JP2009087319A - Image forming apparatus and method for limiting utilization - Google Patents

Image forming apparatus and method for limiting utilization Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2009087319A
JP2009087319A JP2008139760A JP2008139760A JP2009087319A JP 2009087319 A JP2009087319 A JP 2009087319A JP 2008139760 A JP2008139760 A JP 2008139760A JP 2008139760 A JP2008139760 A JP 2008139760A JP 2009087319 A JP2009087319 A JP 2009087319A
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use
resource
usage
information
user
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JP5266881B2 (en
Inventor
Teruyoshi Sakakibara
照善 榊原
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Ricoh Co Ltd
株式会社リコー
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Priority to JP2008139760A priority patent/JP5266881B2/en
Priority claimed from US12/230,935 external-priority patent/US20090070856A1/en
Publication of JP2009087319A publication Critical patent/JP2009087319A/en
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Abstract

An object of the present invention is to provide an image forming apparatus and a usage restriction method that can flexibly limit the use of resources.
Use condition management means for managing use condition information including a use condition for a resource, and resource use that uses the resource based on a use condition included in the use condition information in response to a request from a user Means, use authority information management means for managing the use authority information in which presence / absence of use authority for the resource is defined for each user, and permission or disapproval of use of the resource according to a request by the user based on the use authority information And when the resource is used based on the usage condition information, the determination unit permits use of the resource even for a user who is not authorized to use the resource. This solves the above problem.
[Selection] Figure 12

Description

  The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus and a usage restriction method, and more particularly to an image forming apparatus and a usage restriction method for restricting the use of resources.

Conventionally, an access control function is implemented in order to ensure security for various resources (such as applications and information) managed in the image forming apparatus. According to the access control function, each user is permitted to use the resource within the range of the use authority set in advance. In other words, access to resources for which usage authority is not granted is automatically denied.
Japanese Patent Laying-Open No. 2005-092649

  However, the conventional access control function has a certain degree of validity in terms of ensuring security, but has a problem that it lacks flexibility in terms of actual work or operation. For example, if a user who does not have the authority to use a certain application wants to allow the use only for a predetermined operating condition, or even if the use is permitted, there is no security problem. There are good cases.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above points, and an object thereof is to provide an image forming apparatus and a use restriction method that can flexibly restrict use of resources.

  Therefore, in order to solve the above-described problem, the present invention is based on usage condition management means for managing usage condition information including usage conditions for resources, and usage conditions included in the usage condition information in response to a user request. Resource utilization means for utilizing the resource, utilization authority information managing means for managing utilization authority information in which presence / absence of utilization authority for the resource is defined for each user, and a request by a user based on the utilization authority information And determining means for determining whether or not to allow the use of the resource, and when the resource is used based on the use condition information, the determining means is for a user who is not authorized to use the resource. Is also permitted to use the resource.

  Such an image forming apparatus can flexibly limit the use of resources.

  According to the present invention, it is possible to provide an image forming apparatus and a usage restriction method that can flexibly limit the use of resources.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 1, as a specific example of the image forming apparatus, a hardware configuration of a multifunction machine 1 that realizes a plurality of functions such as a printer, a copy, a scanner, or a fax in a single housing is shown.

  As the hardware of the multifunction device 1, there are a controller 601, an operation panel 602, a facsimile control unit (FCU) 603, an imaging unit 604, and a printing unit 605.

  The controller 601 includes a CPU 611, ASIC 612, NB621, SB622, MEM-P631, MEM-C632, HDD (hard disk drive) 633, memory card slot 634, NIC (network interface controller) 641, USB device 642, IEEE 1394 device 643, Centronics device. 644.

  The CPU 611 is an IC for various information processing. The ASIC 612 is an IC for various image processing. The NB 621 is a north bridge of the controller 601. The SB 622 is a south bridge of the controller 601. The MEM-P 631 is a system memory of the multifunction device 1. The MEM-C 632 is a local memory of the multifunction machine 1. The HDD 633 is storage of the multifunction device 1. The memory card slot 634 is a slot for setting the memory card 235. The NIC 641 is a controller for network communication using a MAC address. The USB device 642 is a device for providing a USB standard connection terminal. The IEEE 1394 device 643 is a device for providing a connection terminal of the IEEE 1394 standard. The Centronics device 644 is a device for providing connection terminals of Centronics specifications. The operation panel 602 is hardware (operation unit) for an operator to input to the multifunction device 1 and hardware (display unit) for an operator to obtain an output from the multifunction device 1.

  FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a software configuration example in the image forming apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, the software in the multifunction device 1 is configured by layers such as an application mechanism 10, a service mechanism 20, a device mechanism 30, and an operation unit 40. The hierarchical relationship between layers in FIG. 2 is based on the calling relationship between layers. That is, the upper layer in the figure basically calls the lower layer.

  The application mechanism 10 is a layer on which a group of software components (programs) for allowing a user to use resources such as functions or information (data) provided by the multifunction device 1 is implemented. In the present embodiment, some software components mounted on the application mechanism 10 are referred to as “filters”. This is because the hand application for executing the job of the multifunction device 1 is constructed based on a software architecture called “pipe & filter”.

  FIG. 3 is a diagram for explaining the concept of the pipe and filter architecture. In FIG. 3, “F” indicates a filter, and “P” indicates a pipe. As shown in the figure, each filter is connected by a pipe. The filter converts the input data and outputs the result. For example, the pipe is configured by a recording area that can be referred to by filters at both ends, and transmits data output from the filter to the next filter.

  In other words, the multifunction device 1 according to the present embodiment regards a job as a series of “conversions” to a document (data). A job of the multi-function peripheral 1 can be generalized as being composed of document input, processing, and output. Therefore, “input”, “processing”, and “output” are each regarded as “conversion”, and a software component that realizes one “conversion” is configured as a filter. A filter that realizes input is particularly called an “input filter”. A filter that realizes processing is particularly referred to as a “processing filter”. Further, a filter that realizes output is particularly referred to as an “output filter”. Basically, each filter cannot execute one job by itself, and an application that executes one job is constructed by connecting a plurality of filters as shown in FIG. .

  Each filter is independent, and basically there is no dependency relationship (call relationship) between the filters. Therefore, it is possible to add (install) or delete (uninstall) in units of filters.

  2, the application mechanism 10 includes a reading filter 111, a stored document reading filter 112, a mail reception filter 113, a fax reception filter 114, and the like as input filters.

  The reading filter 111 controls reading of image data by the scanner and outputs the read image data. The stored document read filter 112 reads document data (image data) stored in the storage device of the multifunction device 1 and outputs the read data. The mail reception filter 113 receives an electronic mail and outputs data included in the electronic mail. The fax reception filter 114 controls fax reception and outputs received print data.

  As the processing filters, a document processing filter 121, a document conversion filter 122, and the like are shown. The document processing filter 121 performs predetermined image conversion processing (aggregation, enlargement, reduction, etc.) on the input data and outputs it. The document conversion filter 122 converts the data format of the image data. For example, the document conversion filter 122 performs rendering processing, that is, converts the input PostScript data into bitmap data and outputs the bitmap data.

  As output filters, a print filter 131, a stored document registration filter 132, a mail transmission filter 133, a fax transmission filter 134, and the like are shown.

  The print filter 131 causes the plotter to output (print) the input data. The stored document registration filter 132 stores the input data in a storage device in the multifunction device 1, for example, a hard disk device. The mail transmission filter 133 transmits the input data attached to the e-mail. The fax transmission filter 134 transmits the input data by fax.

  For example, various functions in the multifunction device 1 are realized by a combination of the following filters. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating an example of combinations of filters for realizing each function in the multi-function peripheral according to the present embodiment.

  For example, the copy function is realized by connecting the reading filter 111 and the print filter 131. This is because the image data read from the original by the reading filter 111 may be printed by the print filter 131. When processing such as aggregation, enlargement, or reduction is requested, a document processing filter 121 that realizes these processing is inserted between the two filters.

  A scan-to-email function (a function for transferring scanned image data by electronic mail) is realized by connecting the reading filter 111 and the mail transmission filter 133. The fax transmission function is realized by connecting the reading filter 111 and the fax transmission filter 134. The fax reception function is realized by connecting the fax reception filter 114 and the print filter 131. A document box storage function (a function of storing scanned image data in the multifunction device 1) is realized by connecting the reading filter 111 and the stored document registration filter 132. A document box printing function (a function of printing document data stored in the multifunction machine 1) is realized by connecting the stored document reading filter 102 and the print filter 131.

  In FIG. 4, for example, the read filter 111 is used in five functions. Thus, each filter can be used from a plurality of functions, thereby reducing the number of development steps for realizing each function. Further, since the multifunction device 1 constructs an application using each filter as a component, the function can be easily customized or expanded. That is, since there is no functional dependency between the filters and independence is maintained, a new application can be easily developed by adding a new filter or changing a combination of filters. Therefore, when mounting of a new application is requested, and when a part of the processing of the application is not mounted, only a filter that realizes the part of the processing needs to be developed and installed. Therefore, the frequency of the correction that occurs in accordance with the implementation of a new application can be reduced for a layer lower than the application mechanism 10, and a stable platform can be provided.

  The application mechanism 10 also has software components called “activity”. An activity is a software component that manages the order in which a plurality of filters are connected and executes a job by executing the filters in that order. One activity is realized by one activity.

  That is, since the filters are highly independent, it is possible to dynamically construct a combination (application) of filters. Specifically, each time a job execution request is received, a user-desired function is set by allowing the user to set the filters to be used, the execution order of the filters, and the operation conditions of each filter via the operation panel 602. May be realized.

  However, for a frequently used function such as a copy function, it is complicated for the user to issue an execution instruction by selecting a filter each time. Activities solve these problems. That is, if a combination of filters is defined in advance as an activity, the user can select an execution target in units of activities. The selected activity automatically executes each filter related to the combination defined in the activity. Therefore, the complexity of the operation can be eliminated by the activity, and an operation feeling similar to that of the conventional user interface in which the execution target is selected in units of applications can be provided.

  The figure includes a copy activity 101, a transmission activity 102, a fax activity 103, and the like as examples of activities. For example, the copy activity 101 realizes a copy function (copy application) by combining a reading filter 311, a document processing filter 321, and a print filter 331.

  Basically, each activity is independent, and there is basically no dependency relationship (call relationship) between activities. Therefore, it is possible to add (install) or delete (uninstall) each activity. Therefore, activities other than the activities shown in FIG. 2 can be created and installed as needed by combining various filters.

  The filter and activity will be described in more detail. FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining the components of the filter. As shown in FIG. 5, each filter includes a filter setting UI, filter logic, a filter-specific lower service, permanent storage area information, and the like. Among these, the filter setting UI, the filter-specific lower service, and the permanent storage area information are not necessarily included in the constituent elements by the filter.

  The filter setting UI is a program for causing the operation panel 602 and the like to display a screen for setting the operation conditions of the filter. That is, operating conditions are set for each filter. For example, in the case of the reading filter 111, the filter setting UI corresponds to a screen for setting resolution, density, image type, and the like. If the operation panel 602 can perform display control based on HTML data or a script, the filter setting UI may be HTML data or a script.

  The filter logic is a program in which logic is implemented to realize a filter function. That is, the filter function is realized according to the operation condition set through the filter setting UI by using the filter-specific lower-level service, the device service layer 40, the device control layer 50, or the like as a component of the filter. . For example, in the case of the reading filter 111, the logic for controlling the reading of the original by the scanner corresponds.

  The filter-specific lower service is a lower function (library) necessary for realizing the filter logic.

  The permanent storage area information corresponds to a schema definition of data that needs to be saved in a nonvolatile memory, such as setting information for a filter (for example, default values of operating conditions). The schema definition is registered in the data management unit 26 when the filter is installed.

  FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining the components of the activity. As shown in FIG. 6, the activity includes an activity UI, activity logic, permanent storage area information, and the like.

  The activity UI is information or a program for causing the operation panel 602 or the like to display a screen related to the activity (for example, a setting screen for setting an operation condition or the like of the activity).

  The activity logic is a program in which the processing contents of the activity are implemented. Basically, logic related to a combination of filters (for example, filter execution order, setting across a plurality of filters, filter connection change, error processing, etc.) is mounted in the activity logic.

  The permanent storage area information corresponds to a schema definition of data that needs to be saved in a nonvolatile memory, such as setting information for an activity (for example, a default value of an operation condition). The schema definition is registered in the data management unit 26 when the activity is installed.

  Returning to FIG. The service mechanism 20 is a layer that implements a primitive service used by an activity or a filter, and provides a mechanism for an application to be independent of hardware specifications such as a model. In the figure, the service mechanism 20 includes a repository service 21, a session management unit 22, a request management unit 23, a communication unit 24, a UI unit 25, a data management unit 26, a request definition unit 27, and the like.

  The repository service 21 provides basic operations (generation, reference, update, deletion) of various information stored inside and outside the device, such as user information. The session management unit 22 manages the user authentication state (login state). For example, the session management unit 22 performs user authentication based on authentication information (user name, password, etc.) input by the user, and electronic data (hereinafter referred to as “ticket”) indicating the validity of the user when the authentication is successful. Is issued). The request management unit 23 manages jobs. The communication unit 24 controls network communication. The UI unit 25 interprets a user request input via an operation screen displayed on the operation panel 602, and delegates processing control according to the user request to the application mechanism 10 or the service mechanism 20. The data management unit 26 defines a storage method, a storage location, and the like for information to be managed by the repository service 21. The request definition unit 27 performs macro generation and loading (calling). Here, “macro” refers to information including usage conditions for resources. For example, in a job executed in the past, a combination of filters, an operation condition (usage condition) set for an activity or a filter, etc. Hold. According to the macro, the user can reuse activities, filters, and the like under the same operating conditions as in the past, without setting operating conditions and filter combinations again.

  The device mechanism 30 includes means for controlling a device provided for each device included in the multifunction device 1.

  The operation unit 40 is a part on which software components relating to system operation management are mounted, and is commonly used by the application mechanism 10, the service mechanism 20, and the device mechanism 30. In the figure, the operation unit 40 includes a plug-in management unit 41 and an access control unit 42. The plug-in management unit 41 manages information on software components (plug-ins) that can be freely inserted and removed (installed / uninstalled) such as activities or filters. The access control unit 42 permits or disables access (use) for each user and role based on the use authority information for information managed by the activity, filter, macro, or repository service 21 (presence of use authority) Judging. Here, the usage authority information is information in which the presence / absence of usage authority for activities, filters, and other resources is recorded (defined) for each user, and is managed by the data management unit 26.

  Next, details of the macro will be described. FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating a configuration example of macro information. As shown in FIG. 7, the macro information 50 includes a macro ID, a title, a comment, an icon, a creator name, a creator ticket, a user ID, operating condition information 51, a public setting, a public application, a public destination information 52, and the like. Consists of.

  The macro ID is an ID for uniquely identifying each macro. The title is the name of the macro assigned by the user. The comment is a comment regarding the macro attached by the user. The icon is an icon displayed on a button or the like corresponding to the macro on the screen for selecting the macro. The creator name is a user name of a macro creator (registrant). The creator ticket is a ticket of the creator. The user ID is the creator's user ID.

  The operation condition information 51 is configured by an operation condition for each activity and filter (registered in the macro) to be executed by the macro. The operating condition information 51 also includes a macro identifier. The macro identifier is an identifier used to indicate that an execution is performed via a macro when an activity, a filter, or the like is executed based on the macro.

  The publication setting indicates whether or not to publish the macro and whether to restrict the use authority (use authority for resources of the MFP 1 such as activities and filters) when executing the macro to the use authority of the creator of the macro. This is information indicating whether or not. Exposing a macro means permitting the use of the macro other than the creator of the macro. That is, in principle, only the creator has the right to use the macro, but it can be used by other users only when it is made public. There are two types of macro disclosure: “complete disclosure” and “privilege disclosure”. Full disclosure is a form in which the usage authority when executing a macro is not restricted. In-privilege disclosure is a form in which the use authority when executing a macro is limited to the use authority of the creator of the macro. However, since macros are registered with respect to activities, filters, and other resources used in the job actually executed by the creator, the inconvenience that macros cannot be executed due to disclosure within the authority does not occur. Basically (unless the creator's usage rights change after macro registration).

  As is clear from the handling of usage rights related to macros, the user to whom a macro is published has its own usage rights for activities, filters, and other resources that are used via the macro. Even if it is not, it can be used if it is executed via a macro.

  In addition, according to the disclosure within the authority, security during macro execution can be further increased. For example, when the macro information is illegally altered and an activity or the like for which the macro creator has no usage authority is targeted for use, the activity can be prevented from being used via the macro.

  The range of macro disclosure can be limited by the published application and the disclosure destination information 52. The published application is an activity or filter to be published among the activities and filters registered in the macro. That is, only some of the activities registered in the macro can be disclosed. The disclosure destination information 52 is list information of users or groups to which a macro is disclosed (use of the macro is permitted).

  Hereinafter, a processing procedure executed with respect to the macro in the multifunction device 1 will be described. FIG. 8 is a flowchart for explaining macro registration processing. FIG. 9 is a diagram showing a macro registration process. In FIG. 9, the same steps as those in FIG. 8 are denoted by the same step numbers.

  In step S101, an activity or filter combination to be executed is selected by a user operation via the operation panel 602, operation conditions are set for each activity and filter, and job execution is started. Instructed. Here, the operating conditions set by the user are held in the activity logic of each activity (see FIG. 6) or the filter logic of each filter (see FIG. 5).

  When the execution of the job is completed, the UI unit 25 causes the operation panel 602 to display a screen for selecting whether to register the setting related to the executed job as a macro (S102). When the user instructs macro registration via the screen, and when a macro title, comment input, icon selection, or the like is performed, the UI unit 25 instructs the request definition unit 27 to register the macro ( S103).

  Subsequently, the request definition unit 27 includes information input by the user (macro title, comment, icon identification information), the user name of the current user (the user currently operating the multifunction device 1), a ticket, and the user Along with the ID, the data management unit 26 is requested to generate macro information (S104). As a premise of the processing in FIG. 8, the current user is authenticated by the session management unit 22. Therefore, the user name, ticket, and user ID of the current user are obtained by inquiring the session management unit 22.

  In response to the request, the data management unit 26 registers the macro information in the storage device, and returns the macro ID assigned to the macro information to the request definition unit 27. Note that the user name, ticket, and user ID of the current user are registered as the creator name, creator ticket, and user ID.

  Subsequently, the request definition unit 27 notifies the macro ID to each activity and each filter used to execute the job, and instructs registration of each operation condition in the macro information related to the macro ID (S105). ). Subsequently, the activity that has received the operation condition registration instruction registers the operation condition held in the activity logic in the macro information identified by the macro ID. The filter that has received the operation condition registration instruction registers the operation condition held in the filter logic in the macro information identified by the macro ID (S106).

  Subsequently, the request definition unit 27 acquires the macro information registered in the processing up to step S106 from the data management unit 26 based on the macro ID (S107). In addition, the request definition unit 27 acquires user information (user list information) related to the multifunction machine 1 from the repository service 21 (S108). Subsequently, the request definition unit 27 goes to the operation panel 602 of a screen (hereinafter referred to as “macro public information setting screen”) for setting macro public information based on the information acquired in steps S107 and S108. Is displayed on the UI unit 25 (S109).

  FIG. 10 is a diagram illustrating a display example of the macro disclosure information setting screen. 10, the macro disclosure information setting screen 500 includes a complete disclosure button 511, an in-privilege disclosure button 512, a non-disclosure button 513, a disclosure destination setting region 520, a disclosure application setting region 530, a registration button 540, and the like.

  The full disclosure button 511, the in-authority release button 512, and the non-disclosure button 513 are buttons for selecting whether the macro is to be fully disclosed, disclosed within the authority, or unpublished. When the complete release button 511 or the in-authority release button 512 is pressed, the macro is made public, and the public destination setting area 520 and the public application setting area 530 can be input.

  The publication destination setting area 520 is an area for selecting a macro publication destination, a button 521 for selecting all users as a publication destination, and a button 522 for selecting a publication destination for each user or group. 527 is arranged. Note that the buttons 522 to 527 are displayed based on the user information acquired in step S108.

  The public application setting area 530 is an area for setting a public application, and buttons 531 and 532 for selecting as a public application are arranged for each activity used in the executed job.

  When macro release information is set and the registration button 540 is pressed on the macro release information setting screen 500, the request definition unit 27 registers the set release information in the macro information based on the macro ID (S110). .

  FIG. 11 is a diagram illustrating an example of registered macro information. In the macro information 50a shown in FIG. 11, the operation conditions of activity A, filter A, activity B, and filter B are set as the operation condition information 51a. That is, the macro related to the macro information 50a is for reusing an application constituted by these activities or filters. The public setting is “public within authority”. Public applications are limited to activity A. Further, the disclosure destination is limited to the user A, the user D, and the group A by the disclosure destination information 52a.

  Next, a processing procedure when executing a macro will be described. FIG. 12 is a sequence diagram for explaining a processing procedure during macro execution. As a premise of the processing in FIG. 12, the current user is authenticated by the session management unit 22.

  For example, on the macro selection screen displayed on the operation panel 602, when the macro to be executed is selected by the user and the start of execution is instructed (the start key is pressed), the UI unit 25 selects the selected macro. With the macro ID (hereinafter referred to as “current macro”), the request management unit 23 is requested to execute the current macro (S201). Note that the macro selection screen is displayed by the UI unit 25 based on a list of macro information registered in the data management unit 26.

  Subsequently, the request management unit 23 acquires the ticket of the user (current user) who has requested execution of the current macro from the session management unit 22 (S202, S203). Subsequently, the request management unit 23 requests the request definition unit 27 to execute the current macro with the macro ID of the current macro and the ticket of the current user (S204).

  The request definition unit 27 acquires macro information of the current macro from the data management unit 26 based on the macro ID (S205, S206). The request definition unit 27 analyzes the operation condition information 51 of the acquired macro information, and determines an activity, a filter, and each operation condition used (executed) in the current macro. Based on the analysis result, the request definition unit 27 sets the operation condition registered in the operation condition information 51 for each activity and filter (S207). In FIG. 12, the copy activity 101 is an activity used from the current macro. In this case, strictly speaking, operation conditions are also set for each filter used by the copy activity 101.

  Next, the request definition unit 27 requests the activity (copy activity 101) used by the current macro to execute the job based on the operation condition information 51 (S208). At this time, the request definition unit 27 delivers the macro identifier to the copy activity 101 as a parameter.

  Subsequently, the copy activity 101 inquires of the access control unit 42 whether or not the current user has the authority to use the copy activity 101 (S209). At this time, the copy activity 101 passes the macro identifier to the access control unit 42 as a parameter.

  Subsequently, the access control unit 42 determines whether or not the copy activity 101 is executed by a macro based on the presence or absence of a macro identifier (S210). In other words, each activity and filter always asks the access control unit 42 when the execution is requested, regardless of whether or not it is executed from a macro. As described above, the macro identifier is delivered to the access control unit 42. Therefore, the access control unit 42 determines that the execution is from a macro when the macro identifier is delivered as a parameter.

  In the case of execution from a macro, the access control unit 42 acquires macro information of the current macro from the request definition unit 27 (S211), and confirms public information in the macro information (S212). Specifically, referring to the macro information disclosure setting, the processing is branched depending on whether it is completely disclosed, disclosed within the authority, or not disclosed.

  In the case of complete disclosure, the access control unit 42 determines whether the current user is included in the disclosure destination set in the disclosure destination information 52 of the macro information, and whether the copy activity 101 is included in the published application. Then, according to the determination result, the presence or absence of the use authority is returned to the copy activity 101 (S222). In other words, if the current user is included in the disclosure destination and the copy activity 101 is included in the disclosure application, a response indicating that the user has authority to use is returned. Further, if the current user is not included in the publication destination or the copy activity 101 is not included in the published application, a response indicating that there is no use authority is returned.

  As described above, in the case of complete disclosure, the usage authority for the copy activity 101 by the current user is not determined, and the usage authority for the copy activity 101 is determined by the current user depending on whether the macro is open to the current user. Given to.

  On the other hand, in the case of public within the authority, the access control unit 42 determines whether the current user is included in the disclosure destination set in the disclosure destination information 52 of the macro information, and the copy activity 101 is included in the disclosure application. (S231). If the current user is included in the disclosure destination and the copy activity 101 is included in the published application, the access control unit 42 discards the current user's ticket (S232) and is included in the macro information. Based on the ticket of the creator of the current macro, the repository service 21 is requested to acquire the use authority information of the creator (S233). The repository service 21 acquires the use authority information of the creator from the data management unit 26 (S234, S235), and outputs the acquired use authority information to the access control unit 42 (S236).

  Based on the usage authority information, the access control unit 42 determines whether or not the creator of the current macro has the usage authority for the copy activity 101 (S237), and returns the determination result to the copy activity 101 (S238). If it is determined in step S237 that the current user is not included in the publication destination or the copy activity 101 is not included in the published application, the access control unit 42 indicates that there is no use authority. 101 is responded to.

  As described above, in the case of disclosure within authority, the authority to use the copy activity 101 is given to the current user according to whether the creator's authority to use and the macro are disclosed to the current user.

  Further, when the macro is not disclosed, the access control unit 42 collates the creator name or user ID of the macro information with the user name or user ID of the current user, so that the current user is the creator of the current macro. It is determined whether or not there is (S241), and the presence or absence of the use authority is returned to the copy activity 101 according to the determination result (S242). That is, if the current user is the creator, a response indicating that the user has authority to use is returned. If the current user is not the creator, a response indicating that there is no authority to use is returned.

  As described above, when the macro is not disclosed, only the creator of the macro is given the authority to use the copy activity 101. When the macro is not disclosed, if the current user is other than the creator, the macro may not be displayed as a selection candidate on the macro selection screen.

  In the above description, the use authority determination for only the copy activity 101 has been described for the sake of convenience. However, for each filter or the like used by the copy activity 101, the processing from step S209 onward is similarly executed.

  As described above, according to the multifunction peripheral 101 in the present embodiment, even resources that are not originally authorized for use are permitted within the range of use conditions (operation conditions) defined in the macro. Therefore, for example, when it is desired to permit the use only for a predetermined condition in performing the business, the business can be smoothly advanced by defining a macro related to the predetermined condition.

  In addition, since the macro can be disclosed (permitted to be used) for each user, only the trusted user can use the macro. Therefore, it is possible to suppress the deterioration of security due to the availability of resources without usage authority via macros.

  In addition, since the scope of disclosure of a macro that uses a plurality of resources can be limited to a part of the resources, security can be appropriately secured for the use of resources via the macro.

  Next, an example in which a limit (upper limit) is set for the amount of macro use (number of times of use) will be described as a second embodiment. Note that in the second embodiment, differences from the first embodiment will be described. Accordingly, the points not particularly mentioned may be the same as those in the first embodiment.

  FIG. 13 is a diagram illustrating a software configuration example in the image forming apparatus according to the second embodiment. In FIG. 13, the same parts as those of FIG. A history management unit 43 is added to the operation unit 40 of the MFP 1 shown in FIG.

  The history management unit 43 manages history information of various operations in the multifunction machine 1. In the present embodiment, the history management unit 43 manages the value of the counter related to macro use using a storage device such as the HDD 633. Counters related to macro use include a counter for each macro (one for each macro), a counter for each user group for each macro, and a counter for each macro application (activity). These counters are updated in response to a request from the request definition unit 27 during macro execution (FIG. 12). That is, when the activity (copy activity 101) is normally executed in response to the execution request in step S208, the request definition unit 27 sends the currently executed macro ID and the identification name of the activity to the history management unit 43. Notice. The history management unit 43 increments (counts up by one) a counter for the activity related to the notified macro ID.

  If the execution of the macro is successful within the disclosed range, the request definition unit 27 notifies the history management unit 43 of the macro ID of the macro, the user ID of the current user, and the group ID (group identifier). The history management unit 43 increments the counter of the macro unit related to the notified macro ID, and increments the counter of the user and the counter of the group related to the macro.

  The restriction on the usage amount of the macro can be set on the macro disclosure information setting screen displayed in step S109 of FIG. FIG. 14 is a diagram illustrating a display example of the macro disclosure information setting screen according to the second embodiment. 14, the same parts as those in FIG. 10 are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted.

  A usage count upper limit setting unit selection area 550 is added to the macro disclosure information setting screen 500a of FIG. The use frequency upper limit setting unit selection area 550 is an area for selecting a setting unit for the upper limit value of the macro use frequency. In the present embodiment, any one of a macro unit, a user group unit, and an application unit can be alternatively selected as a setting unit for the upper limit value of the number of macro use.

  When a macro is selected as the setting unit, one upper limit value of the number of times the macro is used is set for the macro (a macro that is a target for setting public information on the macro public information setting screen 500a). Therefore, when the macro is used by a plurality of users, the total number of uses of the plurality of users is compared with the upper limit value.

  When a user / group is selected as the setting unit, the upper limit value is set for each user or group. Therefore, when the macro is used by a plurality of users, the number of uses and the upper limit value are compared for each user or group.

  When an application is selected as the setting unit, the upper limit value is set for each activity belonging to the macro. Therefore, when the macro is used by a plurality of users, a comparison is made between the total number of uses (the number of uses via the macro) by the plurality of users and the upper limit value for each activity.

  In either case, there is no restriction on the number of uses for the creator of the macro. This restriction is applied to the user or group to whom the macro is published.

  When one of the setting units is selected via the radio button in the use number upper limit setting unit selection area 550 and then the registration button 540 is pressed, the UI unit 25 displays the use number upper limit setting screen on the operation panel 602. Let

  FIG. 15 is a diagram illustrating a display example of the use frequency upper limit setting screen according to the second embodiment.

  In the same figure, the use frequency upper limit setting screen 560a is a screen displayed when a macro is selected as a setting unit. On this screen, it is possible to input the upper limit of the number of times of use for a macro.

  The use count upper limit setting screen 560b is a screen displayed when a user / group is selected as a setting unit. On this screen, it is possible to input an upper limit value of the number of times of use for a macro for each user or group selected as a disclosure destination in the disclosure destination setting area 520 of the macro disclosure information setting screen 500a. For users or groups for which no upper limit value is input, no upper limit value is set (that is, the number of uses is not limited).

  The use count upper limit setting screen 560b is a screen displayed when an application is selected as a setting unit. On this screen, it is possible to input an upper limit value of the number of times of use for each activity selected as a public application in the public application setting area 530 of the macro public information setting screen 500a. For activities for which no upper limit is entered, no upper limit is set.

  When an upper limit value is input on any of the usage count upper limit setting screens 560 and the OK button is pressed, the process proceeds to step S110 (FIG. 8), and the request definition unit 27 sets the public information set based on the macro ID. Is registered in the macro information.

  FIG. 16 is a diagram illustrating an example of macro information registered in the second embodiment. The registration contents in FIG. 16 are almost the same as the registration contents in FIG. However, the registration contents of the public setting, the public application, and the public information 52a are different.

  That is, when a macro is selected as a setting unit for the upper limit value of the number of uses and an upper limit value is input on the use number upper limit setting screen 560a, the upper limit value is registered in the public setting. In the figure, the numerical value in parentheses (“20”) indicates the upper limit value.

  In addition, when an application is selected as the setting unit for the upper limit value of the number of uses and the upper limit value is input on the use number upper limit setting screen 560c, the upper limit value for each activity is registered in the published application. In the figure, the numerical value in parentheses (“15”) indicates the upper limit value.

  Further, when a user / group is selected as a setting unit for the upper limit value of the number of uses and an upper limit value is input on the use number upper limit setting screen 560b, the upper limit value for each user or group is registered in the disclosure destination information 52a. Similarly, the numerical value in () shows the upper limit value for each user or group.

  The usage count check (comparison between the usage count and the upper limit value) is performed after steps S221 and S237 in FIG. 12 (that is, the activity that includes the current user in the publication destination and is used by the macro (in FIG. 12). This is executed after it is determined that the copy activity 101) is included in the published application.

  FIG. 17 is a flowchart for explaining the usage count check process for a macro.

  In step S301, the access control unit 42 determines whether or not the current user is the creator of the current macro based on the ticket of the current user and the creator of the macro information 50a (FIG. 16) of the current macro. In the second embodiment, the current user's ticket is not discarded in step S232. If the current user is the creator of the current macro (No in S301), the check based on the number of uses is not performed. If the current user is the creator of the current macro (Yes in S301), the access control unit 42 determines the setting unit for the upper limit value of the number of uses based on the macro information 50a (S302).

  When the upper limit value is registered in the public setting of the macro information 50a, that is, when the setting unit of the upper limit value is a macro (“macro” in S302), the access control unit 42 acquires the upper limit value (S303). ). Subsequently, the access control unit 42 acquires the value of the counter of the macro unit of the current macro from the history management unit 43, and sets the value as a comparison value with respect to the upper limit value (S304).

  On the other hand, when the upper limit value is registered in the disclosure destination information 52a of the macro information 50a, that is, when the setting unit of the upper limit value is a user or a group (“user group” in S302), the access control unit 42 It is determined whether or not an upper limit is set for the current user in the disclosure destination information 52a (S305). When an upper limit is set for the current user (Yes in S305), the access control unit 42 acquires the upper limit (S306). Subsequently, the access control unit 42 acquires the value of the current user's counter related to the current macro from the history management unit 43, and sets the value as a comparison value with respect to the upper limit value (S307). When the upper limit value is not set for the current user (No in S305), the access control unit 42 determines whether the upper limit value is set for the group to which the current user belongs (current group) in the disclosure destination information 52a. Is determined (S308). The current group is determined based on, for example, correspondence information between the user and the group in the user information managed in the multifunction device 1. When an upper limit is set for the current group (Yes in S308), the access control unit 42 acquires the upper limit (S309). Subsequently, the access control unit 42 acquires the value of the counter of the current group related to the current macro from the history management unit 43, and sets the value as a comparison value with respect to the upper limit value (S310).

  Furthermore, when the upper limit value is registered in the published application of the macro information 50a, that is, when the setting unit of the upper limit value is an application (“application” in S302), the access control unit 42 makes the published application of the macro information 50a. In step S311, it is determined whether or not an upper limit value is set for the current application (application (activity) targeted for authority determination (FIG. 12: S209)). When the upper limit value is set for the current application (Yes in S311), the access control unit 42 acquires the upper limit value (S312). Subsequently, the access control unit 42 acquires the value of the counter of the current application related to the current macro from the history management unit 43, and sets the value as a comparison value with respect to the upper limit value (S313).

  Subsequent to step S304, S310, or S313, the access control unit 42 compares the comparison value with the upper limit value (S314). When the comparison value exceeds the upper limit value (Yes in S314), the access control unit 42 determines that the use of the current macro should be restricted (S315). On the other hand, if the comparison value is less than or equal to the upper limit (No in S314), no upper limit is set for the current group (No in S308), or no upper limit is set for the current application (No in S311). ), The access control unit 42 determines that there is no need to restrict the use of the current macro.

  If it is determined that the use of the current macro should be restricted, the access control unit 42 responds to the current application (copy activity 101) that there is no use authority in step S222 or S237 of FIG. Therefore, in this case, the current application is not executed. Further, when each application belonging to the macro is not executed, the processing of the entire macro is not executed.

  However, even if the number of times of use exceeds the upper limit value, different restrictions (for example, charging) may be imposed on the current user without stopping the execution of the process. For example, the access control unit 42 causes the UI unit 25 to display a message for charging. If the user inputs an acknowledgment to the message, the process is executed. The message may be transmitted as an email to the current user's email address. When sending by e-mail, it is preferable to notify that charging will be performed next time.

  As described above, according to the second embodiment, the use of macros can be limited by the number of uses for macros. Therefore, the use of macros can be restricted more flexibly.

  As mentioned above, although the Example of this invention was explained in full detail, this invention is not limited to such specific embodiment, In the range of the summary of this invention described in the claim, various deformation | transformation・ Change is possible.

1 is a diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a software configuration example in the image forming apparatus according to the first embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the concept of a pipe & filter architecture. It is a figure which shows the example of the combination of the filter for implement | achieving each function in the multifunctional device of this Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the component of a filter. It is a figure for demonstrating the component of an activity. It is a figure which shows the structural example of macro information. It is a flowchart for demonstrating the registration process of a macro. It is a figure which shows the mode of the registration process of a macro. It is a figure which shows the example of a display of a macro public information setting screen. It is a figure which shows the example of the registered macro information. It is a sequence diagram for demonstrating the process sequence at the time of macro execution. 6 is a diagram illustrating a software configuration example in an image forming apparatus according to a second embodiment; FIG. It is a figure which shows the example of a display of the macro public information setting screen of 2nd embodiment. It is a figure which shows the example of a display of the use frequency upper limit setting screen in 2nd embodiment. It is a figure which shows the example of the macro information registered in 2nd embodiment. It is a flowchart for demonstrating the use frequency check process regarding a macro.

Explanation of symbols

1 MFP 10 Application mechanism 20 Service mechanism 21 Repository service 22 Session management unit 23 Request management unit 24 Communication unit 25 UI unit 26 Data management unit 27 Request definition unit 27
30 device mechanism 40 operation unit 41 plug-in management unit 42 access control unit 43 history management unit 101 copy activity 102 transmission activity 103 fax activity 111 reading filter 112 archived document reading filter 113 mail reception filter 114 fax reception filter 121 document processing filter 122 document Conversion filter 131 Print filter 132 Archived document registration filter 133 Mail transmission filter 134 Fax transmission filter 604 Imaging unit 605 Printing unit 601 Controller 602 Operation panel 603 Facsimile control unit 611 CPU
612 ASIC
621 NB
622 SB
631 MEM-P
632 MEM-C
633 HDD
634 Memory card slot 235 Memory card 641 NIC
642 USB device 643 IEEE 1394 device 644 Centronics device

Claims (18)

  1. Usage condition management means for managing usage condition information including usage conditions for resources;
    In response to a request by a user, resource use means for using the resource based on a use condition included in the use condition information;
    Usage authority information management means for managing usage authority information in which presence / absence of usage authority for the resource is defined for each user;
    Determination means for determining whether to permit the use of the resource in response to a request by a user based on the use authority information;
    2. The determination unit according to claim 1, wherein when the resource is used based on the use condition information, the determination unit permits use of the resource even for a user who is not authorized to use the resource. Image forming apparatus.
  2.   The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the resource is a program, and the use condition information is an operation condition related to the program.
  3. The usage rule management means manages information for identifying a user who can use the usage rule information in association with the usage rule information,
    The determination unit does not permit use of the resource to a user who is not permitted to use the use condition information when the resource is used based on the use condition information. Item 3. The image forming apparatus according to Item 1 or 2.
  4. The usage condition management means manages information identifying the creator of the usage condition information in association with the usage condition information,
    The image forming apparatus according to claim 3, wherein when the resource is used based on the use condition information, the determination unit permits the creator to use the resource.
  5.   5. The determination unit according to claim 4, wherein when the resource is used based on the usage condition information, the determination unit determines whether to permit the use of the resource based on the usage authority information for the creator. The image forming apparatus described.
  6. The use condition information includes use conditions for a plurality of resources,
    The usage condition management means manages information for identifying a resource permitted to be used based on the usage condition information among the plurality of resources,
    The image forming apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the determination unit does not permit the use of a resource that is not permitted to be used even if the user can use the use condition information.
  7. The resource utilization means has a usage count recording means for recording in a storage device the usage count of the usage condition information.
    The said determination means does not permit use of the said resource based on the said usage condition information, when the said frequency | count of use exceeds the upper limit set with respect to the said usage condition information. The image forming apparatus according to one item.
  8. The usage count recording means records the usage count according to a user who uses the usage condition information,
    The image forming apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the determination unit does not permit the use of the resource based on the use condition information when the number of uses according to the user exceeds the upper limit value.
  9. The usage count recording means records the usage count for each resource,
    The image forming apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the determination unit does not permit the use of the resource when the number of times of use for each resource exceeds the upper limit value.
  10. A usage restriction method executed by the image forming apparatus,
    A resource use procedure for using the resource based on the use condition included in the use condition information including the use condition for the resource, which is managed by the use condition managing means in response to a request by the user;
    A determination procedure for determining whether to permit the use of the resource in response to a request by a user, based on a use authority information managing unit that manages use authority information in which presence / absence of use authority for the resource is defined for each user ,
    2. The determination procedure according to claim 1, wherein when the resource is used based on the use condition information, use of the resource is permitted even to a user who does not have the use authority for the resource. Usage restriction method.
  11.   The usage restriction method according to claim 10, wherein the resource is a program, and the usage condition information is an operating condition related to the program.
  12. The usage rule management means manages information for identifying a user who can use the usage rule information in association with the usage rule information,
    The determination procedure, when the resource is used based on the use condition information, does not permit use of the resource to a user who is not permitted to use the use condition information. Item 12. The usage restriction method according to Item 10 or 11.
  13. The usage condition management means manages information identifying the creator of the usage condition information in association with the usage condition information,
    13. The usage restriction method according to claim 12, wherein the determination procedure permits the creator to use the resource when the resource is used based on the usage condition information.
  14.   14. The determination procedure according to claim 13, wherein when the resource is used based on the use condition information, whether to use the resource is determined based on the use authority information for the creator. The usage restriction method described.
  15. The use condition information includes use conditions for a plurality of resources,
    The usage condition management means manages information for identifying a resource permitted to be used based on the usage condition information among the plurality of resources,
    15. The usage restriction method according to any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein, in the determination procedure, even a user who can use the use condition information does not permit use of a resource that is not permitted to be used.
  16. The resource usage procedure includes a usage count recording procedure for recording, in a storage device, the usage count of the usage condition information.
    16. The determination procedure according to claim 10, wherein when the number of uses exceeds an upper limit set for the use condition information, the use of the resource based on the use condition information is not permitted. The usage restriction method according to one item.
  17. The usage count recording procedure records the usage count according to a user who uses the usage condition information,
    The use restriction method according to claim 16, wherein the determination procedure does not permit use of the resource based on the use condition information when the number of uses according to the user exceeds the upper limit value.
  18. The usage count recording procedure records the usage count for each resource,
    17. The usage restriction method according to claim 16, wherein the determination procedure does not permit the use of the resource when the number of uses for each resource exceeds the upper limit value.
JP2008139760A 2007-09-11 2008-05-28 Image forming apparatus and usage restriction method Expired - Fee Related JP5266881B2 (en)

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JP2008139760A JP5266881B2 (en) 2007-09-11 2008-05-28 Image forming apparatus and usage restriction method
US12/230,935 US20090070856A1 (en) 2007-09-11 2008-09-08 Image forming apparatus and utilization limiting method

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JP2014514650A (en) * 2011-03-28 2014-06-19 マイクロソフト コーポレーション Single user based licensing software
JP2013125494A (en) * 2011-12-16 2013-06-24 Nec Corp Computing device, computation resource management system, program, and method for increasing and decreasing available computation resource
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