News Column

"Automatic Lifecycle Management for Pages on a Mobile Application" in Patent Application Approval Process

September 2, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Singh, Siddharth (Redmond, WA); Shah, Nirav Y. (Bothell, WA), filed on April 18, 2014, was made available online on August 21, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Microsoft Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Mobile devices are currently in wide use. Mobile devices include such things as cellular telephones, smart phones, personal digital assistants, multi-media players, other handheld and palmtop devices, and slate or tablet computers, to name a few. In mobile devices, battery life conservation is often addressed.

"One way of addressing battery life conservation deals with the management of applications that are open on the mobile device. In particular, lifecycle management takes place in a scenario where the user opens an application and then navigates away from that application but does not expressly or explicitly close the application before navigating away. For instance, the user may open up a customer relations management application, and then momentarily navigate away from that application by opening another application, such as a contact list directory. When the user navigates away from the customer relations manager application, operating systems can handle the lifecycle management of the application that the user navigated away from, in different ways.

"Due to battery lifecycle and memory management concerns, some operating systems may have simply killed the initial application (or closed it). However, this can present a number of problems. For instance, when the user eventually navigates back to the application, and the operating system re-launches the application, then the entire user interface information (such as the control values displayed on a page of the application) is lost.

"In other words, when the user initially opened the application, the user may have entered user interface state information or control values into various controls. Such values can include, for example, checking or unchecking a check box, configuring a radio button, scrolling to a certain point in a scrollable list, among other things. When the user subsequently navigates away from the application, the operating system may simply kill the application. Therefore, when the user subsequently navigates back to the application, even though the operating system re-launches the application at that time, all of the user interface control states and values and other user interface state information for the displayed page are lost. Thus, the user is not coming back to the application in the exact same state it was in when the user left it. This does not leave the user's experience seamless and would require the user to navigate back in the application to the same place and re-enter all desired control values and state information which is undesirable and cumbersome.

"The discussion above is merely provided for general background information and is not intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One way to restore page state information (such as interface control values) on a page when the user navigates back to the application is to write event-driven logic on every page of the application. Then, when the user navigates away from the application, the control states and values on every page are stored so that they can be restored (or rehydrated) to the controls when the user navigates back to that application. However, this can incur a large test cost. Quality assurance personnel normally test each control on every page to ensure that they are acting properly. Therefore, if the controlled shutdown and restart process for saving control values is encoded into every page of an application, the developers must test that logic on every page to ensure that the controls are stored and revived properly.

"In this description, user interface state (UI) information (such as UI control state information and values) are stored and revived when the user navigates and returns to an application. The functionality is incorporated into the application, instead of into code written for each page in the application. When an instance of a page is created, the page registers the controls it wants to tombstone with a tombstone list to indicate which page state information on the page is to be stored and revived when a user navigates away or comes back to the application. When the user provides an input indicating navigation away from the application, the application accesses the tombstone list and stores the state related information of every control present in the tombstoning list within a data structure called a tombstoner. Tombstoners are created based on the type of the control that is being tombstoned. All this UI page state information within the tombstoners is stored in a page state dictionary data structure that corresponds to the current instance of the page. Then, when the user navigates back to the application, the application accesses the page state dictionary and restores the values of the UI page state information from the tombstoners within the page state dictionary so that the user interface display is in the same state as when the user navigated away from the application.

"This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. 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. The claimed subject matter is not limited to implementations that solve any or all disadvantages noted in the background.


"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of one illustrative mobile device.

"FIG. 1A shows an example of a number of controls on an application page.

"FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of a tombstone list.

"FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing one embodiment of the operation of the system shown in FIG. 1 for storing user interface state information when a user navigates away from an application.

"FIG. 4 shows one embodiment of an entry in a state dictionary.

"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating one embodiment of the operation of the system shown in FIG. 1 for reviving a user interface when a user navigates back to an application.

"FIG. 6 is one embodiment of a class diagram used to generate specific pages in an application.

"FIGS. 7-9 show various embodiments of mobile devices.

"FIG. 10 is a block diagram of one illustrative computing environment that can be used."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Singh, Siddharth; Shah, Nirav Y. Automatic Lifecycle Management for Pages on a Mobile Application. Filed April 18, 2014 and posted August 21, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Microsoft Corporation, Information Technology, Information and Data Architecture.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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