Java News from Tuesday, August 10, 2004

BEA Systems, Inc. has released the final version of Java Specification Request 94, a Java Rule Engine API, in the Java Community Process. "A rule engine may be viewed as a sophisticated if/then statement interpreter. The if/then statements that are interpreted are called rules. The if portions of rules contain conditions such as shoppingCart.totalAmount > $100. The then portions of rules contain actions such as recommendDiscount(5%). The inputs to a rule engine are a rule execution set and some data objects. The outputs from a rule engine are determined by the inputs and may include the original input data objects with possible modifications, new data objects, and side effects such as sendMail('Thank you for shopping')." This API describes how applications load and use rule engines. It does not define a standard rule description language. The zip file for the proposed final draft includes a reference implementation. Java 1.3 or later is required.