What Is OpenL Tablets?
The OpenL Tablets product is an open source business rules engine (BRE) and business rules management system (BRMS). It consists of the following major components:
- Business rules engine - powerful and business friendly
- WebStudio - web based rules editing and management environment
- Web services - SOA-ready rules services, such as web services
- Rules repository - JCR based implementation of enterprise-class rules repository
OpenL Tablets provides an unorthodox approach to writing and managing business rules that allows users to keep executable business rules as close as possible to the original source. At the same time, it features a highly scalable, executable rules engine, integration with modern software systems, choice of web-based or Excel-based author environments.
Business rules and policies most frequently exist as an unstructured set of Excel and Word documents. There are two very important characteristics of these documents:
1) They reflect as close as possible the intent of business users. We see again and again numerous examples of high quality documents created by business people for business people. This is their "business speak", the world where they are comfortable and proficient.
2) Unfortunately, these documents are not suitable for any kind of automatic or semi-automatic generation of an executable business logic. The common way is used, a group consisting of business analysts are inveted to transform these documents as the bucsines logic becomes understandible to software developers.
The result is usually a "scrambled eggs syndrome", that results in the situation when the produced software has no resemblance of the initial business user's intent. Furthermore, that after a certain level of complexity, such a software becomes an unmanageв mess with high cost of ownership and support.
Does OpenL Tablets provide you with a silver bullet against all of these troubles? Probably, not. But we hope to get closer to it. Each release targets to introduce more features to make rules easier for usage by business people. Our goal is to allow all rules maintainance without technical people involvement.
Turning your documents into executable business rules is now simplified. You'll need to instruct OpenL how to process your documents by adding headers to all your tables which describes busines rules and converting your text rules descriptions into structured rules tables. And then all those rules get ready to be used in OpenL Tablets environment. See OpenL Tablets Documentation to find out how it's done.
The OpenL Tablets is good approach for real-world business applications for several reasons:
- 90-95 percent of business logic is table-based
- Most of it is already maintained in Excel files
- Business logic is primarily in decision, lookup or spreadsheet tables, because of simplified way to apply all business algorithms
OpenL Tablets is based on the belief that structured, graphically presented documents are easier to understand and change than business rules presented as a text.