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First Look: ACTICO Modeler 8


ACTICO has just released ACTICO Modeler 8 – the latest version of the product previously known as Visual Rules for Finance (see most recent review here). ACTICO Modeler is a project-based IDE. ACTICO users can now select whether to create a “classic” Rule Modeling project or a Decision Model and Notation (DMN) project. The DMN modeler supports Decision Requirements Diagrams, Business Knowledge Models (BKMs) and the full FEEL syntax.

Decision Requirements Diagrams are built using drag and drop or by working out from existing diagram elements. When a Decision, Input Data, Knowledge Source or BKM is selected its properties can be filled out and this includes linking to other objects, like organizational units, that are managed in the project. A decision model supports multiple diagrams on which objects can be reused – users can drag existing model objects from the project repository structure or search for them. Decisions, Input Data, Knowledge Sources and BKMs are genuinely shared across all the diagrams in a model’s project. Any change on one diagram is immediately reflected on all other diagrams.

Existing DMN models can be imported simply by dropping DMN XML files into the environment. As DMN 1.1 models don’t have diagrams, users can simply add a new diagram to an imported project and drag elements on to it as needed.

All boxed expressions and full FEEL are supported – literal expressions, contexts, invocations, lists, relations, function definitions and decision tables. Validation is applied as syntax is edited using the classic squiggly red underline and supporting hints to correct it. A problems view summarizes all the problems in the current model and this is dynamic, updating as the model is edited. The core FEEL validations are in the product already and more are planned in coming releases.

Decision services can be defined using their own diagram, allowing the user to show which decisions should be included in the decision service and which ones are invokable. All the information requirements that flow across the decision service boundary are defined. Each decision service has its own diagram and the relevant decisions are dragged from the project to create the decision service. The decision service can be invoked from the ACTICO classic rule representation. This allows, for instance, test cases to be reused and allows new DMN models to be deployed and managed using the existing server architecture. Individual decisions and BKMs can be tested using the same mechanism.

A view of the ACTICO DMN Modeler showing a Decision Requirements Diagram and a Decision Table for one of the Business Knowledge Models displayed.

You can get more information on the ACTICO DMN Modeler here.