Best Practices for JBoss Drools


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James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions and Claye Greene of Technology Blue present some advice and best practices on adopting open source business rules for decision management. The webinar recording is available here:

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  • Little decisions add up so focus on operational or front-line decision makingThe purpose of information is to decide so put your data and analytics to workYou cannot afford to lock up your logic so externalize it as business rulesNo answer, no matter how good, is static so experiment, challenge, simulate, learnDecision Making is a process to be managed
  • Answers to these questions are top priority for executives considering open source solutions.
  • Not an all inclusive list, but represents the common reasons.
  • This is general, but beginning to introduce Decision Management.
  • The past few years have seen open source Decision Management solutions reach a level of viability that these same considerations become critical for decision-makers.But Decision Management requires a deeper level of consideration. Traditional open source factors are not wholly applicable when considering open source Decision Management adoption. Making the right choice requires a new perspective with both tactical and strategic focus.Common Decision Management business objectives such as increased collaboration, business ownership, reduced IT spending are completely dependent on not only the technology selection, but the tactical implementation of the technology as well.
  • Fortunately, viable solutions such as JBoss Drools have come available at a time in which decision-makers can base their technology selection on a plethora of open source lessons learned and real-world pros and cons.
  • How do we balance benefits of Open Source Decision Management with the benefits of Decision Management?Throughout our JBoss Drools implementation experience, we have worked with clients to balance the expectations of open source solutions with S.M.A.R.T. business objectives. We have transformed our experience into a list of best practices for implementing JBoss Drools. However this list is wholly applicable to any open source Decision Management technology.Our best practices are strategic and tactical – you have to make good decisions about how you’re using the technology, else lose the value of either open source or decision management.
  • Many implementers find that total cost of ownership can actually be higher with open source DM solutions.“Free is not free”Open source is free, as in “freedom”, not free, as in “gratis”.Gartner announced measurements of 92% of total lifetime costs are spent in maintenance; only 8% in development.Research shows there is much more parity than believed
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.Many implementers go overboard with the customizations just because they can, not because they should.While customizations might be easier, the cost of maintenance can skyrocket.
  • Business rules are business assets that can be authored and maintained by either technical or business resources.Regardless of who “owns” the implementation, business rules should always be understandable by subject matter experts.Business rules are easily written by java coders. This can lead to not keeping the business first because it’s easier, faster, etc for developers to just write the code. But this obviously doesn’t empower the business. If your goal is to empower the business, use the tools and technologies that JBoss provides to truly empower the business (make mention of guvnor (sp?) here).
  • 1.  Related to slide 19drools technical environment is very technical Easy to make it too complex Easy to end up with one large collection of rules that business people can't read, let alone understand 2.  Refactored rule slidetakeaway (when in doubt, write more simpler rules)When it comes to knowing your audience, the business should always play a critical role in solution maintenance. In fact, when we look at common reasons why BRMS projects fail, we see a trend. Notice that the technology capabilities is rarely an issue. Most often it is related to not strategically and tactically engaging the business in the solution.The bottom line, don’t forget about the “Business” in Business Rules Management Systems.
  • Decision Management Solutions can help youFind the right decisions to apply business rules, analyticsImplement a decision management blueprintDefine a strategy for business rule or analytic adoptionYou are welcome to email me directly, james at decision management or you can go to decision management / learn more. There you’ll find links to contact me, check out the blog and find more resources for learning about Decision Management.
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