News Column

Patent Issued for Method and Apparatus for Content Synchronization

July 3, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- Parallel Networks, LLC (Dallas, TX) has been issued patent number 8756342, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Lowery, Keith A. (Richardson, TX); Davidson, David K. (Dallas, TX); Saxena, Avinash C. (Plano, TX).

This patent was filed on June 8, 2000 and was published online on June 17, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "As computers have grown increasingly important in today's society, the importance of the Internet has also increased. As increased numbers of users access the Internet, the need for a web server to handle large numbers of data requests has also increased. In addition, as increasing numbers of requests are handled by the Internet, the delay experienced by the user between generating the request and receiving a response is also increasing.

"Some traditional solutions to handling large numbers of data requests and decreasing the delay at the web server have involved increasing the processing capability of the web server and distributing the processing of the requests across groups of web servers. Other traditional solutions have involved increasing the bandwidth of the network connection between the Internet and the web server or servers. However, traditional solutions have often failed as the number of requests continue to increase because of the expense associated with maintaining large numbers of web servers and high speed connections to the Internet.

"Another traditional solution has involved caching static web data at multiple locations so as to distribute the processing of requests across multiple cache servers and decreasing the network distance between the user and the cache server. This solution has not been effective for web servers utilizing dynamically generated data, such as Active Server Pages. Static caching solutions provide decreased benefit to web servers which utilize dynamic data because the static caching solutions simply pass requests for dynamic data on to the origin server. In many cases, the generation of dynamic data at the web server or servers has become a major bottleneck in handling requests because the web servers are reaching the limits of their processing capabilities. Adding additional web servers is effective as it increases processing capacity, but rapidly becomes cost-prohibitive.

"Electronic commerce often involves large amounts of rapidly changing and dynamically generated data. For example, electronic commerce often involves large numbers of products listed in online catalogs. Often, the price and availability of an item listed in the online catalog changes and static caching solutions typically can not handle web pages for the online catalog because of the changing information on the web page. This dynamic nature of electronic commerce renders it largely unsuitable for use with static caching systems."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that a need has arisen for a method and apparatus for content synchronization so as to provide increased efficiency for handling large numbers of requests by a web site.

"According to one embodiment of the present invention, a method for processing data is provided that comprises receiving data at a cache server and receiving an expiration command at the cache server from a data center manager. The method further comprises marking the data as expired in response to the expiration command.

"According to another embodiment of the present invention, a method for providing efficient data processing service is provided that comprises subscribing an origin server to a data center and intercepting a data request from a browser to the origin server, the data request requesting a content item. The method further comprises communicating the intercepted data request to the data center and determining whether the content item is available at the data center. Also, the method comprises retrieving the content item from the origin server when the content item is unavailable at the data center and communicating the content item to the browser.

"According to a further embodiment of the present invention, a system for processing data is provided which comprises a data center operable to receive a request from a client. The system further comprises a data center manager coupled to a data source and the data center. The data source is operable to generate a data change message. The data center manager is operable to receive the data change message and generate an expiration message therefrom.

"The present invention provides a number of technical advantages. One such technical advantage is the capability for fine grained control of the expiration time of cached content. Another technical advantage is that the expiration of cached content can be performed dynamically in response to planned data changes as well as unexpected changes in cached data."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Lowery, Keith A.; Davidson, David K.; Saxena, Avinash C.. Method and Apparatus for Content Synchronization. U.S. Patent Number 8756342, filed June 8, 2000, and published online on June 17, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Web Server, Parallel Networks LLC.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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