The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to collaborative computing environments and, in particular, to mapping attributes defining abstract roles within a collaborative computing community to independently defined roles.
"Collaborative computing provides a means for users to pool their strengths and experiences to achieve a common goal. For example, a common goal may be an educational objective, the completion of a software development project or even creation and use of a system to manage human resources. The establishment of a collaborative computing environment typically involves the creation or definition of a community. The community provides the framework under which the collaborative computing objective is achieved.
"A collaborative computing community is defined by (1) a particular context, i.e. the objective of the community, (2) membership, i.e., the participants in the community, and (3) a set of roles for the community members. Roles are names given to the people in the community which dictate access to the community's resources and tools as well as define the behavior of the community members. Community creators or administrators may desire that the abstract roles have specific access and policy attributes for the different business components, i.e. tools, resources, etc. within the community. The access and policy attributes for the abstract roles in one community may be identical to the access and policy attributes for the abstract, but different roles in another community.
"Current collaborative computing environments require that the attributes for each abstract role be defined within each specific community. For example, abstract roles in a community relating to an on-line education system may include Teacher and Student. The Teacher role may be configured to act as a manager to create, delete and modify access to a particular instance of a business component, e.g. discussion list. Another community in the system relating to software development may have an abstract role named Developer configured to act as a manager to create, delete and modify access to a particular instance of a business component. Although the roles of Teacher and Developer have the same access policy to instances in their respective environments, current collaborative computing systems require individual configuration for each role. It is desirable to have a method and system which allows for the creation of abstract permission policies with the ability to 'glue' these policies to abstract roles in a way that is reusable."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention addresses the deficiencies of the art in respect to quickly and efficiently setting user privileges within a collaborative computing environment and provides a novel and non-obvious method and system for community role mapping.
"Methods consistent with the present invention provide a role mapping method for a collaborative computing environment in which a set of permissions defining access to a generic business component for an abstract permission set are stored and the set of permissions for the named permission set are mapped to an abstract role.
"Systems consistent with the present invention include a system for handling role mapping in a collaborative computing environment in which the system has a computer having a database. The database stores a set of permissions defining access to a generic business component for a named permission set and a mapping of the set of permissions for the named permission set to an abstract role.
"In accordance with still another aspect, the present invention provides a computer-readable storage medium storing a computer program which when executed performs a collaborative computing method. The computing method includes storing a set of permissions defining access to a generic business component for a named permission set and mapping the set of permissions for the named permission set to an abstract role.
"Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The aspects of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. The embodiments illustrated herein are presently preferred, it being understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown, wherein:
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a hierarchy of a typical collaborative computing deployment environment constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
"FIG. 2 is a table showing abstract community roles;
"FIG. 3 is a table showing community role mapping between the abstract roles and the deployment environment-wide named permission sets;
"FIG. 4 is an object relationship diagram showing the relationship between a community role object and a community role map object; and
"FIG. 5 is a flow chart of the process of setting or modifying permissions for a user within a community."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Estrada, Miguel A.;
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