Thursday, January 3, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to Rick Wagner's Blog. I'm a software developer, working in Little Rock Arkansas. I expect I'll be writing a lot about software development challenges in weeks to come.

For starters, I'll let you know what's on my mind today:

- Building dynamic queries can be tricky. I'm trying to build an application that will pull data from different tables and columns based on records in an input file. If the input file has a record for George Washington, I may have to go pull data from the GeneralsTbl and the PresidentsTbl. If the input file has a record for George Curious, I may have to go pull from the PrimatesTbl and the CartoonsTbl. I'm in need of some sort of MetaData facility, but am not sure what quite yet.

- Once I have my data gathered, I have to present it to a rules engine. (I'm using JBoss' Drools, which I like very much.) We need the rules and the data to be flexible (i.e. the GeneralsTbl might not be available tomorrow, but we might have a new one, MilitaryPersonnelTbl, to pull from). I think I can get away with using lists (and some handy reserved words Drools gives us to use collections), but will want to be careful. Writing the rules templates to enable plain-speak rules can be difficult, but should pay off if our rules are reasonably stable.

- I'm using the Mule ESB to act as a component model and service framework. Mule allows easy use of Spring, and I think is often used with ActiveMQ as a Messaging provider. I think both Spring and ActiveMQ are starting to feature-creep towards Mule's core business, so it will be interesting to see how things play out in the long run.

That's it for today! In future entries I hope to provide tales of what worked well, what didn't, how obstacles were overcome, etc.

Thanks for reading!