Thursday, March 20, 2008

Industry First Open Source Methodology for Business Rules

Yesterday ILOG Inc announced his donation of his Rule Based Methodology to Eclipse Consortium. I need to provide some explanations on what this donation is about. The Agile Business Rules Development methodology (ABRD) is the industry’s first free, vendor-neutral methodology delivered as an Eclipse Process Framework (EPF)OpenUp plug-in. ABRD provides a step-by-step process for developing business applications using technologies such as Business Rule Management System, BPM, BPEL.

ABRD mitigates the risk associated with new business rules initiatives by providing a well documented and structured approach for developing rule-based applications. ABRD allows organizations to avoid using ad-hoc processes or having to expend significant time and effort creating their own best practices.

In case you never have a look at EPF, Eclipse Process Framework provides tools for software process engineering to develop methodology. It comes with content knowledge organized in library, and with a tool, EPF Composer, which enables process engineers and managers to implement, deploy, and maintain processes for organizations or individual projects based on the content of the library.

The goal for EPF is to deliver a platform for producing software development practices, how-to, common definition and vocabulary, and processes with task, role, work product and guidelines definitions. Libraries are physical containers for knowledge content, process configuration and other parameters to publish the content as a set of web pages. Method content describes what is to be produced, the necessary skills required and the step-by-step explanations describing how specific development goals are achieved.
Processes describe the development life cycle. They take the method content elements and relate them into semi-ordered sequences that are customized to specific types of projects. They express who, when, what work will be performed.
EPF Composer provides a knowledge base of intellectual capital which we can browse, manage and deploy. This knowledge base organized in plug-in forms the basis for developing processes. We can define Roles, Tasks, Work Products, and Guidances in a hierarchy of folders named Content Packages. All content can be published to html and deployed to Web servers for distributed usage. Finally process engineers and project managers can select, tailor, and rapidly assemble processes for their concrete development projects. Once content is defined you can define the process building blocks, called capability patterns, which represent best development practices for specific disciplines, technologies, or management styles.

'abrd_openup" is a plug-in which extends openUp. From there you can reuse the content to develop your own plug-in. I recommend to extend ABRD without modifying it, so that you can leverage future release of it. If you want to contribute to abrd_openup you can send me email or comment on this blog. I will integrate most of the contribution in each release of the plug-in.
Have EPF fun!.