An important design feature built into OpenRules is the ability to catch as many rules errors as possible at design time rather that at run-time when it is basically too late. Just like programming code bugs, an error in a single rule can have catastrophic consequences. OpenRules provides several tools for rules validation.
Rule Validation with Eclipse Plug-In
OpenRules Eclipse Plug-in diagnoses any errors in Excel-files before you deploy or start your OpenRules-based application. It automatically diagnoses errors in the Excel-files and displays the appropriate error message(s) inside Eclipse views. OpenRules displays a diagnostic log with error messages that include hyperlinks that may open the proper Excel file with a cursor identifying the cell where the error occurred.
Batch Rule Validator
If you are using a stand-alone version of OpenRules without the Eclipse IDE, you still can validate your Excel-files. OpenRules provides a special validation module, the batch Rule Validator, that allows you to test all of the xls-files contained in your rule project.
You may invoke the Rule Validator by executing the standard Ant target "compile" from the provided build.xml file. It usually executes two targets -- "compile.java" and "compile.xls". In Windows, you invoke the target "compile" by double-clicking on the file compile.bat. The appropriate files are included in most standard OpenRules sample projects.