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Patent Application Titled "Image Forming Apparatus, Application Executing Method, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Recording Medium Encoded with...

February 13, 2014



Patent Application Titled "Image Forming Apparatus, Application Executing Method, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Recording Medium Encoded with Application Executing Program" Published Online

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors TAKAHASHI, Kenichi (Sennan-gun, JP); Tomono, Kazuaki (Okazaki-shi, JP); Sawayanagi, Kazumi (Itami-shi, JP); Matsuhara, Kenji (Kawanishi-shi, JP); Taniguchi, Yosuke (Osaka-shi, JP), filed on July 10, 2013, was made available online on January 30, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Konica Minolta, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus, an application executing method, and a non-transitory computer-readable recording medium encoded with an application executing program. More particularly, the present invention relates to an image forming apparatus into which an application program can be installed, an application executing method executed by the image forming apparatus, and a non-transitory computer-readable recording medium encoded with an application executing program for causing a computer to execute the application executing method.

"Some recent image forming apparatuses, typified by multi-function peripherals (MFPs), allow application programs to be installed therein. A user can customize an MFP by installing therein an application program according to the type of usage.

"Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2002-084383 describes an image forming apparatus which brackets portions common to applications as a common system service, forms a platform using the common system service and a versatile OS, and installs a printer application, a copy application, and other various applications on the platform.

"According to this conventional image forming apparatus, the portions common to applications were formed as a common system service on the platform. Thus, for developing a new application, a developer had to understand the common system service and the versatile OS. With such a conventional apparatus, an application developer would have to have a high level of skill to control the hardware resources of the image forming apparatus."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An aspect of the present invention provides an image forming apparatus which includes: an operating portion to control a hardware resource; an internal control portion operable, in response to an input of an internal command, to perform a process predetermined for the input internal command for causing the operating portion to control the hardware resource; an application executing portion to execute an application program and output a simplified command or application command which has been released for controlling the internal control portion; and an application control portion to convert the simplified command or application command output by the application executing portion into the internal command, and output the obtained internal command to the internal control portion, the application control portion including a simplified command converting portion to convert the simplified command output by the application executing portion into one or more application commands, and output the obtained one or more application commands in the order defined for the simplified command, and an application command converting portion to convert the application command output by the application executing portion, or each of the one or more application commands output in the defined order from the simplified command converting portion, into the internal command.

"Another aspect of the present invention provides an application executing method performed in an image forming apparatus, the image forming apparatus including an operating portion to control a hardware resource, an internal control portion operable, in response to an input of an internal command, to perform a process predetermined for the input internal command for causing the operating portion to control the hardware resource, and an application executing portion to execute an application program and output a simplified command or application command which has been released for controlling the internal control portion, wherein the method includes: a simplified command converting step of converting the simplified command output by the application executing portion into one or more application commands, and outputting the obtained one or more application commands in the order defined for the simplified command; an application command converting step of converting the application command output by the application executing portion, or each of the one or more application commands obtained by converting the simplified command in the simplified command converting step and output in the defined order, into the internal command; and an outputting step of outputting the obtained internal command to the internal control portion.

"Yet another aspect of the present invention provides a non-transitory computer-readable recording medium encoded with an application executing program performed in a computer controlling an image forming apparatus, the computer including an operating portion to control a hardware resource, an internal control portion operable, in response to an input of an internal command, to perform a process predetermined for the input internal command for causing the operating portion to control the hardware resource, and an application executing portion to execute an application program and output a simplified command or application command which has been released for controlling the internal control portion, wherein the application executing program causes the computer to perform: a simplified command converting step of converting the simplified command output by the application executing portion into one or more application commands, and outputting the obtained one or more application commands in the order defined for the simplified command; an application command converting step of converting the application command output by the application executing portion, or each of the one or more application commands obtained by converting the simplified command in the simplified command converting step and output in the defined order, into the internal command; and an outputting step of outputting the obtained internal command to the internal control portion.

"The foregoing and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 schematically shows an image forming system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an example of the appearance of an MFP;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing an example of the hardware configuration of the MFP;

"FIG. 4 shows an example of the software architecture of a CPU included in the MFP;

"FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing, by way of example, the functions of the CPU included in the MFP according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 shows a relationship between application commands and internal commands in a process for changing a resolution;

"FIG. 7 shows a relationship between a simplified command, which defines a process for changing a resolution, and internal commands; and

"FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the flow of an application control process according to the embodiment of the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: TAKAHASHI, Kenichi; Tomono, Kazuaki; Sawayanagi, Kazumi; Matsuhara, Kenji; Taniguchi, Yosuke. Image Forming Apparatus, Application Executing Method, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Recording Medium Encoded with Application Executing Program. Filed July 10, 2013 and posted January 30, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3699&p=74&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140123.PD.&OS=PD/20140123&RS=PD/20140123

Keywords for this news article include: Konica Minolta Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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