US Patent No. 6,574,314

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Issue Date: 06/03/2003

Abstract: A data transaction processing system in which transaction data is entered by the user in response to prompts in a template which is tailored to each user application. The template and entered data are accumulated into data transactions that are immediately transmitted upon completion to an external database server for processing and storage. The data transactions are not locally stored for processing, and no conventional operating system is necessary. No local processing needs to be provided, and the only local storage is a flash PROM which stored the control firmware, a flash memory which stores the data streams making up the forms and menus, and a small RAM which operates as an input/output transaction buffer for storing the data streams of the template and the user replies to the prompts during assembly of a data transaction. The data transaction is received via standard protocols at a database server which, depending upon the application, stores the entire data transaction, explodes the data transaction to produce ancillary records which are then stored, and/or forwards the data transaction or some or all of the ancillary records to other database servers for updating other databases associated with those database servers.

What is claimed is:
1. A method for transmitting data transactions from a data transaction input device to a remote database server which stores records in an associated database and determines whether to further transmit the data transactions to additional remote database servers, comprising the steps of:

inputting transaction information into said data transaction input device that fills in at least one field of a form having at least one field;

generating at least one data transaction when a predetermined set of fields of said form are filled in with data in said inputting step;

transmitting said at least one data transaction to said remote database server according to the type of said at least one data transaction;

processing said at least one data transaction by said remote database server according to predetermined rules for said type of at least one data transaction that determine whether to perform at least one of storing at least one portion of said at least one data transaction in said associated database as a record, retrieving at least one record from said associated database and transmitting at least one portion of said at least one data transaction to additional remote database servers; and

based on the processing in said processing step, performing at least one of the steps of storing at least one portion of said at least one data transaction, retrieving at least one record from said associated database, and transmitting at least one portion of said at least one data transaction to said additional remote database servers.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said inputting step includes a step of inputting a request for data to said remote database server and said generating step includes a step of generating a data transaction of a type that will be recognized by said remote database server as a type of data transaction for retrieving at least one record from said associated database.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising a step of buffering said form while said inputting step is being performed and said fields are being filled in.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising a step of transmitting control data, generated in part in said data transaction input device, to said remote database server for use with said processing step.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein said transmitting step includes a step of transmitting said at least one data transaction over a telephone network.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising a step of selecting between a telephone mode and a data transaction transmission mode.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein said inputting step includes a step of selecting from a menu at least one template for further inputting of data.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising a step of downloading one of an updated template for a form and a new template for a form for use in said inputting step.