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Visual Rules

Visual Rules

Visual Rules is a Business Rules Management Platform that enables the efficient management of business rules. It comprises rule modeling, simulation, testing, integration and deployment, including monitoring and rule maintenance. The Visual Rules Enterprise Platform is unique in that it can develop dynamic business applications in just a few weeks. It is innovative in that the business logic and user interfaces of these applications can be directly controlled by the business experts themselves. Business logic is modeled, tested and managed by a uniquely comprehensive graphical interface. Visual Rules covers the complete rule management process and provides an advanced collaboration platform for business analysts and IT. Visual Rules provides all of the functions that - according to Gartner - are required of a modern Business Rules Management Platform: a modeling environment, rule simulation, an execution engine, monitoring and analysis, management and administration, a repository and rule templates. Based on its open architecture, Visual Rules can easily be combined and integrated with other tools such as BPM or BI tools. This applies to both design time and runtime integrations (for OEM).


Quick Facts

- Model business logic graphically - no need to learn a script

- Create business rules via drag & drop of descriptive icons

- Flow rules and decision tables

- Transparency of rules while modelling and executing

- Test-driven and iterative approach

- Automatic documentation of rule projects

- Total Quality Management

- Integrated process support

- Powerful collaboration platform for business & IT

- Maximum performance and scaleability

- Hot deployment while executing

- Full SOA integration (decision services)


Case studies are available at www.visual-rules.com

 

Components


The Visual Rules Enterprise Platform consists of the following components:


Visual Rules Modeler

Graphical rules modeling,simulation and analysis of rule execution


Visual Rules Team Server

Team Server streamlines the collaboration between all participants in the business rules lifecycle; beginning with the inception of the rules, followed by testing, then release, and finally maintenance of rules in production.


Visual Rules Execution Server

The Visual Rules Execution Server provides the option of deploying business rules as a Web Service. Multiple applications on any platform, such as J2EE, .NET, and other web environments can use these business rules through standardized Web Service access.


Visual Rules Database Connectivity

Visual Rules Database Connectivity extends the graphical modeling of business logic with database operations for data selection and update. This significantly increases productivity when developing rule-based systems that use operational databases or data warehouses. Database Connectivity provides automated mappings of the database to the rule data ("vocabulary"). The user simply has to select the tables or queries for which the corresponding data structures should be created within Visual Rules. These then can be immediately used for modeling rules.


Visual Rules QA & Deployment Tools

With the QA & Deployment Tools, Visual Rules provides enterprise functionality that completely automates the build process and quality management.


Visual Rules Modeler

 

As a core component of Visual Rules, the Modeler provides extensive features for both business and IT to graphically model, test, simulate and deploy business rules - as flow rules and decision tables. All steps in the process are made within the graphical model and only require minimal technical expertise.


Modeling

Modeling Instead of Coding Business Rules

Visual Rules Modeler provides an especially intuitive method of graphically modeling, simulating and testing business rules. The Modeler uses graphical editors that comfortably assist the user with tools and data palettes, wizards, zoom, undo/redo and advanced search functions. Easy drag&drop simplifies modeling of decision tables and flow rules.


Rule Editor with Decision Table
Rule Editor with Decision Table
Rule Editor with Flow Rule
Rule Editor with Flow Rule

 

The hierarchical structure of rules and data, organized into rule packages, and the automatic filtering of data available in the context of a specific rule, simplify designing and maintaining the largest rule projects.

The Visual Rules Database Connectivity can be used for direct access to relational databases when modeling rules.


Testing

Business Rules Testing and Validation

The Modeler provides integrated testing that features graphical test cases that verify the proper functioning of all rules. This ensures that only tested and logically correct rules enter production.

Input data and expected results are defined and administered in an easy-to-use Test Editor. Tests can be performed directly and deviations from expected results are marked in the results display.


Tracking Test Performance

The results of the test run are displayed as statistics in the graphical model. The statistics illustrate which rule elements were executed. Statistics can be issued for single or accumulated test cases. With the test coverage analysis, the user can ensure that business rules are tested thoroughly.

 

Debugging Rules

Visual Rules offers rule debugging in its graphical model. There are single-step execution and breakpoints available for debugging and tracing of rule execution.


Documenting

Automatic Documentation Of Rules

The documentation can be generated in HTML or PDF format. It can be archived in a versioning system along with the rule models.


Managing

Organizing and Reusing Rules

Rules can be compiled in rule packages based on their substantive interconnections and organizational structures. This includes the associated data structures as well. Clearly defined dependencies among rule packages make it easier to maintain an overview when a large number of rules are involved. In addition, it encourages the reuse of rules (including multiple projects). Extensive navigation and search options support the rule author by maintaining relevant information in a rule model that is always directly at hand.


Versioning Tested Rules

Rule projects can be fully administered in a versioning system - the Team Server. The versioning system makes it possible to revise rules and document the associated resources and make them available to other team members. The versioning system is the starting point for a robust rules testing and deployment process.

The Modeler offers the option of comparing any two versions of a rule — in graphical form. This way, modifications can be easily tracked and aligned as needed.

 

Audit Trail of a Rule Project

All modifications to the rule models and tests are completely documented in the versioning system. That way it is always clear who made which modification and when, and which version of the rules is in production. Monitoring options and complete traceability during rule execution are readily available to the business analyst.


Monitoring

Monitoring Rule Execution

Decisions made during rule execution are thoroughly documented in Visual Rules and can be traced step-by-step in the graphical model.

The statistic illustrates every rule element and how often it was executed (Rule Audit Trails). Rule elements that are not executed are grayed out. The complete journal of rule execution enables effective audit capability.


Analyzing Rule Runtimes

Visual Rules analyzes runtime behavior and delivers the results for each rule element. The detailed profiling statistics supports performance monitoring, particularly in creating complex rules with high runtime requirements.