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First Look – Web Rule 2.0


I have blogged about code effects’ Web Rule product before. This rule editor and execution environment supports both execution rules (that have an action to take) and evaluation rules (that just return true/false) as well as an IntelliSense/type ahead editor based on an XML object model. Rules in this product are closer to a ruleset in that many condition-action pairs or evaluations are in a single rule. The product is still open to storing rules anywhere – it simply generates an XML packet of the rule definitions (though the XML has been restructured and an XSD is now available to validate rule files before loading them).

The new version has a couple of enhancements. Most important is a new rule engine. The new version compiles the rules into a native .Net object, significantly improving performance. It can still evaluate rules against objects and now also supports filtering collections of in memory objects based on rules – determining which objects in a collection pass a rule.

From a user interface perspective they have added a Rule Bar that allows rapid access to a subset of the rules. This can be programmatically controlled so that a Rule Bar in a particular screen allows access only to certain rules, allows or disallows rule creation and editing etc.

Evaluation rules can be used to define patterns with their own names and description. Some or all of these can be added to the context menu dynamically. This allows the type-ahead editor to include them when it makes sense to do so.

Finally they have added ASP .Net MVC support as well as support for client-side Javascript/Ajax.