Sitefinity + Corticon: Winning DX Integration for Rules-Driven Dynamic Forms

Sitefinity + Corticon: Winning DX Integration for Rules-Driven Dynamic Forms

Posted on October 04, 2022 0 Comments

Together, Progress Sitefinity and Progress Corticon easily manage complex, rules-driven forms.

Sitefinity DX is known for its digital experience capabilities and personalized, multichannel content. It has always been open for integrations and offers superb connectivity tools, but we’re about to look at one little known side that will fascinate you: Integrating business rules and form automation for transformative digital experiences.

Enter another Progress solution, Corticon. Part of the Progress family, Corticon is widely used for digital decisioning, forms and business process management.

These two products work together to resolve multiple types of problems but the intriguing one is the management of forms which require complex rules and frequent updates—all of this without investment in the frontend rendering during maintenance and changes of the business constituents. In short, they are called rules-driven dynamic forms.

The Problem

It's common to fill out forms and most frameworks can easily handle simple forms, but dynamic forms are more challenging to create and maintain. The complexity in those two directions could be exacerbated when there is a use case with hundreds of fields and questions that should be entered by the users. This could be especially difficult for customers that need to deal with a vast number of rules that change over time. This leads to many possible paths for the end user to take (e.g., filling out an insurance claim).

One of the biggest challenges is how to manage those rules and systematize them into a single system and test those paths in a robust way without putting in manual labor. Another related problem is how those rules are defined (via descriptive language, UI, etc.) and whether a businessperson can write them down without having any technical experience.

The last element of the array of problems is how to visualize all those rules on the frontend as a form without asking your developers to have domain knowledge of your business processes, and of course, how to maintain any changes without taking days for implementation and regression testing.

The Solution

Corticon as a low-code, easy-to-use rules system addresses the needs of the business expert with minimal enabling. Using a rule system to specify the model for the dynamic form irrespective of how it is rendered on the frontend is one excellent solution to these issues. The model outlines the questions to ask at each stage of the business process as well as the directions the questions should flow. It can provide complex validation (when necessary) and load data from external sources. Numerous sectors with intricate operations need it, including healthcare, finance, education, government organizations and insurance. To better visualize the latter, here’s how complex the decision tree could become when an insurance claim is submitted:

This decoupling of the business rules from the rendering of the form makes the right architecture for our solution. Sitefinity and Corticon work together in a smooth fashion. The magic is that Sitefinity connects to Corticon rules and automatically renders a form without even a single line of code. In the video below you can see how it is rendered on the frontend and all the definitions and rules are coming from Corticon. In our case we have a widget in Sitefinity that is configured to read the rules (coming from a file or an end point) and renders the dynamic form automatically. You just need to drag and drop it on page and point to your Corticon bundle. Here is a short video demonstrating the result:

Live URL of the Form

And here’s the same demo on a page—as they say, live URL or it didn’t happen. The demo shows the form and the stack trace. The widget configuration allows you to do some fine-tuning, like choosing which decision service to show or hide. The implementation is available in both MVC and .NET Core.

Benefits of the Solution

  • Organizations can make changes to their business processes and flows in a fast manner. The frontend directly reflects them without the need for code changes (or deployment in some cases).
  • Corticon provides multiple deployment options, from a local JS file to a remote endpoint.
  • Writing tests in Corticon against your model to deliver a robust solution that is durable over time and protects your solution from regression when new rules/requirements are added.
  • The integration between Corticon and Sitefinity is opensource which allows introducing new rendering and form elements to cover any edge case.
  • The payload when submitting the form could be saved in any system of choice.
  • User management and permissions plus workflows are coming out of the box with Sitefinity, there is fine control over the pages containing the dynamic forms.
  • The frontend developers working with the widget should not worry about having domain knowledge of the business since the widget is smart enough to handle the logic coming from Corticon and a developer just needs to configure it or style it in a different manner.

It doesn’t matter if you already are a Corticon or Sitefinity customer, or just exploring. If you’re keen on learning more about this integration, please drop me a line and let our team walk you through how all this works in a private demo session. You can get in touch on LinkedIn as well if that’s easier.

Now, if you need some more context and prep time, how about discovering the full potential of the composable Progress technologies in digital experience management and business automation?

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Get Started with Corticon

Peter Filipov

Peter Filipov

Peter Filipov (Pepi) is a Product Builder focused on building the future of Sitefinity, relying on the newest technologies such as .NET 6 (and up), React and Angular. His previous experience as a Developer Advocate and Manager of Engineering helps him to understand the customers’ and market needs of Sitefinity. He also is passionate about being active and healthy.


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