Using Formulas in Glossary

The new OpenRules Decision Manager 8.3.0 along with “Decision Model Explorer“ includes an ability to define some decision variables by using formulas directly in the Glossary. For instance, in the standard sample “PatientTherapy” we can modify the glossary as follows:

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Java API for Decision Service Invocation

OpenRules Decision Manager deploys decision models as cloud-based decision services such as AWS Lambda with “one-click“. In this post I will explain how to invoke deployed OpenRules services from any Java application. There are at least 3 options:

  • Using the standard Java HttpURLConnection
  • Using DecisionServiceClient API
  • Using automatically generated API

You can try to run all three options using the sample decision project “VacationDaysLambda” included in the standard OpenRules installation. Continue reading

Text Interpolation in OpenRules

Many popular languages (e.g. Angular or Mustache) use text interpolation to incorporate dynamic string values into the text. OpenRules Decision Manager Release 8.2.1 gives our customers an option to use text interpolation by putting text decision variables in the double curly braces {{ and }}.  For example, see how it’s being used in the standard sample project “PatientTherapy”:

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Decision Model Execution: Improved Explanations

Traditionally when we ran an OpenRules-based decision model using a script “test.bat”, a user received an execution protocol on the console view, a “black” screen. While it showed all executed rules, it still was difficult for a user to find all changes especially when there are too many rules. The latest release of OpenRules Decision Manager essentially beatifies rules execution protocols and reports showing all rules in a hierarchical order and highlighting the variables which values that were actually changed. Continue reading

Development and Run-Time Licenses

Our customers deploy OpenRules decision services using multiple cloud-based microservices, on premise servers, or smartphone apps. Multiple production instances can be too expensive and our customers want to have a clear pricing model for as many decision services as they want to maintain independently how these services are being deployed. We listened and came up with a new pricing model that consists of two license types, Development License and Run-Time License:
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Deploying Business Decision Models with OpenRules Decision Manager 8.1.1

OpenRules Decision Manager takes an Excel-based business decision model and converts it into highly efficient Java code. When you make changes to the business model, the code will be automatically re-generated, so we do not expect you to even look at this code.  The authors of business decision models will always maintain their original models using mainly Excel.

OpenRules Decision Manager offers several integration and deployment facilities for converting your business decision models to operational decision services on-premise or on-cloud.  We want you to be able to go through the deployment process without programming or complex configuration. This process should be easily repeatable as you will need to do it again and again when you modify your original business decision models. So, we tried to simplify the deployment process as much as possible. As our customers started to explore different deployment options, we plan to post several articles that describe these options in more details using the standard examples included into the OpenRules Decision Manager 8.1.1 installation.

OpenRules SaaS Rule Engine

This month OpenRules Decision Manager became the first SaaS Rule Engine available in AWS Marketplace. It gives our customers an opportunity to execute OpenRules-based decision services using a “Pay-As-You-Go” pricing model. You may read the Press Release approved by the AWS Marketplace team.  Using your AWS account, you can now subscribe to our AWS SaaS Subscription that allows you to pay a minimal fee for only what you actually use with all charges coming from Amazon AWS Marketplace. Continue reading

One-Click AWS Lambda Deployment

OpenRules business decision models can be deployed as operational decision services utilizing the Serverless architecture provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the most powerful and popular cloud platform in the modern world.  When you deploy your decision models as AWS Lambda functions, you don’t even think about servers and pay only for the execution time your services actually consume. Continue reading

Decision Manager – Introduction Video (3 mins)

On Aug. 1 we made OpenRules Decision Manager publicly available for the first time – everybody can download and try its free evaluation version. This 3 mins YouTube video provides a very simple introduction to the on-premise version of our new product that now can execute exactly the same decision models as the classic OpenRules BRDMS.

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!

Automatic Generation of Java Interfaces for Tested Decision Models

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

OpenRules Java API became even Simpler

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 Decision Manager

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.

Building and Using Domain-Specific Libraries of Decision Models

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

My New Year Letter to OpenRules Customers

Dear Customers,

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

Migrating to OpenRules

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.

OpenRules Customer is a Winner of the 2018 Business Rules Excellence Awards

On October 16 Business Rules Excellence Awards (BREA) announced the winners of the 2018 Awards. Congratulations to the OpenRules’s customer, a major California bank, who became a winner! Here is the brief from the BREA’s presentation:

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

DMCommunity Challenge July-2018 “Zoo, Buses, and Kids”

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

Goal-Oriented Decision Modeling with OpenRules-7

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 only Glossary 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

Old Decision Model “Credit Card Application” Implemented with New OpenRules-7

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

Happy 15th Birthday, OpenRules!

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

OpenRules Release 6.4.3

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

Happy 14th Birthday, OpenRules!

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

New OpenRules Release 6.4.1 with DMN Why-Analyzer

whybutton“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

OpenRules at BBC 2016

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

Decision Models: Finding Alternative and Optimal Decisions

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

OpenRules 6.3.4 Introduces What-If Analyzer of Decision Models

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 Continue reading

How to compact large decision tables

A well-known problem with decision tables is that they frequently become too big and too difficult to manage.  It is also well-known that OpenRules utilizes Excel-based decision tables as its major representation mechanism for business rules.  So, I decided to share some methods used by our customers to make large decision tables more compact. Continue reading

Deploying OpenRules Applications on Cloud

A week ago at JavaOne Conference in San Francisco I had a chance to talk directly with several providers of cloud deployment solutions for Java applications. I was really impressed with a Ukrainian startup “Jelastic” that just won the Java Community’s version of Oscar and was endorsed by Dr. Gosling – read more here. Coming back home to NJ, I decided to try it myself. I took the existing web application that implements a popular game “Nim” using OpenRules decision tables and forms. It looks as follows:

Previously this web application was deployed at the local Tomcat, and I wanted to move it to the Jelastic’s cloud with minimal efforts.  And I had almost no problems of doing that! Now you may try to play Nim yourself from the cloud using this URL What have I actually done?

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