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Dynamic binding of business-rule parameters using configurable structured path expressions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000135473D
Original Publication Date: 2006-Apr-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2006-Apr-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The invention provides a method for the execution of the business rules of the document gateway that powers ibm.com for purchase order routing. Each rule has a number of input parameters, such as CustomerName. Each parameter needs to be bound with a proper value from a purchase order dynamically. An alternative solution is to associate each rule parameter with a simple configuration variables, such as ${Name}, in a configuration file. The alternative solution has the drawback that unnecessarily limits the gateway from being general enough to handle any document type. For instance, if an inbound document has two "Name" fields in different contexts, the alternative solution will not always be able to decide which field is the intended one.

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Dynamic binding of business-rule parameters using configurable structured path expressions

The core idea of the invention is to associate each parameter with a structured path expression in a configuration file on a per-document-type basis. The path expression unambiguously locates the correct field in any inbound document in the document type. This allows the document gateway to work with any structured inbound document. In particular, the document gateway can handle any inbound XML document providing the correct execution of business rules.

      Designers use an Eclipse plug-in, called the Document Gateway Architect (DGA), to configure the gateway. For each inbound document type, an inbound XML document is imported into the DGA. The DGA lets the designer to browse the document structure with a familiar expandable tree view, as shown below.

When a designer selects the attribute or element that contains the input value of a business rule, the DGA automatically generates the correct XML path expression, as shown in the bottom of the above figure under "XPath." When the designer saves the business-process project, the DGA generates an XML template (in XSL format) as a configuration file of the inbound document type.

      At runtime, the gateway implementation uses a standard XSLT engine to process the XML template to provide business rules with the runtime...