Today I am pleased to announce availability of the new Decision Management Community website called www.decision-tools.org. What is it all about?
During the next few weeks there will be several major events in the area of Decision Management including:
- DecisionCamp-2013 on Nov 4-6 in San Jose (http://decision-camp.com)
- BBC-2013 on Nov 11-15 in Las Vegas (http://www.buildingbusinesscapability.com)
The attendees of these events will have a unique opportunity to meet tool vendors for such important technologies as BRM, BPM, Predictive Analytics, CEP, and Decision Optimization.
Unfortunately, such great events occur only once per year. Where should people interested in decision management technologies look at when they want to find the right tool? Are there any decision tool catalogues available on the regular basis? There is the “Decision Management Systems Platform Technologies Report” provided by James Taylor. This is a very useful document that includes a large uncategorized list of vendors which provide tools for different decision management technologies. James Taylor also publishes “First Look” previews of various products. Being a well-known Decision Management expert, James Taylor is doing a great job by promoting the technology. However, let’s assume I am a user who wants to compare different tools that support Business Rules, Decision Modeling, Decision Optimization, or other decision technology now. Where can I get the current (!) state of all available tools for each particular product category and compare them feature-by-feature?
The only practical answer is a creation of the Community Website that maintains live (meaning constantly maintained) catalogues of decision tools for different Decision Management categories. That’s why today I am glad to announce that such a website is available now at www.decision-tools.org. When did it all start and what is the current status of these catalogues?
This year I was a program chair of the CP-2013 workshop called “CP Solvers” – see http://cp2013.a4cp.org/workshops/cpsolvers . The objective of the workshop was to provide an industrial overview of various Constraint Programming tools (CP solvers). As a part of this workshop, we decided to create a catalogue of all constraint solvers currently available on the market. We quickly recognized that it will be only a limited value if we do it one time, and afterwards such a catalogue will quickly become outdated (unfortunate destiny of many software catalogues). So, we decided to create a website www.cpsolvers.org that will allow authors of CP solvers (and only them) to enter detailed profiles of their tools and to maintain these profiles over time. The tool profiles (questionnaires) along with key technical characteristics contain answers to a product usability questions such as: licensing, cost, availability of website , discussion forums, technical support, number of downloads, customer references, and other questions that allow a user to compare different products and to see how up-to-day they are.
So, I decided to quickly develop a web application that initially supported a live CP catalogue, and by September-2013 thirty (30) CP vendors created their profiles – see the results at www.cpsolvers.org. The actual catalogue is always being re-generated by reflecting the latest changes made by product authors. This catalogue became a success for the CP community – it helps to bring the power of CP to the business world. After this, it was quite natural to propagate this success to other decision management categories. I made the proper changes to my web application, and the website www.decision-tools.org was born. Now it contains live catalogues of decision tools for the following Decision Management categories:
- Business Decisions and Rules Management Systems
- Predictive Analytics Tools
- Complex Event Processing and Real-Time Intelligence Tools
- Decision Modeling Tools
- Decision Optimization Tools
- Business Process Management Tools.
What is the current state of all these catalogues? They all have their custom questionnaires being specified, implemented, and are ready to be filled out. Only the catalogue of CP solvers has been completed with 30 product profiles. However, we’ve already created initial lists of the most known tools for other catalogues, sent personalized invitations with access attributes to product authors, and asked them to complete the profiles of their tools. This is work in progress.
Hereby, I’d like to invite authors of different decision management tools to complete the profiles of their tools. If you need access attributes or your product is not yet included in the proper catalogue, please send me a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide you with all required information.
I do not want to limit this website to tool catalogues only. Recently, I’ve added another webpage called “Decision Model Collection”. Currently it contains only one decision model for a Loan Origination process described in the DMN 1.0 Specification. But I hope that decision management practitioners will create and share many more decision models for different lines of business.
And, finally, I want to clarify that I am doing this work not as an employee of OpenRules, but as a decision management enthusiast. All work has been done in my free time and I plan to support these catalogues for a long time. I consider this as a community activity and hope it will be supported by BRCommunity (Ron Ross), Decision Management Solutions (James Taylor), and other organizations whose links can be found at www.decision-tools.org. So far, I pay myself for the server that supports this website, but as the number of visitors increases, we need more powerful servers. To cover these expenses, I offer a very reasonable sponsorship opportunity. For $200 per year your logo with a hyperlink will be prominently displayed in a selected catalogue. I want to thank Decision CAMP for being the first sponsor. Let me know if you want to support this community activity as well. At the end of the day, it will help to promote different Decision Management tools and methodologies.