News Column

Patent Application Titled "Cross-Report Collaboration" Published Online

September 9, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor VINNAKOTA, Devicharan (Walldorf, DE), filed on February 20, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Sap Ag.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many companies today rely on business intelligence systems to store and analyze data regarding their business processes. Such a business intelligence system may receive data regarding the business from any number of sources. For example, a business intelligence system may receive data regarding the company's employees from a payroll or human resources (HR) system. In another example, a business intelligence system may receive data regarding products manufactured and sold by the company from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. In a further example, a business intelligence system may receive data regarding a competitor's products, such as pricing information.

"In addition to receiving and storing data regarding a company's operations, a business intelligence system may also include various utilities that use the data for purposes of driving business decisions, benchmarking, planning, and other functions. To this end, report generation plays an important role in allowing decision makers to quickly review and assess the various aspects of the business. For example, a sales report may allow a sales manager to determine which products are selling well, which members of the sales team are performing poorly, or how sales revenues compare to other time periods.

"As a company expands geographically, collaboration between employees becomes increasingly important for the wellbeing of the company. Larger companies may have hundreds of offices scattered throughout the world with tens of thousands of employees. However, a company's reporting structure may not be strictly tied to its office locations. For example, a sales manager in Boston may oversee a sales team located throughout the company's New England offices. In such a case, team members located in Hartford, Conn. and New Haven, Conn. may work together to create a sales report for the entire state of Connecticut. However, it remains challenging and difficult to develop systems that allow users to collaborate on reports."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Implementations of the systems and methods for cross-report collaboration are disclosed herein. One implementation is a computerized method for managing collaborations spanning multiple reports and reporting platforms. The method includes generating a collaboration instance in response to receiving an indication that a first data object of a first report of a first reporting platform has been modified. The collaboration instance includes a data structure which associates the first data object with collaboration metadata. The method also includes receiving a notification that a second data object of a second report of a second reporting platform has been selected for use. The method further includes searching, in response to the received notification, for collaboration instances related to the second data object. The method additionally includes identifying the generated collaboration instance as related to the second data object using at least the data structure associating the first data object with the collaboration metadata. The method also includes providing the collaboration metadata to the second reporting platform in response to the received notification.

"Another implementation is a system for managing collaborations spanning multiple reports and reporting platforms. The system includes a processing circuit configured to generate a collaboration instance in response to receiving an indication that a first data object of a first report of a first reporting platform has been modified. The collaboration instance includes a data structure which associates the first data object with collaboration metadata. The processing circuit is also configured to receive a notification that a second data object of a second report of a second reporting platform has been selected for use. The processing circuit is further configured to search, in response to the received notification, for collaboration instances related to the second data object. The processing circuit is also configured to identify the generated collaboration instance as related to the second data object using at least the data structure associating the first data object with the collaboration metadata. The processing circuit is further configured to provide the collaboration metadata to the second reporting platform in response to the received notification.

"Another implementation is a computerized method for identifying a collaboration as being associated with a report, the collaboration having been created via a collaboration service and associated with a second report to allow users to collaborate on at least a portion of the second report. Both reports are also based in part on overlapping data. The method includes receiving, at a processing circuit, an identifier for a class of data underlying the report. The method also includes identifying, by the processing circuit, the collaboration associated with the second report based on the class of data. The method further includes providing, by the processing circuit, data regarding the identified collaboration in conjunction with the report to signify that at least a portion of the data underlying the report is subject to the collaboration.

"These implementations are mentioned not to limit or define the scope of the disclosure, but to provide an example of an implementation of the disclosure to aid in understanding thereof. Particular implementations may be developed to realize one or more of the following advantages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a computer system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 2 is an illustration of a computer system configured to allow users to collaborate on reports, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 3 is an illustration of a collaborative report, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 4 is an illustration of a metadata model being constructed, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a process for associating collaboration data with report data, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 6 is a graph linking collaboration data with report data, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 7 is a flow diagram of a process for providing collaboration data, according to an exemplary embodiment; and

"FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a processing circuit configured to enable cross-report collaboration, according to an exemplary embodiment; and

"FIG. 9 is an illustration of collaboration information being shared between reports, according to an exemplary embodiment.

"Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements."

For more information, see this patent application: VINNAKOTA, Devicharan. Cross-Report Collaboration. Filed February 20, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=711&p=15&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Architecture, Sap Ag.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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