Wednesday, April 19, 2017

bpmNEXT 2017 (part 3)

Starting the second day at bpmNEXT, where Edson is kicking off (with Bruce) on the DMN execution engine we've been working on on the Drools project.

An executable DMN solution for business users
Bruce Silver - methodandstyle.com, Edson Tirelli - Red Hat

Bruce and Edson are showing the first complete implementation of DMN. It's a collaboration of multiple companies, where Trisotech is providing a DMN modeler, Red Hat has a completely open-source DMN execution engine (as part of the Drools project - the first and currently the only implementation passing the full TCK) and Method and Style is offering a methodology and guardrails around it.
Bruce did a demo where he showed a decision table to define some decision logic and validation that will help you find potential issues with the table. Using a pre-qualification of a loan example, he showed a DRD to help find the interest rate of an applicant.  After executing the rule, the decision can be visualized by annotating it on top of the DRD diagram.
Edson zoomed in on various topics: how validation is done at several levels, an example using advanced expressions depending on level 3 DMN support, how to extend the language with a custom function and different ways of execution (from embedded to a REST service in the cloud).

Boost business process agility with DMN
Eduardo Chiocconi - Oracle

Oracle is showing their cloud-based DMN service that allows you to create and publish a DMN decision service.  Using an expense approval process, they showed how to first model the decision using DMN and then integrate the resulting decision service into a process. This is targeting business professionals rather than IT personnel.  By adding a decision service to the process (it is aware of which decision services are available) and mapping the inputs and outputs (in a graphical way, avoiding any scripting), the DMN service can be integrated in the process. By extracting the decision logic from the process itself, it has been given a separate life cycle and can be updated dynamically.

Making the standard real: the DMN TCK
Keith Swenson - Fujitsu

Keith presented the DMN TCK.  It's a set of DMN models (focusing on the most important use cases), input data sets and expected results (using an xml format for both).  Once a runner is provided (that is able to invoke the implementation of a particular vendor), it produces a CSV with the results. DMN supports multiple levels of compliance, where level 3 includes full FEEL support.  There currently are only a limited set of test cases, but Keith is asking everyone to submit their own test cases to extend the TCK.  Great results in one year, given that this was basically started from a discussion at his bpmNEXT presentation last year.

Decision enabled robotic process automation
Larry Goldberg - Sapiens DECISION

Larry presented a use case where process, decisions and robots were combined.  Data being sent in is first sent to a decision service (which he called the brain) to determine which robots (using RPA) need to be triggered to collect additional information from back-end systems.  Further validations by the brain and/or manual checks continue until the brain is satisfied.  This allowed the company to increase the number of transactions they were handling and at the same time reducing the amount of FTEs required to perform the work (as a lot of the data collection was automated using RPA). Larry showed how Sapiens DECISION can be used to define the underlying processes and decisions.

Accelerating digital transformation with an Open Cloud Platform
Harald Schubert - SAP

SAP presented their Cloud Platform, and more specifically the Workflow service in there.  He showed how to start a new process from scratch, with a simple process that included a human task.  When starting an instance of this process through their UI, this task obviously ended up in the task inbox. Internally they are using the open-source Activiti engine for execution.  SAP Cloud Platform comes with a lot of out-of-the-box platform services that can be integrated into the process, like for example a gamification service (and associated UI).  This service was called through the SAP Integration layer (as the process currently only supports REST calls).

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