News Column

Patent Issued for Metadata Merging in Agent Configuration Files

June 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Basak, Indranil (West Linn, OR); Chattopadhyay, Dipasoke (West Bengal, IN); Bhadra, Abhijit (Andhra Pradesh, IN); R, Gurumurthy (Tamil Nadu, IN), filed on December 5, 2011, was published online on June 10, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8752015 is assigned to CA, Inc. (Islandia, NY).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Technology for monitoring software in a computing environment is provided.

"The growing presence of the Internet as well as other computer networks such as intranets and extranets has brought many new applications in e-commerce, education and other areas. Organizations increasingly rely on such applications to carry out their business or other objectives, and devote considerable resources to ensuring that they perform as expected. To this end, various application management techniques have been developed. One approach involves monitoring the infrastructure of the application by instrumenting the application and using the instrumentation to collect data regarding the individual software components that are invoked in the application. This approach can use agents that essentially live in the system being monitored. For example, using the instrumentation, a thread or process can be traced to identify each component that is invoked, as well as to obtain runtime data such as the execution time of each component.

"The agent software is updated from time to time, such as to provide new features and fix bugs. However, the update process is made difficult due to custom settings in the agent software which are made by the network administrator. Preserving the custom settings while updating the agent software can require extensive, time consuming manual input."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a technique for updating agent software which controls a configuration of the agent, including how the agent adds instrumentation to an application and how the agent process data from the instrumentation.

"In one embodiment, one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices having computer readable software embodied thereon are provided for programming at least one processor to perform a method for updating a current version of a configuration file which controls an agent which monitors an application. The method includes: creating a merged version of the configuration file based on the current version of the configuration file, an updated version of the configuration file, and rules, and using the merged version of the configuration file to control the agent. The creating the merged version of the configuration file comprises: identifying an entry in the current version of the configuration file for which there is a corresponding entry in the updated version of the configuration file; selecting one of: (a) the entry in the current version of the configuration file and (b) the corresponding entry in the updated version of the configuration file, as a selected entry, based on at least one preference in the rules; and based on the selecting, adding the selected entry to the merged version of the configuration file.

"In another embodiment, one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices having computer readable software embodied thereon are provided for programming at least one processor to perform a method for updating a current version of a configuration file which controls an agent which monitors an application. The method includes: accessing rules, the rules indicate whether a current version of the configuration file should be at least one of: not merged and overwritten; if the rules indicate that the current version of the configuration file should be not merged, continuing to use the current version of the configuration file to control the agent without using the updated version of the configuration file to control the agent; if the rules indicate that the current version of the configuration file should be overwritten, using the updated version of the configuration file to control the agent and discontinuing using the current version of the configuration file to control the agent; and in response to determining that the rules do not indicate that the current version of the configuration file should be not merged, and that the rules do not indicate that the current version of the configuration file should be overwritten: creating a merged version of the configuration file based on the current version of the configuration file, the updated version of the configuration file, and the rules, and using the merged version of the configuration file to control the agent.

"A corresponding processor-implemented method may be provided which performs computer-implemented steps as described above. A corresponding computer system may be provided which includes one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices having computer readable software embodied thereon, and at least one processor, where the at least one processor is responsive to the one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices to update a current version of a configuration file, as described above.

"In another embodiment, a computer-implemented method is provided for updating a current version of a configuration file which controls an agent which monitors an application. The computer-implemented method includes: accessing the current version of the configuration file and an updated version of the configuration file; accessing rules in one or more files; creating and storing a merged version of the configuration file based on the current version of the configuration file, the updated version of the configuration file, and rules; and using the merged version of the configuration file to control behavior of the agent, including how the agent adds instrumentation to the application and a configuration of the agent The creating the merged version of the configuration file comprises: processing entries in the current version of the configuration file; and for each entry in the current version of the configuration file: determining whether there is a corresponding entry in the updated version of the configuration file, and if there is the corresponding entry, selecting one of: (a) the entry in the current version of the configuration file and (b) the corresponding entry in the updated version of the configuration file, as a selected entry, based on at least one preference in the rules, and based on the selecting, adding the selected entry to the merged version of the configuration file.

"One or more tangible processor-readable storage devices having computer readable software embodied thereon can also be provided for programming at least one processor to perform the above-mentioned method. A corresponding computer system may be provided which includes one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices having computer readable software embodied thereon, and at least one processor, where the at least one processor is responsive to the one or more tangible processor-readable storage devices to update a current version of a configuration file, as described above."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Basak, Indranil; Chattopadhyay, Dipasoke; Bhadra, Abhijit; R, Gurumurthy. Metadata Merging in Agent Configuration Files. U.S. Patent Number 8752015, filed December 5, 2011, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8752015.PN.&OS=PN/8752015RS=PN/8752015

Keywords for this news article include: CA Inc., Software.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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