Decisions, Decisions, and the Knights that Say Ni!

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Old 12-28-2007
Decisions, Decisions, and the Knights that Say Ni!

Fri, 28 Dec 2007 08:56:22 +0000
The pre-Christmas week saw a gathering in Vegas for the annual TIBCO Sales Meeting [*1]. There were presentations from CIOs and Senior Execs from major customers (from a variety of industries) who repeated buzzwords like “real time decisioning”, “business rules”, “complex rule processing” and of course “event processing”.
This is interesting because the previous week we presented to the late-Fall OMG Technical Meeting (at a somewhat less fanciful location) on the need to model “business decisions” as part of the business modeling stack. Larry Goldberg explained how KPI Inc were successfully modeling business decisions rather than policy rules (per OMG SBVR) or production rules (per most BRMSs and OMG PRR) [*2], and was followed by James Taylor of Enterprise Decisioning fame [*3] on why a focus on “decisions” was good both for process automation and also process discovery (i.e. via predictive analytics). Real-time decisions and the Event Decision Architecture are concepts very relevant to CEP - hence TIBCO’s interest in the subject [*4].
And what about the Knights that Say Ni? Suffice to say, even for Vegas-haters, there is but one show you must see - no decision required…
[1] Thanks to the attendees of the TIBCO BusinessEvents training sessions: these turned into more of an education for the trainer than possibly the other way round! I learned some great snippets like new CEP use cases and application areas, competitive performance advantages, and roadmap feedback.
[2] Nomenclature: note the deliberate avoidance of the overloaded term “business rule”. IT implementors extract from “source rules” (business rules documenting the business) the “operational business rules” that make actions (such as updating values in some process). Many operational rules may be needed to make a business decision. For now, “business decision” has no standardized definition.
[3] Disclaimer: I am an ex-colleague of James, and once upon a time worked with KPI on ye olde RUP PlugIn for Business Rules. I am also not a fan of Americanisms like “decisioning” - what’s wrong with “decision making”???
[4] TIBCO’s rule-driven CEP technology uses production rules and state models to correlate complex events and make decisions. Simple, really.
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