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Mashing Up External Business Data in a Decision Table at Runtime in a Business Rules Management System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246174D
Publication Date: 2016-May-13
Document File: 4 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a dynamic method of mashing up data from multiple data sources at runtime in a decision table of a Business Rules Management System. This eliminates the need to pre-populate decision table data at the time of rule authoring and to maintain it as the data in the underlying source changes.

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Mashing Up External Business Data in a Decision Table at Runtime in a Business Rules Management System

A Business Rules Management System (BRMS) is a software system comprising a set of tools that allows business and technical users to define and develop business logic as business rules, test, and deploy the rules to a runtime executable environment. A decision table is one such rule artifact used to capture business logic in a BRMS. Decision tables include condition and action columns. Often, some or all of this data used in the definition of a decision table exists in other applications , database tables, spreadsheets, etc.

When creating a decision table in such scenarios, the decision table author has to cross-reference data from multiple sources. The decision table needs to be constantly updated when the data in the originating source changes or is different between products and test environments.

Current methods of populating decision tables from external data sources are limited to pre -populating data at the time of authoring rules. This means that when the data in the originating data source changes, the decision table needs to be re-populated and re-deployed to the rule execution environment. This process introduces overhead and can be error prone. Further, when the business data changes, the rule project containing the decision table needs to be re-deployed from the authoring to the runtime rule execution engine.

The novel solution is a method to dynamically mash existing reference business data from multiple sources with rule data defined in the decision table. At runtime, when input data triggers conditions in the decision table, actions set output objects using data defined in the decision table and external data fetched from one or more external data sources . External data is accessed by executable code that queries the underlying data source and returns a data record set to decision table to be used .

This executable code is typically defined by classes that access data from the underlying data source with query methods . Corresponding business object model classes need to be created in the BRMS and mapped to the executable classes . Members of these business model classes are verbalized in natural language and used in rule authoring. As data from the underlying data source changes, the system makes it available at runtime during rule execution, without re-deploying the decision table from the rule authoring to the runtime rule execution environment.

To enable external data access that can be used in mashup decision tables at runtime by the business rules engine , the system:

1. Identifies the source of data and the entities and attributes from the source . For example, if the source of data is a database, then the system identifies the tables or views and the columns.

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2. Creates the persistent data source access class(es) and the associated attributes that map to the underlying entity and its attri...