JP2011100463A - Retrieval of network device through network device having web server function - Google Patents

Retrieval of network device through network device having web server function Download PDF

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JP2011100463A
JP2011100463A JP2010259645A JP2010259645A JP2011100463A JP 2011100463 A JP2011100463 A JP 2011100463A JP 2010259645 A JP2010259645 A JP 2010259645A JP 2010259645 A JP2010259645 A JP 2010259645A JP 2011100463 A JP2011100463 A JP 2011100463A
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network device
information
request
client computer
specific network
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JP2010259645A
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Japanese (ja)
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Yuuki Dogo
勇樹 堂後
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Seiko Epson Corp
セイコーエプソン株式会社
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Abstract

To search for a network device connected to a network from a client computer that does not have a dedicated application program.
A client computer transmits an HTTP request for requesting a network device search to a specific network device via a Web browser. The specific network device 20 that has received the HTTP request converts the HTTP request into an SLP request through a Web service, and multicasts the SLP request to the IP networks 60 and 65. The network devices 30 and 40 that have received the SLP request transmit attribute information to the specific network device 20. The specific network device 20 converts the received attribute information into HTLM data and transmits it to the client computer 10.
[Selection] Figure 1

Description

  The present invention relates to a technique for searching for a network device connected to a network and acquiring attribute information of the network device.

  Conventionally, in order to search for a network device, which is a variety of devices connected to a network, using a client computer, a dedicated application program for searching for a network device needs to be installed in the client computer. In particular, when searching for a network device that exists in a different network space beyond the router, and an Internet protocol address (IP address) is not assigned to the network device, a dedicated application program is used to search for the network device. The use of was essential.

JP 2000-122944 A

  However, the task of installing the dedicated application program in the client computer is a task that bothers the user, and it is desired to search for a network device via a general-purpose application program. Further, the dedicated application program is designed to search for a specific network device, and in order to search for another network device, it is necessary to use another dedicated application program.

  The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems, and an object of the present invention is to search for a network device connected to a network from a client computer that does not have a dedicated application program.

  In order to solve the above problems, a first aspect of the present invention provides a specific network device included in a plurality of network devices connected to a client computer via an Internet protocol network. The specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention is a request receiving means for receiving a request including a search request for the other network device from a general-purpose application program being executed in the client computer through a general-purpose communication protocol. First information requesting means for requesting provision of attribute information to the other network device by multicast upon receipt of the search request, and the requested attribute information from the other network device. Information receiving means for receiving, a network device that provided the attribute information, search result information generating means for generating search result information that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program in association with the received attribute information, Send search result information to the client computer That and a search result transmitting means.

  The specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention receives a request including a search request for another network device from a general-purpose application program running in the client computer through a general-purpose communication protocol, and performs multicasting. Requests other network devices to provide attribute information, generates search result information that can be interpreted by a general-purpose application program by associating the network device that provided the attribute information with the received attribute information, and sending it to the client computer Therefore, a network device connected to the network can be searched from a client computer that does not have a dedicated application program.

In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the attribute information includes at least first identification information among first and second identification information for identifying the other network device. And
The specific network device further includes:
The request receiving means has received an information acquisition request for requesting further information to be provided to an unsupported network device, which is the other network device not associated with the second identification information, from the client computer. A second information requesting means for requesting one or more times to provide further information to the other network device by multicast using the first identification information, and the unsupported network Information transmission means for integrating further information received from the device once or a plurality of times and transmitting the information to the client computer may be provided.

  When this configuration is provided, a client computer can request provision of further information to an unsupported network device via a specific network device.

  In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the first identification information may be a Mac address, and the second identification information may be an Internet protocol address. The first identification information is identification information uniquely assigned to the network device in the global network, and the second identification information is identification information uniquely assigned to the network device in at least the local network. Therefore, search efficiency can be improved by using these identification information appropriately.

  In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the unsupported network device has top layer screen data that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program and includes setting information of the unsupported network device. Further information requested from the client computer may be the top layer screen data. In this case, the client computer can interpret further information acquired from the network device via the general-purpose application program.

  In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the general-purpose communication protocol may be HTP (FTP) or FTP (FTP), and the general-purpose application may be a web browser. . These communication protocols and general-purpose applications are supported in a general client computer, and the user can use a search function in a specific network device without having to install additional drivers and application programs.

  In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the search result information generated by the search result information generation unit may be information in a list format created using a markup language. In such a case, display compatibility of search result information in a general-purpose application can be improved.

In the specific network device according to the first aspect of the present invention, the search result information generating means creates the information in the list format using XMEL (XML) as the markup language,
The specific network device further includes:
HTML data for acquiring a style sheet that defines a display style of the information in the list format prepared in advance, and generating HTML data using the acquired style sheet and the created search result information in the list format A generating means,
The search result transmission means may transmit the generated HTML data to the client as the search result information. In such a case, the display layout of the search result information in the general-purpose application can be unified to a predetermined layout.

  The second aspect of the present invention provides a client computer that searches for another network device connected to the Internet protocol network via a specific network device capable of providing a web server function. A client computer according to a second aspect of the present invention provides a search request for transmitting a search request for the other network device to the specific network device from the running general-purpose application program through the general-purpose communication protocol. From the transmission means and the specific network device, the general application program can be interpreted, and the search result information associated with the searched other network device and the attribute information related to the searched other network device is received. Search result information receiving means, and display data generating means for generating display data from the search result information through the general-purpose application program.

  The client computer according to the second aspect of the present invention transmits a search request for another network device from a running general-purpose application program to a specific network device through a general-purpose communication protocol. The general-purpose application program can be interpreted, and the search result information associated with the searched other network device and the attribute information related to the searched other network device is received and displayed from the search result information through the general-purpose application program. Therefore, the network device connected to the network can be searched from the client computer that does not have the dedicated application program, and the search result can be displayed.

  In the client computer according to the second aspect of the present invention, the general-purpose application program transmits the search request to the specific network device using a known Internet protocol address assigned to the specific network device. May be. In such a case, the specific network device can be easily accessed.

  The client computer according to the second aspect of the present invention, wherein the general-purpose application program uses a host name uniquely assigned to the specific network device in a local network to the specific network device. The search request may be transmitted. In such a case, even if the Internet protocol address is unknown, the specific network device can be accessed by the host name.

  A third aspect of the present invention provides a network device connected to a specific network device capable of providing a client computer and a web server function via an Internet protocol network. A network device according to a third aspect of the present invention includes: a first request receiving unit configured to receive a request for providing attribute information from the specific network device; and the specific network device in response to the reception of the request. Attribute information transmitting means for transmitting the attribute information by unicast, second request receiving means for receiving a request for providing one or more additional information from the specific network device, and the further request In response to a request for providing information, the uppermost layer screen data transmitting means is capable of interpreting a general purpose application program provided in the client computer once or plural times and transmitting uppermost layer screen data including setting information of the network device. With.

  The network device according to the third aspect of the present invention transmits the attribute information by unicast to the specific network device in response to receiving the request for providing the attribute information from the specific network device. In response to a request for providing further information from one or more times, the general-purpose application program included in the client computer can be interpreted once or more times, and the top layer screen data including the setting information of the network device is Since the transmission is performed, it is possible to search for a network device connected to the network from a client computer that does not have a dedicated application program and display the search result.

The network device according to the third aspect of the present invention is further included in the allocation identification information uniquely assigned to the network device and the request for providing the further information, and uniquely identifies the network device. Determination means for determining whether or not the reception identification information for matching is included,
The uppermost layer screen data transmission unit may transmit the uppermost layer screen data when the determination unit determines that the allocation identification information and the reception identification unit match. By providing this configuration, it is possible to obtain the top layer screen data from a desired network device.

  A fourth aspect of the present invention provides a network device search method by a client computer that does not have a function of searching for a network device connected to an Internet protocol network. A network device search method according to a fourth aspect of the present invention provides a search request for a network device connected to the network through a general-purpose communication protocol from a general-purpose application program being executed on the client computer. Transmit to a specific network device capable of providing a function, receive the search request, and request the network device connected to the network to provide attribute information by multicast from the specific network device In response to the request for provision of the attribute information, the requested attribute information is transmitted from the network device to the specific network device by unicast, and upon receipt of the attribute information, the specific network Device smell The search result information that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program is generated by associating the network device that provided the attribute information with the received attribute information, and the generated search result information is transmitted from the specific network device to the client computer. To send to.

  According to the method of the fourth aspect of the present invention, a network device connected to the network can be searched from a client computer that does not have a dedicated application program. In addition to this, the method according to the fourth aspect of the present invention can also be realized as a program and a computer-readable recording medium on which the program is recorded.

It is explanatory drawing which shows schematic structure of the network device system containing the specific network device which concerns on a present Example. It is explanatory drawing which shows typically the internal structure of the client computer in a present Example in a functional block. It is explanatory drawing which shows typically the internal structure of the specific network device which concerns on a present Example with a functional block. It is explanatory drawing which shows typically the internal structure of the network device in a present Example in a functional block. It is a flowchart which shows the processing routine performed in a client computer, a specific network device, and a network device in a network device search process. It is explanatory drawing which shows an example of the user interface displayed on the display monitor of a client computer, when connecting to a specific network device. It is explanatory drawing which shows an example of the user interface displayed on the display monitor of a client computer at the time of a network device search start. It is explanatory drawing which shows an example of the user interface displayed on the display monitor of a client computer after a network device search. FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating a processing routine that is executed to obtain further information from a searched network device. It is a flowchart which shows the processing routine performed when setting the host name of a network device.

  Hereinafter, a specific network device and a network device search method using the specific network device according to the present invention will be described based on embodiments with reference to the drawings.

System Configuration A schematic configuration of a network device system including a specific network device according to the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram showing a schematic configuration of a network device system including a specific network device according to the present embodiment.

  The network device system includes a client computer 10, a specific network device 20, network devices 30 and 40, and a DNS server computer 50. The client computer 10, the network devices 20 and 30, and the DNS server computer 60 are connected to each other via an Internet protocol network (IP network) 60. The IP network 60 is, for example, a local area network (LAN) that is closed within the same organization, or a local area network that is connected to an external network via a router 61.

  In the example of FIG. 1, the network device 40 belongs to another IP network 65 and is connected to the IP network 60 via the router 61. The other IP network 65 may be a network (intra network) in the same organization as the organization in which the IP network 60 is used, or may be a network (Internet) of an external organization different from the organization to which the IP network 60 belongs. May be.

  The network device in this embodiment is, for example, a printer, a scanner, a facsimile, and a multi-function device having a plurality of functions of a print function, a scanning function, a copy function, and a facsimile function. Each of these apparatuses includes an external or built-in network apparatus in order to function as a network device, that is, to communicate with other devices through the network.

Configuration of each component apparatus The internal configuration of the client computer 10, the specific network device 20, and the network devices 30 and 40 according to the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 2 is an explanatory diagram schematically showing the internal configuration of the client computer in the present embodiment in function blocks. FIG. 3 is an explanatory diagram schematically illustrating the internal configuration of the specific network device according to the present embodiment using functional blocks. FIG. 4 is an explanatory diagram schematically showing the internal configuration of the network device in the present embodiment as functional blocks.

  The client computer 10 is a generally used personal computer, and is connected to a display monitor 11, a keyboard 12 as an input device, and a mouse 13 as shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. 2, the client computer 10 stores a central processing unit (CPU) 100 that executes various arithmetic processes, a program for executing a search for the network devices 30 and 40 via the specific network device 20, and arithmetic results. A memory 110 to be stored and an input / output interface (I / O) 120 for communicating with an external device are provided. The CPU 100, the memory 110, and the I / O 120 are connected to be communicable with each other via a common bus.

  The search execution program stored in the memory 110 uses a web service provided by a web server computer (specific network device 20 in this embodiment) using HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). It is a program. That is, the search execution program used in the client computer 10 of this embodiment is not a dedicated search program, but is a general-purpose Web browser application program installed in almost all personal computers today. The search execution program includes at least a search request transmission module 111, a search result information reception module 112, and a display data generation module 113.

  The search request transmission module 111 is a module for transmitting an HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) request for requesting a network device search to a Web server computer having a network device search function. The HTTP request is text data (character string) that can be interpreted by a Web service provided in the Web server computer, and includes a request line, a message header, and a message body. The request line includes a command called a method and a URI, and describes the processing content requested to the Web server computer. The URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) indicates, for example, a resource for a Web computer, for example, address information for specifying a storage folder (storage path) for desired information, or a command for a Web service. That is, the URI is a descriptor that specifies a Web service desired by the client computer 10. The HTTP request is generated by a Web browser application program, and the URI is obtained from a path (directory) described in a URL (Uniform Resource Locater) in which a part of the URI function is specifically specified by the Web browser application program. To be acquired.

  The search result information receiving module 112 is a module for receiving search result information as an HTTP response from a Web server computer in response to an HTTP request. In this embodiment, HTML data or XML data is transmitted as search result information from the Web server computer.

  The display data generation module 113 generates display data to be displayed on the display monitor 11 based on search result information that is HTML data or XML data. That is, it is a module for interpreting a tag included in HTML data or XML data and providing a display screen having a predetermined layout. As described above, each module provided in the client computer 10 is realized by a general-purpose Web browser application program.

  The specific network device 20 is a network device having a function of receiving a network device search request from the client computer 10, searching for another network device, and returning a search result to the client computer 10. That is, the network device searches for a network device instead of a client computer in response to a search request from a client computer that does not have a network device search function. In other respects, it has the same function as other network devices.

  As shown in FIG. 2, the specific network device 20 includes a central processing unit (CPU) 200 that executes various arithmetic processes, a search program for executing a search for the network devices 30 and 40, a memory 210 that stores a style sheet, And an input / output interface (I / O) 220 for communicating with an external device, a printer module 230 that provides a printer function, and a scanner module 240 that provides a scanner function. The CPU 200, the memory 210, the I / O 220, the printer module 230, and the scanner module 240 are connected to be communicable with each other via a common bus.

  The memory 210 stores a search program 210P, a style sheet S1, and initial screen data TD for setting (HTML format top page data). The search program 210P stored in the memory 210 includes a request reception module M1, a first information request module M2, an information reception module M3, a search result information generation module M4, a search result transmission module M5, and a second information request module M6. And an information transmission module M7 and an HTML data generation module M8.

  The request reception module M1 is a module for receiving a search request from the client computer 10, specifically, an HTTP request. In this embodiment, since the search request from the client computer 10 is transmitted in conformity with the HTTP protocol, the request receiving module M1 is a module that can interpret the HTTP protocol.

  The first information request module M2 is a module for executing a network device search in response to a search request from the client computer 10, and includes an SLP (Service Location Protocol) search side protocol and an SLP lower protocol. The UDP / IP protocol is implemented. SLP is a protocol for searching for a network device connected to a network and acquiring, for example, attribute information from the searched network device. The UDP / IP protocol is a communication protocol capable of transmitting a request without establishing a connection between devices. The IP protocol is used for the network layer and the UDP protocol is used for the transport layer.

  The attribute information includes, for example, a device name (eg, printer name, scanner name), device status (eg, toner amount, number of prints), and device identification information (eg, IP address, MAC address). Commands (SLP request, SLP request) used in SLP can be acquired by specifying desired attribute information.

  The process executed by the first information request module M2 will be described based on a specific example. The first information request module M2 converts the HTTP request received from the client computer 10 into an SLP request. The HTTP request and the SLP request are associated in advance. For example, when the HTTP request is “SLP discovery”, the attribute information including the device name, the IP address, and the MAC address is converted into an SLP request that is requested as a response. Is done. The SLP request includes a character string (command) that requests attribute information. When an SLP request is transmitted, a UDP header, an IP header, and an Ethernet header are added to the SLP request. In general, the Ethernet header includes the MAC address of the destination, and the IP header includes the IP address of the specific network device that is the transmission source, the IP address for multicasting, and the TTL (specifying the allowable number beyond the router). Time to Live) value is included. However, when searching for a network device connected to the network by multicast, both the MAC address and the IP address are unknown and thus are not described.

  The first information request module M2 transmits the SLP request obtained by the conversion to the network device (IP network 60) by multicast. Usually, since one or a plurality of IP addresses designated at the time of multicasting are prepared for the network device, the first information request module M2 multicasts the SLP request using the prepared IP address. In multicast, IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol), which is a protocol for IP multicast, may be used. In this embodiment, since the communication protocol used when transmitting the SLP request is the UDP / IP protocol, it is not necessary to establish a connection with the counterpart network device. The first information request module M2 converts the HTTP request into the SLP request and executes the transmission of the SLP request, for example, interprets the XML data and calls the SLP execution module using SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). Realized by Web service, called SLP execution module. That is, the HTTP request is converted into an SLP request by the Web service, and the SLP request is interpreted and executed by the called SLP execution module. In addition, the conversion from the HTTP request to the SLP request and the execution of the transmission of the SLP request by the first information request module M2 are also performed by calling and executing an external program on the server based on the HTML data. Common Gateway Interface), and a PHP (HyperText Preprocessor) program that can be executed on a server by describing a program command in HTML data.

  The information receiving module M3 is a module for receiving attribute information as a response from the network devices 30 and 40 that have received the SLP request by multicast. The information reception module M3 also implements the SLP search side protocol and the UDP / IP protocol. As will be described later, the responses from the network devices 30 and 40 are executed by unicast designating the IP address of the specific network device 20.

  The search result information generation module M4 generates list data that associates the received attribute information with the network device that returned the attribute information. The list data may be, for example, XML data generated according to an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format. The search result transmission module M5 transmits the generated list data as search result information to the client computer 10. When the search result information is XML data, the search result can be browsed by a Web browser application program installed in the client computer 10. That is, as is well known, XML data is a markup language that can be interpreted by a Web browser application program that is a general-purpose application program.

  The second information request module M6 receives additional attribute information from the network device when further information is requested from the client computer 10 after the initial attribute information is obtained by the first information request module M2. Is a module that requests When the initial attribute information obtained from the network devices 30 and 40 includes an IP address, the client computer 10 directly designates the obtained IP address and directly follows the TCP according to the desired network device. To get more information. Further information includes, for example, detailed attribute information of each network device, for example, presence / absence of a printer function and a scanner function, remaining toner amount, remaining ink amount, remaining paper amount, and paper type. Such information can be acquired via a setting screen (top page) provided in each network device. That is, the client computer 10 can acquire the setting screen by specifying the path of the setting screen data by the HTTP request, and obtain detailed attribute information as further information from each network device via the acquired setting screen. it can. However, when no IP address is set for the network device, the client computer 10 cannot directly access the network device using the IP address.

  Here, the attribute information includes a MAC address as identification information in addition to the IP address. This MAC address is identification information that is always uniquely assigned to a network device. By using the MAC address, a network device to which no IP address is assigned can be specified, and further information can be obtained. .

  The second information request module M6 implements the SLP search side protocol and the HTTP over UDP protocol (hereinafter referred to as “simple TCP”), which is a lower-level protocol of the SLP. The simple TCP protocol means a protocol for communicating between the client computer 10 and the specific network device 20 using the TCP / IP protocol, and communicating between the specific network device 20 and the network device using the UDP / IP protocol. Even when the UDP / IP protocol is used, the data transmission order is guaranteed in the same manner as the TCP protocol. In the simple TCP protocol, a request is executed by multicast, and a response is executed by unicast, an HTTP request is transmitted by designating a range indicating a return data size, and a MAC address is added to a URI or URI parameter. By specifying the range, the router 61 can be exceeded without receiving the MTU size limit, usually about 1400 bytes. When the data size requested by the HTTP request is larger than the maximum range size, the second information request module M6 transmits the HTTP request in a plurality of times.

  Further, an HTTP request is transmitted by multicast, but since the MAC address is included in the SLP packet, even if address translation (NAT) is executed in the router, the MAC address is not translated and has a matching MAC address. Only the desired network device responds.

  When the information receiving module M3 receives a response from the network device a plurality of times by the information receiving module M3, the information transmitting module M7 integrates the plurality of responses and transmits them to the client computer 10. Specifically, a plurality of HTML data sent from the network device is held while guaranteeing the order, and when the final data is received from the network device, the client computer 10 combines all the received data as one HTML data. Send to.

  The HTML data generation module M8 is a module that generates HTML data using the XML data generated by the search result information generation module M4 and the style sheet S1 prepared in advance in the memory 210. The style sheet S1 is a file described by XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language) that defines the layout of XML data. In addition, a style sheet S1 described by XSLT (XML Stylesheet Language Transformations) may be used.

  The latest Web browser application program can convert XML data into viewable data. However, in order to provide a setting screen with a desired layout, the search result is converted to HTML data and then the client computer 10 receives the search result. It is preferable to transmit information.

  The printer module 230 is a module for converting data, for example, document data or image data into print data, executing image quality adjustment processing on the image data, and executing print processing.

  The scanner module 240 is a module for generating electronic data by scanning a reading object, for example, a document or an image, and executing image quality adjustment processing on the generated electronic data. The printer module 230, the scanner module 240 and the common bus are connected by, for example, a USB interface.

  The network devices 30 and 40 will be described with reference to FIG. The network device is a device such as a printer or a scanner connected to the IP networks 60 and 65, and is a searched network device searched by the specific network device 20. In the following description, the network device 30 is described as an example, but the network device 40 has the same configuration.

  The network device 30 includes a central processing unit (CPU) 300 that executes various arithmetic processes, a memory 310 that stores a program for responding to a request from the specific network device 20, and an input / output interface for communicating with an external device. (I / O) 320, a printer module 330 that provides a printer function, and a scanner module 340 that provides a scanner function. The CPU 300, the memory 310, the I / O 320, the printer module 330, and the scanner module 340 are connected to be communicable with each other via a common bus.

  The memory 310 includes a first request reception module 311, an attribute information transmission module 312, a second request reception module 313, an uppermost layer screen data transmission module 314, a determination module 315, an uppermost layer screen data (setting HTML data) 316. Is stored.

  The first request receiving module 311 is a module for receiving a first information request transmitted from the specific network device 20 by multicast, and conforms to the UDP / IP protocol transmitted from the specific network device 20. A UDP / IP protocol is implemented to interpret the first information request.

  The attribute information transmission module 312 is a module that transmits the requested attribute information to the specific network device 20 by unicast, and implements the SLP search target protocol. The attribute information transmission module 312 is realized by the SLP searched-side execution module, interprets the received SLP request, obtains the requested attribute information, for example, IP address, MAC address, and device name, and identifies it as an SLP packet The IP address of the network device 20 is designated and transmitted using the UDP / IP protocol.

  The second request receiving module 313 is a module for receiving a second information request transmitted from the specific network device 20 by multicast. In this embodiment, since the second information request from the specific network device 20 is transmitted in conformity with the simple TCP protocol, the second request receiving module 311 is a module capable of interpreting the simple TCP protocol. The transmission order of (HTML data) is guaranteed. Since the second information request (HTTP request) is transmitted once or a plurality of times as described above, the second request receiving module receives the HTTP request once or a plurality of times.

  The top layer screen data transmission module 314 is a module for transmitting information specified by an HTTP request, generally, top page data representing a setting screen to the specific network device 20. Specifically, for the data stored in the folder of the network device specified by the URI, the data in the range specified by the HTTP request is extracted, converted into an IP packet, and transmitted to the specific network device 20. This process is executed once or a plurality of times when the HTTP request is repeated once or a plurality of times.

  The determination module 315 is a module for determining whether or not the MAC address included in the received HTTP request matches the MAC address of the network device 30. Since the second information request specifies a desired network device by the MAC address, it is necessary to determine whether or not the second information request is a request directed to itself.

  The DNS server computer 50 is a server computer that manages a host name (domain name) of a network device connected to a network to be managed and an IP address assigned to the network device, and the correspondence between the host name and the IP address. Has a table. When the client computer 10 tries to access the network device by the host name, the client computer 10 requests the DNS server computer 50 to transmit an IP address associated with the host name. The client computer 10 that has acquired the IP address transmits an HTTP request for the acquired IP address.

  The router 61 performs address conversion and path assignment between different networks. A multicast IP address is registered in advance in the router 61, and an SLP request transmitted from the specific network device 20 to the multicast IP address is duplicated in the router 61 and transmitted to a plurality of destination network devices. The router 61 decrements the TTL value by one when the SLP request passes.

  With reference to FIGS. 5 to 8, processing executed in the client computer, the specific network device, and the network device in the network device search processing will be described. FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a processing routine executed in the client computer, the specific network device, and the network device in the network device search process. FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a user interface displayed on the display monitor of the client computer when connected to a specific network device. FIG. 7 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a user interface displayed on the display monitor of the client computer when the network device search is started. FIG. 8 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of a user interface displayed on the display monitor of the client computer after the network device search.

  When the client computer 10 (CPU 100) does not know the IP address of the specific network device 20 to be accessed when starting the network device search process, the client computer 10 (CPU 100) sends a DNS request for transmission of the IP address corresponding to the specific host name. It transmits to the server computer 50. The specific host name is a host name corresponding to the IP address assigned to the specific network device 20, and the memory 110 of the client computer 10 stores a host name to be used in the network device search process. . The specific host name is the only host name on the network managed by the DNS server computer 50. The procedure for setting a specific host name will be described later.

  In response to a request from the client computer 10, the DNS server 50 determines an IP address corresponding to the host name using the conversion table (name resolution), and transmits it to the client computer 10. The client computer 10 requests setting screen data (HTML format top page data) from the obtained IP address (specific network device 20) (step CS10). Specifically, an HTTP request for requesting transmission of the top page is transmitted through a Web browser executed on the client computer 10. When the IP address of the specific network device 20 is known, the user directly inputs the IP address in the address input field. If the IP address is not known, the Web browser may request name resolution from the DNS server computer 50 and replace the specific host name with the obtained IP address and send an HTTP request.

  The specific network device 20 (CPU 200) that has received the transmission request for the setting screen data transmits the setting screen data stored in the memory 210 to the client computer 10 (step SNS10). The client computer 10 that has received the setting screen data displays, for example, a setting screen 11A shown in FIG. 6 on the display monitor 11 via the Web browser. The setting screen 11A displays attribute information of the specific network device 20, for example, the interface model number, MAC address, hardware version, software version, and other statuses. The setting screen 11 </ b> A includes a search instruction input unit 11 </ b> A <b> 1 for executing a search for other network devices 30 and 40 via the specific network device 20.

  For example, when the search instruction input unit 11A1 is clicked by the user, data on the search condition setting screen 11B shown in FIG. 7 is acquired from the specific network device 20, and the search condition setting screen 11B is displayed on the display monitor 11. On the search condition setting screen 11B, as search conditions, for example, a search condition setting field 11B1 for inputting a timeout and a TTL value, a search execution unit 11B2 for inputting search execution, and a search result display for displaying a search result Column 11B3 is included.

  When the search execution unit 11B2 is clicked by the user after the search condition is input to the search condition setting field 11B1, an HTTP request for requesting a search is transmitted from the client computer 10 to the specific network device (step CS11). The HTTP request is generated by the Web browser application when the search execution unit 11B2 is clicked. That is, as described above, the URI (command) for requesting the Web service to execute the search is described in the hyperlink address assigned to the search execution unit 11B2, and the Web browser application stores the command. Extract to generate an HTTP request. That is, a predetermined path in the specific network device 20 is used as a command path. When receiving the search request (step SNS11), the specific network device 20 converts the HTTP request into an SLP request (step SNS12). As described above, a Web service (first information request module M2) is implemented in the specific network device 20, and the command included in the HTTP request is converted into an SLP request by this Web service, and the SLP execution module Is called.

  The specific network device 20 multicasts the SLP request obtained by the conversion to the IP networks 60 and 65 (step SNS13). As described above, this multicast is executed according to the UDP / IP protocol. The IP address used in the multicast is an IP address for designating the network devices 30 and 40 corresponding to the SLP, and is registered in advance in the router 61 so that passage to other segments beyond the router 61 is permitted. IP address. Therefore, the multicast SLP request reaches the network device 40 connected to another network segment via the router 61. The router 61 that has received the multicast SLP request duplicates the received SLP request, and transmits the duplicated SLP request to all network devices connected to the local network managed by the router 61.

  Each network device 30 and 40 that corresponds to the multicast IP address and receives the SLP request (step NS10) acquires the attribute information requested in the SLP request, and sends it to the specific network device 20 as a unicast response. It transmits to address (step NS11). At this time, the transmitted attribute information includes at least an IP address, a MAC address, and a device name.

  When the specific network device 20 receives a response from each of the network devices 30 and 40 (step SNS14), the specific network device 20 creates XML data using the attribute information included in the response (step SNS15). Specifically, list data in which a network device is associated with an IP address, a MAC address, and a device name is created for each network device.

  The specific network device 20 creates HTML data using the generated XML data and the style sheet S1 (step SNS16). As described above, the style sheet S1 is a file that describes the display layout of XML data. By applying the style sheet S1 to the XML data, HTML data displayed in a predetermined layout on the Web browser is generated. Is done.

  The specific network device 20 transmits the generated HTML data to the client computer 10 (step SNS17). The client computer 10 receives the HTML data as a search result (step CS13), and displays, for example, a search result screen 11C shown in FIG. 8 via the Web browser.

  The search result screen 11C includes a search result display field 11C1 for displaying a search result, a direct jump instruction input unit 11C2 for jumping to a network device whose IP address is known, and a network device whose IP address is not known. A proxy jump instruction input unit 11C3 for jumping is provided. Here, the jump means processing for requesting transmission of setting screen data to the selected network device in order to obtain further information. That is, it means jumping to the setting screen of the desired network device.

  In the search result display column 11C1, the device name and IP address acquired from each network device are displayed in association with each other. However, when no IP address is set for the network device, or the IP address is acquired from the network device. If you could n’t, for example. “None” is displayed.

  Next, processing for acquiring further information from the network device obtained as a search result will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing a processing routine executed to acquire further information from the searched network device. Further information acquisition requests are input to the client computer 10 when the user clicks the direct jump instruction input unit 11C2 or the proxy jump instruction input unit 11C3 displayed on the search result screen 11C shown in FIG.

  When the user selects a desired network device from the network devices displayed in the search result display column 11C1, and directly clicks the jump instruction input unit 11C2 or the proxy jump instruction input unit 11C3, and further information is requested. (CS20), the client computer 10 determines whether or not the selected network device is a network device whose IP address is known (step CS21). More specifically, it is determined which of the direct jump instruction input unit 11C2 or the proxy jump instruction input unit 11C3 has been clicked.

  When the client computer 10 determines that further information is requested for the network device whose IP address is known, that is, the direct jump instruction input unit 11C2 is clicked (step CS21: Yes), the client computer 10 follows the TCP / IP protocol. Then, an HTTP request for requesting further information to the desired network device by designating the IP address is transmitted by unicast (step CS22). The network device that has received the request transmits further information designated by the HTTP request, generally, HTML data, that is, top page data, to the client computer 10.

  The client computer 10 that has received the top page data (step CS24) displays, for example, a setting screen similar to the setting screen shown in FIG. 6 on the display monitor 11 via the Web browser.

  When the client computer 10 determines that further information is requested for the network device whose IP address is unknown, that is, the proxy jump instruction input unit 11C3 has been clicked (step CS21: No), the client computer 10 follows the TCP / IP protocol. Then, an HTTP request for requesting proxy acquisition of further information is transmitted to the specific network device 20. When the specific network device 20 receives a request for further information (step SNS20), the specific network device 20 converts the received HTTP request into an SLP request (step SNS21).

  The specific network device 20 multicasts the SLP request including the MAC address assigned to the desired network device according to the simple TCP protocol (step SNS22). The destination IP address used for multicasting is an IP address that allows the router 61 to pass packets. Further, since the MAC address included in the SLP request is converted into an SLP packet, even if the address conversion is executed in the router, it is delivered to the network device 40 connected via the router 61.

  The router 61 that has received the multicast SLP request duplicates the received SLP request and transmits the duplicated SLP request to all or some of the network devices connected to the local network. The router 61 may assign paths to all network devices in the local network regardless of the destination IP address of the SLP request. Alternatively, the router 61 may convert the destination IP address of the SLP request according to the address conversion table provided in the router 61, and transmit the SLP request to the local network using the converted IP address.

  When the network devices 30 and 40 connected to the IP network 60 corresponding to the multicast IP address receive the SLP request, the network devices 30 and 40 determine whether or not the MAC address included in the SLP request matches its own MAC address. (Step NS20). If the network devices 30 and 40 determine that the MAC address included in the SLP request matches the MAC address of the network device 30 or 40 (step NS20: Yes), the HTML data in the requested range is unicast to the specific network. A response is transmitted to the device 20 (NS21).

  On the other hand, when it is determined that the MAC address included in the SLP request does not match its own MAC address (step NS20: No), the network devices 30 and 40 discard the SLP request (step NS22).

  When receiving a response from the corresponding network devices 30 and 40 (step SNS23), the specific network device 20 waits until the final transmission data is received, that is, until all requested HTML data is received (step SNS24: No). ). Whether or not it is final transmission data can be determined, for example, by defining a rule that describes the total size of transmission data in the final transmission data. When the specific network device 20 receives all the requested HTML data (step SN24: Yes), it integrates the plurality of received HTML data, processes the data via the specific network device 20, and transmits it to the client computer 10 ( Step SNS25). Specifically, a description for passing through the specific network device 20 is added to the URI address for accessing the searched network device. That is, the IP address of the specific network device 20 and a command for giving priority to access to the IP address of the specific network device 20 are added.

  The client computer 10 that has received the top page data (step CS24) displays, for example, a setting screen similar to the setting screen shown in FIG. 6 on the display monitor 11 via the Web browser. Thereafter, when the client computer 10 is requested to transmit predetermined data (proxy jump) to a network device whose IP address is unknown, an HTTP request is transmitted to the processed URI. Accordingly, the specific network device 20 receives the proxy jump request, and a transmission request for predetermined data is sent to the network device whose IP address is unknown by the processing described above. That is, the specific network device 20 functions as a proxy server.

  The setting process of the host name of the network device will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing a processing routine executed when setting the host name of the network device.

  When the host name XXX to be assigned to the network device is input by the user, the network device inquires of the DNS server computer 50 whether the host name XXX already exists on the network (step S30). When the network device receives notification from the DNS server computer 50 that the host name XXX does not exist on the network (step S31: No), the network device sets XXX as the host name (step S32). That is, XXX is recorded as the host name in the network device setting file. The network device requests association with the IP address assigned to the DNS server computer 50, that is, registration of the host name XXX (step S33), and ends this processing routine.

  On the other hand, when the network device receives a notification from the DNS server computer 50 that the host name XXX already exists on the network (step S31: Yes), the network device notifies the user via the display monitor 11 and sends another host. Prompt for name. When another host name is input by the user, the other name is set as the host name (step S32). That is, it is recorded in the host name in the network device setting file. The network device requests association with the IP address assigned to the DNS server computer 50, that is, registration of another host name (step S33), and ends this processing routine.

  As described above, according to the specific network device 20 according to the present embodiment, if the client computer 10 includes a general-purpose Web browser application program, the network device is connected from the client computer 10 via the specific network device 20. You can search. That is, since the specific network device 20 has a network device search function and a function as a Web server, if the client computer 10 can communicate with the specific network device 20 according to HTTP, the specific network device 20 You can search for network devices via Therefore, even if the client computer 10 does not have a dedicated network device search program, the client computer 10 can search for a network device via a generally installed Web browser application program.

  Further, the client computer 10 can directly access the retrieved network device 30 according to TCP using the acquired IP address, and obtain various attribute information as further information. Since the further information is usually XML or HTML data, it can be interpreted through a Web browser application program provided in the client computer 10, and a display image corresponding to the interpreted data is displayed on the display monitor 11.

  Furthermore, the specific network device 20 according to the present embodiment can search for a network device using a MAC address, and can process an HTTP request from the client computer 10 by functioning as a proxy server. . Therefore, when the IP address is not assigned to the network device, even if the network device 40 belongs to another network segment 65 beyond the router 61, the client computer 10 can receive further information from the desired network device 40. Can be obtained. That is, the HTTP request from the client computer 10 is multicast via the specific network device 20 and received by the corresponding network device 40. The network device 40 transmits data in the requested range to the specific network device 20 as a response. The specific network device 20 that has received the request data changes the transmission source of the received request data to the specific network device 20 and transmits the request data to the client computer 10. As a result, a further request for the request data transmitted from the client computer 10 is transmitted to the specific network device 20, and the above processing is repeated.

  Further, the host name assigned to the specific network device 20 is set in the DNS server computer 50 so as to be unique in the local network to which the client computer 10 belongs. Therefore, the client computer 10 can connect to the specific network device 20 by specifying the host name of the specific network device 20 without managing the IP address.

Other examples:
(1) In the above embodiment, the HTTP request from the client computer 10 is processed by the Web service in the specific network device 20, but it may be processed using a Java applet. In such a case, a search Java applet is provided from the specific network device 20 to the client computer 10 in response to a search request from the client computer 10, and the Java applet is executed in the client computer 10. The device is searched.

(2) In the above embodiment, SLP is used as a search protocol in the specific network device 20, but UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) may also be used. The IP address, MAC address, and device name can be acquired as attribute information from a network device whose IP address and MAC address are unknown, and after the attribute information is acquired, at least one of the MAC address and the IP address is used for further information. Any search protocol can be used.

(3) In the above embodiment, the specific network device 20 executes multicast according to UDP when searching for a network device. However, when multicast according to TCP is possible, the specific network device 20 may execute multicast according to TCP. .

  As described above, the specific network device, the client computer, and the network device according to the present invention have been described based on some embodiments. However, the above-described embodiments are for facilitating the understanding of the present invention. The present invention is not limited to this. The present invention can be changed and improved without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims, and it is needless to say that the present invention includes equivalents thereof.

10 ... client computer 11 ... display monitor 12 ... keyboard 13 ... mouse (pointing device)
100: Central processing unit (CPU)
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 101 ... Memory 102 ... I / O interface 20 ... Specific network device 200 ... Central processing unit (CPU)
210 ... Memory 220 ... I / O interface 220 ... Printer module 240 ... Scanner module 30, 40 ... Network device 300 ... Central processing unit (CPU)
310 ... Memory 320 ... I / O interface 330 ... Printer module 340 ... Scanner module 50 ... DNS server computer 60 ... IP network 61 ... Router 65 ... Other IP networks

Claims (13)

  1. A specific network device included in a plurality of network devices connected to a client computer via an Internet protocol network,
    Request receiving means for receiving a request including a search request for the other network device from a general-purpose application program being executed in the client computer through a general-purpose communication protocol;
    First information requesting means for requesting provision of attribute information to the other network device by multicast upon receipt of the search request;
    Information receiving means for receiving the requested attribute information from the other network device;
    Search result information generating means for generating search result information that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program by associating the network device that provided the attribute information with the received attribute information;
    A specific network device comprising search result transmission means for transmitting the search result information to the client computer.
  2. The specific network device according to claim 1,
    The attribute information includes at least first identification information among first and second identification information for identifying the other network device,
    The specific network device further includes:
    The request receiving means has received an information acquisition request for requesting further information to be provided to an unsupported network device, which is the other network device not associated with the second identification information, from the client computer. A second information requesting means for requesting one or more times to provide further information to the other network device by multicast using the first identification information,
    A specific network device comprising information transmission means for integrating further information received once or a plurality of times from the unsupported network device and transmitting the information to the client computer.
  3. The specific network device according to claim 2,
    The specific network device, wherein the first identification information is a Mac address and the second identification information is an Internet protocol address.
  4. In the specific network device according to claim 2 or 3,
    The unsupported network device has top layer screen data that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program and includes setting information of the unsupported network device,
    Further information requested from the client computer is the specific network device which is the top layer screen data.
  5. In the specific network device according to any one of claims 1 to 4,
    The general communication protocol is HTP (HTTP) or FTP (FTP),
    The general-purpose application is a specific network device that is a web browser.
  6. In the specific network device according to any one of claims 1 to 5,
    The search result information generated by the search result information generation means is a specific network device that is information in a list format created using a markup language.
  7. The specific network device according to claim 6,
    The search result information generating means creates information in the list format using XMEL (XML) as the markup language,
    The specific network device further includes:
    HTML data for acquiring a style sheet that defines a display style of the information in the list format prepared in advance, and generating HTML data using the acquired style sheet and the created search result information in the list format A generating means,
    The search result transmission unit is a specific network device that transmits the generated HTML data to the client as the search result information.
  8. A client computer that searches for other network devices connected to the Internet protocol network through a specific network device capable of providing a web server function,
    Search request transmission means for transmitting a search request for the other network device to the specific network device through the general-purpose communication protocol from the general-purpose application program being executed,
    Receiving search result information from the specific network device that receives the search result information in which the general-purpose application program can be interpreted and associated with the searched other network device and attribute information related to the searched other network device Means,
    A client computer comprising display data generation means for generating display data from the search result information through the general application program.
  9. The client computer according to claim 8, wherein
    The general-purpose application program is a client computer that transmits the search request to the specific network device using a known Internet protocol address assigned to the specific network device.
  10. The client computer according to claim 8, wherein
    The general-purpose application program is a client computer that transmits the search request to the specific network device using a host name that is uniquely assigned to the specific network device in a local network.
  11. A network device connected to a specific network device capable of providing a client computer and a web server function via an Internet protocol network,
    First request receiving means for receiving a request for providing attribute information from the specific network device;
    Attribute information transmitting means for transmitting attribute information by unicast to the specific network device in response to receiving the request;
    Second request receiving means for receiving one or more requests for providing further information from the specific network device;
    A top layer screen that can be interpreted by a general-purpose application program included in the client computer once or a plurality of times and transmits top layer screen data including setting information of the network device in response to a request for providing further information A network device comprising data transmission means.
  12. The network device according to claim 11, further comprising:
    It is determined whether the allocation identification information uniquely assigned to the network device matches the reception identification information included in the request for provision of further information and for uniquely identifying the network device. Determination means to perform,
    The uppermost layer screen data transmission unit transmits the uppermost layer screen data when the determination unit determines that the allocation identification information matches the reception identification unit.
  13. A network device search method by a client computer that does not have a function of searching for a network device connected to an Internet protocol network,
    Sending a search request for a network device connected to the network from a general-purpose application program running on the client computer to a specific network device capable of providing a web server function through a general-purpose communication protocol;
    Upon receipt of the search request, the network device connected to the network is requested to provide attribute information by multicast from the specific network device,
    In response to the request for providing the attribute information, the requested attribute information is transmitted from the network device to the specific network device by unicast,
    Upon receipt of the attribute information, the specific network device generates search result information that can be interpreted by the general-purpose application program in association with the network device that provided the attribute information and the received attribute information.
    A network device search method for transmitting the generated search result information from the specific network device to the client computer.
JP2010259645A 2010-11-22 2010-11-22 Retrieval of network device through network device having web server function Withdrawn JP2011100463A (en)

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