News Column

Patent Issued for Enterprise Social Networking Software Architecture

August 7, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Jain, Sandhya D. (Redmond, WA); Jiang, Ning (Redmond, WA); Caldwell, Gary L. (Redmond, WA); Ramsay, Jr., Donald A. (Mercer Island, WA); Giacobbe, Gail Borod (Seattle, WA); Veeraraghavan, Venkatesh (Seattle, WA), filed on February 29, 2008, was published online on July 22, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8788942 is assigned to Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Computer networking technologies have enabled a wide variety of applications such as, for example, Web surfing, e-mail, instant messaging and the like. One particularly promising and popular application is social networking. Social networking is conventionally internet based. Thus, anyone in the public can typically have some access to the social networking application.

"Social networking typically allows people to share information about themselves with others. In one implementation, each social networking participant might have their own network site where they can post information about themselves. Some of this information might be available to anyone with access to the Internet-based social networking application.

"Social networking allows for the formulation of a tighter network of friends, wherein each friend is permitted to have more information regarding the participant in the form of an event feed. Initially, the participant does not have an electronic social network of friends. To establish a social friends network, the participant must find other participants who are willing to become friends. The participant would then send an electronic invitation to an invitee to become the participant's friend. If the invitee accepts the invitation, then the invitee would be added to the participant's network of friends.

"Conventionally, this friends network is reciprocal. For instance, if participant B were to receive and accept a friendship invitation from participant A, participant A would become part of participant B's friend network, and participant B would become part of participant A's friend network.

"Someone in a participant's friend network may receive more information regarding that participant in the form of news or event feeds regarding others in that network. The participant themselves generates the event feed by interfacing directly with the social networking application. For instance, if the participant adds a new photograph, that event might be entered into the event feed. If the participant enters a travel log entry, that log entry might be entered into the event feed. There are a wide variety of other events that might be entered into the event feed, but the population of the event feed is largely, if now wholly, in response to participant activity.

"Thus, social networking applications enable individuals to establish networks and keep others informed. Nevertheless, effort and mutual collaboration is required in order to formulate networks. Furthermore, a participant must attend to interfacing with the social networking application if the event feed regarding that participant is to be kept rich with information, and up-to-date."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Some embodiments described herein relate to a mechanism for collecting events regarding individuals into an events pool so that the events pool may be used to formulate event feeds regarding those individuals. The event feeds may then be provided to participants in an enterprise-based social networking application. The mechanism includes a collector module that uses configuration information to instantiate and support a number of adaptor modules. Each adaptor module is configured to collect events regarding individuals from a particular kind of information system. The adaptors add such events to the events pool. Accordingly, at least some of the events in the events pools may be automatically populated by examining enterprise-based information systems, rather than by requiring that the individuals interface directly with the social networking application.

"Some embodiments relate to the model for preparing to provide the event feed to a participant in the social networking application. The model involves tracking events as they are extracted from the events pool by identifying an individual, an event type, and a time for each event. An event feed construction module records a group membership for each of multiple groups of the participant. A filtering mechanism decides for each group, which event types are to be fed to the participant when detecting events regarding individuals in that group.

"Some embodiments described herein relate to a user interface for presenting the groups to the participant, and allowing the participant to change group memberships. The user interface includes a representation for each group belonging to that individual. Individuals within the group are shown associated with (e.g., within) the representation of the corresponding group. The user interface also includes an input mechanism that permits the participant to edit the group membership.

"This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Jain, Sandhya D.; Jiang, Ning; Caldwell, Gary L.; Ramsay, Jr., Donald A.; Giacobbe, Gail Borod; Veeraraghavan, Venkatesh. Enterprise Social Networking Software Architecture. U.S. Patent Number 8788942, filed February 29, 2008, and published online on July 22, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Microsoft Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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