Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Rules Fest (day 1) and the upcoming RuleML conference

As mentioned before, we are all attending the October Rules Fest in Dallas. The very first thing that I said when I saw the presentation list was:

- Wow!!

The October Rules Fest group managed to host the best technical convention on BR I ever attended to, and managed to have not only the most known products and vendors attending, but specially some of the most known researchers in the rules engines field. Take a look at the speakers and the agenda: we have Charles Forgy, Gary Riley, Gopal Gupta, .... you name it!

Yesterday was the first day and it was a very good day. The presentation that most intrigued me was "Why systems fail, Why systems work" by Rolando Hernandez. I need to say that I was not familiar with the Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework (wikipedia), but when he (and also Dr Leon A. Kappelman in the previous presentation) showed the diagram of the framework, it just made sense.

Rolando went a step further stating that Business Rules are not represented as a column or line the framework, but are the glue that binds together all the columns and permeates the enterprise architecture. He showed a "donuts like" hexagram, where each edge represents one of the columns in the framework and the center of the donut represents the business rules "glue". His presentation will be here, when he uploads it.

From my perspective, this is something that I firmly believe and matches the Drools vision of a platform that allows you to express your business rules in a declarative way. It was natural then to understand his diagram showing processes and event processing as component models of the whole architecture.

Now if you think about the problem, how can you write your rules, or model your business if you will, if your rules engine does not know the concept of events and processes? That is why we, at the Drools team, are working to expand the Drools engine so that processes and events can be handled as first class citizens of your Business Model.

If your rule involves events, just state it. If your rule involves processes, just state it.

The good news is that we are not the only ones saying it, and that proves we are not crazy (or at the very least not the only ones that are crazy). Take a look at the RuleML conference agenda for next week. Even being a rules related conference, look at both keynotes for the first day:

For those not familiar with them, Paul Haley is one of the fathers of current Business Rules technologies and David Luckham is one of the fathers of current Complex Event Technology. There is no way I will miss!

Can we get a better endorsement than that?

Happy Drooling,

PS: the presentation I did is available at the conference site.

[edit: fixed the reference to the actual conference organization group. Thank you for pointing that out James.]