Note: This article has been moved over from my previous blog for historical purposes
I recently started working with Siebel - a CRM package by Siebel Corporation . I was almost afraid of having to give up Java programming. But soon i was to find out the Java has found its way in there too ;)
A Java-like language - eScript was being used as the scripting language. It had shown its predecessor VBA the door (go Java !!). The really cool was yet to come. I was soon to find out that Siebel allowed access to its internal objects using certain Java APIs called Siebel Java Data Bean (dont bother searching for it - you wont find much of anything on it except perhaps a few CVs).
While undergoing training for Siebel, i also learnt that Siebel (being the good package it was) also lent support for attaching DLLs. Siebel does a large amount of input validation on its own, but most of this is basic (not null, not empty, min/max length, etc). However, to perform a slightly more complex input validation for something that goes like "check if its a valid email address" requires the configurator (thats what they call the guy who customizes the plain version of Siebel for client specific requirements) to write a bit of code himself. Now, this is where the difficult part starts. Most often, the configurator is a more functionally inclined person who is more adept at understanding requirements than at diving into the depths of programming.
Some years ago, i came across this almost magical art called Regular Expressions (i was writing Perl and Shell scripts on UNIX then). I was also to hear about it making headway into the world of Java as well. As a matter of fact, Jakarta has this 100% pure Regular Expression Package called regexp that brings together Java and Regular Expressions. Windows wasnt far behind too. I have heard that .NET has support for them as well (i may be wrong - i hope not). I also managed to find a GNU Win32 port of the popular PCRE library.
That means if i am thinking of finding a way of getting Siebel to understand Regular Expressions, i had two choices - Java or a Windows DLL. I still dont know how to get a Java package to do the job (do u ? Please let me know), but since Siebel supports attaching external DLLs, i am considering using PCRE.dll for the job.
Any inputs, Do's and Dont's would be most appreciated !