CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
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This application is a continuation of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 12/902,326 filed Oct. 12, 2010, which, in turn, is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/923,923 filed Aug. 7, 2001, now, U.S. Pat. No. 7,814,172. The entire disclosures of each of these prior applications are incorporated herein by reference.
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/223,394 filed Aug. 7, 2000, entitled “SYNDICATION METHODOLOGY TO DYNAMICALLY PLACE DIGITAL ASSETS ON NON-RELATED WEB SITES.”
COPYRIGHT NOTICE AND AUTHORIZATION
Portions of the documentation in this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
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The present invention is directed to the process of Active Data Syndication and its use in web development and content management. More specifically, the present invention establishes the mechanism, the framework, the interfaces and the ancillary methodology to allow multiple content creators to offer for targeted syndication or network distribution and retrieval of digital assets across the web and to have those assets present within the constrains of the receiving web site, and to automate that process, where warranted.
Conventional web sites consist of a wide variety of articles and information compiled and entered independently by a webmaster. Tools abound to facilitate the production of such web sites, from textual HTML editors to visual page designers like Adobe GoLive. Programs like LinkBOT exist to validate links among pages. However, the conventionality of this form of web site generation becomes merely a shell for the advent of the more advanced, dynamic and interactive web site.
Site management tools allow for the collaborative efforts of site creation, but are significantly limited in their ability to share information and digital assets across the boundaries of web sites.
Syndication or distribution of digital assets across the web heretofore involved the direct replication of those assets to a database server under the control of the receiving web site manager, and away from the control of the supplier of the digital asset. Examples of implementations where content replication is the primary form of asset syndication include those from Vignette, Kinecta, Interwoven, ICE, and ArcadiaOne.
Accordingly, there is a need for a system which (1) unifies the way digital assets, in any form, are shared from one site to another, (2) unifies the distribution of those digital assets across multiple platforms, (3) allows the owners of digital asset a management tool for tracking the business relationships surrounding the use of the digital assets, (4) establishes mechanisms, interfaces and methodology for the secure flow of information through information distribution networks, (5) facilitates the webmaster to have updated digital content present on the web site, and (6) automates the update of web content. The present invention fulfills these needs.
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OF THE INVENTION
1. A web browser requests a web page that includes script associated with the selected content. The selected content may be only a portion of the web page. The selected content may be a digital asset or an executable file. In the preferred embodiment, the web page is constructed using HTML, and the script is embedded therein.
2. The web browser interprets the script and formats a request to obtain the selected content from a remote site. The request includes a uniform resource identifier (URI) of the web page and a unique identifier of the selected content. The URI may be a URL.
3. A remote site, such as a web server, receives the request and authenticates whether the URI is authorized to receive the selected content. If so, then the remote site locates the selected content and sends the selected content to the web browser. The selected content may be stored in a content repository connected to the web server. If the URI is not authorized to receive the selected content, then the remote site sends a signal to the web browser that the selected content is not available, and the web browser assembles the web page without the selected content.
4. The web browser assembles the initially requested web page using the selected content obtained from the remote site.
The assembled web page may include one or more content sets from the syndicator, each having its own script for implementing the steps above.
In one preferred embodiment, the script includes a subscriber identifier and a content identifier which are both used to create the unique identifier of the selected content.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
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The following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present invention would be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the present invention, the drawings show embodiments of the present invention which are presently preferred. However, the present invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram that provides an overview of one preferred embodiment of the asset syndication scheme of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a database schema for one preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is an authentication schema for one preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 4-13B are user interface displays (administrative screen shots) for one preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 14 is a database schema for the second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 15A and 15B, taken together, are overall schemas for the second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 16 is a schematic block diagram of the second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 20 is a database schema for the web application embodiment of the present invention.
FIGS. 21A-21I are user interface displays for “Active Data Randomizer” in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention.
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OF THE INVENTION
Certain terminology is used herein for convenience only and is not to be taken as a limitation on the present invention. In the drawings, the same reference letters are employed for designating the same elements throughout the several figures.
This patent application includes a computer program Appendix having a file named appendix 401-13U3.txt, created on Apr. 12, 2012, and having a size of 127,319 bytes. The Appendix is incorporated by reference into the present patent application. The Appendix includes the contents of the Appendices A, B, C and E referred to below.
Content: Any textual, visual, and audio materials or the combination thereof, including animated images, video clips, executable files, or digital assets targeted for presentation.
Content Repository: a database of file structure which contains the syndicatable asset.
Syndicated Asset: Any content which is available to an authenticated receiver.
Authenticated Receiver: A receiver of content that is authorized to retrieve and present that content.
Subscriber: Synonym to Authenticated Receiver.
Domain: The name which appears in the URL between the “www” and the end of the three letter extension (e.g., .com, .net , .org). Example: www.regiononline.com, the domain is regiononline.com.
II. Overview of Present Invention
Referring to FIG. 1, the following steps are performed:
1. A request is made from a web appliance to a URL, which contains a web page that has embedded the syndication code.
3. This information is then used to authenticate the content presence on the site as valid, and then to retrieve from the syndication database those assets for display, and render those syndicated assets through the appliance.
The present invention introduces the notion of web real estate and the apportionment of content sections to a particular web page. A visually unified site is substantially divided into sub-sites, or content sections, that are independently maintained by section managers or through syndicated content offerings. As a direct and targeted information management delivery tool, the present invention is useful to the large corporation, a community site, or any site which enables the sharing of targeted information. Any content or information rich site will find this present invention very helpful.
The present invention may be used to complement web pages created in MS Frontpage, or any number of content management tools. The present invention does not perform visual layout, and may be considered a post-design tool.
The present invention may be used with any number of programming languages such as Cold Fusion, ASP, C++, Java, Visual Basic or Perl. The present invention may serve as an extension to the web page, or an add-on component to any number of content management tools.
III. Detailed Description of One Preferred Embodiment
In one preferred embodiment of the present invention as described herein, the user communicates through a browser with the necessary web site via an electronic network, such as the Internet. However, the scope of the invention includes other types of user interfaces and electronic networks that are capable of performing the desired functions.
The present invention is described in the context of a commercially available software product called Active Data Syndicator™, available from Active Data Exchange, Inc., Bethlehem, Pa.
A. Detailed Explanation of Figures and Appendices
FIG. 2 is a self-explanatory database schema for one preferred embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a self-explanatory authentication schema for one preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is an administrative entry screen for beginning the process.
FIG. 5 is a user interface display that allows for the selection from an existing syndication or the creation of a new syndication.
Referring to FIG. 6, if the administrator chooses the “go get it” button from the FIG. 5 display, then a listing of the syndication offers are presented. The “clickable” first field allows for the modification of that offering.
FIGS. 7 and 8 are user interface displays a for a “New Setup.” The administrator completes the fields shown in these displays.
FIG. 9 is a user interface display that allows for the viewing of the necessary syndication code for placement into the HTML of the subscriber/receiver web site.
FIG. 10A shows the actual code for placement on the subscriber/receiver HTML page for the fictitious client Attorney at Law. This code allows for the one time insertion of the code for presentation of information, news, events, or other digital assets on an ongoing basis.
FIG. 10B shows the same code, modified to present the latest asset, as well as the creation of several hypertext links for viewable archives of older digital assets. In this case, there is the ability to present for viewing up to 10 viewable archives from the database.
FIGS. 11 and 12 show additional administrative functions for the deletion of a subscriber.
FIGS. 13A and 13B show the list of subscribers/receivers for overall administrative purposes.
Appendix A is the syndication source code for the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 2-13B.
Appendix B is the servlet package source code for the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 2-13B.
B. Inherent Security
All web sites do not use the same syndication code. Subtle differences in the code are “keyed” to the receiving domain. It is through this “key” that the integrity of the business relationship and the placement of the digital asset are preserved. The process includes a security module that looks at the browser URL of the appliance to determine which URL (domain) it is calling. If the domain does not match an existing client URL (coupled with the content authorized for use), a message is returned to the appliance, which states that the content is unavailable.
C. Web Site Setup for Receiving Syndication Offerings
To set up a web site page for syndication, a few parameters must be understood and defined:
1. The receiving URL, as authentication or validation of the receiver/subscriber is performed to the domain level.
2. The asset section to be syndicated. This refers to a content section in a content management system. One instant example would be to syndicate “What\'s News” from a company or organization. This section of the site is a hypothetical region where all information regarding press releases and latest organizational information is to be found. In this installation, the site only needs to be set up with the HTML snippet one time. Content changes occur dynamically.
3. The number of displayed archives the receiver would like to be able to view. This is a title listing of previously syndicated content for this section.
4. The database location of the digital asset.
5. The organizational name (for administrative purposes).
6. The start and end time for the syndication. This is important if the syndicated asset is time dependant or whether or not the subscription to the syndicated digital asset is on a monthly or other time dependent basis.
Through these parameters, metrics can be derived which display, from the syndication-offered standpoint, several management reports useful in understanding the offerings and their use. Metrics include:
1. Number of times a digital asset is accessed by a subscriber (useful in fee per use models as well as for tracking relative worth of the asset).
2. Places where the digital asset can be viewed/authorized domains.
3. Listing of the offerings available for release through the syndication model.
4. Through an oblique methodology, a measure of the physical overhead of the device housing that content.
D. Database Interrelationships
As discussed above, the present invention is platform independent and program neutral. It functions equally as well on operating systems written in Microsoft, as it does from that of Red Hat Linux. Furthermore, the database from which it pulls its content may either be MS SQL, Informix, Sybase or Oracle, as it uses command phrases which are non-vendor specific (ANSI SQL). The hardware, however, must be of sufficient strength to power databases that conceivably will receive hundreds of thousands of requests per second. FIG. 2, described above, illustrates one preferred database schema for the present invention.
E. Architectual Overview