How to Integrate Nected Rule Engine with Spring Boot Application?

Discover how to seamlessly integrate the Nected rule engine with your Spring Boot application. Enhance your Spring Boot projects with Nected's low code/no code capabilities for complex business rules.

Prabhat Gupta

9
 min read
How to Integrate Nected Rule Engine with Spring Boot Application?
Clock Icon - Techplus X Webflow Template
9
 min read
Table of Contents

Spring Boot is a powerful tool for developers, making it easier to create web applications and microservices. Its main advantage is that it simplifies the development process, allowing you to create applications quickly without dealing with lots of configuration.

In Spring Boot, rule engines are important. They help automate and manage business rules, which means you can handle complex decision-making processes within your application more efficiently. This makes your code cleaner and easier to maintain.

This blog focuses on integrating Nected with Spring Boot. Nected is a cloud-based rule engine that works with different programming languages. It's known for its flexibility and ability to integrate smoothly, which makes it a good choice for Spring Boot applications. We will show you how to use Nected with Spring Boot, highlighting its benefits in making your applications more scalable and flexible.

What is Spring Boot Rule Engine?

Spring Boot is a part of the larger Spring framework and is highly regarded for streamlining the development of Java-based applications. It simplifies the process of setting up Spring applications, allowing developers to create stand-alone, production-grade applications quickly and with minimal configuration. It achieves this by favoring convention over configuration, which means it automatically sets up a lot of the boilerplate code and configurations that are necessary for a Spring application.

Spring Framework vs. Spring Boot

Spring Framework and Spring Boot are both part of the larger Spring ecosystem, but they serve different purposes and are designed for different aspects of Java application development. Here's a comparison table to highlight their key differences:

Aspect Spring Framework Spring Boot
Purpose A comprehensive programming and configuration model for modern Java-based enterprise applications. Simplifies the use of the Spring Framework for more rapid development and easier deployment.
Configuration Requires manual configuration and setup. Provides auto-configuration to reduce the amount of manual configuration needed.
Project Setup Involves a more complex project setup with explicit configuration. Simplifies project setup with conventions over configuration.
Dependency Management Dependencies need to be managed and specified explicitly. Comes with a 'starter' dependency descriptors to manage dependencies and their versions.
Microservices Can be used to develop microservices but requires manual setup. Simplified approach to developing microservices with embedded server options like Tomcat, Jetty, etc.
Embedded Server Does not include an embedded server. Comes with an embedded server, making it easier to develop stand-alone applications.
Ease of Use Requires more boilerplate code and configuration. Designed to be easy to use and to reduce boilerplate code.
Flexibility Highly flexible with a wide range of features for various needs. Opinionated 'out of the box' but customizable to suit specific requirements.

It's important to note that Spring Boot is not a replacement for the Spring Framework; rather, it is built on top of the Spring Framework. It leverages the Spring Framework's functionality while providing additional ease of use and rapid development capabilities. Spring Boot is ideal for developers who want to quickly set up and develop Spring-based applications with minimal configuration and setup. Meanwhile, for complex, enterprise-level applications where fine-grained configuration is necessary, the Spring Framework might be more appropriate.

Read Also: Python Rule Engines: Automate and Enforce with Python

Does Spring Boot Provide a Rule Engine?

Spring Boot itself does not come with an in-built rule engine. It is, however, designed to be highly compatible with various external rule engines. A rule engine, in this context, is a tool or a library that can be integrated into Spring Boot applications to handle complex business logic and rules.

Common Rule Engines in Spring Boot

Several rule engines are commonly used in conjunction with Spring Boot, each offering unique features and capabilities:

  1. Drools: Drools is a popular and powerful open-source business rules management system (BRMS) in the Java ecosystem. It provides a core Business Rules Engine (BRE), a web authoring and rules management application (Drools Workbench), full runtime support for Decision Model and Notation (DMN) models, and a platform for building web and server-side applications.
  2. JBoss Rules Engine: This is a commercial rule engine based on Drools. It offers advanced features not available in the open-source version, like rule scheduling and auditing. JBoss Rules Engine is suitable for businesses requiring a high-performance and scalable solution.
  3. Jess: Jess is a lightweight, free, and open-source rule engine written in Java. It is relatively simple to learn and use, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking for a straightforward solution.
  4. RuleBook: RuleBook provides a high-level abstraction over rule engines, simplifying the creation and management of rules. It's a good choice for businesses seeking a flexible and extensible rule engine.

Each of these rule engines can be integrated with Spring Boot applications to manage complex rules and logic. The choice of rule engine often depends on the specific requirements of the application, such as the complexity of rules, performance needs, and the preferred syntax for defining rules.

In summary, while Spring Boot does not provide its own rule engine, it supports integration with various external rule engines. These engines enable developers to handle complex business logic effectively, making Spring Boot applications more dynamic and adaptable to changing business requirements.

Read Also: Mastering Dynamic Business Logic with Golang Rules Engine

Introducing Nected

Nected is a cloud-based, language-agnostic rule engine designed for versatility and ease of integration with various application frameworks, including Spring Boot. Unlike traditional rule engines that are often tightly coupled with specific programming languages or frameworks, Nected stands out due to its ability to work across different programming environments. This flexibility is particularly beneficial in modern software development, where applications are often built using a diverse stack of technologies.

Why Nected is a Better Option for Spring Boot?

When it comes to integrating a rule engine with Spring Boot, Nected presents several compelling advantages:

  1. Language Agnosticism: Being language-agnostic, Nected can easily integrate with Spring Boot, which is Java-based, without the complexities that might arise from language-specific integrations. This feature makes Nected a versatile choice for businesses that use multiple programming languages.
  2. Cloud-Based Architecture: As a cloud-based solution, Nected offers scalability and reliability without the overhead of managing physical infrastructure. This aligns well with Spring Boot's microservices architecture, where applications are designed to be scalable and distributed.
  3. Ease of Integration: Nected's design for easy integration means it can seamlessly fit into a Spring Boot application's architecture. This allows developers to add complex rule processing capabilities to their applications without significant refactoring.
  4. Customizability and Flexibility: Nected provides the flexibility to define and manage business rules that can be updated independently of the application code. This is particularly advantageous in environments where business rules change frequently, requiring quick updates without deploying new code.

Comparison of Nected with the Other Rules Engines for Spring Boot

The following table compares some of the key features of the Java rules engines that can be used with Spring Boot:

Feature Drools JBoss Rules Engine Jess RuleBook Nected
Ease of use Easy Easy Easy Easy Easy
Power Powerful Powerful Lightweight High-level abstraction Powerful
Supported rule formats All All All All All
Scalability Scalable Scalable Scalable Scalable Scalable
Performance Efficient Efficient Efficient Efficient Efficient
Features All All All High-level abstraction All
Documentation Good Good Good Good Good
Community Large Large Large Small Growing

Now, overall Nected is a good choice for businesses that need a rule engine that is easy to use, powerful, and flexible. It is a low-code, no-code rule engine that can be used with any programming language or framework. Nected is also scalable, efficient, and cloud-based.

In addition to the features listed above, Nected also offers seamless data integration, limitless customizability, syncing rule outcomes, support for different rule types, and language agnosticism.

Java-based Rule Engines Execution vs. Nected Low Code/No Code Framework

In the rule engines used in Spring Boot, the approach to executing rules can vary significantly between traditional Java-based rule engines and modern low code/no code platforms like Nected. Let's compare how a simple rule is executed in both scenarios.

Java-based Rule Engines Execution

In Java-based rule engines like Drools, Jess, or JBoss Rules Engine, rules are typically written in a specific rule language and executed within the Java application. Let's take an example of a simple rule in a Java-based rule engine like Drools:

Java Code for a Simple Rule in Drools:

import org.kie.api.KieServices;
import org.kie.api.runtime.KieContainer;
import org.kie.api.runtime.KieSession;

public class RuleEngineExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
        KieContainer kContainer = ks.getKieClasspathContainer();
        KieSession kSession = kContainer.newKieSession("ksession-rules");

        // Define a fact (data)
        Product product = new Product();
        product.setType("gold");

        // Insert the fact into the session
        kSession.insert(product);

        // Fire all rules
        kSession.fireAllRules();
        kSession.dispose();
    }
}

In this example, the Drools rule engine is set up and a session is created. A fact (here, a Product object) is inserted into the session, and the rules are fired to process this fact. The rules themselves would be defined in a separate Drools Rule Language (DRL) file.

Nected Low Code/No Code Framework

Nected, on the other hand, operates on a low code/no code framework, significantly simplifying the process of rule creation and execution. The process is more visual and intuitive, as demonstrated in the video you referenced.

  1. Rule Creation: In Nected, you create rules using a graphical interface. You can define conditions and actions using a drag-and-drop interface, which is far more accessible than writing code.
  2. Deploying Rules: Once the rules are created, they are deployed on the Nected platform. This deployment process is managed through the interface, eliminating the need for manual code deployment.
  3. Rule Execution: To execute the rules, you simply send data to Nected (usually in the form of JSON via API calls). Nected processes this data based on the defined rules and returns the results.
  4. Monitoring and Management: Nected provides a dashboard for monitoring rule executions and managing rules, offering insights into how rules are performing in real-time.

The low code/no code approach of Nected makes it accessible to users who might not have deep coding expertise, such as business analysts or domain experts. This democratizes the process of rule creation and management, allowing a broader range of stakeholders to participate in decision logic formulation.

For a detailed walkthrough of how Nected's rule engine works, you can refer to this video:

While Java-based rule engines like Drools offer powerful capabilities with fine-grained control over rule execution, they require a good understanding of the Java programming language and the specific rule language of the engine. Nected, with its low code/no code approach, simplifies the process, making rule management more accessible and less time-consuming.

Read Also: Low Code No Code Platforms: Empowering Simplified Software Creation

Example of Nected in Spring Boot

Consider a Spring Boot application for an e-commerce platform. The platform needs to implement dynamic pricing, where prices of products change based on various factors like demand, user behavior, and inventory levels. Implementing this using traditional methods would require embedding complex logic within the application, making the code cumbersome and difficult to manage.

By integrating Nected, these pricing rules can be defined and managed outside the application code. Nected can process real-time data from the e-commerce platform, apply the defined pricing rules, and return the updated prices. This separation of concerns not only simplifies the application code but also allows for easy updates to pricing strategies without altering the application itself. As a result, the e-commerce platform can respond quickly to market changes, offering competitive prices, without the need for frequent code deployments.

In summary, Nected offers a powerful and flexible solution for integrating advanced rule processing capabilities into Spring Boot applications. Its cloud-based, language-agnostic nature, coupled with ease of integration, makes it an ideal choice for modern, dynamic applications requiring robust rule management.

How to Integrate Nected with Spring Boot?

Integrating Nected with a Spring Boot application involves calling the Nected API within the Java-based Spring Boot framework. Assuming you have already created a rule in Nected and have copied the API URL, the integration process primarily entails making HTTP requests to this API and handling the responses within your Spring Boot application. Below is a detailed guide and code example to achieve this integration:

  1. Add Dependencies:

First, include the necessary dependencies in your pom.xml for making HTTP requests. Spring Boot provides a convenient way to do this using the spring-boot-starter-web dependency:


    org.springframework.boot
    spring-boot-starter-web

  1. Configure RestTemplate Bean

In your Spring Boot application, configure a RestTemplate bean. This bean is Spring's central class for synchronous client-side HTTP access. It simplifies communication with HTTP servers and enforces RESTful principles.

In a configuration class, define the RestTemplate bean:

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.web.client.RestTemplate;

@Configuration
public class AppConfig {
    @Bean
    public RestTemplate restTemplate() {
        return new RestTemplate();
    }
}

  1. Create a Service to Interact with Nected

Create a service class in your Spring Boot application that will handle the logic for interacting with the Nected API:

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Service;
import org.springframework.web.client.RestTemplate;

@Service
public class NectedService {

    private final RestTemplate restTemplate;

    @Autowired
    public NectedService(RestTemplate restTemplate) {
        this.restTemplate = restTemplate;
    }

    public String callNectedRule(String ruleUrl, Object requestData) {
        // Assuming the request data is in an appropriate format required by the Nected API
        return restTemplate.postForObject(ruleUrl, requestData, String.class);
    }
}

In this service, we define a method callNectedRule that makes a POST request to the Nected rule API and returns the response. The requestData parameter represents the data you need to send to the Nected rule.

  1. Call the Nected Rule from a Controller or Service

In your application, wherever you need to invoke the Nected rule, you can call the callNectedRule method of NectedService. For example, in a REST controller:

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PostMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestBody;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;

@RestController
public class MyController {

    private final NectedService nectedService;

    @Autowired
    public MyController(NectedService nectedService) {
        this.nectedService = nectedService;
    }

    @PostMapping("/invoke-rule")
    public String invokeRule(@RequestBody MyDataModel data) {
        String ruleUrl = "";
        return nectedService.callNectedRule(ruleUrl, data);
    }
}

This controller exposes an endpoint /invoke-rule where you can send the data to be processed by the Nected rule. Replace MyDataModel with the actual data model class you use in your application.

By following these steps, you integrate Nected's rule engine into your Spring Boot application, allowing you to leverage its low-code capabilities within a Java-based environment. This integration enhances your application's ability to process complex business rules efficiently while keeping the complexities of rule management outside of your application code.

Conclusion

In this exploration of Spring Boot and its integration with rule engines like Nected, we've seen how these technologies can significantly enhance the efficiency and functionality of Java-based applications. Spring Boot simplifies and accelerates the development process, offering an easy-to-use framework that significantly reduces boilerplate code. Its compatibility with various rule engines, including innovative platforms like Nected, further extends its utility in modern software development.

The integration of Nected, a low code/no code rule engine, with Spring Boot represents a powerful combination. It brings simplicity and flexibility to managing complex business rules, enabling developers and business analysts alike to implement and update rules without deep coding knowledge or extensive changes to the application code.

Spring Boot, with its microservices-friendly architecture, and rule engines like Nected, are invaluable tools in the developer's toolkit. They offer scalable, efficient solutions for building adaptable, high-performance applications. As technology continues to evolve, the synergy between frameworks like Spring Boot and versatile rule engines will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of enterprise application development.

FAQs:

Q1. What is Spring Boot and how is it different from the Spring Framework?

Spring Boot is a part of the Spring ecosystem that simplifies the process of setting up and developing applications. It focuses on minimizing configuration and setup, in contrast to the Spring Framework, which offers comprehensive support for various application development needs but requires more explicit configuration.

Q2. Is Spring Boot a backend?

Yes, Spring Boot is a backend framework. It is used to build the backend of applications. The backend is the part of an application that is responsible for processing data and providing services to the front end.

Q3. What is Spring Boot used for?

Spring Boot is a framework for building Java applications. It provides a number of features that make it easy to develop and deploy applications. Spring Boot is used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Building web applications
  • Building Microservices
  • Building batch applications
  • Building data-driven applications

Q4. What is Nected and why integrate it with Spring Boot?

Nected is a cloud-based, low code/no code rule engine. Integrating it with Spring Boot allows for the easy implementation and management of complex business rules, enhancing the flexibility and functionality of applications without extensive coding.

Q5. How does integrating a rule engine like Nected benefit a Spring Boot application?

Integrating a rule engine like Nected with Spring Boot brings several benefits. It simplifies the management of business rules, allows for quick updates without needing to change the application code, and enhances the application’s ability to handle complex decision-making processes.

Q6. Are there any prerequisites for integrating Nected with a Spring Boot application?

The primary prerequisite for integrating Nected with Spring Boot is the ability to make HTTP requests from the Spring Boot application. This typically involves adding dependencies like spring-boot-starter-web and configuring a RestTemplate bean in the application. Additionally, a basic understanding of Spring Boot and the Nected platform is beneficial for smooth integration.

Q7. What are the main components of a rule engine?

Rule engines, essential in automating complex decision-making processes, consist of several key components. Understanding these components is vital for effectively leveraging a rule engine in an application like Spring Boot:

  1. Rule Repository: This is where the rules are stored. It can be a database, a file system, or any other form of storage that keeps the rules organized and accessible.
  2. Rule Editor: A feature that allows users to create, modify, and manage rules. In low code/no code platforms like Nected, this often includes a user-friendly, graphical interface.
  3. Rule Engine Core: The central processing unit of the rule engine. It interprets and executes the rules based on the input data it receives.
  4. Working Memory: This is where the data (facts) that the rules operate on are stored during rule execution.
  5. Inference Engine: A component that applies logical reasoning to the data in the working memory. It matches the data against the rule conditions and determines which rules are applicable.
  6. Agenda: The part of the rule engine that keeps track of all the rules that are currently active or need to be executed.
  7. APIs/Interfaces for Integration: These are the interfaces that allow the rule engine to communicate with other applications or systems, like a Spring Boot application.

Each component plays a crucial role in ensuring that the rule engine functions effectively, from rule management to execution and integration with external applications.

Start using the future of Development, today