News Column

Patent Issued for Interactive Debugging Environments and Methods of Providing the Same

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Chung, Albert Alexander (Cary, NC); Gadepalli, Venkata Vishwanath (Apex, NC); Osowski, Jr., Richard Elwood (Holly Springs, NC), filed on September 1, 2011, was published online on July 22, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8789020 is assigned to International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Modern software programs can be complex and consist of many components that interact with each other. When problems arise such as a program failure during execution, a software developer or a quality assurance engineer, support technician, or other troubleshooter will attempt to isolate the problem in an effort to correct the error or otherwise debug the suspect component, for example, by providing a code fix or other resolution. Typically, a software program at fault is running on a remote location not accessible by the software vendor. In order to determine the cause of the software failure, the developer or support engineer will attempt to reproduce the environment in which the problem occurred. The advantage of reproducing the problem in house is that the developer or support engineer can attach a debugging tool, referred to as a debugger, to observe the state of the objects around the failure point. This can be useful for providing information as to what the problem is and how to fix it. However, reproducing a problem at a software application or software solution level may be difficult due to complex component dependencies, software configuration, data used, and custom end user code involved. Thus, instead of trying to reproduce the entire end user's software setup, for example, in house by the software vendor's support team, a portion of the end user's software runtime environment around the failure point can be reproduced. With this localized environment around the suspect object class or component, a debugger can be attached to this environment to see the contextual state of the objects about which the suspect component is interacting in order to obviate the need for debugging in a larger product environment."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one aspect, a computer-implemented method for generating interactive in memory objects from stored program failure data is provided. An anomalous condition related to a program failure is detected. Data is captured regarding the anomalous condition. The captured data is stored. The stored data is converted into at least one in-memory object. A runtime environment is reproduced about a region of code related to the program failure from the at least one in-memory object.

"In another aspect, a computer-implemented method for debugging a software program is provided. A snapshot of an active class is generated in response to an abnormal condition generated from a software component failure. Object data captured from the snapshot is auto-serialized. The serialized object data is converted into at least one in-memory object. A runtime environment is reproduced about a region of program code related to the software component failure from the at least one in-memory object.

"In another aspect, an in-memory interactive object generator comprises an object extraction module and an object inflation module. The object extraction module extracts contextual object data related to a program failure from a passive log file. The object inflation module that instantiates corresponding objects in memory from the extracted contextual object data.

"In another aspect, a computer program product generates interactive in memory objects from stored program failure data. The computer program product comprises a computer readable storage medium having computer readable program code embodied therewith. The computer readable program code comprises computer readable program code configured to detect an anomalous condition related to a program failure. The computer readable program code further comprises computer readable program code configured to capture data regarding the anomalous condition. The computer readable program code further comprises computer readable program code configured to store the captured data. The computer readable program code further comprises computer readable program code configured to convert the stored data into at least one in-memory object. The computer readable program code further comprises computer readable program code configured to reproduce a runtime environment about a region of code related to the program failure from the at least one in-memory object."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Chung, Albert Alexander; Gadepalli, Venkata Vishwanath; Osowski, Jr., Richard Elwood. Interactive Debugging Environments and Methods of Providing the Same. U.S. Patent Number 8789020, filed September 1, 2011, and published online on July 22, 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=8789020.PN.&OS=PN/8789020RS=PN/8789020

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

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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