user generated templates

TO DISCUSS: UGD only? SMS? Future outgoing integration event REST calls? PDF??

Better defined functional use cases (incl. UI) + some example expected documents??


Server-side vs. Client-side

It's simpler to keep template processing on the server-side, only. For now at least.

Template Engine

User generated documents should use a template engine. Candidates to choose from include:

Server Side Engine

StringTemplateyesJan 4, 20134.0.7BSD License  
FreemarkeryesFeb 29, 20122.3.19BSD-style license  
VelocityyesNov 29, 20101.7Apache License 2.0  
moustache.javayesMay 06, 20130.8.12Apache License is a Java 6 implementation of the mustache language used by Netflix and Twitter 
ThymeleafyesJun 09, 20132.0.17Apache License 2.0  
Jamon Dec 20, 20112.4.1Mozilla Public License  
Tea  4.1Apache License 2.0  
Xtend Jun 26, 20132.4.2Eclipse Public License  
Cambridge "upcoming"0.9 Mailinglist not active since Aug 01 2012 
MVEL Sep 18, 20122.1.3Apache License 2.0  



  • Velocity
    • the most well known one, but there is probably better / more up-to-date meanwhile
  • FreeMarker
    • may be the 2nd most well known one?
  • StringTemplate
  • Xtend Template Expressions 
    • I know it looks static / compile-time, but Michael should be able to put together an example using this in "interpreted" mode, if interested
    • very very strong static typing Eclipse tooling - but that's not our use case
  • Jamon
    • ?
  • Google Closure Templates (Soy)
    • could run client-side (JS) - although not sure it make sense to exploit this in Mifos
    • Eclipse Editor available - not our use case, just sayin'
  • Cambridge
    • HTML specific? It "supports Servlets, JAX-RS, Play (Spring later)" - unclear - what does that have to do with templating?
  • duel
    • could run client-side (JS) - although not sure it make sense to exploit this in Mifos
    • probably (question) similar to Closure? Better pick a more well known one? It is interesting, double check project background/activity
  • jsilver
    • dead?
  • Other ones? List above is just compiled from stuff Michael bookmarked on delicious over the years.. may be I missed the one best for us.

TODO Read up.. learn about features.. compare them (blog?)... pick one! (wink)

Services (internal)


CRUD and persistance specific functions


Merge data representation into template and return 

TODO Document new Java-level interfaces, packages used, utilities needed, etc. etc.

TODO Write some early code! No UI here, yet. No REST interface even. Just TDD! Goal is to illustrate templating, but accessing real entities already (including dynamic custom fields!), consider relationship traversal management, list iteration, etc.

Database Changes

First attempt for template table

CREATE TABLE `m_template` (

`id` bigint(20) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,

`name` VARCHAR(45) NOT NULL,





how to add metadata, in a generic way?

multitenancy, or do we need to save the creator?



/templatesgetTemplates()get all templates


/templates/{templateID}getTemplate()get specific template


/templates/{templateID}saveTemplate()create or update template
@DELETE/templates/{templateID}deleteTemplate()delte template
@POST/templates/{templateID}mergeTemplate()send data / get template and merge them

UI Mockups

TODO Discuss & refine existing draft mockup. May be after some of above is decided?

Out of Scope

TODO Few paragraphs about what we're NOT doing? Non-HTML (e.g. PDF) ? Sophisticated DnD Report Designer?