US 6370646 Method and apparatus for multiplatform migration

ABSTRACT – A method and system for migrating a computing environment from a source computing platform to a destination computing platform. A script defines at least one software system or application stored on the source computing platform. The script is parsed by a scripting engine to resolve specific user-selectable settings of each source software system or application. Genetic data is generated to represent the resolved settings of the source software systems and/or applications. The genetic data is then selectively applied to corresponding software systems or applications stored on the destination computing platform to automatically provide similar settings thereon.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to computer network systems. More particularly, the present invention relates to a novel and improved system and method for migrating software applications, files, settings, and configurations thereof from one computer platform to another.

The personal computer, or “PC,” has become an ubiquitous tool in personal and business life. However, as PC technology continues to rapidly evolve, almost every PC user will, at some point in time, have to upgrade from one computer system to another, usually more advanced computer system. The reasons for upgrading a computer system are varied, and include improved processor speed and capacity, improved and increased memory, and new, improved applications with increased functionality.

As used herein, the term “system” relates to high-level software used to operate and maintain a computer platform, including the operating system and utility programs. The term “application” relates to a computer program product employed on a computer platform to perform a specific applied function, as distinguished from system-wide functionality.

For example, WINDOWS™ is an operating system promulgated by Microsoft Corporation, and is employed in nearly eighty percent of personal computers used today. At every few years, Microsoft releases an upgraded version of WINDOWS™ with enhanced capabilities and increased functionality. However, many of the core functions will remain the same.

Systems and applications allow for a high degree of user customization, whereby a user will tailor system and application software to the user’s specific computing environment. In one example, a user might customize a dictionary for use with a particular word processing application. Customization can be an exhaustive process where most attributes to be customized must be done so manually.

Normally, when software is migrated from one computing platform to another, or when a user has upgraded a computing platform with a newer version of already-installed software, most or all of the customizations performed on the old platform or version must be manually reaccomplished. Upgrading or migrating computer software is usually a time-consuming, elaborate procedure. In large institutions, where global upgrades of large computing networks are common, the upgrading or migrating process can become extremely expensive.

Thus, as can be seen from the above discussion, there is a need for a method and system whereby upgrades and migrations may be made without requiring manual reaccomplishment of customizations. Such a method and system can reduce man-hours and time involved in software migratory endeavors. Further, there is a need for greater user control of the migration process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method and system for performing automatic mass migration of a computing environment from a source computing platform to a destination computing platform. In one embodiment of the present invention, a method of migrating includes the steps of deriving at least one script that defines at least one software system or application stored on the source computing platform, parsing the script to resolve specific user-selectable settings of the at least one software system or application, generating genetic data representing the resolved settings of the at least one software system or application, and selectively applying the genetic data to a corresponding software system or application stored on the destination computing platform to automatically provide similar settings thereon.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a computing environment migration system includes a network including a source computing platform and a destination computing platform, and a migration utility resident on the network and responsive to user inputs. The migration utility is configured to locate and electronically connect, via the network, the source computing platform to the destination computing platform. Further, the migration utility is configured to derive at least one script that defines at least one software system or application stored on the source computing platform, parse the script to resolve specific user-selectable settings of the at least one software system or application, generate genetic data representing the resolved settings of the at least one software system or application, and selectively apply the genetic data to a corresponding software system or application stored on the destination computing platform to automatically provide similar settings thereon.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, a system for describing a computing environment for migration over a network includes at least one script that defines a software system or application and includes instructions for identifying the defined software system or application, and settings thereof, and a script engine running the at least one script. The script engine is configured to scan a storage area of the source computing platform according to the instructions, and represent the defined software system or application, and settings thereof, as a genetic data file.

In still yet another embodiment of the present invention, a computer program product includes program code for defining processes of displaying a view of a space on the display coupled to the computer system, accepting signals from the user input device coupled to the computer system, the signals specifying a destination computing platform and a source computing platform, and deriving at least one script that defines at least one software system or application stored on the source computing platform. Further, the computer program product includes program code defining processes of parsing the script to resolve specific user-selectable settings of the at least one software system or application, generating genetic data representing the resolved settings of the at least one software system or application, and selectively applying the genetic data to a corresponding software system or application stored on the destination computing platform to automatically provide similar settings thereon. The computer program product may be stored on a computer-readable medium.

In still yet another embodiment of the present invention, a method of migrating a computing environment from a source computing platform to a destination computing platform, includes the steps of retrieving a registry of settings for software applications on the source computing platform selected for migration, and storing the registry on the destination computing platform.

 

 

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