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AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON NETWORK CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT - This application from Microsoft seeks to patent the idea of... creating a policy script and ensuring the policy is enforced! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

Broad language, current independent claim listed in Distributed Configuration Management Using Constitutional Documents:

  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating June 26, 2008
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: CLOSED
  • Publication Number: US 20090327301 A1
  1. One or more computer storage memory having stored thereon a data structure, comprising:

    • at least one schematic language statement comprising a statement of schema;

    • at least one data transformation statement of a transformation language, the at least one data transformation statement comprising a data transformation declaration comprising one or mathematic functions whose processing results in generation of a data instance conforming to the schema;

    • at least one rule statement of a rule language, the at least one rule statement comprising a data rule with regard to validity of data in the data instance conforming to the schema; and the data structure structured so as to be validated, without reference to an external source, as being correct with respect to executing the data transformation statement and the at least one rule statement of the data structure to perform a management task

      wherein the data structure comprises a single document which can be commonly serialized, and each of the schematic language, the transformation language and the rule language has an ability to process the others of the language.

NOTE according to Public Pair this patent received a Final Rejection on 3/13/2013. However, Microsoft has filed a Request for Continued Examination and revised the claims. The claim listed above is as currently revised by Microsoft.

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Prior art, which date? Where is the full patent? Please add some info. It is clearly written to confuse the reader. It seams to be about a Domain Specific Language to parse statements and a compiler for this Domain Specific language to execute the statements. But it could also cover any programming language. –  user4857 Jul 23 '13 at 18:07
    
Original Patent link –  nicko Jul 23 '13 at 19:46
    
Priority date Jun 26, 2008 –  Nick Hildebrant Jul 23 '13 at 19:58

3 Answers 3

Microsoft has a history of doing this...consider Microsoft's C# language as a 'schematic' of Java: http://www.harding.edu/fmccown/java_csharp_comparison.html

'at least one schematic language statement...'

Constructed languages are categorized as either a priori languages or a posteriori languages. The grammar and vocabulary of the former are created from scratch, either by the author's imagination or by computation; the latter possess a grammar and vocabulary derived from natural language.

In turn, a posteriori languages are divided into schematic languages, in which a natural or partly natural vocabulary is altered to fit pre-established rules, and naturalistic languages, in which a natural vocabulary retains its normal sound and appearance. While Esperanto is generally considered schematic, Interlingua is viewed as naturalistic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructed_language

'Autonomous (schematic) languages [are languages] in which grammar is a priori but vocabulary is a posteriori, like Esperanto or, to some extent, Volapük.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_posteriori_%28languages%29

Since this is a Microsoft patent, I assume the language in question is a programming language rather than a spoken language.

'...comprising a statement of schema...'

I found this article discussing XML Schema:

'XML Schema is poised to play a central role in the future of XML processing, especially in Web services where it serves as one of the fundamental pillars that higher levels of abstraction are built upon. This article describes how to use the XML Schema definition language in more detail.' March 2003, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa468557.aspx

'...at least one data transformation statement of a transformation language...'

'A transformation language is a computer language designed to transform some input text in a certain formal language into a modified output text that meets some specific goal.... There are a number of XML transformation languages. These include XSLT, XQuery, STX, FXT, XDuce, CDuce, HaXml, XMLambda, and FleXML.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformation_language

It looks like Microsoft is trying to patent it's own implementation of an XML-like language. It's 'schematic' in that it follows the syntax (grammar) of an existing language but uses a vocabulary (keywords) that is different from the existing language.

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I do believe this is about Microsoft's MOM or SMS, which are some of many Configuration Management Tools

In simple english, you create a policy/script (i.e. turn off feature X, install software package Y), apply the policy to 1 or more computers, and an agent on the computer will ensure that the policy is enforced/executed.

It covers a subset of the aspects of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005. First version published in 2005, but link is to latest 2011 version.

CFEngine goes all the way back to 1993, but I am not so sure how that system works. Under the broad definition of this patent, I think it must apply, but I am not familiar with the tool.

Puppet one of the first really full featured ones, was released in 2005, and works pretty much as described here.

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Wouldn't this describe just about any sqlldr control file that has data to load embedded in it?

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