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So I am debating what approach to follow. My scenario is : Will receive a POJO which I need to validate ( REST end point ) Now I can explicitly validate specific fields ( which I know / are stated in requirements that they are mandatory ) OR should I define the fields in a db table and define which are mandatory vs not and then read this table one time and then based on what is configured in db drive my validations .

Would the second config driven approach be an overkill ? ( I guess the answer would be 'depending' on the number of times such scenarios can arise where we would need to change the rules of what is mandatory )

apologies if I am not making sense

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What is your goal?

  • Validating input.
  • Writing a quirky programming language to validate input.

If your goal is to just validate the input, I would hard-code it. It is unlikely that your service running in production will suddenly gain an appreciation for a different request format. That would indeed be quite startling.

If your goal is to permit custom validation, such as validating a web-survey. Then yes you'll need that quirky programming language. Just be aware that it is a programming language, that it is scripting your application, because it is changing your application's behaviour.

  • So how complex are these rules going to be?
  • Will you support arithmetic, branching, looping? Ouch a Turing complete language.
  • How will you debug those rules?
  • Error handling?

The rabbit hole goes on and on. If you do need this configurability split the validation into two tiers.

  1. Format validation - Hard code this as the format should not change.
  2. Content Validation - Hard Code the known and immutable parts, invoke a custom script to validate the rest.

If at all possible locate a scripting language that fits well into your code base, has a nice sandbox, a good syntax editor, and debugging tools. The custom validation script is passed a copy of the request object, and returns a true|false. You can store that script in a database row.

  • thanks for your input . My goal is only to validate and it is not complex - basic validations such as mandatory fields , no branching looping . Debug and error handling need to think of - dont have an answer yet . Based on your answer I am leaning towards a hard code solution – akila Apr 3 at 0:28

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