Today is exactly 15 years since OpenRules, Inc. was incorporated on Feb. 24, 2003. It’s a quite serious milestone, so I decided to write a few words for this occasion. A year ago, I described a brief history of our company and key factors that made it successful. 2018 was an extremely successful year for OpenRules as well: we improved the product and many major corporations became our new customers. But in this post I want to look to the future and to share some of our upcoming and long term plans. Continue reading
Last year BBC-2017 organizers gave me 20 minutes to introduce DMN to business analysts at the “Technology Theater”, an open space in the Expo hall. Based on the positive feedback from people who attended my presentation, I decided to share it with more people. You may look at my slides in the PDF format. Below I will describe an example I believe is very useful to introduce major DMN concepts in 15 minutes. Continue reading
DMCommunity.org Jan-2018 Challenge is looking for a decision model that can define promotions for different sales orders. It provides a simple example of promotion: reduce the total cost of the order by $3.50 if it contains at least 5 items 1108 and 4 item 2639. Let’s build the proper decision model. Continue reading
DMCommunity.org offered a new Dec-2017 Challenge called “Reindeer Ordering“. It has a nice Christmas formulation:
Santa always leaves plans for his elves to determine the order in which the reindeer will pull his sleigh. This year, for the European leg of his journey, his elves are working to the following schedule, which will form a single line of nine reindeer. Here are the rules: Continue reading
OpenRules® Release 6.4.3 generates new, more compact execution reports with explanations, adds decision importing to integrate loosely coupled decision models, allows using lists along with arrays and extends various operators on them, enhances date/time manipulations and adds more features requested by customers. Here is the list of of newly added capabilities: Continue reading
Recently I helped one of our larger customers to build a set of their business decision models. At the end I said that now they can continue to assemble new decision models themselves. Then one of their business analysts said that our decision modeling approach reminds him of LEGO. I believe this is a really good analogy and I will elaborate on it using specific examples.
I’d like to share experience of large OpenRules customers who create and maintain enterprise-level knowledge repositories. Such repositories usually contain two major components: 1. Decisions and Rules 2. Tests
Based on the growing interest in the book “DMN in Action with OpenRules“, we decided to make the first 3 chapters available for free. Please click here to read/download them in the PDF format. You also may download the entire book from Amazon for just $9.95 – the price includes a free download of OpenRules evaluation software.
OpenRules already can read and execute decision models represented in the DML XML format with certain restrictions. The new release will be more powerful in this respect. To test new DMN-to-OpenRules capabilities I decided to implement DMCommunity’s June-2017 Challenge using the DMN Modeling tool from Trisotech that allows non-technical people to create DMN-compliant decision models and import them to the DMN XML format. My objective was to create DMN XML for the Loan Origination problem described in the Section 11 of the DMN specification and then execute this DMN XML using OpenRules. Continue reading
DMCommunity.org June-2017 Challenge is looking for the best decision models that implement a well-known Loan Origination problem described in in the Section 11 of the DMN specification. So, I decided to address this challenge using the core DMN constructs implemented in OpenRules. I will describe my solution in the form of dialog between a fictional READER who is assumed to be a business analyst (not a programmer) and the AUTHOR, who represents myself. It is similar to the dialog-sessions described in my recent book “DMN in Action with OpenRules“. While it may look long it doesn’t omit any implementation detail. Besides serving as a good solution for the Challenge, this document describes a good decision modeling practice for OpenRules customers.
Soon we will participate in the major annual decision management events:
At the BBC-2017 I will present “How Business Analysts Can Build Decision Models with DMN but Without Programming” on Nov 10 at 9:00-10:00. As usual, OpenRules will be a sponsor and an exhibitor – stop at our booth #T8 to see the latest version of OpenRules with “DMN in Action”.
DMCommunity.org announced its Challenge “Rebooking Passengers from Cancelled Flights” in Oct-2016 and until now 4 different solutions have been submitted. It is a relatively complex use case for decision modeling. In this post I will describe different implementation approaches for this challenge and will discuss good and not so good DMN constructs used to support the underlying decisioning logic. I hope this post will initiate more discussions which may lead to the future DMN improvements by replacing the existing programming constructs to more business-friendly representations. Continue reading
I consider myself among the initiators and big supporters of the DMN standard, and I do my best to help bringing the standard to the real-world business decision modeling. Naturally, the current release of DMN includes some constructs with which I strongly disagree but I am trying not to criticize DMN too much as the standard itself is not mature enough yet and I hope it will be gradually improved based on the real-world acceptance. Continue reading
When I learned that the famous Prof. Raymond Smullyan passed away this February at the age of 97, I felt grateful to the man whose books and puzzles my friends and I enjoyed reading as young programmers many years ago. Later on we shared them with our children. I wanted somehow to mark this event and decided to buy his book “The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes” to read on vacation. Ten days ago I started to read the book during my flight from Newark to Jamaica and… haven’t even noticed as we landed. Continue reading
This week during a conference call with a large potential customer I had shown them our release history. Suddenly I realized that OpenRules just passed its 14th birthday. I remember as we started in 2003 with just a few people and a strong desire to build the best Business Rules Product. And now, 14 years later, I am glad to share multiple OpenRules success stories at the world largest international corporations and government agencies. In this post I will briefly look back to better understand the factors that contributed to the commercial success we enjoy as a company today. Continue reading
This month I published a new book “DMN in Action with OpenRules” at Amazon. This is a practical guide for people who want to understand how to create and maintain business decision models. The guide is based on the DMN standard and OpenRules. It is oriented to business analysts looking to build operational decision models for their own business environment.
In Dec-2016 DMCommunity.org published a new Challenge called “Loan Approval“. This challenge actually was proposed by myself based on real-world experience with one of our customers (a large bank). The most important point of this challenge was a general architecture that allows to invoke the same business logic based on real-time events coming from external sources. I described how such architecture may look like at this video that demonstrates a decision engine integrated with a PUB/SUB message broker.
However, the business logic itself also may be interesting especially if implemented using the latest DMN approach. So, I decided to do a new implementation that is described below. Everything is defined in Excel tables with zero Java code. Continue reading
“Imagine you had a Why Button handy whenever you encountered some disconnect in day-to-day business operations. Hit the Why Button and presto – answers appear in the form of relevant business rules” – Ron Ross, 2013
The release OpenRules Release 6.4.1 introduces a new add-on called “Why-Analyzer for Decision Modeling” that provides such a Why Button for decision models created in accordance with the DMN standard. Actually it is much more than just a button but rather a graphical interface that allows business analysts to analyze the results produced by their decision models using their own test cases created directly in Excel. See a brief video and try it yourself without any downloads from here. There are several more product improvements described in the release notes. You may download the latest release and try your own decision models with OpenRules Why-Analyzer. Continue reading
One of the largest Japanese telecom company is successfully using OpenRules being integrated with a BPM product produced by our partner Intra-Mart. Last month this customer asked us to help with development of a custom scheduler capable to schedule thousands of cable construction operations subject to various precedence and exclusivity constraints. Continue reading
This year OpenRules will again be an exhibitor and a presenter at the major Business Rules and Decisions Forum 2016 at BBC conference on Oct 31- Nov 4, 2016, Las Vegas, NV. We are sponsoring this major BR&DM event for 13 years in a row. Our event theme will be “DMN in Action” as we will show our latest advances supporting the DMN standard. We will also present our newly developed “Why-Analyzer for Decision Modeling“. If you decide to attend BBC-2016 you still may receive a 20% discount when you register using our discount code “OPENRLV1620”. Stop by at our booth T5.
DMCommunity.org published an interesting challenge “Greeting a Customer with Unknown Data” that deals with the real-world decision modeling issue: your decision model has to produce a meaningful outcome even when expected input is not available. We provided our DMN-like solution utilizing various OpenRules constructs – it is described here.
The modern Business Rules and Decision Management Systems help users to move business logic from a code to business rules controlled by subject matter experts (not developers). In particular, the latest Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard  defines powerful and broadly applicable concepts for decision modeling that allowed experts  to call DMN a “decision modeling language”. DMN even includes a friendly enough expression language, FEEL, to express complex relationships between different decision variables. However, DMN is a general purpose “decision modeling language” that naturally stays away from domain-specific decision modeling constructs. In this article I will discuss how to enhance DMN to support specialized decision modeling languages. Continue reading
Last year the organizers of the DecisionCAMP (including myself) were not able to organize this very popular event that started in 2008 (see the history below). So, this year I put a lot of time and efforts to revive the Decision CAMP and have become its Chair and the main driving force behind the event. Thanks to support of our colleagues from RuleML and DMCommunity.org, we will hold DecisionCAMP-2016 on July 7-8, 2016 at Stony Brook University, New York. Continue reading
The DMN 1.1 standard includes a new interchange format that soon will become public. Meanwhile, DMCommunity Apr-2016 Challenge provides a very simple xml-file for the decision model “Vacation Days” created by Bruce Silver. Ideally, DM vendors may take this file (and much more complex DMN XML files), transform it to their own format, and execute using their own tools. While vendors are not in a hurry to support DMN XML yet, this weekend I decided to give it a try. Below I will describe the results. Continue reading
This year OpenRules will again be an exhibitor at the Business Rules and Decisions Forum 2016 at BBC conference on Oct 31- Nov 4, 2016, Las Vegas, NV. We are sponsoring this major BR&DM event for 13 years in a row. I’ve just received a confirmation that my presentation“Why” and “What-If” Buttons for Business Decision Management” has been accepted. Here is an abstract: Continue reading
Today was the last day of bpmNext-2016 – a great event concentrated around 3 closely related technologies and their standards: BPMN, CMMN, and DMN. You may look at the program to see how many well-known experts and vendors attended the conference. The quality of presentations and informal discussions during and after the sessions was something that we all will remember after this event. Continue reading
People frequently assume that a good, consistent decision model should produce one and only one decision (solution) for any valid input. However, in real-world applications we frequently deal with situations when a decision model may produce multiple feasible solutions for the same input. And it does not mean that the decision model is incomplete – simply a user may choose the most appropriate solution among all produced decisions. It can be done interactively or by adding more rules. I’ve already provided an example “Monkey Business Analyzed” that describes how to deal with multiple decisions using OpenRules What-If Analyzer. In this post I will describe another decision model that also shows how to choose an optimal decision among multiple feasible decisions. Continue reading
This year OpenRules will sponsor the 10th International Web Rule Symposium RuleML that will take place at the Stony Brook University, New York on July 6-9, 2016. RuleML is well-known for building bridges between academia and industry in the field of business rules. Our CTO Dr. Jacob Feldman is a publicity chair of the conference. He is also the organizer of DecisionCAMP-2016 that will be held on July 7-8 at RuleML. This year DecisionCAMP will focus on the new OMG standard “Decision Model and Notation (DMN)” and an emerging best practice. If you attend, you will have a chance to meet face-to-face with many well-known decision management gurus, vendors, and practitioners.
I decided to add the decision model “Monkey Business” to our new What-If Analyzer. It brought several considerations missed by other solutions. In this post I will discuss my implementation and will show how What-If Analyzer helps to do a through analysis of usually unnoticed aspects of business decision modeling. Continue reading
This year OpenRules will participate in the bpmNEXT 2016 that will take place at Santa Barbara, CA on April 19-21, 2016. This is a very selective conference that does not allow marketing and forces the presenters to do only live demonstrations of specific achievements that have a chance to shape the next generation of Business Process Management software – including intelligent operations, the Internet of Things, case management, business decision management, and goal-directed processes. I will present “Dynamic Decision Models: Activation/Deactivation of Business Rules in Real Time” on Apr. 21 at 14:00. Continue reading
This month DMCommunity.org asked to present the best design of the notorious decision tables offered by Prof. Jan Vanthienen. It should implement the following business logic: Continue reading
On December 28, 2015 we published a new OpenRules release 6.3.4 that introduces What-If Analyzer, the first tool of this type in the Decision Management domain. Its main purpose is to support what-if analysis of decision models built in accordance with the DMN standard. What-if analysis is the process of changing the business rules that represent business logic to see how those changes will affect the outcome of the decision model. Here is the main view of the What-If Analyzer for the decision model “Make a Good Burger” offered by the DMCommunity.org: Continue reading
Question: Should we worry that we’re building systems whose increasingly accurate decisions are based on incomprehensible foundations?
I’ve just posted an article with the same name at the LinkedIn Pulse that addresses this question. It is especially important in the context of rules-based decision making when rules that govern our decisions have been automatically generated using predictive analytics techniques. I shared two examples from OpenRules experience that explain why the automatically generated business rules should be comprehensible. The first one talks about the use of our Rule Learner at IRS. The second example deals with our Rule Compressor.
Since its incorporation in 2003, every year OpenRules, Inc. attends, sponsors, and presents at the Business Rules Forums. This year OpenRules will again be a sponsor and a presenter at this largest Business Rules and Decision Management event now called BBC-2015 that will be held in Las Vegas on November 2-6, 2015. Continue reading
The recent LinkedIn discussion “What rules representation to choose for which audience?” came to the question about business analysts handing their business rules written in plain English over to IT for an implementation. Continue reading
Our customers often want to identify the actually executed rules. By default they may look at the automatically generated execution reports in the HTML format Continue reading
“Big Data” have brought “Predictive Analytics” (long-time available but hidden in the academic world under the names “Machine Learning” and “Data Mining”) to the spotlight of the modern Business Analytics. These days you will find many examples when analytics enables business decisions by supporting a path from data to decisions and actions. Below I will briefly talk about nowadays positioning of the Business Analytics and more about OpenRules own experience in this area including OpenRules Rule Learner. Continue reading
Modern decision management techniques enable business decisions by supporting a path from data to decisions and actions. Wherever people use stand-alone Business Rules, Complex Event Processing, Predictive Analytics, Optimization systems or their combinations, they prefer to put in charge subject matter experts and not software developers. Actually, all these systems tend to be declarative and allow customers to feed their systems with externally maintained business knowledge, e.g. historical data and/or already known business rules. Nowadays people in a way want to educate a general purpose system with their domain-specific knowledge avoiding traditional programming. Continue reading
By default OpenRules provides a glossary template that allows our customers to create their own business glossary in one table. Below I will explain how to split a glossary between multiple tables. Continue reading
James Taylor and I are giving a session at this year’s Building Business Capability conference on “Good Old UServ Product Derby in the Brave New World of Decision Management“at 4:50pm on the Wednesday of the show. Continue reading
DMN defines “aggregation” in the following way:
“Multiple hits must be aggregated into a single result. DMN 1.0 specifies six aggregation indicators, namely: collect, sum, min, max, average. Optionally, the aggregation indicator may be included in the table. The default is collect.”
Below is a list of my issues with this DMN 1.0 approach. Continue reading
In an ideal world we would limit ourselves to Single-Hit decision tables that cover all possible combinations of the involved decision variables. However, DMN rightfully introduced so called “multiple hit” (or “multi-hit”) decision tables to stay closer to the decision modeling reality. Continue reading