[IronPython] Embedding IronPython in ASP.NET/SharePoint2010/Commerce Server

Medcoff, Charles charles.medcoff at rcmt.com
Sun Oct 3 14:15:38 CEST 2010


I have a client for which I am developing a SharePoint 2010/Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 applications.  The client has a fairly complex set of business rules for their ordering process which may change frequently.  Rules engines are pretty expensive so I'm considering the approach of embedding Iron Python into the app as an alternative to making it a bit easier to make rules updates via scripting.

My approach is to launch an Iron Python script from within an Operation Sequence Component (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd464335(CS.90).aspx) which is a standard extensibility point within Commerce Server.  In nutshell an Operation Sequence Component is a .NET assembly containing a class which implements a particular interface, and is loaded via reflection by the Commerce Server runtime.  The class is then loaded/executed when the relevant Commerce Server API is used.

I've successfully written a simple Operation Sequence Component which executes a script.  The only catch to getting it to work is to register all of the related Iron Python DLL in the GAC.  Here is an example of what I'm doing:

namespace IPythonOperationalSequenceComponent
    public class IronPythonOperationSequenceComponent : Microsoft.Commerce.Providers.Components.OperationSequenceComponent
        public override void ExecuteQuery(
            Microsoft.Commerce.Contracts.Messages.CommerceQueryOperation queryOperation,
            Microsoft.Commerce.Broker.OperationCacheDictionary operationCache,
            Microsoft.Commerce.Contracts.Messages.CommerceQueryOperationResponse response)
                ScriptEngine pyEngine = Python.CreateEngine();
                ScriptScope pyScope = pyEngine.CreateScope();
                pyScope.SetVariable("request", queryOperation);
                pyScope.SetVariable("cache", operationCache);
                pyScope.SetVariable("response", response);
                ScriptSource source = pyEngine.CreateScriptSourceFromFile(@"rules.py");
                CompiledCode compiled = source.Compile();
            catch (Exception ex)
                // error handling elided

Now this is a "toy" approach as I shouldn't need to create an engine, scope, compile the script, etc. for every post back.  I'm thinking a better approach is to have the script engine, scope and compiled script live at the HttpWebApplication level and be shared across all threads, requests, users.  My concern is that will this approach work.  What are the threading, concurrency, and performance issues involved?  Has anyone done anything like this in ASP, let alone SharePoint and can share their experiences with regards to what works, what does not work, best approach, etc.


Best Regards,

Charles Medcoff
Principal Consultant | Enterprise Integration Solutions
 [cid:image001.jpg at 01CB62D1.7C4366B0]
Tel:  (248) 687-5623
Cell: (248) 884-2854

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