Suite of Open Source Tools
OpenRules provides a suite of powerful software solutions for developing Rules-based Web applications. The suite is oriented to granting business people an active role in creation and maintenance of sophisticated Web applications with complex business logic. Together with MS Excel™ and Eclipse™, the suite comprises a powerful development and management framework that supports the following functionality:
Web Form Management
A non-technical user can implement dynamic web-based interaction processes by defining complex form layouts and interaction logic through simple Excel tables. Excel is used as a web form editor allowing users to define complex web page layouts in a WYSIWYG manner without possessing knowledge of HTML, JScript, etc. Nevertheless, experts can always add more programming details directly into Excel-based forms and decision tables. The suite supports Rules-based process modeling with a quick and intuitive GUI generation.
Decision Support Rules
Both business and technical users can employ Excel to specify business rules and their implementation details inside decision tables. Decision table is a tabular representation of business rules used to describe and analyze decision situations, where the outcome of a number of conditions determines the execution of a set of actions.
Support for Intelligent Business Glossaries which define problem specific business terms and facts enabling non-technical users to represent various data types right in Excel and declare objects of these types to be used as test data. Furthermore, a business glossary can include data types specified outside Excel, for example in Java classes, XML files, or database tables.
A software developer can specify different types of executable tables that can be defined directly in Excel spreadsheets. Provided table types include rule tables, datatype and data tables, form layout tables, tables that describe programming methods with snippets of Java code, and tables that configure an application specific development environment. While new table types can be added by professional software developers, non-technical people can create and maintain tables of existing types using Excel only. The Suite provides an interface with Eclipse IDE that converts Excel spreadsheets into legitimate citizens of complex Java-based software development environments.
- Machine Learning Tools
OpenRules includes a special component entitled "Rule Learner" that integrates a machine learning approach with business rules. OpenRules Rule Learner can apply different ML methods to a large volume of historical data and present the learned rules in a form automatically executable by the OpenRules engine.
- Optimization Tools
OpenRules includes a special component called a Rule Solver that applies different optimization techniques to solve optimization problems defined in the rules-based environment.
There are three ways to deploy and integrate Rules-based applications created using the Suite:
- as a Java method
- as a presentation-oriented Web application
- as a Web Service
The Suite includes tools for automatic deployment of rule services using major web application servers. By default, the software comes pre-integrated with Apache Tomcat.
- Industry Specific Libraries
The Suite provides an ability to define libraries of Excel spreadsheets, XML files, and Java classes that will be reused as templates for multiple applications across organizations or industries. The predefined spreadsheets include examples of data types for commonly used objects such as Customer, standard presentation layouts for common data elements such as Address or SSN, a company specific style sheet, standard processing rules, calculation methods, and more.
OpenRules relies only on Free Open Source tools/libraries created and maintained by different Open Source contributors. The downloadable Open Source software includes copies of related freely distributed 3rd party products in accordance with their Open Source licenses. The source code is available upon requests.