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Drools Jboss Rules 5.5 Developer's Guide Paperback – 24 May 2013

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About the Author

Michal Bali

Michal Bali, freelance software developer, has more than 8 years of experience working with Drools and has an extensive knowledge of Java, JEE. He designed and implemented several systems for a major dental insurance company. He is an active member of the Drools community and can be contacted at michalbali@gmail.com.

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book To Learn Quickly About Drools 27 Jan. 2014
By Kushal Paudyal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I had an opportunity to take a look at this book in a different way - I was a Java and Drools developer for years already and wanted to see what I was missing. When I found this book, like all other books, I just turned over the pages quickly to find out what was in it or is it even worth spending your time in. I was surprised to see the amount of real world coding examples this book contained - something most developers would be happy to just copy and run as a part of their quick learning. It had a nicely structured chapters, clean format, explanations as needed, charts and diagrams to make your learning easy.As I started cruising through the chapters, I saw many alternate styles that I could have used while writing the rules.

I must tell you The content in this book is huge - it has over 300 pages - but the reading flows very well. You could be reading 3,4,5 chapters in one seating and feel that pride of having learnt something. Apparently the author has done a great job in presenting the book in a style that would definitely lower the learning curve. I bet the new developers or the developers who have had used this Drools with JBoss in the past would equally find this book worth looking at.

There are 12 chapters in this book. Most developers would be able to learn in a short amount of time what Drools is, how to write the basic rules, how business rules are validated, ho you can do a transformation of complex data using Drools. There is even a chapter that focuses on making the rules Human Readable. I was surprised with this chapter, because most of the coding book don't normally talk about coding in a way business people can understand if they had opportunity to look at.

Definitely a thumbs up from me !
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
up-to-date drools book with good examples 23 Oct. 2013
By Jesse Driver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've just begun using this book and am glad to say that the examples from the book compile and work correctly. The first example is not part of the downloadable examples. So I created a new project in eclipse and using the book was able to run it in my local eclipse with a little effort. I used the downloadable projects to help me set up my maven pom files.

I plan to continue with the examples and am looking forward to becoming familiar with more of the code provided in the examples to enhance my JBoss Rules development skills.
I have worked with JBoss Drools before, so the early parts of Chapter 1 were somewhat redundant for me but I thought they covered the required topics for the beginner very well.

In chapter 3 I was glad I had loaded the chapter examples into eclipse. I ran the tests using JUnit and found reading the book and referring to the eclipse project to be a very effective way of covering the material

After studying the book for about a week and getting everything loaded into the latest version of Spring Tool Suite, I began to try to run the sample application described in chapter 9. This is a very ambitious sample involving CEP, Stateful Sessions, JPA, H2 data source and Spring MVC. I was very excited when I discovered how advanced this sample would be and began to try to deploy on my local tomcat 7 server. Unfortunately the example did not work and not even the welcome page would render. I have other code running on the same tomcat server that also utilizes Spring MVC with same versions and works fine. Luckily the book provides a pointer for where to log issues in the samples. I noted that another reviewer had the same issue on Mac, but I hit this on a windows machine. As noted this is a very ambitious sample so I am still hopeful to find the reason for the failure and I can still recommend this book.

Moving on to the JUnit testing in chapter 10 now.
For experienced Java developers - contains in depth information on wide range of topics 1 Nov. 2013
By F Ma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had received an advance copy of the book to review for free. My background is a Java developer. I use Drools where I work and helped built out our product's rules management system, though I would not consider myself a SME.

This book is for someone who has experience in Java, but not necessarily Drools. The book uses concepts like JUnit, Mockito, Maven, JPA, Spring without much explanation...things that a newbie developer may not have encountered yet. The development environment setup is pretty brief, and only describes it for Eclipse.

The first chapter gives you a brief overview of Drools, when and when not to use Drools.

The second chapter gives you a brief primer on how to write rules, using imports, global variables. There are short examples here. I wish they were developed further with more explanations. The official manual (available on jboss.org) itself would serve the same purpose, so I don't believe this book would serve as a good reference manual, nor is it intended to be.

The third chapter goes more in depth and provides a sample use case of a bank and its customers. This chapter brings a user from conception to implementation of several rules. The author also goes as far as writing test cases for the rules, which I believe everyone should do. Drools rules can be tricky to write.

The fourth chapter goes over Domain Specific Language and gives several samples of how to implement one, and the pros and cons. I do not have much experience in this area but the chapter well written enough to give me a good overview.

From the fifth chapter onward it introduces different tools, like jBPM, guvnor, and then you build a small application. Then it goes into details on testing, and performance. My background is in building Spring MVC applications, so the details on building the small application came naturally to me, but I can see others who are not as familiar to Spring MVC stumble in this area in the details.

At the time of this review I did not thoroughly read past the fifth chapter, but did skim the entire book. I would admit it contains valuable information and definitely see myself referring to the information in the future if/when I integrate more complex rules into my systems.

Overall, I feel the book gives a detailed overview of many topics. I would still refer to the official manual and the official website for certain reference information. However, I have yet to find a resource that puts everything together in a nice package. It has introduced new topics to me that I have not yet explored. The book itself is good for a beginner Drools, or has use Drools before, but not all aspects of Drools.
A must have book if you are developing an application with complex business rules 21 Oct. 2013
By Siva Prasad Reddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
We all start with our new projects by promising to follow best practices and good design principles etc.
But over the time business rules change and developers keep adding new features or updates existing logic.
In this process the common mistake done by many teams is putting if-else conditions here and there instead of coming up with better design to support enhancements. Once these feature turn on/off flags and behavior branching logic started creeping into code then overtime it might become un-maintainable mess. The original developers who design the basic infrastructure might left the organization and the current team left with a huge codebase with if-else/switch conditions all over the code.

So we should be very careful while designing the classes holding the business rules and should be flexible for changes. No matter how much care you take you might still need to touch the code whenever a business rule changes.

This is a problem because we are burying the business logic in the code. Drools framework tries to address this problem by externalizing the business rules which can be authored or updated by non-technical people as also (at least theoretically :-)).

Chapter 1: Programming declaratively
I would strongly suggest to read this chapter even if you are already familiar with Drools.
Author Michal Bali explained the problems with putting business rules in code and how Drools addresses this problems.
This chapter also has When not to use Drools section which I find very useful to determine whether you really need Drools for your project or is it overkill.

Chapter 2: Writing Basic Rules:
Here you can start getting your dirty by familiarizing yourself with Drools syntax and trying out simple examples.
This chapter also introduces various concepts and terminology of Drools, so don't skip this.

Chapter 3: Validating
This chapter covers building a decision service for validating domain model. Any concepts can be explained better with an example rather than lengthy explanations.
Here author did a good job of taking a real world (if not completely real world, but non-trivial) banking domain model and explained how to build the validation rules with several examples.
In this chapter you can find plenty of example code snippets that are commonly used in many of the projects.

Chapter 4: Transforming Data
This chapter covers transforming data from legacy system to new systems and applying various rules in the transformation process.
Author explained how to use IBatis for loading data which I find as outdated topic, now it is MyBatis with cool new features.
But actually I doubt if any legacy system with huge volumes of data can really use this feature at all because if needs all the data to be loaded in memory.
I prefer Kettle(Pentaho Data Integration) kind of tools for this purpose.

Chapter 5: Creating Human-readable Rules
One of the main promises of Drools is you can configure business rules in human readable format.
Ofcourse developers are also human beings(:-)) but here the meaning is non-technical people also should be able to understand the rules and with little bit of training they should be able to configure new rules or update existing ones. This chapter covers authoring the rules using Domain Specific Language (DSL). Author covered wide variety of rules configuration options using DSL including configuring and uploading rules from CSV or XLS files.

The rest of the chapter go in-depth of Drools covering advanced topics which I haven't yet gone through.

So far I feel it is good read and I would strongly suggest to read this book if you are building an application with complex business rules.
A good survey of Drools functionality 25 Jan. 2014
By Richard J. Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Over 300 pages of material, ranging from introductory to advanced. The book covers Drools usage of basic rules engine use, BPM/workflow and CEP. Best of all, the author has a feel for the challenges faced by an enterprise developer as they work to integrate their rule engine artifacts into an enterprise framework.

If you are a Drools user (or want to be), it's worth having a look at this book.
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