General question regarding Knime


Just a general question here, is it safe to say that users of Knime should have some semblance of knowledge on Java syntax to be a novice and/or higher in Knime?

The reason I ask is because I was doing a simple join and union a couple weeks ago and I was trying to replace the missing values with what was listed in a specific column and I couldnt really find a node nor a method to do a simple if then statement like we know in excel or SQL. I had to use the rule engine node and clarify that there were missing values in the column in order to Knime to fill in the blanks like I wanted. Which I found out through google searches that is Java specific language.

Hi @Einayyar , as we say “Knowledge is power”. It is better to know Java syntax as you then have more options with using Java, but I would not say that you have to know it “to be a novice and/or higher in Knime”.

I would say, not having to know Java could be a reason to use Knime, because you can do a lot by just using Knime’s nodes because you don’t know Java.

Similarly for Excel, I have to say that I’m not an Excel user in that I can’t do macro, or pivot, or whatever features you can use in Excel, but I can read an excel file in Knime and do my manipulation in Knime that I would be unable to do in Excel.


@Einayyar of course it can be useful to know something about Java but most functions can be done by using KNIME nodes. And also the Rule Engine node is more something like a simplified version of Java.

And for a lot of even more complicated tasks you would not have to become a full stack Java programmer but some lines of code can go a long way:

And you can also just use some SQL if you load the data into a local SQL system like SQLite or H2 and just integrate that into your KNIME workflow.


Is the Rule Engine node really Java? I don’t think it is… Anyway, I don’t think Java is necessary at all. It can help, sure, but it’s only necessary in the same way the VBA is “necessary” for Excel.
I’ve been using KNIME for almost 4 years and the only time I’ve used java is for complicated regular expressions, which I believe are Java-based… Of course, it always depends on the use case, but I think KNIME takes the “no code / low code” part of their marketing pretty seriously :slight_smile:


Hello @Einayyar,

I reckon what others have said and prove it with my case. I can barely write a line of Java and know a thing or two about working with KNIME :slight_smile: And personally I find that it doesn’t get more simpler that Rule Engine node… However if you are replacing missing values in one column with values from another you can also use Column Merger node :wink:


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Thank you everyone for your replies. As you can tell I am still learning the ropes here. Good to know that I don’t have an immediate need to learn a new syntax language at the moment.


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