One month after our last check into Oracle Corporation, IPWatchdog is back to see how the database management system developer has been faring at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Along with database management, the technology developer is also involved with the innovation of enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and customer relationship software.
Many of the recent patent applications filed by Oracle and published by the USPTO showcase the company’s focus on providing software business solutions. These patent applications seek protections for improvements to enterprise software, including voice control and more efficient upgrades for enterprise planning and management software. Another application lays out a system of smart allocation for resources within a supply chain.
Oracle is also involved with efficiency upgrades to enterprise software, especially those that would benefit small businesses. Another patent application filed by Oracle would improve the reaction time for queries registered within a Model-View-Controller online database application. An official patent awarded to Oracle this month provides a better deployment model for small firms who manufacture and sell software applications.
Natural Language Processing for Software Commands
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130103391
Text recognition software has advanced to the point that users can now control electronic software by voice command, as long as the software is optimized for voice control. Typically, voice commands are limited to certain sets of data or software functions to conserve system resources and aid the accuracy of voice translation; fewer options reduces the chances that a vocal command will be misinterpreted. However, this severely limits the application of voice control for software with very large data sets that are very important to an entire organization, such as enterprise resource planning software.
Oracle is seeking to protect a system of language recognition and command processing for large software suites for business or organizational applications. One aspect of the invention is that a user’s voice command would be analyzed to determine the identity of the user. That way, the software could identify what functions that user has access to, and can limit the data set used for language translation, conserving system resources.
As Claim 1 explains, Oracle has devised:
“A method for facilitating user access to software functionality, the method comprising: receiving natural language input; determining an identity of a user; processing the natural language input with reference to the identity to associate a software command with the received natural language input; and employing software to act on the command.”
Content Delivery within an Application
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130111506
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) design is one applied to many software programs, especially online applications that rely on database queries. These programs have three layers: the view layer, which displays the user interface through a web browser; the model layer, which runs commands and accesses a database; and the controller layer, which instructs a program to run commands on either the view or model layers. Often, the model layer can hinder a user’s experience if it doesn’t retrieve data quickly, especially when system resources are further diverted by an extra business services layer included in some larger MVC applications.
This patent application, filed by Oracle, seeks to protect a method of improving a model layer’s response time by storing command instructions within the application. These instructions would display a data placeholder when attempting to access data that does not appear in the database. This would speed the model layer as the processes required to identify data that doesn’t exist can drain resources and slow the entire application down.
Claim 1 of this Oracle patent application seeks protections for:
“A computer-readable medium having instructions stored thereon that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to deliver content to a user interface of an application, the instructions comprising: receiving a request for content, wherein the request comprises a request for data; determining whether the requested data is available, wherein the requested data is available when the data is cached in a memory; transmitting the requested content and the requested data in a single communication when the requested data is available, wherein the requested content and the requested data are displayed within the user interface of the application; transmitting the requested content and a data placeholder in a first communication when the requested data is not available, wherein the requested content and the data placeholder are displayed within the user interface of the application; retrieving the requested data from the data store when the requested data is not available; and transmitting the requested data in a second communication when the requested data is not available, wherein the requested data is displayed in place of the data placeholder within the user interface of the application.”
Upgrading Enterprise Managers
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130117441
Enterprise management applications are software programs that help a business or organization track or conduct operations across a network. These applications may be uploaded to many client servers accessible by computers or mobile electronic devices. This offers wide reaching business applications for larger corporations. However, upgrading this software requires either significant system downtime or increased costs to develop software that’s backwards-compatible with current management software.
This system of enterprise management software upgrading, developed by Oracle, would install a new software suite without requiring system shutdown or backwards-compatible software. The system utilizes collection agents that are sent to different clients, which continue to collect data and send it to a central server. While these agents are deployed, the management server is upgraded and the old program phased out when the installation has completed.
As Claim 1 explains, Oracle wants legal protections for:
“A method for upgrading a system that includes a first set of agents for collecting target data from a plurality of targets and sending the target data to a first management server, the method comprising: pre-deploying a second set of agents on a set of one or more hosts that are executing the first set of agents; wherein each pre-deployed agent in the second set of agents is configured to, upon activation, collect target data from a respective target of the plurality of targets and send the target data to a second management server; wherein each pre-deployed agent in the second set of agents remains inactive until activation; wherein a respective agent from the first set of agents collects the target data and sends the target data to the first management server while the pre-deployed agent remains inactive; activating a first batch of one or more agents from the second set of agents; wherein each activated agent in the batch of one or more agents begins collecting data from the respective target of the plurality of targets and sending the target data to the second management server; wherein a second batch of one or more agents from the second set of agents remains inactive after the first batch is activated; wherein for each agent in the second batch of one or more agents, the respective agent from the first set of agents continues to collect the target data and send the target data to the first management server; wherein the method is performed by one or more computing devices.”
Method for Fair Share Allocation in a Multi-Echelon Service Supply Chain That Considers Supercession and Repair Relationships
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130117162
A multi-echelon supply chain network has very unique logistical problems, as inventory demands are often created at multiple points along the supply chain, from manufacture to retail. At certain times, many facilities within the same supply chain network will demand more of a resource than exists for distribution. “Fair share” allocation software exists to make sure that demands are prioritized and supplies are diverted to the members of the supply chain who need them most.
Oracle’s improvement on fair share allocation involves demands where multiple resources or substitutable resources are involved. This system creates sourcing tiers that ensures that high-priority demands within the supply chain are taken care of first, but prevents lower-priority demands from being unaddressed. Supply inventory is continually scanned for supplies that could substitute for a specific inventory demand until all demands are met.
Claim 1 of this legal patent application filing describes:
“A method for fair share allocation in a multi-echelon service supply chain that considers supercession and repair relationships, the method comprising: executing a first round main Linear Programming (LP) solve generated initial solution; and applying post-processing heuristics for fair sharing to the first round solve of the main LP after executing the first round solve of the main LP.”
One Click Deployment
U.S. Patent No. 8438562
Internet application-based services are increasingly made available by small and medium-sized businesses as the costs of technology and Internet domain service become less. In fact, businesses must have an Internet presence to stay successful now more than ever. However, distributing application-based services to remote users through the Internet is currently cumbersome and cost-prohibitive for many smaller businesses.
Last Tuesday, Oracle received a patent from the USPTO protecting a system of deploying applications to a remote environment accessible across a network. This system provides an automated response to end user requests to receive an application from an enterprise. This allows small software vendors to create programs within a hosted environment, store them there and have them automatically sent to customers when a transaction completes.
Claim 1 of this official patent protects for Oracle:
“A computer-implemented method, the method comprising steps of: transmitting one or more user interface wizards over a network, said user interface wizards configured for generating, based on information entered by a human user interacting with said user interface wizards, user input indicating resources needed to provision a plurality of application components and resources needed for a database server to manage database objects to be accessed by said plurality of application components; receiving over said network said user input; receiving over said network a request to deploy said plurality of application components into a hosted environment accessible to a party over the network; and in response to receiving said request to deploy: provisioning said hosted environment for said plurality of application components in a manner that allows said party to cause, over said network, execution of said plurality of application components, wherein said provisioning said hosted environment comprises: configuring a database server so that said database server may be accessed by said plurality of application components during said execution of said plurality of application components, and provisioning one or more database objects in a database managed by said database server that stores data that is accessed by said execution of said plurality of application components; installing said plurality of application components into said hosted environment; and wherein the steps are performed by one or more computing devices.”