News Column

Patent Issued for Self-Service Systems and Methods for Granting Access to Resources

February 13, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Dinn, Stephen Brian (Halifax, CA); Frosst, Ian Murray (South Rawdon, CA), filed on April 21, 2011, was published online on January 28, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8639827, is Dell Software Inc. (Aliso Viejo, CA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "One issue that often confronts system administrators is regulating user access to networked resources. Some examples of networked resources can include computing systems, peripherals (e.g., printers), documents, mailboxes, calendars, applications, folders, directories, files, and firewall services. Resource access regulation can be a monumental task in computer networks having thousands of users and even more resources. Even networks in a smaller organization may have many resources that can be difficult to manage access for as users needs change or as users leave or join the organization.

"In general, there are two ways to grant a user access to a resource. First, a user can be granted direct access to the resource. Second, a user can be assigned to a group that has access to the particular resource. Groups can be collections of user accounts, computer accounts, and/or other group accounts. Granting access to users through groups is preferred because managing relatively few groups can be easier than managing relatively many individuals. Group access can be managed through a directory service, such as the Active Directory.TM. service provided by MICROSOFT.

"In Active Directory, for example, three types of groups are available for granting users with access to resources. These groups include universal groups, global groups, and domain local groups. Universal groups can allow user membership across an Active Directory forest, which often includes most or all systems in an organization. Universal groups are often used by smaller organizations that have few users. Global groups, on the other hand, allow user membership from domains, which can be subunits in an organization. Domain local groups are often assigned permission to local resources, such as printers. In certain organizations, such as medium and larger organizations, group and domain local groups instead of universal groups are used to grant resource access. Typically, such access includes creating a domain local group and assigning it permission to access a resource, adding users to a global group, and then nesting (e.g., adding) this global group with the domain local group to grant those users access to the resource."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In certain embodiments, a self-service system is provided that automatically identifies one or more existing groups to which a user can self-select to access a resource. The self-service system can identify any suitable existing group without requiring an administrator to predefine groups according to roles. In some implementations, the system intelligently identifies one or more suitable groups for a user from a list of available groups by analyzing a set of rules or criteria. For instance, the system can perform a weighted analysis of various rules and/or criteria to automatically and dynamically identify groups that have a closest fit to the access rights needed or requested by the user. Further, the system can evaluate certain best or preferred grouping practices to identify suitable groups. As a result, in certain embodiments, the self-service system alleviates planning burdens on administrators and provides greater flexibility in providing users with access to resources.

"The systems and methods described herein can be implemented by a computer system comprising computer hardware. The computer system may include one or more physical computing devices, which may be geographically dispersed or co-located.

"Certain aspects, advantages and novel features of the inventions are described herein. It is to be understood that not necessarily all such advantages may be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment of the inventions disclosed herein. Thus, the inventions disclosed herein may be embodied or carried out in a manner that achieves or selects one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other advantages as may be taught or suggested herein."

For more information, see this patent: Dinn, Stephen Brian; Frosst, Ian Murray. Self-Service Systems and Methods for Granting Access to Resources. U.S. Patent Number 8639827, filed April 21, 2011, and published online on January 28, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Dell Software Inc..

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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