Operational Decision Manager (ODM)


Components

Decisions can include...

To implement decisions, create rules. For example...

Changes to the business policy do not require changes to the application or process code.


Event pattern detection

Events signal a change in state. ODM uses a business event processing layer that sits across existing systems, leveraging existing functions.

Once detected, event rules implement organization logic. For example...

Business rules use a snapshot view of static data. Executes rules and treats each call as a unique transaction. Event rules use data variable over time frames, from varied sources. If a pattern is detected. Responds asynchronously by initiating actions on other systems.

Use Rule Designer to develop rule applications.


Development deployment path

  1. Package rulesets into an executable archive (RuleApp).

    RuleApp options...

  2. Configure the Rule Execution Server

  3. Deploy RuleApp to Rule Execution Server.

  4. If necessary, debug.

  5. Manage RuleApps in the Rule Execution Server console

  6. Test scenarios using the Scenario Service Provider (SSP).

  7. To monitor the execution of rulesets within Rule Execution Server.

    • Rule Execution Server console
    • Ant scripts
    • Enterprise management tools such IBM Tivoli
    • JMX MBeans

An audit trail of past decisions is available from the Decision Warehouse. Decision Warehouse also stores reports on rulesets.

Event connectors pass data to the event runtime. Action connectors retrieve data from the event runtime. Connectors are available for Email, File system, FTP, HTTP, JMS, Relational database, SOAP, and User Console.

The event runtime monitors events as they enter the system and progress through a process. When an event occurs that requires actions in another system, an event payload (field name, field type, and value) is delivered connector. To test event logic, use the the Event Tester widget. To capture events from a production system, and replay a sequence of one or more of them, use the Event Capture and the Event Replay widgets. To gather statistics on performance, enable PMI. In the Event Chart widget, you view charts in real time that display the history for events, actions, and filters used in event rule group evaluation.

In the Administration browser-based interface, you monitor and manage the development and runtime environments. In the development environment, you use Administration to view system events and event rule group processing, to ensure that the application is processing events and generating actions as designed. You can also run reports and view context processing. You define user authentication and access to Event widgets.


Decision Center

Provides project governance. Includes decision management server and repository, with a collaborative web environment.

To enable decision governance, publish rule projects as a decision service to Decision Center. The decision service is then available in the Decision Center Business console with an initial release that business users can start managing. At any time, you can synchronize the decision service release.

Create change activities to author business rules in the Decision Center Business console. You can integrate custom value editors that are developed in Rule Designer into the Decision Center Business console

Policy managers create validation activities to track and manage a test plan for the release and the results You can then use the Enterprise console to run test suites and simulations on the release. Policy managers can incorporate the report into the validation activity results.

Use the Decision Center Enterprise console to administer user access and the configuration of the Decision Center repository for auditing and rollback.


Deploy

When change and validation activities are complete, deploy a RuleApp to Rule Execution Server from the Decision Center Enterprise console. If the Decision Center repository is ODMion storage for business rules, you deploy directly to ODMion platform. You can also deploy to a test platform


Publish rule projects to Decision Center

Publish rule projects to Decision Center, then deploy the rules to the Rule Execution Server.

Reporting tools are available in Decision Center. Rule Solutions for Office is used for offline sharing of the business rules. At any time, you can synchronize your working copy of the rule project with the contents of the Decision Center repository.

Author business rules in...

You can integrate business rule authoring extensions and management extensions developed in Rule Designer into the Decision Center console and Rule Solutions for Office.

Use branches to work on multiple releases of the business logic, write queries on the business rules in their rule project, and create reports to review the results of the queries. Policy managers can use these queries to define smart folders, a business-oriented way of viewing the contents of a rule project in the Decision Center console. They can see the result of their work, or review the changes made by others, by searching the business rules in their rule project.

Always ensure that any updates will not break the business logic encapsulated in the ruleset by running tests against rules. The Scenario Service Provider (SSP) calls Rule Execution Server to execute the rulesets and produce a report. The report provides details of the tests that passed and failed from a test suite or a simulation. You can store the results of execution (input data, output data, execution flow, and which rules were executed) in Decision Warehouse, a Rule Execution Server facility

Use the Decision Center console to administer user access and the configuration of the Decision Center repository.

Deploy rulesets to the Rule Execution Server from Decision Center.


Publish event projects to Decision Center

Use the Decision Center repository to maintain the event rules. Deploy event rules to the event runtime from Decision Center. Synchronize working copies of event projects with the contents of the Decision Center repository.

Author event rules in the Decision Center Business Console. Integrate rule model extensions developed in Event Designer into the Decision Center and Decision Center console.

Use branches to work on multiple releases of the business logic, write queries on the event rules in their rule project, and create reports to review the results of the queries. Policy managers can use these queries to define smart folders, a business-oriented way of viewing the contents of an event project in the Decision Center console. They can see the result of their work, or review the changes made by others, by searching the event rules in their event project

Validate logic using the Event Testing widgets in Decision Center. Capture events from a production system and replay a sequence of one or more of them, typically on a test system using Event Capture widget and Event Replay widget.

Use the Decision Center console to administer user access and the configuration of the Decision Center repository. Decision Center provides history and versioning services that support auditing and rollback of business rules. In the Event Chart widget, you can view real-time charts which display the history for events, actions, and filters used in the evaluation of event rule groups

Deploy event assets to the event runtime from the Decision Center console.


Composition of ODM

Components that can be installed on a distributed platform ...

Decision Server and Decision Center are separate components, but work in combination with each other. By default, both components share the same Installation Manager package group directory.


Decision Server

Components of Decision Server...

Component Description
Rule Designer Business rule development tool. Options:

  • Rule engine
  • Rule engine for .NET
  • COBOL Management
  • Scorecard Modeler

Rule Execution Server Business rule execution platform with embedded rule engine.
Rule Execution Server application server archives Java EE deployment archives for each supported application server. To configure Rule Execution Server on an application server other than WebSphere Application Server, select the option for the supported application server.
Business Rules Embedded Embed business rules into applications.
Event Designer Design, develop, test, deploy, maintain, and monitor event applications.
Event runtime Manage real-time business event coordination. Deployed and configured on WAS.
Event Capture and Event Replay widgets Used for testing. Capture events from a system and replay sequences.


Decision Center

Components of Decision Center...

Component Description
Consoles and repository Decision Center Enterprise console
Business console
Shared repository
Rule Solutions for Office Add-ins for Word and Excel. Author and manage business rules using Microsoft Office.
Events management Event Capture widget and Event Replay widget
Event Tester widget
Event Chart Manager widget
Event Chart widget
Event Layout widget
Events User Console
Application server archives Java EE deployment archives for each supported application server. Default is WebSphere Application Server. To configure Decision Center on an application server other than WAS, select the option for the supported application server.


Security

ODM has been certified to support...

In secure mode...

By default, Rule Execution Server is installed with a minimum of security. The Rule Execution Server Console application defines three specific roles:

The roles control access to the various JSP/Servlets.

There is no specific permissions implementation for Rule Execution Server MBeans. All that is required to access the MBeans using JMX are the correct credentials.

Java 2 Security can be disabled and enabled independently of global security.


Installation Settings Wizard

Complete the ODM installation using the Installation Settings wizard.


Communication protocols

Communication with Rule Execution Server supports the HTTP or HTTPS communication protocols. Communication with Rule Execution Server can occur from Decision Center or Rule Designer.


Secure mode

By default, HTTPS supports only trusted certificates. As a consequence, when you communicate with Rule Execution Server in secure mode, you cannot connect using a demo certificate not trusted by the default JVM. The application server raises an SSL handshake exception.

To enable communication to work with nontrusted certificates, add the following Java system property in the start script of the application server:

To allow HTTPS on nontrusted self-signed certificates for Ant tasks, set...


Custom protocols

To customize the protocol factory for a specific protocol, set system properties...

Launch the JVM that initiates the HTTP communication with these system properties, and in the classpath set your implementation of the protocol factory class...

The protocol factory specified in custom.protocol.factory is instantiated and registered if both the following conditions are satisfied:

You can implement the protocol in one of the following ways:


Third-party tools and SAM

Open source software

ODM includes a number of third-party open-source libraries and tools...


Eclipse

The standard ODM installer provides Eclipse as an optional environment. Eclipse is required for application development with ODM. Users can choose to install ODM onto an existing, version compatible, Eclipse installation, or install a new instance of Eclipse.


Apache Ant

As part of the ODM installation, Apache Ant v 1.7.1 is automatically installed in...


Software Asset Management system

Software Asset Management (SAM) is installed as the license enforcement system. Include sam.jar in the class path of any business rule application developed with ODM.

If you use the classpath_*.xml file to set class path, the license file is automatically included. The classpath_*.xml file is located in the lib subdirectory of the corresponding ODM component.

If you repackage the module archives containing the sam.jar file, repackage this file, too.

For multiple business rule applications, a message is displayed in the console output when you run the application. In this case, specify the SAM application name for each application, using any of the following methods:

If you are granted extra access over previously installed modules (an evaluation extension, for example), launch the installer to reinstall the modules with the new rights.

If you are granted access to extra modules, launch the installer to install them and to update all the SAM JARs for the entire file tree to include the new access, typically, to the SAM JARs of the old and the new modules. To benefit from the extra access beyond the installed tree, in Eclipse or on an application server), redeploy from the updated tree.


Synergies with other IBM products

ODM integrates with the following IBM products:

IBM Business Process Manager

Use Business Action Language (BAL) for authoring if-then rules in the Intellirule editor. Export rule projects, moving rules from a process-centric lifecycle and governance model to the ODM methodology and lifecycle. IBM Process Designer and Integration Designer include wizards.

IBM Business Monitor

The Business Process Manager Advanced SupportPac (LA71) provides integration with IBM Business Process Manager. The integration with IBM Business Monitor provides real-time monitoring of business decisions. The Business Monitor SupportPac (LB01) provides integration with IBM Business Monitor.

IBM SPSS

Business predictive analytics. Use the Predictive Analytics SupportPac (LB02) to integrate with IBM SPSS.