I received notice of a Victorian government position offering $106k, as follows, today:
BRMS Developer (WebSphere ILOG JRules)
You will have proven experience as a BRMS Developer within a Java/JEE environment using IBM‘s WebSphere ILOG JRules platform. You will have implementation experience using integration technologies (e.g. Web Services, JMS) and have the ability to liaise with and engage key stakeholders. Ideally you will also have knowledge and/or exposure to IBM‘s WebSphere integration suite (including the MQ Series).
This got a reaction out of me since we’re looking for people (although emphasizing logic, semantics, and English rather than any particular engine). At first, I thought it must be a Java job, but stakeholder engagement indicates this is a full-fledged knowledge engineering position.
$100k for anyone with strong, specific experience seems low. For someone that can understand objectives and translate requirements into operational business logic, it seems lower.
I’m surprised there isn’t more of an Ilog premium, too. JBoss Drools consultants can make more than this.
If you are considering the use of any of the following business rules management systems (BRMS):
- IBM Ilog JRules
- Red Hat JBoss Rules
- Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor
- Oracle Policy Automation (i.e., Haley in Siebel, PeopleSoft, etc.)
- Oracle Business Rules (i.e., a derivative of JESS in Fusion)
you can learn a lot by carefully examining this video on decisions using scoring in Ilog. (The video is also worth considering with respect to Corticon since it authors and renders conditions, actions, and if-then rules within a table format.)
This article is a detailed walk through that stands completely independently of the video (I recommend skipping the first 50 seconds and watching for 3 minutes or so). You will find detailed commentary and insights here, sometimes fairly critical but in places complimentary. JRules is a mature and successful product. (This is not to say to a CIO that it is an appropriate or low risk alternative, however. I would hold on that assessment pending an understanding of strategy.)
The video starts by creating a decision table using this dialog:
Note that the decision reached by the resulting table is labeled but not defined, nor is the information needed to consult the table specified. As it turns out, this table will take an action rather than make a decision. As we will see it will “set the score of result to a number”. As we will also see, it references an application. Given an application, it follows references to related concepts, such as borrowers (which it errantly considers synonomous with applicants), concerning which it further pursues employment information.
Continue reading “IBM Ilog JRules for business modeling and rule authoring”
I couldn’t agree more with these points from Giles Nelson’s article in CIO on BPM and event processing (as highlighted by TIBCO’s Paul Vincent):
…we need to take a different view of BPM technology and try to see how it can be used to make knowledge-based business more ‘operationally responsive’… …the potential for creating real business value by bringing together the two disciplines of event processing and BPM is substantial…
As Paul notes, this follows Progress’ acquisition of Savvion (i.e., CEP vendor buying BPM vendor).
I am glad to see other leaders pursuing the vision of knowledge-based enterprise. As I discussed, IBM is getting there (but SAP seems out of the picture). Will Oracle take the lead?
There has been some speculation that Freebase is a vehicle for Metaweb to prosper from its semantic web infrastructure when used for commercial purposes. As I recall, Metaweb raised over $40 million in Series B around the time they started building Freebase. The investment was led by Goldman Sachs. Metaweb’s seasoned investors were unlikely to invest so much in a business that cannot project a return on that investment. Almost certainly, Metaweb has firm plans for realizing over $100 million in revenues. Most likely, for these investors and the amount of capital, target revenues by 2014, five years after the second round, would be in the vicinity of $1 billion. Obviously, there is a lot of work to get there from around zero today.
Some of the bubble in raising those funds has burst. The economy would crimp the valuation and investment if made today. And the semantic web has yet to produce a winner, so with less enthusiasm, the investment would again be less favorable today. All this is modulo the business plan. If the business plan withstands scrutiny and the rate of return from credibly achievable projections justifies investment, they could get the money again, even now. But no one that I have heard or read over the past few years can explain the business plan adequately – that is, concretely. I would appreciate any insights or opinions on the topic. I believe these are smart people, in the company and among its investors, so I am sure it is there. I just don’t believe in the “we’ll figure out how to make money eventually” business plan in this case.
Some Freebase terms that are worth knowing but are commercially reasonable for any site that provides a free service include:
- The terms of service are subject to change (upon posting).
- The service may be changed or discontinued at any time and without notice.
- Limits concerning access to or use of the services may be established.
- Any disputes shall be heard in San Francisco and governed by California law.
Continue reading “Is Freebase worth much?”
Being a fan of increased intelligence on the web, including Bing’s use of Powerset and True Knowledge, I enjoyed cnet’s report, “Google search gets answer highlights and events.”
Google now shows the following “The Empire State Building rises to 1250 ft (381 m) at the 102nd floor” in response to the classic semantic web test question.
Also, Google leverages more of the content of text or structure of linked data in its Rich Snippet answers:
As search engines increase their understanding of concepts and how to extract them from content or linked data and present them as Google does here or above in a sentence, the web will begin to feel a lot smarter.
As these simple enhancements indicate, the intelligent web is taking off and that feeling of intelligence will come sooner than expected. Of course, there is a long way to go. For more on that, I here there is an upcoming issue of AI Magazine that will survey the state of the art in question answering, including coverage of Vulcan’s Project Halo and IBM’s Jeopardy effort, among others. Also, if you are interested in what bright minds are looking forward to in this regard, see Nova Spivak’s recent blogging and his post on “will the web become conscious?”
On the heels of IBM’s acquisition of Lombardi comes Progress Software’s acquisition of Savvion. The salient similarities are that IBM is adding BPM applications to its middleware stack as is Progress, at least with regard to its enterprise service bus offerings. More interesting is the relationship between Progress’ complex event processing software and Savvion’s BPM. Also of note is the vendor-provided integration of JBOSS Rules within Savvion versus the unrealized potential of IBM’s Ilog with respect to Lombardi.
We’ve written several times about the artificial distinction between CEP and BPM, their inevitable convergence, and the immature integration of business rules with business process management and event processing that inhibits knowledge-driven governance and decisioning. Continue reading “Rule and event-driven business process M&A”
In preparing for my workshop at the Business Rules Forum in Las Vegas on November 5th, I have focused on the following needs in reasoning about processes, about events, and about or over time:
- Reasoning at a point within a [business] process
- Reasoning about events that occur over time.
- Reasoning about a [business] process (as in deciding what comes next)
- Reasoning about and across different states (as in planning)
Enterprise decision management (EDM) addresses the first. Complex event processing (CEP) is concerned with the second. In theory, EDM could address the third but it does not in practice. This third item includes the issue of governing and defining workflow or event-driven business processes rather than point decisions within such business processes.
Business applications of rules have not advanced to include the fourth item. That is to say, business has yet to significantly leverage reasoning or problem solving techniques that are common in artificial intelligence. For example, artificially intelligent question and answer systems, which are being developed for the semantic web, can do more than retrieve data – they perform inference. Commercial database and business intelligence queries are typically much less intelligent, which presents a number of opportunities that I don’t want to go into here but would happy to discuss with interested parties. The point here is that business does not use reasoning much at all, let alone to search across the potential ramifications of alternative decisions or courses of action before making or taking one. Think of playing chess or a soccer-playing robot planning how to advance the ball on goal. Why shouldn’t business strategies or tactical business decisions benefit from a little simulated look-ahead along with a lot of inference and evaluation?
Even though I have recently become more interested in the fourth of these areas, I expect the audience at the business rules forum to be most interested in the first two points above. There will also be some who have enough experience with complex business processes, which are common in larger enterprises. These folks will be interested in the third item. Only the most advanced applications, such as in biochemical process planning, will be interested in the fourth. I don’t expect many of them to attend!
The notion of enterprise decision management (EDM) is focused on point decision making within a business process. For enterprises that are concerned with governing business processes, a model of the process itself must be available to the business rules that govern its operation. I’ve written elsewhere about the need for an ontology of events and processes in order to effectively integrate business process management (BPM) with business rules. Here, and in the workshop, I intend to get a little more specific about the requirements, what is lacking in current standards and offerings, and what we’re trying to do about it. Continue reading “Time for the next generation of knowledge automation”