OpenRules introduced a brand-new product Decision Manager that executes exactly the same decision models as the classical OpenRules BRDMS, but uses a completely new execution mechanism that doesn’t need Excel-based Rules Repositories in run-time anymore as it converts all rules to Java ahead of time. As a result, decision services also can startup almost immediately, be executed within milliseconds, and have a minimal memory footprint. Link
The major advantage of the Decision Manager is the fact that it is well-positioned to be used on cloud utilizing server-based or serverless architectures. It perfectly fits the requirements of the modern microservices and is ready to support decision-making applications which handle the millions of complex rules-based transactions per day when every transaction should be executed within milliseconds. The next upcoming release of OpenRules® Decision Manager will provide a cloud-based UI for analysis, debugging, automatic deployment and execution of decision models as microservices – stay tuned!
OpenRules Release 8.0.0 adds one more nice feature requested by our customers. Usually business decision models are created by a business person in Excel using powerful OpenRules decision tables. The same people who create the decision models usually create test cases for them using special Datatype and Data tables. After the model is tested, the business person passes the Excel-based model to IT for integration. If their IT uses Java, they need to create Java classes for input and output objects. which are similar to the Datatype tables created by the business person. The release 8.0.0 added an ability to generate such Java classes automatically to provide ready-to-go interfaces for already tested decision models. Continue reading →
The latest OpenRules Release 8.0.0 comes with a new, very simple Java API for incorporation of business decision models created by business people in Excel into Java applications. It corresponds to the simple view of a decision model as “a Business Glossary surrounded by Decision Tables that specify decision logic for Goals and Sub-Goals“. OpenRules 8.0.0 explicitly introduced Java concepts “DecisionModel” and “Goal” to support the Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling approach described in this book. Continue reading →
OpenRules announced an availability of the new product “Decision Manager” that has been developed specifically for modern enterprises allowing their business analysts to create, deploy, and manage Business Decision Services on cloud, on premise, or even on smartphones. It comes with a completely new execution mechanism that is extremely fast, takes almost no time to start, and essentially reduces the memory footprint. It perfectly fits the requirements of modern containerized decision microservices.
OpenRules also announced the availability of the new release 8.0.0 of its Classic OpenRules BRDMS that includes many new features requested by customers – Release Notes 8.0.0. It is important that both products can efficiently execute the same Business Decision Models created using MS Excel or Google Sheets in accordance with OpenRules Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling approach described in this book.
Traditionally, the majority of decision tables list their rules in the top-to-bottom order when different rules are placed in rows. Here is an example of a typical single-hit decision table created in Excel in accordance with the OpenRules format: Continue reading →
Nowadays, when microservices quickly overcome the legacy style of monolithic applications, it’s only natural to deploy Business Decision Models as Decision Microservices. We’ve just published a new tutorial that in a step-by-step manner explains how to convert OpenRules-based decision models, created and tested by business users, to decision microservices with Spring Boot and then containerize them with Docker. Following the tutorial you will learn how to: Continue reading →
The integrated use of Machine Learning (ML) and Business Rules (BR) is one of the most practical trends in the development of modern decision-making software. OpenRules is involved in this development for more than 10 years starting with our successful ML+BR projects for IRS. Along with a general purpose Rule Learner, we also provide Rule Compressor, that uses ML to compress large decision tables to smaller ones. This recent presentation explains how it works. Continue reading →
We are aggressively making OpenRules-based services available from cloud environments such as Amazon EC2. In particular, we’ve just re-deployed our Decision Model Analyzer from a 3rd party remote Tomcat to Amazon. It was just a very simple reconfiguration, but the effect is really positive: the Analyzer is now much faster and much more reliable. You may try it yourself without any registration or fee: simply click on the button on the right.
The source code of the Analyzer is included in the OpenRules standard release and can be considered as an example of how to deploy OpenRules web applications created using OpenRules Dialog to cloud. Another example is the game “Nim” that you may play now from the cloud by clicking on the image below: Continue reading →
Java Solver is an open source product that provides a minimalistic, simple-to-use Java API for modeling and solving optimization problems. It’s freely available from JavaSolver.com. Download the product, try examples, and use it for your decision optimization problems. Continue reading →
OpenRules Release 7.0.1 provides a sampling and detailed tutorial of how to add an OpenRules-based service to the popular Spring framework. The new tutorial “Developing Decision Microservices with Spring Boot and OpenRules” in a step-by-step manner explains how to convert OpenRules-based decision projects into Decision Microservices and to deploy them on any server or a cloud environment supported by Spring. Read it and try to run the demo microservice “GreetingService” by downloading the new workspace called “openrules.spring” now included in the evaluation version.
Operational business problems can be defined by a set of decision variables and a set of rules that specify relationships between these variables – see the formal definition. This definition considers a decision as a solution of such a problem, but it doesn’t assume anything about ‘HOW’ how decisions will be produced. It means decisions can be found by applying any rule engine, a DMN engine, a constraint or MIP solver, a custom piece of software written in any programming language, a manually provided expert’s decision, or their various combinations. Continue reading →
DMCommunity Sep-2018 Challenge “Balanced Assignment” gives an example of a complex business problem with a serious optimization component. This problem deals with the assignment of people to different project groups. Usually, such problems require deep knowledge of optimization techniques. My interest was to build a decision model for this problem and to investigate what can be done by business people and where the involvement of optimization experts is necessary. So, I attempted to use a business-friendly approach to represent and to solve this complex problem. It was not a simple journey, and this article describes what I did successfully and where I failed. Link
The latest DMCommunity.org Challenge “Recreational Fee” is very simple, but I still wanted to show how to create the proper decision model using the OpenRules goal-oriented approach. The implementations is described in this PDF document.
Dr. Bob Moore in his DMCommunity.org post “What is a ‘Decision’?” considers different definitions of a “Business Decision” and “Business Decision Logic”, which Bob, Ron Ross, and I have recently been discussing in the context of the March DMC Challenge. Below I will share my point of view.
First of all, it’s important to stress that we are talking not about any ‘decision’ but ‘Operational Business Decision’ which provides a solution for an operational business problem. The majority of such problems can be considered as a special case of the classical Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP) defined in the famous book by S.Russell and P.Norvig “Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach” . So, I simply applied the Russell/Norvig’s definition to our business problem. Continue reading →
In February-2019 I published a new book “Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling with OpenRules” available from Amazon. It explains the goal-oriented approach to business decision modeling introduced by OpenRules in 2018. The book is a practical guide that explains how to create and maintain operational business decision models in a step-by-step easy to understand style. The guide consists of a series of dialog-sessions in which an AUTHOR explains major decision modeling concepts and methods to an inquisitive READER who asks questions and implements the concepts. You will quickly learn how to represent complex decision logic and end up with a deep understanding of practical decision modeling techniques. The book contains only 150 pages, and you may start developing your own decision models after reading first 1-2 chapters.
Based on a request from OpenRules Discussion forum, I asked our support to provide a simple example that demonstrates how OpenRules-based decisions can be invoked from RESTful Web Services. Alex Goldin describes how he did it in this document.
Our customers frequently build not one but multiple decision models for their business domains like property and casualty insurance, loan origination, medical guidelines, etc. After building several decision models, they already have a quite rich glossary and various decision tables that essentially cover their business domain. So, it gives them a good foundation to build a library of relatively small decision models which can be used to assemble more complex decision models. Sometimes they even add domain-specific decision tables and supporting Java classes. This PDF document uses well-known loan origination problems (described in the Chapter 11 of the DMN specification) to explain how to build and utilize a library of decision models. Link
I’m Jacob Feldman, the CTO of OpenRules, Inc. I wanted to reach out to wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for your ongoing support of OpenRules. 2018 was a very successful year for OpenRules. We essentially advanced our decision engine to support a new decision modeling approach. We also received the Business Rules Excellence Award. For those of you who have already experienced the latest OpenRules Release 7.0.0, I hope you are seeing the benefits of the work we did during the last few years to improve the OpenRules robustness, reliability and simplicity of use. Continue reading →
I was asked by BPM.com to share my thoughts of what to expect in 2019. Digital Decisioning and DMN will continue to play an essential role in BPM. I can see two major trends in this development:
Simplification. Representation of decision logic within business processes will be de-facto standardized using mainly simple DMN concepts such as decision tables and avoiding complex programming concepts. The simplified approaches such as “Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling” supported by OpenRules will continue to prevail in development of decision models incorporated into real-world business process models.
Addressing Complex Decision Optimization Problems. So far, human decision modelers were forced to describe exactly HOW to find a decision by handling all possible combinations of business factors using business rules with multiple exceptions on top of exceptions. More powerful decision engines will allow decision modelers to concentrate on WHAT instead of HOW and will automatically determine multiple feasible decisions and select the optimal decision.
OpenRules was introduced to general public as an open source product 15 years ago, and over these years it has become one of the most popular business rules and decision management systems. Every day OpenRules helps customers worldwide handle millions of transactions in real-world production environments for large corporations, government agencies, hospitals, and online businesses – see the list of selected customers. In 2018, along with the Business Rules Excellence Award, we received an overwhelming number of requests from organizations wanting to migrate their existing rules-based systems to OpenRules. This growing interest can be explained by this quote from Forrester Research: “OpenRules have the most-aggressive approaches to business-expert authoring and typically requires less developer support than IBM ODM, FICO Blaze Advisor, and Red Hat Drools“.
So, staring January-2019 we are essentially expanding our technical support and consulting services to help our customers move to OpenRules faster and provide them with superior support. On December 31, 2018 we announced new OpenRules Migration Services – click here to learn how they work.
During the closing discussion at the DecisionCAMP-2018, I promoted a new “model-based” approach to decision modeling that contrary to the commonly used “method-based” approach allows a human decision modeler to concentrate on “WHAT” instead of “HOW”. This approach gives more power to decision modelers allowing a decision engine to come up not just with one of many possible decisions but to find the optimal decision. I wanted to demonstrate this power using a more complex business problem and to do it before the end of this year. So, I decided to apply the model-based approach to the problem “Rebooking Passengers from Cancelled Flights” that is the most challengeable problem among multiple DMCommunity.org Challenges. Continue reading →
I provided two solutions for DMCommunity.org Challenge “Vacation Days Advanced”. So far, all decision models submitted as solutions for the old Jan-2016 Challenge and the new challenge were “method-based” meaning they describe exactly how to assign extra days while avoiding possible conflicts. I tried to apply a new “model-based” approach that concentrates on “what” instead of “how” and finds not just one of many possible solutions but the optimal one. The first decision model consists of clearly separated two parts: 1) Business Part presented in Excel decision tables; 2) Technical Part presented in Java using the JSR-331 standard. The second decision model is an attempt to present both parts completely in DMN-like decision tables using Excel only (the supporting Java code is hidden in new Excel templates). You may analyze both solutions here. I’d appreciate comments and suggestions for improvement.
In Aug-2018 Prof. Robert Fourer gave a tutorial “Model-based Optimization“, in which he compares two essentially different approaches to modeling optimization problem: “model-based” vs. “method-based”. He is using a relatively complex “Balanced Assignment” problem to demonstrate his points. While Fourer’s tutorial deals with optimization, I believe the same arguments are directly related to Decision Modeling that so far mainly remains method-based. During DecisionCAMP-2018 we had interesting (and sometimes hot) discussions about these two approaches and in my closing remarks I described the major differences between them as follows: Continue reading →
After successfully putting a new OpenRules-based system in production, the bank extended the use of OpenRules to another mission-critical application related to risk management. Below you can read the description of this OpenRules success story. Continue reading →
This year DecisionCAMP was held in Luxembourg Sep 17-19 as a part of the Logic for AI Summit. It became an important event that attracted experts and practitioners in the business decision management from 14 countries. We had 54 official registrations and sometimes even more people were present in the auditorium. The representatives from almost all major BR&DM vendors and many well-known experts attended the event. As the chair of the event, I wrote the Notes from DecisionCAMP-2018 published at the DMCommunity.org blog.
A major California bank, facing looming regulatory deadlines, needed to develop a highly dynamic web application to support the bank’s complex customer account management processes. The integrated use of OpenRules’ s rule and rendering engines became the foundation for the successful and quick implementation. OpenRules nominated this real-world application to the first annual Business Rules Excellence Awards (BREA). This success story was selected as a worldwide Finalist in the 2018Business Rules Excellence Awards. This is a significant achievement for the Bank and OpenRules. The announcement of winning entries will take place on October 16.
I also published a paper “Building and Analyzing Goal-Oriented Decision Models” at the Proceedings of the RuleML+RR 2018 Challenge – it explains our goal-oriented approach to decision modeling using a Credit Card Application decision model. In my closing notes I tried to demonstrate how a smarter decision engine can simplify decision modeling using concrete examples from DMCommunity.org challenges. After considering different decision modeling approaches, we will add these capabilities to standard OpenRules features.
The July’s challenge “Zoo, Buses, and Kids” deals with a very simple optimization problem: “300 kids need to travel to the London zoo. The school may rent 40 seats and 30 seats buses for 500£ and 400£. How many buses of each to minimize cost?”
Naturally, a constraint solver nicely and easily solves this and more complex constraint satisfaction problems as shown in Philippe Laborie’s solution. When today I saw a pure SQL solution provided by Damir Sudarevic, I thought that it’s time to model this problem as a business decision model. It would not be as compact as provided solutions, but it should be oriented to business users. Continue reading →
Prof. Gene Freuder wrote a position paper “Complete Explanations” for The Second Workshop on Progress Towards the Holy Grail that will be held on Aug 27, 2018 during CP 2018 in Lille, France. Gene writes: “As AI becomes more ubiquitous there is a renewed interest in computers being able to provide explanations, and the European GPDR provides special impetus.” Geen’s paper concentrates on constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs), but, as I’d shown in my 2016 paper, we may consider a decision model as a CSP, and everything Gene is talking about directly applies to business decision modeling. Continue reading →
The major Release 7.0.0 is making OpenRules even more user-friendly without losing any of the sophistication of already proven decision modeling technology. Our customers don’t have anymore to define an execution sequence of their decision tables in special tables of the type “Decision” – these tables can be automatically generated. Now it is sufficient for a human decision modeler to define onlyGlossary and Decision Tables that specify business logic for all included goals and subgoals. Then for any selected business goal, OpenRules Engine will execute all related decision tables in an automatically calculated order to determine the goal’s value. You may watch this short video that uses simple examples to explain the goal-oriented approach to decision modeling supported by OpenRules-7. Continue reading →
People who started decision modeling standardization years ago were all agreed that the DMN standard is supposed to be oriented to subject matter experts, should be simple, friendly enough while powerful to cover the common denominator in operational decision modeling. It was a good start for DMN in 2013 and an enthusiastic acceptance since then. However, today DMN is full of complex, programmer-oriented features which seem to get even more complex in new releases. There are plenty examples of unnecessary complexity being proudly promoted for their “elegance”. Here are a few examples to compare. Continue reading →
The latest June-2018 DMCommunity Challenge”Credit Card Application” gives me a good chance to demonstrate the new upcoming OpenRules Release 7.0.0. I remember that Nick Broom was one of the first who published a real-world decision model right after the DMN introduction. I also remember that at the same day I implemented and published Nick’s model using only Excel and OpenRules available at that time (it was release 6.2.6). It would be interesting to compare this old implementation with a new one below that takes advantages of new OpenRules-7. Continue reading →
In this post we will provide a response to the DMCommunity.org Apr-2018 Challenge “Up-Selling Rules“that deals with two decision tables: 1) up-selling rules that offer new products to a customer based on the customer profile and the products which the customer already has; 2) customer profiling rules. We will use for the first time the latest OpenRules version (not released yet to public) that removes a need for ordering of multiple decision tables. Continue reading →
Considering the upcoming conferences, I was asked by Harold Boley to write about a possible integration of Semantic Reasoning and Business Decision Management. Today I posted an article at the RuleML Blog and decided to reproduce it here as well but in a bit more friendly format.
On September-2018 DecisionCAMP and RuleML+RR will be co-located again for the third time during the LuxLogAI-2018 summit in Luxembourg. These two events represent different but closely related fields of the knowledge representation movement: Business Rules & Decisions Management and Semantic Reasoning. In this post I want to talk about relationships between these two fields and events.
There are two interesting responses to the DMCommunity.org Feb-2018 Challenge provided by Mike Parish and Bob Moore. Mike effectively used Corticon to validate and fix incompleteness, redundancy, and ambiguity problems he found in the following, relatively simple decision table: Continue reading →
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 →
Our website www.OpenRules.com has been redesigned. Now it provides a better support for mobile and tablets and is loaded with cool features which hopefully will be appreciated by our customers and visitors. If you notice any issues, please report them to email@example.com.
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
The latest DMCommunity.org Challenge “Classify Department Employees” deals with calculation of aggregated values for arrays of business objects such as Employees. Below I describe an OpenRules solution for this challenge. Continue reading →
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. 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. Continue reading →