Thursday, March 21, 2013

Drools Planner renames to OptaPlanner: Announcing www.optaplanner.org

We’re proud to announce the rename Drools Planner to OptaPlanner starting with version 6.0.0.Beta1. We’re also happy to unveil its new website: www.optaplanner.org.

OptaPlanner optimizes business resource usage. Every organization faces planning problems: provide products or services with a limited set of constrained resources (employees, assets, time and money). OptaPlanner optimizes such planning to do more business with less resources. Typical use cases include vehicle routing, employee rostering and equipment scheduling.

OptaPlanner is a lightweight, embeddable planning engine written in Java™. It helps normal Java™ programmers solve constraint satisfaction problems efficiently. Under the hood, it combines optimization heuristics and metaheuristics with very efficient score calculation.

OptaPlanner is open source software, released under the Apache Software License. It is 100% pure Java™, runs on the JVM and is available in the Maven Central Repository too.

For more information, visit the new website:

 

Why change the name?


OptaPlanner is the new name for Drools Planner. OptaPlanner is now standalone, but can still be optionally combined with the Drools rule engine for a powerful declarative approach to planning optimization.

  • OptaPlanner has graduated from the Drools project to become a top-level JBoss Community project.
    • OptaPlanner is not a fork of Drools Planner. We simply renamed it.
    • OptaPlanner (the planning engine) joins its siblings Drools (the rule engine) and jBPM (the workflow engine) in the KIE group.
  • Our commitment to Drools hasn't changed.
    • The efficient Drools rule engine is still the recommended way to do score calculation.
    • Alternative score calculation options, such as pure Java calculation (no Drools), also remain fully supported.

 

How will this affect your business?


From a business point of view, there's little or no change:

  • The mission remains unchanged:
    • We're still 100% committed to put business resource optimization in the hands of normal Java developers.
  • The license remains unchanged (Apache Software License 2.0). It's still the same open source license.
  • The release lifecycle remains unchanged: OptaPlanner is still released at the same time as Drools and jBPM.
  • Red Hat is considering support subscription offerings for OptaPlanner as part of its BRMS and BPM platforms.
    • A Tech Preview of OptaPlanner is targeted for BRMS 6.0.

 

What has changed?


  • The website has changed to http://www.optaplanner.org
  • The distributions artifacts have changed name:
    • Jar names changes:
      • drools-planner-core-*.jar is now optaplanner-core-*.jar
      • drools-planner-benchmark-*.jar is now optaplanner-benchmark-*.jar
    • Maven identification groupId's and artifactId's changes:
      • groupId org.drools.planner is now org.optaplanner
      • artifactId drools-planner-core is now optaplanner-core
      • artifactId drools-planner-benchmark is now optaplanner-benchmark
    • As usual, for more information see the Upgrade Recipe in the download zip.
  • The API's namespace has changed. As usual, see the upgrade recipe on how to deal with this efficiently.
    • Starting from 6.1.0.Final, OptaPlanner will have a 100% backwards compatible API.
  • OptaPlanner gets its own IRC channels on Freenode: #optaplanner and #optaplanner-dev

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Instant Drools Starter : Pack Publishing (Jeremy Ary)

We all start somewhere. My start with Drools came 5 years ago when I was tasked with maintaining some legacy rules and assisting with a new ground-up effort using the latest and greatest Drools release at the time. I dug through documentation, ordered every book I could find on the subject, and pestered Mark, Edson and others in the community willing to help way more than they probably cared for, but in the end, the community helped start me out with what I'd soon find to be my new obsession. Now, I feel like it's time for me to give something back.

If you're an architect, manager, or developer looking to evaluate or get started with Drools, you may find my new book, Drools Starter, to be a great way to get up and running quickly. I've done my best to compile all the basics needed to get a feel for working with the core engine into a brief, easy-to-digest guide. Here's some of what's covered inside:
  • Evaluate rules engines as a fit for your needs
  • Installing Drools and development tools
  • Authoring rule sets using the Drools Rule Language
  • Feeding information to your rules engine and evaluating rules
  • Understanding DRL syntax, operators, and functionality
  • Testing rules as a whole, individually, and for stability
  • Debugging the rule evaluation process visually and via logging
  • What modules make up the Drools system and the capabilities of each
  • Where to turn for more information and help
The book is currently available for pre-order (at a 20% discount!) over at Pack Publishing: http://www.packtpub.com/getting-started-with-drools/book

I owe a large thanks to the community in helping me on my way through the last several years, especially to those in IRC and the mailing list who've aided with numerous predicaments and design choices along the way. Particular thanks to Mark, Edson and the rest of the development team for continued work on a great product and a great community, but especially to the two of you for spending too many hours in conversation online and at conferences helping myself and others like me find their way.

Jeremy Ary (jary)