Release Notes 4.1

September 2007


OpenRules Release 4.1 is a minor release that adds new features mainly to OpenRules Forms and tunes OpenRules to work with the latest versions of 3rd party products.  The main changes are listed below: 

  • Built-in Support for Dynamic Tables inside OpenRules Forms
    • Release 4.1 introduces the class "DynamicTable"  from the standard package "com.openrules.forms.gui.impl" that allows a user to create custom classes based on this class that automatically support dynamic tables.  See the description at Dynamic Tables
    • The standard installation now includes an additional sample "PartyManager" that demonstrates the use of dynamic tables
  • New Predefined Action Controls in openrules.forms.lib
    • The standard configuration project "openrules.forms.lib" has been modified - now all Excel files are defined directly on the base level. 
    • The file Dialog.xls now include additional methods for convenient generation of submit-buttons:
      - actionButton for regular buttons
      - actionHyperlink for hyperlinks
      - actionImage for image-buttons
      - actionCheck for check-buttons
      See the description at Action Buttons and an examples in the new  sample project "PartyManager" 
    • The project "openrules.forms.lib" also includes several useful images to support predefined action controls such image-buttons actionOpen, actionDelete, etc.
  • All samples of web applications are tuned to work with the latest Apache Tomcat 6.0.
    • When Tomcat-6 starts its installation directory serves as a "basedir" (previously it used to be a subdirectory "bin").  Correspondingly, all index.jsp files for our web samples refer to the main xls file using a name that starts with "file:./webapps/" instead of "file:../webapps" (one dot instead of two!)
    • The file for all web samples now is tuned to the Tomcat main installation directory using the property

      In most cases, you have to change this property anyway to point to your own Tomcat installation directory.
  • Minor Changes in OpenRulesEngine API
    • The implementation of the OpenRulesEngine's method "run(String methodName)" now assumes that this method has no parameters even if the method "setBusinessObjects" previously defined some business objects.
  • Upgrade to Eclipse 3.3 and Java 1.6.0
    • OpenRules development and run-time is switched to the latest Eclipse 3.3 and Java 1.6.  Previous versions of Eclipse IDE and Java continue to be supported.
    • While OpenRules-based examples and real-world applications successfully works with Java-5, we resist a temptation to use new Java 1.5 and 1.6 features inside OpenRules classes to remain compatible with any Java 1.4 applications
  • Upgrade to the latest Apache Libraries
    • We have upgraded OpenRules to the latest Apache packages: POI 3.0.1, Commons Lang 2.3, Commons Logging 1.1, Commons CLI 1.1, Commons Collections 3.2, Commons Digester 1.8, Commons Validator 1.3.1, log4j 2.1.15.
  • Fix for the Excel Date Problem
    • This release fixes an old bug related to the notorious Excel (and other spreadsheets tools) problem inherited from a wrong assumption that 1900 was a leap year. To avoid this problem, previously we recommended our customers not to use Excel's Date format and define Date fields in Excel as Text fields. Now OpenRules correctly interprets both Date and Text date formats. We express our appreciation to Shirley Chen who pointed us to this error
  • Fix for the old Problem with Merged Cells
    • This release 4.1.2 fixed the old bug related to an unstable behavior of rules placed into merged cells inside rules tables.  The only remaining implementation restriction is the necessity to add an additional column (or row) with rule numbers to avoid a situation when the very first column (or row) contains merged cells.
    • The release 4.1.2 includes an additional example "Merge" that demonstrates OpenRules cell merging abilities and limitations. Read more here.

The web site as well as the online User's Guide have been modified to reflect the introduced changes.





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