News Column

Patent Issued for Access Control in Modules for Software Development

February 13, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Buckley, Alexander R. (Cupertino, CA); Reinhold, Mark B. (Menlo Park, CA); Kinnear, Karen M. P. (Boxbourough, MA), filed on April 30, 2010, was published online on January 28, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8640115 is assigned to Oracle International Corporation (Redwood Shores, CA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present embodiments relate to module-based systems for software development. More specifically, the present embodiments relate to techniques for providing access control using polyphasic modules.

"Within software systems, increasing sophistication and functionality are typically accompanied by corresponding increases in code size and complexity. For example, the addition of new features to a software program may require the implementation of new components, which in turn may increase the number of dependencies within the software program. Over time, changes to the software program may lead to increases in defects, debugging time, redundancy, and lack of readability. The continued development of a software system without effective complexity management may consequently reduce performance and increase maintenance risk to the point of rendering the software system unusable and/or unmanageable.

"Issues associated with increasing software complexity may be mitigated by modularizing software systems. Modular software utilizes components that are self-contained and that facilitate a separation of concerns. For example, individual modules may be developed, tested, and used independently of one another in a software system. In addition, a module's functionality and dependencies may be explicitly declared through an interface provided by the module. Modularized software may thus be significantly more maintainable, easier to understand, and less complex than monolithic software.

"Hence, increased use of modularity may improve the design, maintenance, performance, scalability, and growth of software systems."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The disclosed embodiments provide a system that provides access control for a software program. During operation, the system identifies a member of a module to be used in the software program. Next, the system infers the visibility of the member based on the accessibility of the member. Finally, the system uses the visibility and the accessibility to provide access control during the life cycle of the software program.

"In some embodiments, the member is a class or an interface.

"In some embodiments, inferring the visibility of the member based on the accessibility of the member involves inferring the member as visible if the member is publicly accessible, and inferring the member as invisible if the member is not publicly accessible.

"In some embodiments, using the accessibility to provide access control during the life cycle of the software program involves associating the member with a token, and using the token to control access to a module-private member during runtime of the software program.

"In some embodiments, an accessing class is allowed to access the module-private member if the accessing class is associated with the token.

"In some embodiments, the module contains a first portion of a package to be used in the software program, and a locally dependent module contains a second portion of the package.

"In some embodiments, using the visibility and the accessibility to provide access control during the life cycle of the software program involves facilitating package-private access between the first portion of the package and the second portion of the package by loading the module and the locally dependent module in a common loader."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Buckley, Alexander R.; Reinhold, Mark B.; Kinnear, Karen M. P.. Access Control in Modules for Software Development. U.S. Patent Number 8640115, filed April 30, 2010, and published online on January 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=12&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=569&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140128.PD.&OS=ISD/20140128&RS=ISD/20140128

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Oracle International Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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