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Ask HN: What do you think about business logic to code execution?
5 points by white 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments
We've built an internal tool that allowed our business owners to create and edit the logic, that becomes executable, and no longer depends on engineering resources to modify.

Here is an example of what we use for business logic on selecting a driver for delivery from the pool (it is slightly simplified - it's essentially the set of basic operations, ifs, cycles, and set of input data, process variables, and output data).

Take a look here https://www.evernote.com/l/AA9s6U867f1GvLgIr3iOHrzJgrjkRxWe0nUB/image.png

We maintain this in the versioned diagram that can be pushed to Lambda + API gateway, and essentially the platform code relies on that endpoint to provide a response.

For the project we are using it for, it allows us to make adjustments to the process without depending on engineering; another use case is pricing -- override and experimentation.

Again, the engineering team thinks it is cool and wants to productize it. I would really appreciate any feedback or ideas.

The flowchart you link to looks a lot like the workflow editors offered by no-code and low-code app designers:

https://docs.bettyblocks.com/en/articles/998093-what-are-act... https://www.zoho.com/creator/newhelp/new-workflows/understan...

I can imagine that what your engineering team built is tightly coupled to a product, allowing its logic to be customized easily with no involvement from engineering. In order to productize the solution, I'm assuming that you'd need to create hooks allowing a different engineering team to integrate it with their particular product, before non-technical people could use it?

We're on a mission to do something similar, but using Excel-like formulas instead of flowcharts: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25389963

These formulas are currently used by our app builder, but we will make the formula engine available separately sometime this year. The idea is that other engineering teams will be able to integrate our formula engine with their products, allowing non-technical people to customize products through the use of formulas.

Interesting you bring this up. Actually, our implementation was intentionally de-coupled from the product and it's based on auth API endpoints. (So yes, for something beyond basic conditional logic, this needs to be enabled first.)

Before a call, this diagram comes with manifest of what data has to be supplied into it. So once it's called, all prep data is there. Whatever happens inside is data manipulation and some basic operations. The output of it is also described in the contract.

Very similar to how customized pricing/rating engine might work (as, in fact, I was PM for one of such).

Your project seems fun, too. I'm pretty sure you are going after some specific use cases.

1. Are you including limitations in place to ensure that cycles do not end up in an infinite loop (if a specific condition is never met) or detecting n+1 queries(assuming that there is a database component involved) ?

2. Is there a sandbox where users can test and play with their flow before they decide on proceeding with it ?

these are called workflow engines, BPMN.

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