Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drools 5 - A Holistic approach to problem modelling using Rules, Workflow and Event Processing

I've always stated that end business users struggle understanding the differences between rules and processes, and more recently rules and event processing. For them they have this problem in their mind and they just want to model it using some software. The traditional way of using two vendor offerings forces the business user to work with a process oriented or rules oriented approach which just gets in the way, often with great confusion over which tool they should be using to model which bit.

PegaSystems and Microsoft have done a great job of showing that the two can be combined and a behavioural modelling approach can be used. This allows the business user to work more naturally where the full range of approaches is available to them, without the tools getting in the way. From being process oriented to rule oriented or shades of grey in the middle - whatever suites the problem being modelled at that time. We are taking this one step further and also adding event processing with Drools Fusion creating a more holistic approach to software development. Where the term holistic is used for emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

So it was nice to receive an email on the public mailing list today, from Ekkehard Gentz (http://www.gentz-software.de/) that said the same thing about the confusion over two separate products for rules and processes and his delight in finding Drools 5, here is a quote from that email:

"the problem for business people to understand the differences between business processes and rules, because from the point-of-view of business use-cases they are integrated. why are there two tools / frameworks to manage the same thing?
....
Now I read the documentation of Drools 5 and noticed that all is availabe in ONE product: Drools 5. Thats really great news - I hope I understood all well and I'll give it a try to do it with Drools only. This gives me a better feeling than my previous decision. "

Here is the link to an archive of the original email in full:
http://www.mail-archive.com/rules-users@lists.jboss.org/msg07530.html