Wednesday, April 26, 2017

End to end BPM (with a splash of DMN)

Red Hat Summit next week is shaping up to be one of the best ever!

And if you are a Drools or jBPM enthusiast, you will be busy: another top presentation that we have lined up for you comes from a partnership between Signavio and Red Hat. Duncan Doyle and Tom Debevoise will be driving the show on this one with a great example of how do model processes (and a few decisions) with the BPMN and DMN standards using the awesome tools from Signavio, and then deploying those models into the solid Drools and jBPM engines for execution!

This is End to End BPM: from Process Modeling to Execution with Signavio and Red Hat !

Join us on Wednesday, May 3rd, at 3:30pm!

And here is some extra detail from Tom:

End to End BPM

For nearly a decade designing processes in Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) has been a best practice for aligning business and technical objectives. With BPMN, the business analyst or subject matter expert can precisely define the interactions of customers, systems and trading partners with the activities and events that drive them. Because the notation is a standard, the meaning of the process model is unambiguous.
Business uses BPMN to define
·       The roles of the participants
·       Their responsibilities
·       The timing and sequence of events
·       How to handle errors and exceptions

Figure1 Example BPMN process in Signavio
With the Signavio Process Manager, all stakeholders can collaborate on the process model using an ability to commutate comments and concerns and a shared definition of terms. As shown in the figure 1, BPMN activities can denote where forms, services and scripts are needed. BPMN is more than a drawing convention. Compliant software can export the diagram in an XML format that other systems can read. Signavio and Red Hat have leveraged this capability so that processes and more can be exchanged.

Figure 2, the same BPMN process in BPM Suite’s KIE Workbench
To create an executable process, the technical team would then and the code for user forms, scripts and services. So processes in the Signavio Process Manager can be exported to the BPM Suite for this objective.
Most business analysts are not concerned with ‘Code’, except in the areas of compliance where very detailed logic, including quantities, dates and computational logic is critical. Recently BPMN has been extended to include decision modeling with the decision modeling notation (DMN). While separate from BPMN, DMN has been designed to work with BPMN. With decision modeling the business analysts can control a process by determining the logic for:
·       What needs to be done next
·       Who need to do it
·       When and where it is done
·       And importantly, were any important rules broken
Figure 3, Decision logic for the process in DMN
Decision logic can be exported from the Signavio Process Manager and incorporated into the KIE workbench. The process in figure 1 and 2 is controlled by the decision in figure 3.

The teamwork of Signavio and Red Hat is a perfect separation of concerns between the business and IT. Because it is designed to be easy to use and collaborative, the Signavio Process Manager is the perfect environment for developing the business view of a process or a decision. Similarly, because it can leverage the power and scalability of the entire Red Hat middleware stack, the BPM Suite is the perfect environment for turning these decisions into an executable form and hosting them.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Just a few... million... rules... per second!

How would you architect a solution capable of executing literally millions of business rules per second? That also integrates hybrid solutions in C++ and Java? While at the same time drives latency down? And that is consumed by several different teams/customers?

Here is your chance to ask the team from Amadeus!

They prepared a great presentation for you at the Red Hat summit next week:

Decisions at a fast pace: scaling to multi-million transactions/second at Amadeus

During the session they will talk about their journey from requirements to the solution they built to meet their huge demand for decision automation. They will also talk about how a collaboration with Red Hat helped to achieve their goals.

Join us for this great session on Thursday, May 4th, at 3:30pm!


DMN demo at Red Hat Summit

We have an event packed full of Drools, jBPM and Optaplanner content coming next week at the Red Hat Summit, but if you would like to know more about Decision Model and Notation and see a really cool demo, then we have the perfect session for you!

At the Decision Model and Notation 101 session, attendees will get a taste of what DMN brings to the table. How it allows business users to model executable decisions using a fun, high level, graphical language, that promotes interoperability and preserves their investment preventing vendor-lock-in.

But this will NOT be your typical slideware presentation. We have prepared a really nice demo of the end-to-end DMN solution announced by Trisotech a few days ago. During the session you will see a model being created with the Trisotech DMN Modeler, statically analyzed using the Method&Style DT Analysis module and executed in the cloud using Drools/Red Hat BRMS.

Come an join us on Tuesday, May 2nd at 3:30pm.

It is a full 3-course meal, if you will. And you can follow that up with drinks at the reception happening from 5pm-7pm at the partner Pavillion where you can also talk to us at the Red Hat booth about it and anything else you are interested in.

Happy Drooling!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

DMN Quick Start Program announced

Trisotech, a Red Hat partner, announced today the release of the DMN Quickstart Program.

Trisotech, in collaboration with Bruce Silver AssociatesAllegiance Advisory and Red Hat, is offering the definitive Decision Management Quick Start Success Program. This unique program provides the foundation for learning, modeling, analyzing, testing, executing and maintaining DMN level 3-compliant decision models as well as best practices to incorporate in an enterprise-level Decision Management Center of Excellence. 

The solution is a collaboration between the partner companies around the DMN standard. This is just one more advantage of standards: not only users are free from the costs of vendor lock-in, but it also allow vendors to collaborate in order to offer customers complete solutions.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

An Open Source perspective for the youngsters

Please allow me to take a break from the technical/community oriented posts and talk a bit about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Stick with me and let me know what you think!

Twenty one years ago, Leandro Komosinski, one of the best teachers (mentor might be more appropriate) I had, told me in one of our meetings:

"- You should never stop learning. In our industry, if you stop learning, after three years you are obsolete. Do it for 5 years and you are relegated to maintaining legacy systems or worse, you are out of the market completely. "

While this seems pretty obvious today, it was a big insight to that 18 years old boy. I don’t really have any data to back this claim or the timeframes mentioned, but that advice stuck with me ever since.

It actually applies to everything, it doesn’t need to be technology. The gist of it: it is important to never stop learning, never stop growing, personally and professionally.

That brings me to the topic I would like to talk about. Nowadays, I talk to a lot of young developers. Unfortunately, several of them when asked “What do you like to do? What is your passion?” either don’t know or just offer generic answers: “I like software development”.

"But, what do you like in software development? Which books have you been reading? Which courses are you taking?" And the killer question: "which open source projects are you contributing to?"

The typical answer is: “- the company I work for does not give me time to do it.” 

Well, let me break it down for you: “this is not about the company you work for. This is about you!” :) 

What is your passion? How do you fuel it? What are you curious about? How do you learn more about it?

It doesn’t need to be software, it can be anything that interests you, but don’t waste your time. Don’t wait for others to give you time. Make your own time.

And if your passion is technology or software, then it is even easier. Open Source is a lot of things to a lot of people, but let me skip ideology. Let me give you a personal perspective for it: it is a way to learn, to grow, to feed your inner kid, to show what you care for, to innovate, to help.

If you think about Open Source as “free labour” or “work”, you are doing it wrong. Open source is like starting a masters degree and writing your thesis, except you don’t have teachers (you have communities), you don’t have classes (you do your own exploratory research), you don’t have homework (you apply what you learn) and you don’t have a diploma (you have your project to proudly flaunt to the world). 

It doesn’t matter if your project is used by the Fortune 500 or if it is your little pet that you feed every now and then. The important part is: did you grow by doing it? Are you better now than you were when you started?

So here is my little advice for the youngsters (please take it at face value):

- Be restless, be inquisitive, be curious, be innovative, be loud! Look for things that interest you in technology, arts, sociology, nature, and go after them. Just never stop learning, never stop growing. And if your passion is software development, then your open source dream project is probably a google search away.

Happy Drooling,


Saturday, April 01, 2017

A sneak peek into what is coming! Are you ready?

As you might have guessed already, 2017 will be a great year for Drools, jBPM and Optaplanner! We have a lot of interesting things in the works! And what better opportunity to take a look under the hood at what is coming than joining us on a session, side talk or over a happy hour in the upcoming conferences?

Here is a short list of the sessions we have on two great conferences in the next month! The team and myself hope to meet you there!

Oh, and check the bottom of this post for a discount code for the Red Hat Summit registration!

Santa Barbara, California April 18-20, 2017


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DMN 1.1 XML: from modeling to automation with Drools 7.0

I am a freelance consultant, but I am acting today as a PhD student. The global context of my thesis is Enterprise Architecture (EA), which requires to model the Enterprise. As one aspect of EA is business process modeling, I am using BPMN from years, but this notation is not very appropriate to represent decision criteria: a cascade of nested gateways becomes quickly difficult to understand then to modify. So, when OMG published the first version 1.0 Beta of DMN specification in 2014, I found that DMN was a very interesting notation to model decision-making. I succeeded in developing my own DMN modeling tool, based on DMN metamodel, in using the Sirius plugin for Eclipse . But even the next “final” version 1.0 of DMN specification was not very accomplished.

The latest version 1.1 of DMN, published in June 2016, is quite good. In the meantime, software editors (at least twenty) have launched good modeling tools, as Signavio Decision Manager (free for Academics) used for this article. This Signavio tool was already able to generate specific DRL files for running DMN models on the BRMS Drools current version 6. In addition to the graphics, some editors added recently the capability to export DMN models (diagram & decision tables) into “DMN 1.1 XML” files, which are compliant with the DMN specification. And the good news is that BRMS like Drools (future version 7, available in Beta version) are able to run theses DMN XML files for automating decision-making (a few lines of Java code are required to invoke theses high level DMN models).

This new approach of treating “DMN 1.1 XML” interchange model directly is better for tool independency and model portability. Here is a short comparison between the former classic but specific solution and this new and generic solution, using the tool Signavio Decision Manager (latest version 10.13.0). MDA (Model Driven Architecture) and its three models CIM, PIM & PSM gives us the appropriate reading grid for this comparison:

3 MDA models
Classic specific DMN solution
from Signavio Decision Manager
to BRMS Drools
CIM (Computation
Independent Model)
Representation model for business,
independent of computer considerations
DRD (Decision Requirements Diagram)
+ Decision Tables
PIM (Platform
Independent Model)
Design model for computing,
independent of the execution platform
PSM (Platform
Specific Model)
Design model for computing,
specific to the execution platform
DRL (Drools Rule Language)
+ DMN Formulae Java8-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

The visible aspect of DMN is its emblematic Decision Requirements Diagram (DRD) which can be completed with some Decision Tables for representing the business logic for decision-making. A DRD and its Decision Tables compose a CIM model, independent of any computer considerations.

Then, in the classic but specific DMN solution, Signavio Decision Manager is able, from a business DMN model (DRD diagram and Decision Tables), to export a DRL file directly for a Drools rules engine. So, this solution skips the intermediate PIM level, that is not very compliant with MDA concept. Note that this DRL file needs a specific Signavio’s jar library with DMN formulae.

3 MDA models
New generic DMN solution
from Signavio Decision Manager(or other tools)
to BRMS Drools (or other BRMS)
CIM (Computation
Independent Model)
Representation model for business,
independent of computer considerations
DRD (Decision Requirements Diagram)
+ Decision Tables
PIM (Platform
Independent Model)
Design model for computing,
independent of the execution platform
DMN 1.1 XML (interchange model)
containing FEEL Expressions
PSM (Platform
Specific Model)
Design model for computing,
specific to the execution platform

The invisible aspect of DMN is its DMN XML interchange model, very useful for exchanging a model between modeling tools. DMN XLM is also very useful for going from model to automation. DMN XML model takes into account computer considerations, but as it is defined into DMN specification, a standard published by OMG (Object Management Group), it is independent of any execution platform, so it is a PIM model. DMN XML complies to DMN metamodel and can be checked with an XSD schema provided by OMG. The latest version 1.1 of DMN has refined this DMN XML format.

As DMN is a declarative language, a DMN XML file contains essentially declarations. The business logic included can be expressed with FEEL (Friendly Enough Expression Language) expressions. All entities required for a DMN model (input data, decision tables, rules, output decisions, etc.) are exported into the DMN XML file, due to a mechanism called serialization. It is why automation is now possible from DMN XML directly. Not all DMN modeling tools allow to export (or import) to DMN XML format.

With the new generic DMN solution, Signavio Decision Manager is now able, from the same business DMN model (DRD diagram and decision tables), to export “DMN 1.1 XML” interchange model. As the future 7.0.0 version of Drools is able to interpret “DMN 1.1 XML” format directly, the last level PSM, specific to the execution platform, is not useful anymore.

The new generic DMN solution, without skipping PIM level, sounds definitely better than the specific one and is a good basis for automating decision-making. Another advantage is, as Signavio said, that this new approach using “DMN 1.1 XML” reduces the vendor lock-in.

Thierry BIARD


Sunday, March 12, 2017

DroolsJBPM organization on GitHub to be renamed to KieGroup

   In preparation for the 7.0 community release in a few weeks, the "droolsjbpm" organization on GitHub will be renamed to "kiegroup". This is scheduled to happen on Monday, March 13th.

   While the rename has no effect on the code itself, if you have cloned the code repository, you will need to update your local copy with the proper remote URL changing it from:


   Unfortunately, the URL redirect feature in GitHub will not support this rename, so you will likely have to update the URL manually on your local machines.

   Sorry for the inconvenience. 


Thursday, February 02, 2017

AI Engineer - Entando are Hiring

Entando are looking to hire an AI Engineer, in Italy, to work closely with the Drools team building a next generation platform for integrated and hybrid AI. Together we'll be looking at how we can build systems that leverage and integrate different AI paradigms for the contextual awareness domain - such as enhancing our complex event processing,  building fuzzy/probability rules extensions or looking at Case Based Learning/Reasoning to help with predictive behavioural automation.

The application link can be found here.


Drools & jBPM are Hiring

The Drools and jBPM team are looking to hire. The role requires a generalist able work with both front-end and back-end code. We need a flexible and dynamic person who is able to handle what ever is thrown at them and relishes the challenge of learning new things on the fly. Ideally, although not a requirement, you'll be able to show some contributions to open source projects. You'll work closely with some key customers implementing their requirements in our open source products.

This is a remote role, and we can potentially hire in any country there is a Red Hat office, although you may be expected to do very occasional travel to visit clients.

The application link for the role can be found here: