I got an update from a new player in the decision management market today – ACTICO. They aren’t really new, though, as they are using the Bosch SI business rules management system, Visual Rules (last reviewed by me in 2010). The Visual Rules business has been split with Bosch SI focusing on IoT and manufacturing and ACTICO focusing on the financial industry (banks and insurance) and rebranding the product as ACTICO Rules.
Visual Rules has been in the business a while now (Innovations Software Technology was founded in 1997) and has 100+ customers across 30 countries with a concentration of customers in Europe. The product is now called ACTICO Rules with Bosch SI continuing to use the Visual Rules name.
The product has the same components you are familiar with:
- A visual modeling studio
- A Team Server for collaboration and a Builder for testing and deployment
- Execution tools including a runtime, execution server and batch execution
- Integration capabilities for database and other data sources as well as Identity Management (supporting multi-tenant)
Plus there is the Dynamic Application Framework for building rules-based UIs.
ACTICO Rules continues to support flow rules (something a little like a decision tree), decision tables and state flows (classic state transition diagrams). These rule editors are integrated with the Dynamic Application Framework. This framework leverages the rules and combines them with user interface, data designs and integration as well as processes defined using the state flows, to design complete rules-based applications.
Decision Management is the core focus for ACTICO Rules moving forward. The suite is now focused on building dynamic business applications to drive business decision-making using rules, analytics, processes and user interfaces. Users can take data, apply business rules and analytics to make decisions, and deliver this in a process or workflow framework for decision-makers with a dynamic user interface while tracking all the documents and supporting information that can be used to drive new analytics and new rules.
The ACTICO Rules Platform has Modeler, Team Server, Execution Server and Workplace (a new name for the Dynamic Application Framework). ACTICO Rules supports business rule management, analytics, process management and Rapid Application Development.
Besides the re-branding, a number of enhancements are planned:
- Support will be added to allow the import of PMML Decision Trees and the conversation of these into a flow rule. This is a nice feature as it allows the creation of flow rules that can execute an analytic decision tree as part of an overall decision. They are working with a couple of analytic tools to make sure this works with several analytic vendors.
- A new repository is planned to sit between the collaboration/team server and the execution server. This will handle code generation, test/simulation, approval and deployment. Separating this from the collaboration and execution environments will improve approval processes, traceability and testing.
- The UI modeling and rendering in the Dynamic Application Framework will be formalized with dedicated editors for UI models. The rendering will be replaced with a modern Angular JS and REST environment so it can support mobile, responsive UIs.
- Monitoring and execution statistics are being extended to include process state, data values and decision outcomes – information that is known to the Dynamic Application Framework wrapped around a rule execution. All this information will be integrated with the current rule execution statistics (which are nicely displayed in the modeler).
- Finally, there is a plan to do a cloud offering – putting the server products and the workplace (and the products based on this) into the cloud.
Beyond that there is consideration of more support for simulation and monitoring of deployed services as well as some support for DMN. In addition, various customers are using advanced analytics in fraud, money laundering and abuse detection systems. These projects are driving additional research into analytics and the team is very focused on how to make sure the data being produced by the platform is easy to consume by analytic teams as well as working on how to integrate analytics into the platform.
You can get more information on ACTICO here and they are one of the vendors in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technologies Report.
[Minor edits for clarity 3/18/16, rebranding noted 12/7/16]