SOFT (Server Orders Frame Technology), enables application developers, Integrators and the providers of Webservices a way to deploy interactive applications within a standard browser window. It also provides an alternative method to potential infringements covered under the Eolas patent.
SOFT enables such requirements as:
Applications from multiple distributed sources. For example, in deploying a financial Webservice it may be necessary to provide interactive feeds of information from different sources at the same time. This could involve refreshing only portions of a Web Page such as a single cell in a table. The different applications may or may not require user interaction so that the interaction can be an automated process.
Multitasking functionality within a single window. For example, a Webservice such as a dating service may require different but simultaneous functionality within a single window. The interface may require chat functionality in one area of the interface, an online/offline status in another, and an interactive media application in another. These could come from a single source, distributed sources and may need to be interactive/interoperable with one another.
Real-time functionality. When you need to maintain consistent states of specific updated information across many client browsers while not refreshing every client. Specific data may be updated within a specific area of an interface either automatically or in response to user interaction. An example of this functionality is, a new e-mail message being received by a web-based email inbox without refreshing the whole page, or target advertising to specific users that can be updated either automatically or in response to a user interaction.
Remote execution of applications from distributed sources. Dynamic functionality such as Macromedia Flash elements may be deployed within a multi functioning Web environment even from distributed sources.
A common implementation of browser technology includes providing distributed web applications in a web browser so that functionality may be accessed locally by users via a browser.
There are a number of challenges in designing and supporting such distributed applications. One of the challenges includes providing distributed applications in a manner that they support adequate interactivity for users. Deploying computer applications over the Internet via a browser has a number of advantages including scalability, low costs of implementation, ease of adoption and accessibility. However, providing interaction via a browser with an application with, the speed and ease generally available with client applications, has been subject to limitations.
One such limitation is managing the different functions, and views associated with these functions, through a web interface. For example, a typical application will have many functions. Accessing some of these functions may in some cases be easiest by enabling simultaneous access to one or more of these functions. This runs contrary to typical use of browsers whereby a single interface or frame is often devoted to one particular function. While browser technology typically supports multiple windows or "frames", maintaining a single interface for several functions/views using frames may require redisplay for any change resulting in a loss of performance, ease of use or transparency.
It is also advantageous to enable interactivity of the browser and the distributed applications.
SOFT allows simultaneous access of several functions by means of a single browser connection. SOFT also enables the maintenance of multiple views in a browser from a web server. In addition SOFT allows you to deploy distributed interactive applications that operate within a browser.
In General, SOFT enables:
o dynamic and selective updating of data presented in the browser.
o multi-source application frames within a browser.
o dynamic multi-task web interfaces.
o a method for pushing information or executable code to one or more browsers (or Internet connected devices), including arbitrary updates and interactive functionality.
o dynamic Internet provisioning solutions provided jointly or by different web server operators.
o a user to simultaneously access and process by means of the browser, dynamically updated data from different sources.
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