its platform.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art to provide a faster, more secure, volume information exchange over the Web.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for information exchange over a web environment.

With the development of central controlled distributed scalable virtual machine (CCDSVM) and the web-based computer user working (operating) environment (WCUWE), the problems mentioned in the previous section can easily be solved by introducing a “dynamic work space” technology of this invention within the frameworks of CCDSVM and WCUWE.

With dynamic work space technology, one or more login users of CCDSVM, each using a browser of any system and from anywhere, can instantly perform tasks. For example, each user can post or un-post messages, files, folders, or other resources on systems of CCDSVM with group-based model or non-group 1-to-1 model to one or more audiences on the network. This technology will also achieve larger scales of secure information exchange without size limitation and the installation of special software.

The implementation of this invention has provided users with a web-browser based, 1-click system that is capable of securing exchanges of messages, files, folders, or other information resources on systems crossing network domains without size limitation.

Additional features and benefits of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description, figures, and claims set forth below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood more fully from the detailed description given below and from the accompanying drawings of various embodiments of the invention, which, however, should not be taken to limit the invention to the specific embodiments, but are for explanation and understanding only.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a layout of a CCDSVM with a central control management system and multiple provisioned systems, client system and console system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a block diagram illustrating a layout of a CCDSVM with which users from their web-browser of provisioned system can communicate with each other in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a block diagram illustrating a layout of a CCSDVM with only a single control management system to be accessed by massive client systems in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a software for a CCDSVM in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a dynamic work space in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A illustrates an example of a resource which may be assigned to a user-group common work space in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4B illustrates an example of a user private work space and possible assigned system resources in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates an example of resource objectives on systems in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6A illustrates an example of displaying a web-page with 4 sections in web-browser of user X in user-group-1 during an interactive online meeting in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6B illustrates an example of displaying a web-page with 4 sections in web-browser of user Y in user group-1 during interactive online meeting in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6C illustrates an example of displaying a web-page with 4 sections in web-browser of user X in user group-1 before interactive online meeting in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6D illustrates an example of displaying a web-page with 4 sections in web-browser of user Y in user group-1 before interactive online meeting in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6E illustrates an example of a displayed web-page that each massive online user can access and view from each of their browser without login to CCDSVM during said user X and user Y in user-group-1 online meeting in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7A illustrates one-to-one, peer-to-peer post or un-post messages and folders of user X in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7B illustrates one-to-one, peer-to-peer post or un-post messages and folders of user Y in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8A is an example of a web-based graphic presentation view of assigned resources in a user X's private work space in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8B is an example of a web-based graphic presentation of assigned resource in the private work space of user Y in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8C is an example of a web-based graphic presentation view of user Y's private work space after user X dynamically posted and shared “folder 2” in user X's private space in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9A is an example of a pop-up menu for folder in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9B is an example of a pop-up menu for file in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10A is an example of a non pop-up operation menu for folder in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10B is an example of a non pop-up operation menu for folder in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is an example of a center view of a list of posted files or folders in sharable file & folder area of a common work space of a user X in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention are described herein in the context of a method, system and apparatus for providing a web based communications network with fast, volume, and secure information exchange. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following detailed description of the present invention is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure. Reference will now be made in detail to implementations of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The same reference indicators will be used throughout the drawings and the following detailed description to refer to the same or like parts.

In the interest of clarity, not all of the routine features of the implementations described herein are shown and described. It will, of course, be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made in order to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with application- and business-related constraints, and that these specific goals will vary from one implementation to another and from one developer to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of engineering for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

In accordance with the present invention, the components, process steps, and/or data structures described herein may be implemented using various types of operating systems, computing platforms, computer programs, and/or general purpose machines. In addition, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that devices of a less general purpose nature, such as hardwired devices, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or the like, may also be used without departing from the scope and spirit of the inventive concepts disclosed herein. Where a method comprising a series of process steps is implemented by a computer or a machine and those process steps can be stored as a series of instructions readable by the machine, they may be stored on a tangible medium such as a computer memory device (e.g., ROM (Read Only Memory), PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory), EEPROM (Electrically Eraseable Programmable Read Only Memory), FLASH Memory, Jump Drive, and the like), magnetic storage medium (e.g., tape, magnetic disk drive, and the like), optical storage medium (e.g., CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, paper card and paper tape, and the like) and other known types of program memory.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following detailed description of the present invention is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that these specific details may not be required to practice to present invention. In other instances, well-known circuits and devices are shown in block diagram form to avoid obscuring the present invention. In the following description of the embodiments, substantially the same parts are denoted by the same reference numerals.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will now be apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that many more modifications than mentioned above are possible without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed herein. Therefore, the appended claims are intended to encompass within their scope all such modifications as are within the spirit and scope of this invention.

The present invention can be implemented by a web based system operated in a network infrastructure, such as a central controlled distributed scalable virtual machine (“CCDSVM”). FIG. 1 illustrates a CCDSVM in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. A CCDSVM includes a group of provisioned systems 3, a control management system 2, console systems 1, and client systems 10. Control management system (“control system”) 2 is configured to control a group of systems (“provisioned system”) 3. Console systems (“console systems”) 2 provide management while client systems 10 (“client systems”) initiate accessing provisioned systems 3 via a web-browser over a network infrastructure, such as the Intranet, an Internet, and/or a LAN.

The network infrastructure (“network”) includes all necessary hardware and software that facilitate various users from different geographic locations to communicate through the Internet, an Intranet, and/or a LAN. The hardware of the network includes network connection media, wireless media, circuitry components, and communication equipments. The network connection media includes various cables such as Ethernet and/or optical fiber. The wireless media is capable of establishing wireless communication links through air. The circuitry components include processor, data bus, memory devices, and/or circuit board. The communication equipments, such as switches, routers, gateways, and/or adapters, are used to provide a communications network. It should be noted that there are other possible elements of communication equipment that may be needed to form a communication link, but they are not necessary to understand the present invention.

The software infrastructure includes Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses and system name identification software such as Domain Name System (“DNS”), firewall software, IP gateway set-up software, IP broadcast, and so forth. The communication protocols over the network could be IP-based standard or non-standard proprietary protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“HTTP”) over Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (“TCP/IP”) or Simple Object Access Protocol (“SOAP”) over TCP/IP. It should be further noted that some IP based protocols are proprietary protocols and some are non-IP based protocols.

A web-browser is an application program that allows a user to access information over the Web, such as Windows Internet Explorer (“IE”), FireFox, Netscape, and/or Mozillar. A web-browser could also be any proprietary software, which uses web-protocols such as HTTP, WAP, SOAP for communication over the network. The web-browser can be implemented with any suitable programming languages such as C, C++, Java, or XML, or a combination of the suitable languages.

A web page, on the other hand, is a displayable information resource that is accessible through web-browser. The web page may be hosted by a web server via a web server system and can be transmitted (or retrieved) by a web-browser.

Provisioned systems 3, client systems 10, console systems 1, and control management system 2 are computational systems, which could be server system, desktop or laptop system, handheld devices such as PDA, wireless phone, and so forth. The computational systems include CPUs, storage devices, and memory controller. The storage devices include internal memory such as read-only memory (“ROM”) and/or random access memory (“RAM”). The storage devices may further include external storage devices such as magnetic disks or tapes, which include redundant array of independent drives (“RAID”), JBOB, and memory stick. The associated storage controller can be Integrated Drive Electronics (“IDE”), Small Computer System Interface (“SCSI”), Fiber optical controller, or a combination of above-mentioned devices.

The computational systems also include non-embedded or real-time embedded OS running, which could be Linux, or Windows, Unix, or proprietary OS. It should be noted that the present invention may include multiple control systems at different layers of system configuration topology wherein each of the control systems is capable of communicating with each other through a network. The control systems at middle layers play dual roles as both control system and provisioned system in the system configuration topology.

FIG. 1 illustrates a CCDSVM platform with multiple clients in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The CCDSVM includes console systems 1, control management system 2, provisioned systems 3, and networks 11-12, wherein networks 11-12 are used inter-connecting with all systems of CCDSVM and client systems 10.

Console system 1 is a computational system having a web-browser or web-console 9 wherein web-browser is used by privileged users for accessing the CCDSVM platform. Web browser 9, which could be on any system, permits a user to access information from the CCDSVM by following a web URL link. For example, a privileged user enters a term of “https://69.107.28.123/stt/sttwebos” on a command line of web browser 9 and once the link is established, the user can obtain information hosted by the web-based computer user work/operation environment (“WCUWE”). Console system 1, in one embodiment, further includes software modules 13, wherein modules 13 may be used to facilitate communication between console system 1 and control management system 2.

Control system 2, in one embodiment, is a server system, a desktop or a laptop system with memory and storage capabilities. Control system 2 includes web server software 7 and console supporting software 6. Console supporting software 6 includes web server interface software modules 5 and control management software modules 4. The control management system 2 may also have web-browser 9 used as a web-console 9 of control system 2. Web server software 7 sends/receives data to/from web-console 9 of console system 1 or client system 10 or control system 2. Web server software 7 is configured to provide secure sockets layer (“SSL”) encryption to encrypting the data before transmission to enhance the security. Web server software 7 could be commercially available software such as Apache™ from open source, or IIS from Microsoft or a proprietary software. Web server software modules and console support software modules can be implemented by any suitable or a combination of any suitable programming languages such as C, C++, Java, JavaScript, HTML, or XML.

Console supporting software 6 communicates with service software modules 8 of provisioned systems 3. Web server interface 5 of console support software 6 is capable of providing special functions that are otherwise performed by web server 7. If no provisioned system 3 is coupled to the CCDSVM platform, control management system 2, in one embodiment, is reconfigured to continue monitoring systems over the network while the CCDSVM platform is also reconfigured to a single stand-alone system, as shown in FIG. 2B. Users can access and/or obtain objects or system resources via web-browser 9, which can be resided at any client system 3 or console system 1

Provisioned system 3, in one embodiment, is a computational system, wherein the system may contain suitable operating system (“OS”). Provisioned systems 3 can be automatically provisioned by control system 2 through an automatic system service pool construction protocol. Provision process, also known as pooling process, is a method allowing control system 2 to control one or more network systems by reconfiguring the network systems. For example, when a provisioned system boots up via a communication protocol, control system 2 obtains provisioned system's name, IP address, and system information wherein the system information includes network information, storage information, file system information and so forth. Each provisioned system 3 can be monitored, accessed, and/or operated by a user(s) through web-browser 9 of console system 1. In an alternative embodiment, provisional system 3 is controlled by users through client systems 10 via control system 2 with proper users' authentication. Each provisioned system 3 contains service software modules 8, which is used to communicate with servers over the Web. For example, service software modules 8 of provisioned system 3 can communicate with control management software 4 to carry out tasks for viewing or operating on resources of provisioned system 3. Service software 8 can communicate with web-browser 9 of client system 10 or console system 1 to transfer data between them or deliver service to them, or to communicate with another provisioned system 3 to send or receive data.

Service software modules 8 may include special software modules having compatible functionalities of web-server software 7 of control system 2 and to dedicate handling HTTP protocol or other web protocols if there is needs for web-based communication with client 10 or with other provisioned system 3 or with control system 2. Software modules 8 could be commercially available web server software 7 or any proprietary software. The service software modules 8 could be implemented with any suitable programming languages such as C, C++, Java, or JavaScript.

Net 11 and Net 12 are network infrastructures that are capable of providing communication links between control management system 2, console system 1, client system 10, and/or provisioned systems 3.

Client systems 10 may not be a part of CCDSVM, but with the permission and authorization, users from web-browser 9 of client system 10 can login to CCDSVM and access the permitted resources of CCDSVM using web-browser 9 by following a web URL link of CCDSVM. While privileged users can obtain, manage, access, and/or operate system resources from CCDSVM through WCUWE, regular (non-privileged) users at client systems 10 may be permitted to access only limited system resources of CCDSVM.

CCDSVM configuration, in one embodiment, includes four data flow paths. First data path is a communication link between web browser 9 of client host 10 (or console host 1 or control management system 2) and web handling software on control system 2 (such as web-server 7 or console support software 6). With this path of data flow, whenever a user sends a request from web-browser 9 to web-server 7 or console support software 6, console support software 6 collects required information from target provisioned systems 3 and converts them into standard structured information (web-format) for web communication. The targeted system could be one of provisioned systems 3 or control system 2. The information collected by console support software 6 of control system 2 could be the system status, or the storage information, or the network information, or the user authentication profile, or the file system information, or files & folders information on control system 2, or any targeted provisioned system 3. Console support software 6 then passes this converted structured information to web server software 7 and further transmits to web-browser 9 through communication link Net 11 and Net 12 so that it can be displayed and viewed by a conventional web browser 9, as shown in FIG. 1.

The communication protocol used between web-browser 9 of client system 10 (or console system 1 or control system 2) and web server 7 of control system 2 could be HTTP, HTTPS (SSL encrypted HTTP protocol) or any suitable web protocols for web communication, which could successfully transmit the data on the web or could be other standard or proprietary IP-based on non-IP-based protocols. This data path may be referred to as console support software 6, which transmits data to/from web-browser 9 or web-server 7.

The second data path is the data flow through communication link between control system 2 and provisioned systems 3. Requests targeted to a provisioned system 3 are passed from console support software 6 of control system 2 to service modules 8 of provisioned systems 3 through communication link network 12. When the responses for those requests are received by control system 2, service modules 8 of provisioned system 3 carry out the requested tasks, and then send the response back to console support software 6 of control system 2. The implementation of the actual products of this invention on the second data path may use proprietary TCP/UDP/IP based protocols for the communication between provisioned systems 3 and control system 2. However, other standards or proprietary IP-based or any suitable non-IP-based protocol are also possible. The communication protocols used between console support software 6 of control system and service modules 8 of provisioned system 3 can be any suitable IP based or non-IP based protocols, whichever is suitable to transmit data between them. The typical data flow through this path could be the boot message, system status, network information, or storage information of provisioned system 3, as shown in FIG. 1.

The third data path is the data flow between provisioned systems 3 and client system 10 or console system 1 via communication link 12. Referring back to FIG. 1, console support software 6 of control system 2 may present a web link, which points to an object on a provisioned system 3, to a user working on web-browser 9 of client system 10 or console system 1 or control system 2. The object pointed by the web link on the provisioned system 3 could be a text file, MPEG video, PDF document, MS Power Point, Word documentation, etc. It also could be a link of another web service program. From web browser 9, a user can directly access the information on a provisioned system 3 pointed by the web link without go through the control system 2 again. In this case, service modules 8 of provisioned system 3 also include web server software modules or equivalent one to directly support web browser 9 as mentioned before. The communication protocols with the third path could be web protocols such as HTTP or WAP. Alternatively, the communication protocols can be other standards or proprietary IP-based or non-IP-based protocols. To simplify the discussion, the data transmitted on this path will be mentioned as service software module 8 that send data to or receive data from web-browser 9 and vice versa.

The fourth data path is data flow through communication link between provisioned system 3 and another provisioned system 3. With this path, service modules 8 of one provisioned system 3 can directly transmit data or information to service modules 8 of another provisioned system 3 via a communication link Net 12 without going through control system 2. The implementation of the actual products of this invention, for example, uses a proprietary IP-based protocol for communications between the two provisioned systems 3. The principle of this invention, however, does not rely on or limit to proprietary protocol. It should be noted that other standard or proprietary IP-based or any suitable non-IP-based protocol may also be possible. The data and information transmitted through the fourth data path can be various types of data. For example, a user on web browser 9 obtains a file or a folder on a provisioned system 3 provided by control system 2 and also selects a targeted folder on a targeted system provided by control system. The user can also instruct to transfer a file from a current target provisioned system 3 to another provisioned system 3 by a mouse click. The data file will then be transferred directly between the two provisioned systems 3 without going through control system 2.

FIG. 2A illustrates a variation of CCDSVM platform for web browser-based communication in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. CCDSVM platform illustrated in FIG. 2A is similar to the platform illustrated in FIG. 1 except every provisioned systems 3 includes a web-browser 9. Thus, with proper authentication process, each user of provisioned systems 3 may access, manage their own provisioned system 3 from web-browser 9 either on their own local provisioned system 3 or on any client system anywhere on the network. It should be noted that when a user is registered with a provisioned system 3, the user is authorized to access provisioned system 3 locally but not with CCDSVM. On the other hand, when a user is registered with CCDSVM, the user is then authorized to access multiple provisioned systems 3 and control system 2 of CCSDVM.

FIG. 2B illustrates another example of a variation of CCDSVM, in which there is no provisioned systems 3 in CCDSVM. Control system 2 can run on its own and CCDSVM has degenerated into a single stand-alone system (FIG. 2B), and users through web-browser 9 on any client system 3 (or on console system 1, or on stand-alone control system 2) are allowed to access and to operate the permitted objects and system resources on stand-alone control system 2.

Unless specifically specified, the console support software modules 6 of control system 2, the provisioned systems 3, the service software modules 8 of provisioned system 3, and the web-browser 9 of control system 2, client system 10, and console system 1 are referred to the CCDSVM platform illustrated in FIG. 1.

A web-based computer user work/operation environment (“WCUWE”) of CCDSVM is a software infrastructure, shown in FIG. 3, which provides each permitted user to log into CCDSVM and further provide each login user a private web-browser based operating environment, which is a private work space including the assigned and permitted resources on control system 2 or on provisioned system 3 on the network. WCUWE further provides each user from a single web-browser to perform various permitted tasks and operations over various system resources (FIG. 5), wherein the tasks can be performed concurrently from a single login web-browser.

The tasks also include allowing privileged users to create users, groups, assign users to each group, to assign initial associated system resources to each user or group, and to save the information of created users and groups into a database stored on a storage media of the control system. The information needed for creating users or groups include user names, user IDs, assigned security permissions, passwords, access points, group names, group IDs, maximum members in a group, and so forth. The tasks also include various system operations such as manage network, storage, file system, folder, files, messages, user security, and so forth.

The database is organized as one or more lists of tables, wherein each of the lists contains various resources. For example, the resources could be one or more user's information, one or more system's information, one or more network cards, and one or more disk drive's information. The storage media could be a system's internal storage or disk drive, for example.

The WCUWE of CCDSVM includes software modules of present invention. For example, the software includes console support modules 6 of control system 2, service software modules 8 of provisioned system 3, and other service software 13 of console system 1. The current implementation of WCUWE is based on a proprietary design of this invention. However, the nature and spirit of this invention does not limit to proprietary designed software. The WCUWE of CCDSVM also includes other proprietary software modules or conventional software such as web-server 7 of control system 2, web-browser 9 of the control system 2, the client system 10, and console system 1.

The WCUWE of CCDSVM can be implemented with any suitable or combination of various suitable programming languages such as C, C++, Java, JavaScripts, HTML, or XML for example. To simplify the discussion, the WCUWE will be used to represent software modules in CCDSVM described above.

Users of CCDSVM may be created by CCDSVM through a given process or any users on the Internet, Intranet, or LAN without registering with CCDSVM. The WCUWE of CCDSVM provides user access to various resources and performs various tasks through a preferred model of mouse clicking on graphically represented resource objects on browser.

WCUWE is designed to be operated on a CCDSVM platform, and is specially designed to provide dynamic work space (FIG. 4) to each user associated with various CCDSVM. WCUWE further performs tasks of instantly posting or un-posting user's private resources to peers in a group or to each peer user of CCDSVM not in a group or not in the same group, or massive public users on the network. Massive public users do not have accounts with the CCDSVM platform.

The dynamic work space of WCUWE is a centrally controlled collection of each group's work space and/or user's work space. Console support software 6 of control system 2 of CCDSVM will assign each user a private work space and each group a common work space when each user or group account is created by a privileged user after corresponding WCUWE software on control system and provisioned system enter into an operational mode. When a user or a group account is created, each user is assigned to a specific user security scope and permission. An important aspect of WCUWE of CCDSVM is that it assigns each user and/or each user-group a working space based on user and group security permission.

A work space is an organized information structure, which can be saved on storage media of memory or disk drives or both of memory and disk drives by console support software 6. A work space is created while a privileged user is performing the tasks of creating a user or group. The work space will be initiated and assigned with system resources of CCDSVM as shown in FIG. 5. Various system resources on either provisioned system 3 and/or on control system 2 may include respective memory, system-groups, systems in system-group, file system, folder, files, storage media, and network media, for example. The common work space 15, shown in FIG. 4A, of each group may be initially assigned with information of system resources (FIG. 5) such as users in this group, message area, file systems, folders and files on a specific provisioned system 3 or on control system 2, for example. The resources of the common work space may also be dynamically assigned or allocated by a permitted user after creating group account. For example, during an online interactive meeting, a user posts a file to the common work space, so that a new entry of a file node is added to a file and a folder tree area of common work space. In addition, each group may be assigned to one or more users, wherein each user can also be assigned to a private work space 6 of FIG. 4 and FIG. 4B during a user account setup. The private work space may also be initially assigned by system resources of CCDSVM during a user account setup session. Alternatively, the private work space is dynamically assigned by the resources of CCDSVM after the account is created.

For example, a privileged user can dynamically permit or deny a general user's access to a list of storage devices. During the operation, at one second, a user may see a list from user's web-browser, and at another second, a general user can no longer see the list. Also, if an authorized user can access a list of storage devices on a provisioned system and further, can take one of the devices offline so that the device list on the provisioned system will have one less device to be displayed.

In another example, at one second, a privileged user allows a general user to access a file J in folder N on system M of CCDSVM, and at another second, the privileged user resets previous permission thereby the general user can view and access the file J in folder N on system M of CCDSVM, and a second later, the general user cannot view and access it any more. The actual implementation of console support software 6 of control system 2 has achieved this capability.

In addition, each type of resources in the work space is organized as a list of tables and can be stored in storage media in control system. The integrity of security of each group is protected by limiting different resources to different groups. As such, each group is authorized to have a limited view over assigned system resources on provisioned system 3 as well as control system 2. The same security integrity at user level can be achieved by assigning different system resources of provisioned system 3 and/or control system 2 to different individual user based on assigned security permission. Therefore, each user is authorized to access and view the assigned resources.

FIG. 4A has shown an example of assigned resources of users 17, message area 18, and folders and files area 19, and others 20 in common work space of a group. The messages from each user in user-group in common message area 18, and the information of folders and files in common files and folder area 19 can be shared by all users in a same user-group. All resources in each group's common work space can be selectively displayed in web-browser of each login user, who belongs to same user group after said resources in said group being converted to presentable web-format (web-page) by the console support software 6 of control system 2 of CCDSVM.

FIG. 4B has shown an example of resources in private work space (16) of a user, which has assigned private message area 21, private file, folder area 22, and private network or storage or other information area 23. The assigned resources only can be exclusively viewed and accessed by the designated user unless he/she agrees to share with peer user crossing group boundary or with peer user in same group. The said folder (directory) is a data structure which can hold one more files and sub-folders at logical file system level and at physical level on storage media.

FIG. 8A has shown an example of displaying an actually implemented portion of web-page encoded with assigned resources in private work space of user X, which includes a system-group-A 33 on said network, multiple provisioned systems 3 under system-group-A, private folders of user X on a system, and files under folders 32 in a displayed private work space of user X.

FIG. 8B has shown another example of displaying an actually implemented portion of web-page encoded with assigned resources in private work space of user Y, which includes control system 2, private folder and files 35 of user B in a private work space of user Y.

The private work space of user X and user Y may also include private message area 21 and other resources, which are not displayed in FIG. 8A & FIG. 8B because WCUWE is designed to dynamically display part of user's private work space whenever there is needs.

It is notable that said user X and user Y, may be in same user-group such as said group-1, however, each of them could have a significant different scope of private work space assigned by the console support software 6 of control system 2 due to they have been assigned with very different resources on systems depending on each user's role and security permission, which setup by privileged user of CCDSVM through web-based user interface provided by the said console support software 6. This is the beauty of the invention of WCUWE for CCDSVM.

The FIG. 6C and FIG. 6D are examples of web-page view in said web-browser 9 of user X and user Y in user-group-1 before an interactive online meeting. As shown in FIG. 6C and FIG. 6D, user X or user Y or other users (who's web-page/browser did not depicted) in same user-group-1 have entered a group online meeting after their login to CCDSVM from each browser on any system on said network and all get an identical web-page provided by the said console support software 6 of control system 2 except with different contents in displayed private work space section of web-page due to each user has assigned with different resources. The web-page screen layout provided by said console support software 6 contains four sections:

    • 1) a private user message input area (section-1),
    • 2) a message displaying section for common message area 18 of FIG. 4A for all users in user-group-1 (section-2),
    • 3) a file or folder display section for group common file and folder area 19 of FIG. 4A for all users in same user-group-1 (section-3), and
    • 4) a file and folder tree displaying and management section (section-4) for user folder and file tree in private file and folder area 22 of FIG. 4B of a user's private work space.

Initially, the section-1, section-2, and section-3 are all empty due to no one has post any file or message yet. The said console support software 6 gets each login user's portion of assigned folders and files for online meeting from stored private file and folder area 22 of FIG. 4B of private work space of each user on said storage media, and further convert said file or folder information to presentable web-format (web-page) to be displayable in said section-4 of web-page/web-browser 9 of each user. The choice of total four sections of web-page layout and the order of each section on the browser screen is irrelevant to this invention since other choices of design are also possible, and further, this invention does not have limitation on what web-screen layout shall be. The said information of file or folder includes the system name where the file or folder resided, the named and path of the file or folder, the owner of file or folder, the time stamps, the size of the file and so on without limitation.

During the interactive online meeting, the said console support software 6 provides each user to post or un-post files or folders to said section-3 of displayed group's common documents and contents management section with several steps. First, for example, providing said user X to click on one targeted file “Doc 124 or folder a time in section-4 of displayed said file and folder management area of said user private work space. Second, select the operation of either post or un-post from an operation menu (see FIG. 9A, FIG. 9B, FIG. 10A and FIG. 10B). Finally click on the selected operation to submit the task of either post or un-post on selected file or folder.

Each user with permission may perform un-post operation if such user has at least a previously posted file or folder, which has already displayed in section-3 of common document and content management section of said web-browser 9 of all login users in said same user-group, see FIG. 6A or FIG. 6B for example.

If a file is selected, the said file operation menu is used and if a folder is selected, the said folder operation menu is used respectively. It is also possible to only provide one menu for both file and folder operation by said console support software 6. The said operation menu either can be pop-up menu for folder as shown in FIG. 9A or pop-up menu for file as shown in FIG. 9B, or non-pop-up menu for folder as shown in FIG. 10A or non-pop-up menu for file as shown in FIG. 10B. The choice of operation menu is irrelevant to this invention although the actual implementation of this part of invention has used pop-up menu, and as matter of the facts that there is no limitation on how the operation menu is to be designed in this invention.

In the example of FIG. 6A, user X can post a file named “Doc 124 to said section-3 of common document and contents display section of said web-browser 9, In the example of FIG. 6B, user Y also can post a file named “picture 125 to common document and contents display section of said web-browser 9. In addition, another not depicted user Z posted a file of “project code”. The said files or folders could be one on said control system 2 or on provisioned any provisioned system 3 of CCDSVM.

In addition, during the interactive online meeting, the console support software 6 of control system 2 also provides each user to post message to massive users in same group from said section-1 of private user message input section after typing a message and click on the “send” button. In the example of FIG. 6A, user X posted a message of “Msg1 of user X” 26. In the example of FIG. 6B, user Y also posted a message of “Msg2 of user Y” 27. In addition, another non depicted user posted a message of “Msg3 of user Z”. As a result, all of three messages were displayed in the same said section-3 of each user's browser.

In a specific situation, the said console support software 6 also provides permitted user to un-post the previously posted message. Just for example, in FIG. 6A, the said console support software 6 provides permitted user X to select a previously posted “Msg2 of user Y” 27 from said section-2 of common message display section of said web-browser 9 of user X, and select un-post operation from said operation menu and submit the selected un-post task.

The detailed information of how the post or un-post task to be implemented will be discussed in next two paragraphs 3.4 and 3.5. In addition, with this invention, the action of the “post” information such as posting information of files or folders or messages or other resources is equivalent to the action of “share” information. The action of “un-post” information is equivalent to the action of “un-share” previously posted or shared information, in other words, “remove” previously posted or shared information.

After user transmitting information data of the post or un-post task from web-browser 9 of console system 1 or client system 10 or control system 2 to control system 2, the console support software 6 of control system 2 obtains and parses the data to determine: who is the original user initiating the task; what type of task; what type of associated resources for task to work on; who is the targeted user; and what is the time stamp, and may also include other information without limitation. Console support software 6 further determines that if the task is to post a file or folder from said original user, the said console support software 6 picks up the corresponding file or folder information from file and folder area 22 of FIG. 4B of private work space of original user and deposits such information to the file and folder area 19 of FIG. 4A of common work space of said group in this case.

If the task is to un-post a previously posted file or folder from a specific user in said common work space of said group, the said console support software 6 search for the corresponding information of file or folder from that specific user in the said file folder area of said common work space of said group and further remove the entry of matched information from said common work space of said group after it is found.

If the task is to post a message to users in said group, the parsed message will be stored in private message area 21 of FIG. 4B of original user's said private work space 16 of FIG. 4 and also is copied to message area 18 of FIG. 4A of common work space 15 of FIG. 4 of said user-group by said console support software 6.

If a task is to un-post (delete/remove) a previously posted message, the said console support software 6 searches for a matching message in said common message area 18 of FIG. 4A of said common work space of said group and remove such message entry if it is found based on message and original user identification and other associated information such as time stamp, security permission and so on without limitation.

It shall be noticed that the task of un-posting a file or folder of this invention does not actually delete the file and folder from original user's private work space. In addition, a lock protection mechanism is deployed whenever a message or information of a file or folder is written, stored, or deposited to either said private space or said common work space, or to said disk drives or other storage media. Throughout the rest of discuss, the lock protection is assume to be a default action without further mentioning whenever a write/store/deposit action take place. As matter the fact, each task of posting file, folder, and message as well as task of un-posting the previously posted file or folder, or message performed by multiple users in multiple groups with this invention can be executed by the said console support software 6 instantly with memory speed.

FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B illustrate that after console support software 6 of control system 2 successfully executing the tasks for each user in each group, any user in a said user-group can get a fresh view of said section-2 of the common messages display area of user-group-1, and a fresh view of said section-3 of the common documents & contents display area of user-group-1 from each user's said web-browser 9 on client system 10 of FIG. 1 or on control system 2 of FIG. 1 or on console system 1 of FIG. 1.

User can manually click on a refresh-button, which does not show on FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B, to refresh corresponding part of screen of either said section-2 or section-3. Also said corresponding part of browser screen of said section-2 or section-3 can be automatically refreshed. As matter of the fact, optionally, the said console support software 6 has encoded a run-time script in said web-page, which is encoded with said presentable web-format and to be displayed in said web-browser 9 after each user login to CCDSVM and start group online meeting.

The said run-time script will automatically and periodically perform tasks of refreshing said section-2 and section-3 of web browser screen. The frequency of the periodic refreshing can be adjusted by said console support software 6 of CCDSVM depends on the needs of the meeting, which typically can range from 1 to 3 seconds and there is no limitation on this aspect. Also, with the preferred example, said run-time script provided by WCUWE is a JavaScript, however, other type of programming scripts or methods are also possible and there is no limitation on what kind of run-time program shall be used in this invention. In addition, the said console support software 6 provides each user the choices of either automatic or manual refreshing their said web-browser 9.

Upon refreshing said section-2 or section-3 of said web-browser 9 screen of each user, a request of updating such screen will be generated and sent from said web-browser 9, to control system 2. The said console support software 6 obtains and parses each request to determine what user-group, and which part of said common work space of said group need to be updated.

Based on information of each parsed request, the said console support software 6 of control system 2 retrieves the updated resources and objectives from said common work space 15 of FIG. 4 of said user-group, which includes recent posted files, folders, or messages from each user in said group, and also includes the updated list of files and folders or messages after un-post one or more files or folders, or messages by users in same group. Finally, console support software 6 of control system 2 converts retrieved information of resources and objects to presentable web-format (web-page).

If the request is to update the group messages, the converted information is sent to the section-2 of group common message display area in corresponding user's said web-page/web browser 9. If the request is to update the group common files and folders display area, the converted information is sent to the section-3 of said web-browser 9. Therefore, after refreshing said sections on said web-browser 9, each user can have an identical view of all posted files and folders from section-3 of group common document display area on said browser 9, and can have an identical view of all messages from section-2 of group common message display area on said web-browser 9, which posted by all other users in a same group. Meanwhile said console support software 6 still allow each user kept most of resources and objects in their own private work space un-exposed to other users in same group during the online interactive meeting.

For example, User X at his/her said web-browser 9 can see “picture 125 of FIG. 6A posted by user Y in group common file and folder display area but not other information in user Y's private work space area, and plus the “Doc 1” posted by user X himself. Also, user Y at his/her said web-browser 9 can see “Doc 124 of FIG. 6B posted by user X in group common file and folder display area but not other information in user X's private file and folder display area, and plus the “picture 1” posted by user Y himself.

A difference between a conventional Internet group communication model and the group based communication model described in the present invention is that console support software 6 of control system 2 provides each user to control post or un-post said resources from user's own private work space while the conventional Internet communication model are not capable of performing posting/un-posting task. Also, for example, un-posting a previous posted folder with WCUWE of CCDSVM does not delete the materials in user's private work space while the delete operation with said existing Internet group communication model will completely delete the posted folder. The dynamic work space of this invention represents a true beauty of the combined security protection of information and flexibility and efficiency of online meeting provided by WCUWE of CCDSVM to each users and groups in online meeting.

In addition, with a preferred example, since posted information of each files are encoded by said console support software 6 with a web link and displayed in said section-3 of web-browser 9, therefore, each user in a user-group can click on said link to download the files, which provided in private file and folder area of private work space of their peer users in group, from a system where the file is located. For example, user X can download said “picture 1”, which may reside on either control system 2 or provisioned system 3, from user Y and user Y can download said “Doc 1”, which also may reside on either control system 2 or provisioned system 3 from user X at same time. This achieves a true peer-to-peer exchanging files on permitted system from permitted users in said user-group. In addition, there is no size limitation on the file size for file to be downloaded, which is a gifted benefit from Internet technology. Besides the exampled and understandable method of download, other methods of retrieve peer users' digital documents or contents are also possible by deploying a more efficient proprietary file transfer mechanism to reach the results of said exchanging file. It shall be noted that the said method of download is only applicable to said files and does not apply to folder and other said resource information. To get a targeted peer user's entire folder and the underneath files and sub folders, a special files and folder transfer method is required.

As shown in FIGS. 9A & 9B, and FIGS. 10A & 10B, console support software 6 of control system 2 also provides each user to perform many other tasks during online meeting through said operation menu such as upload, rename, delete, copy/past and so on without limitation. The upload operation allows each user to dynamically upload files one a time through web-browser 9 from local storage of client system 10 or console system 1 to said user's private work space on control system 2 during meeting, and further to be posted to said common space of user-group each user belong to.

The mouse click driven copy/past operation allows files and folders from permitted folders of permitted provisioned system 3 to be dynamically physically copied to each users' private work space on control system 2, and the information of said files and folders could further to be displayed in said web-page/browser of each user and to be posted to common work space of group each user belong to in addition to direct posting these file or folders as described in previous paragraph 3.3 without physical copying over. As matter of the fact, operations provided by console support software 6 of control system 2 have added efficiency to posting or un-posting files and folders for each user depending on the real needs.

Additionally, said console support software 6 provides each user of each group capability of saving the posted messages of common message area of said common work space of said each group into a file in common file & folder area of said common work space of each group. Further, the saved file can be viewed, downloaded by each user in each group with same method of posting. Besides whenever there is needs, said console support software 6 provide users to reset message area to be empty by removing all message entries in message area of said user-group's common work space.

The important fact is that the designed WCUWE of CCDSVM has provided concurrent users each from a single web browser anywhere on the network to securely perform permitted various tasks, which could be run concurrent within a single web-browser. Because of console support software 6 of control system 2 let each users have exclusive view for resource objects in their private work space and in said common work space of a group each user belong to, and let each user to manage resource objects in their own private space, the multiple users in multiple groups can concurrently post or un-post files, folders, messages, or other resource objects without interfere users in other user-groups. Thus, the work spaces of each user and each group are well protected.

Hence, the console support software 6 of control system 2 provides privileged users to perform tasks of creating multiple users and user-groups on control system, and each group can be assigned with variable size of users for online interactive meeting. The total number of users and the total number of groups, and maximum number of users per groups of WCUWE of CCDSVM can support is an implementation issue and depends on the capacity of the control system 2. The WCUWE of CCDSVM and CCDSVM has been designed with unlimited scalability for both users and provisioned systems 3. On the other hand, the spirit of this invention does not limit to with the boundary issues of WCUWE and CCDSVM.

FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B illustrate that each user-X and user-Y has a different private work space than others, and each has assigned with different system resources. Without joining any group or participating any group meeting, console support software 6 of control system 2 also can provide user X and user Y to peer-to-peer instantly post files or folders one a time to each other, or instantly un-post the previous posted files and folders through similar steps as posting or un-posting materials in group online meeting model:

    • 1) Let each user can perform mouse clicking on source of file or folder for post or un-post;
    • 2) Let user select post operation task if user want to post any file or folder through operation menu; or let user select un-post operation task from operation menu if said user like to un-post a previously posted file or folder;
    • 3) upon submitting operation task, let each user provide input to prompt of “who is a targeted user?” provided by said console support software 9, and further submit the selected task;
    • 4) Said console support software 6 obtains and parses task information of original user, source of file or folder, type of operation, and other information;
    • 5) If said type of operation is post file or folder, said console support software 6 deposits the information of said source file or folder to said private file and folder area of said private work space of targeted user. If said operation type is un-post a file or folder, said console support software 6 search a corresponding file or folder information from said private file and folder area of said private work space of said targeted user to match the said source file or folder, if found a match, the corresponding entry of the file or folder is removed from said private file and folder area of said private work space of targeted user; and
    • 6) Upon each user refreshing the web-page in web-browser 9, the said console support software retrieves and convert the updated information in said private file and folder area of private work space of targeted user into presentable web-format (web-page) and transmit said web-page to web-browser 9 of each user for displaying and viewing.

For example, as shown in FIG. 8A, user X can follow said steps 1) to 3) to post his “folder 232 in displayed files and folders area of private working space of user X's web-browser 9 to user Y. As shown in FIG. 8B, upon user Y refreshing his/her said web-browser 9 on a system by walking on any system node or folder node in displayed tree, user Y will see the said “folder 232 in his/her displayed private file and folder tree of private work space of user Y shown in FIG. 8C. As matter of the fact, when talking system node and file & folder tree on said web-browser 9, a refreshing web-page screen request is generated and to be handled as described in paragraph 3.4-3.5 or in steps described above.

In addition to post messages in group-based communication involving parties with two or more users, WCUWE of CCDSVM also provide each user to post message to each other user with non-group based 1-to-1 message model. FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B have shown an example of user X and user Y, who may not be in same user-group, however, the console support software 6 of control system 2 provides each user to share and exchange messages with each other from a three-section web-page in said browser 9.

The section-3 of web-page in said browser 9 let user to work with same said steps of non-group based 1-to-1 posting files and folders or un-posting previously posted files or folders as described in paragraph 3.9. The section-3 included in FIGS. 7A and 7B just for a demonstration of how flexible of this invention is to display information under private work space of each user. Further, the number of sections in the screen layout and the order of each section in web-page display really is not a limitation to this invention.

The section-1 is user message input area together with an additional input field of “To who” due to unlike in group online meeting, the said console support software 9 have no knowledge of who is the targeted user in this case. User can posting a message with similar said steps as previous discussed in paragraph 3.3-3.4 of this invention. Nevertheless, unlike with group meeting messaging model, after obtaining and parsing information of the messages from each user, the console support software 6 of control system 2 will deposit the message to both targeted peer user and the original sending user's message areas of private work space. Further, with same said steps of displaying messages in each user's browser, which described in paragraph 3.4-3.5, each user can view both own message and messages from peer user in section-2 of browser.

For example, as shown in FIG. 7A, user X input a message of “msg4 of user X” 30 and type “user Y” in input field of “To who”, and then submit the message by clicking on “Send” button. Similar as shown in FIG. 7B, user Y input a message of “Msg3 of user Y” 31, and type “user X” in input field of “To who”, and then submit the message. Upon the refreshing web-page at web-browser 9 of each user, the user X will see the message 30 he/she sent and the message 31 from user Y. Also the user Y will see both messages 30 and 31 at same time.

Again, the said design choice of three section of web-page display and the order of each section is just a preferred example of implementation for non-group based peer user communication. This invention does not limited by web-screen display layout, for example, a screen display only with said section-1 and section-2 are also possible and so on without limitation.

The WCUWE of CCDSVM has provided a security hierarchy for members of any team to work together cross multiple locations. With said security hierarchy and said steps of posting or un-posting file and folder, the console support software 6 of control system 2 can specially let only team leader with capability of posting folder or file to be viewed, shared, and accessed by all team members or by an individual member in non-group meeting based environment. In addition, console support software also let each team member to post or un-post his/her file or folders to only a specific peer user one a time in non-group-meeting based environment. Again the said files or folders could be on said control system 2 or on any provisioned said provisioned system 3.

It is relatively straightforward for WCUWE of CCDSVM, more specifically the console support software 6, to support massive online users, who do not have account with CCDSVM and can not login CCDSVM to view the dynamically posted files, folders, or messages by users with account of CCDSVM.

In a preferred example, such as shown in FIG. 6E, console support software 6 of control system 2 provides a web-page to massive online users, who do not have to login CCDSVM. The said web-page could be layout with two major sections with section-1 to display messages in sharable message area in a designated user-group's common work space while the section-2 to display file or folders in sharable file or folder area in said designated user-group's common work space.

For users belong to same said designated user-group, each user from a web-browser on any system of said network to login to CCDSVM and get said group online meeting web-page as shown in FIG. 6A for user X and FIG. 6B for user Y. Further as described previously in paragraph 3.3-3.4, each user in said group can instantly post message to said message area of designated user-group's common work space, or post one file or folder to the sharable file and folder area in designated user-group's common work space. Also, each user in user-group can instantly un-post the previously posted files or folders by removing the corresponding file or folder entry in file and folder area in designated user-group's common work space, or un-post the previously posted messages from common message area of common work space of said user-group as described in previous several paragraph 3.3-3.5.

Meanwhile as previously described in paragraph 3.4-3.5 and as shown in FIG. 6E, the said web-page in browser 9 for massive online users, who have no account with CCDSVM, can be dynamically updated, displayed, and viewed by massive users anywhere through their own browser accordingly with the same pace as dynamically display in said section-2 and section-3 of web-page/browser as shown in FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B. Again, the said two sections of web-page display layout is a preferred example and it does not limit this invention because with this invention other layout is also possible, for example, it may be desired to have web-page layout only contains one section, which is either for messages or file or folder's display depending on the application's need.

As shown in FIG. 8A, FIG. 8B, and FIG. 8C, with non-group based peer-to-peer post or un-post files and folders, people may often do not remember how many files and folders has been posted for sharing. For example, as shown in FIG. 8A, user X can select “folder 232, select post on operation menu, and provide target “user Y” to share “folder 232. As show in FIG. 8C, user Y can see “Folder 232 of user X in web-browser of user Y after user X post “Folder 232. If user X select various files or folders for other dozen people to post and share, user X will have difficult time to remember what has been shared and who are targeted users. As shown in FIG. 11, the console support software 6 of control system 2 can provide each user, user X for example, a center view of a control list of how many files or folders being posted by him or her and to who.

As shown in FIG. 11 of personal share management, in view of user X's web-browser 9, an entry of posted “Folder 230 is listed at bottom of said control list and it is posted/shared to user Y. Further, said console support software 6 can provide each user selectively un-post the previously posted files and folders by clicking on the “delete shared?” of operation menu for corresponding entries in the said shared list of center view web-page and further to generate a un-post operation task. For example, user X clicks on “delete share?” to un-post “Folder 232. Thereafter, as described in paragraph 3.4-3.5, said console support software 6 of control system 2 will execute the said un-post task. Further upon refreshing the targeted user Y's web-page/web-browser, in stead of seeing “Folder 232 as shown in FIG. 8C, user Y will see an updated view of said of web-page as shown in FIG. 8B, where the “Folder 230 has been removed. The said operation menu for “delete share?” depicted here just for example and it could be displayed in any other form.

In addition to let original user in a group to control the un-posting file or folder in group based communication, the said console support software 6 of control system 2) may also provide a privileged user to un-post the previously posted files or files in the said displayed file and folder section of said web-page. To support this capability, the said console support software 6 will provide an operation menu to associate with said displayed files and folders in said display section, further to allow privileged user to perform similar un-post operation. After receiving the un-post operation, the said console support software 6 will perform similar said searching for selected file or folder in the group file and folder area 19 of FIG. 4A) of group common work space of said group, if there is match the corresponding entry will be deleted. Also, the file and folder section of web-page/web-browser can be refreshed accordingly as described before.

Having briefly described embodiments of the web based network environment in which the present invention operates, FIG. 12 illustrates an example of a computer system 1200, which is an exemplary client system 10, provisioned system 3, control system 2, or console system 1 in which the features of the present invention may be implemented. Process of the web based information exchange can be implemented in any processor-based computer system, such as a PC, a workstation, or a mainframe computer. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other alternative computer system architectures may also be employed.

Referring back to FIG. 12, computer system 200 includes a processing unit 201, an interface bus 211, and an input/output (“IO”) unit 220. Processing unit 201 includes a processor 202, a main memory 204, a system bus 211, a static memory device 206, a bus control unit 205, a mass storage memory 207, and a production planning module 230. Bus 211 is used to transmit information between various components and processor 202 for data processing. Processor 202 may be any of a wide variety of general-purpose processors or microprocessors such as Pentium™ microprocessor, Motorola™ 68040, or Power PC™ microprocessor.

Main memory 204, which may include multiple levels of cache memories, stores frequently used data and instructions. Main memory 204 may be RAM (random access memory), MRAM (magnetic RAM), or flash memory. Static memory 206 may be a ROM (read-only memory), which is coupled to bus 211, for storing static information and/or instructions. Bus control unit 205 is coupled to buses 211-212 and controls which component, such as main memory 204 or processor 202, can use the bus. Bus control unit 205 manages the communications between bus 211 and bus 212. Mass storage memory 207, which may be a magnetic disk, an optical disk, hard disk drive, floppy disk, CD-ROM, and/or flash memories for storing large amounts of data. Web based information exchange 230, in one embodiment, is a network control component for facilitating information exchange over the Web. It should be noted that web based information exchange 230 could be software or hardware or a combination of software and hardware components.

I/O unit 220, in one embodiment, includes a display 221, keyboard 222, cursor control device 223, and communication device 225. Display device 221 may be a liquid crystal device, cathode ray tube (“CRT”), touch-screen display, or other suitable display device. Display 221 projects or displays images of a graphical planning board. Keyboard 222 may be a conventional alphanumeric input device for communicating information between computer system 200 and computer operator(s). Another type of user input device is cursor control device 223, such as a conventional mouse, touch mouse, trackball, or other type of cursor for communicating information between system 200 and user(s).

Communication device 225 is coupled to bus 211 for accessing information from remote computers or servers, such as server 104 or other computers, through wide-area network 102. Communication device 225 may include a modem or a network interface device, or other similar devices that facilitate communication between computer 200 and the network. Computer system 200 may be coupled to a number of servers via a network infrastructure such as the infrastructure illustrated in FIG. 1.

The present invention has been described in considerable details with reference to certain examples. However, other versions and examples are also possible, therefore, the spirit of this invention shall not be limited to these examples and/or embodiments. Also, the claims of this invention will label with numbering and in most cases, the numbering does not represent any sequence or order unless specifically described as the steps of a method.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification709/201
International ClassificationG06F15/16
Cooperative ClassificationH04L41/22, H04L41/0806, H04L41/0879, H04L41/5054, G06F9/54, H04L41/0253, G06F9/526, H04L67/10, H04L67/02
European ClassificationH04L41/50G4, H04L29/08N1, G06F9/52E, H04L41/08D1, H04L29/08N9, G06F9/54, H04L41/08A1