Patent Application Titled "System, Method, and Software Program Product for Enabling Users to Create and Use Rule Patterns to Generate Custom Product-Configuration Rules" Published Online
The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates generally to configuration systems and, more particularly, to enabling users to create and use a collection of template rules to generate custom product-configuration rules.
"Consumers are not satisfied with cookie-cutter, one-size fits all products and services. They want to be able to customize and configure their products and services to meet their particular needs. In order to meet this demand, companies employ product configurators to ensure that the customized products and services chosen by their customers are not incompatible (e.g., due to manufacturing restrictions or company policies, etc.). Companies, however, often have hundreds or thousands of products. Creating custom configuration rules for each of these products requires significant resources, including development time and coding. Moreover, the process is often mistake-prone.
"Luckily, many configuration rules exhibit repeatable configuration logic and behavior, or rule patterns. Therefore, there is the need for a system, method, and computer program product that takes advantage of the rule patterns to enable companies to create and use templates to generate custom product-configuration rules, thus reducing unnecessary time, energy, and resources to individually model the rules."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a configuration system, method, and software program for enabling users to create and use a collection of template rules to generate custom product-configuration rules. The method includes enabling a designer to submit one or more example rules for a rule pattern. In response to the designer submitting one or more example rules for a rule pattern, the system identifies any variables in the example rules. The designer is then able to select which of the identified variables will be customizable in instances of the rule pattern. The rule pattern is created from the submitted example rules. For each submitted example rule, the rule pattern includes a corresponding template rule and the selected variables are customizable fields in the template rules.
"The rule pattern is added to a rule pattern library. A product modeler is able to select the rule pattern as a basis for creating custom configuration rules for a product. In response to the product modeler selecting the rule pattern from the library, a user interface is generated in which the customizable fields for each template rule in the rule pattern are displayed and the product modeler is able to enter values for the customizable fields. Configuration rules are then generated for the product from the template rules and the values entered by the product modeler for the customizable fields.
"In certain embodiments, the designer can directly submit one or more template rules and identify one or more variables within the template rules for a rule pattern. The rule pattern is then created from the submitted template rules, where the one or more variables are customizable fields in the template rules.
"In certain embodiments, a user interface is provided via which a designer is able to create a rule pattern. The interface enables the designer to enter a name for the rule pattern, submit example rules, select which of the submitted rules will be used in the rule pattern, select which variables in the submitted rules will be customizable in instances of the rule pattern, and enable the rule pattern for use in the rule pattern library.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIGS. 1a-1b are a flowchart that illustrates a method for enabling users to create and use a collection of template rules to generate custom product-configuration rules according to one embodiment of the invention.
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram that illustrates an example of a configuration system.
"FIGS. 3a-3f are screenshots of exemplary user interfaces for creating and using rule patterns according to one embodiment of the invention."
For more information, see this patent application: Kaledhonkar, Vikram V.; Kandaswamy,
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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