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Update – New Wisdom RuleGuide


New Wisdom LLC

I have an update on the RuleGuide™ product from New Wisdom recently. I blogged about RuleGuide back in 2009. The product started with a focus on business rule management for the business team – allowing them to create a container of rules to pass to the IT group for implementation in a Business Rules Management System. Today, RuleGuide business rules projects tend to be more strategic with broader scope and a focus on deployment of those rules in reusable Decision Services. This pushes the focus to the business rule lifecycle, to decisions and to business rule metadata. These changes drive a need for an enterprise repository with more scalability, better communication, and more transparency. Over time the repository and its ability to support a true rule management strategy has become the focus.

The current product is aimed squarely at helping business people manage multiple rules-based projects across an enterprise. The repository is designed to be a definitive source of information about decisions, rules, terms and their relationships – including their relationships to processes. It supports real-time collaboration, wide accessibility and governance/controls.

RuleGuide manages information about decisions, rule families or rule sets, and a glossary of terms. It also provides analysis and governance for these objects. The infrastructure, built around a shared relational database, allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the repository, making it easier for distributed teams to work collaboratively. While the tool can be used effectively on a single project, the value of using it grows as the number of projects grows thanks to reuse. RuleGuide supports role-based permissions based on the organizational structure defined as well as versioning and change management. Review and approval processing is being enhanced and a wide range of reporting is supported. At the core of RuleGuide are a set of tables – business strategy, decisions, definitions and sources.

  • Basic business strategy information can be defined such as strategic initiatives and projects. These can be described and mapped to the decisions to show what’s driving the work on the decision.
  • Decisions have a tree structure, decomposing into rule families or rule sets. Each rule family or rule set has a set of terms – information – that it uses. Terms can be reused across rule families and rule families across multiple decisions. Decision stewards and stakeholders can be defined. Decisions are owned by an organization and mapped to supporting documents (such as use cases or transaction definitions) to allow source documents to be managed.
  • A rule family or rule set has a set of rows each of which is an atomic or production rule based on the terms or condition columns defined for the rule family. The layout can be as a rule sheet/decision table or as a Decision Model Rule Family. These formal or atomic rules can be linked to messages (managed as a shared set of messages for consistency) and to source rule statements such as those that might be captured during initial analysis of a piece of legislation. Conditions and conclusions are based on the glossary which defines the terms, allowed values etc.
  • Business definitions include the glossary, fact tables and rule groups. Terms can be defined, identified as a preferred term for another term and managed in terms of status, owner, organization, etc.  Fact tables link terms in the glossary (the way relationships in a fact model would be defined such as Term 1 is a type of Term 2) while rule groups act like tags to label formal rules across multiple rule families.

Everything, all the tables in the tool, can be exported to PDF, Excel, PowerPoint or Word. In addition design-time impact analysis is supported, making it easy for instance to see the traceability of a particular term to the formal rules which use that term.  Decisions and rules are versioned and a comprehensive user guide is available.

New Wisdom now offers RuleGuide as web hosted software as a service for quicker business team startups, avoiding the usual company IT installation and support.  RuleGuide is also offered as a perpetual license for traditional installations.

Don’t forget the Decision Management Technology Map