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.


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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,
Edson


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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






















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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
Description
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
û
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
Description
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
û

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

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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:


   To:


   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. 

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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.

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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:

Mark

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Sunday, January 08, 2017

DMN runtime example with Drools

As announced last year, Drools 7.0 will have full runtime support for DMN models at compliance level 3.

The runtime implementation is, at the time of this blog post, feature complete and the team now is working on nice to have improvements, bug fixes and user friendliness.

Unfortunately, we will not have full authoring capabilities in time for the 7.0 release, but we are working on it for the future. The great thing about standards, though, is that there is no vendor lock-in. Any tool that supports the standard can be used to produce the models that can be executed using the Drools runtime engine. One company that has a nice DMN modeller is Trisotech, and their tools work perfectly with the Drools runtime.

Another great resource about DMN is Bruce Silver's website Method & Style. In particular I highly recommend his book for anyone that wishes to learn more about DMN.

Anyway, I would like to give users a little taste of what is coming and show one example of a DMN model and how it can be executed using Drools.

The Decision Management Community website periodically publishes challenges for anyone interested in trying to provide a solution for simple decision problems. This example is my solution to their challenge from October/2016.

Here are the links to the relevant files:

* Solution explanation and documentation
* DMN source file
* Example code to execute the example

I am also reproducing a few of the diagrams below, but take a look at the PDF for the complete solution and the documentation.

Happy Drooling!






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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Introducing Drools Fiddle

Drools Fiddle is the fiddle for Drools. Like many other fiddle tools, Drools Fiddle allows both technical and business users to play around with Drools and aims at making Drools accessible to everyone. 



The entry point to Drools Fiddle is the DRL editor (top left panel), which allows to define and implement both fact models and business rules, using the Drools Rule Language. Once the rules are defined, they can be compiled into a KieBase by clicking on the Build button.

If the KieBase is successfully built, the visualization panel on the right will visualize the fact types as well as the rules as graph nodes. For instance, this DRL will be displayed as follows:



declare MyFactType
    value : int
end


rule "MyRule"
when
   f : MyFactType(value == 42)
then
   modify( f ) {setValue( 41 )}

end



All the actions that are performed on the working memory will be represented by arrows in this graph. The purpose of the User icon is to identify all the actions performed directly by the user. 

For example, let's see how we can dynamically insert fact instances into the working memory. After the KieBase compilation, the Drools Facts tab is displayed on the left:




This form allows you to create instances of the fact types that have been previously declared in the DRL. For each instances inserted in the working memory a blue node will be displayed in the Visualization tab. The arrow coming from the User icon shows that this action was performed manually by the user.

Once your working memory is ready, you can trigger the fireAllRules method by clicking on the Fire button. As a result, all the events occurring in the engine: rule matching, fact insertion/update/deletion are displayed in the visualization tab.
In the above example, we can see that the fact inserted by the user in step 1 triggered the rule "MyRule" which in turn modified the value of the fact from 42 to 41.

Some additional features have been implemented in order to enhance the user experience: 
  • Step by step debugging of the engine events.
  • Persistence: the Save button associates a unique URI to a DRL snippet in order to share it with the community, e.g.: http://droolsfiddle.tk/#/VYxQ4rW6
So far, only the minimum set of functionalities have been implemented to showcase the Drools Fiddle concept but there are still a lot of exciting features in the pipe:

  • Multi tabbed DRL editor
  • Decision  table support
  • Sequence diagram representation of rule engine events
  • Fact history visualization
  • Improvement of log events visualization
  • KieSession persistence to resume stateful sessions
  • Integration within Drools Workbench
The source code of Drools Fiddle is available on GitHub under Apache v2 License and you can access the application at http://droolsfiddle.tk. Should you wish to contribute, pull requests are welcome ;)

We would love to have the feedback of the Drools community in order to improve the fiddle and make it evolve in the right direction.

by Julien Vipret & Matteo Casalino

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Monday, December 05, 2016

New 6.5.0.Final tags for community Docker images

The latest Docker community image tags for 6.5.0.Final are now available on Docker Hub.

More information at the following links:


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