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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Application Development Strategies

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This Application Development Strategies White Paper (registration required) published by Butler Group about a year ago came by my desk the other day. Three issues caught my eye as they seemed to be related to the use of decision technologies:

Lightweight or Heavyweight Development?

The report talks about how to decide which projects are deserving of more "rigorous" approaches and which ones should focus on time to deliver and agility. It goes on to talk about the need to have more formal documentation and design materials for systems that have a maintenance "tail" as the original developers may well have moved on. It seems to me that this is a little bit of a false choice. Just because a system is needed quickly or that "better is the enemy of good" does not mean it will not have a maintenance tail. How many systems are in your company today, still being maintained and tweaked, that were built as "quick fixes" years ago? Even if you are building systems quick and agile you should build for maintenance. Business rules is a core technology for this kind of long-term business agility and for building "change time" into your systems.

.NET and Java

The report notes that both .NET and Java are being used to development critical systems. It seems to me that keeping your core business logic in code is a bad idea. Let's face it your core business logic would not change just because you moved from .NET to Java so why tie it to one platform or the other? Use of a platform independent business rules management system would let you keep this logic as a corporate asset and deploy it as needed to your various applications.

Rich Internet Applications

The report notes that "Rich Internet Applications" are a likely growth market. In the year since the report clearly this has turned out to be true. Now RIAs can be all about the quality of interaction (drag and drop etc) but they can also be about making the client interaction "smart" and having it act more like an intelligent interviewer than a dumb computer system. Business rules technology can be applied to this kind of problem to build rules-driven smart user interfaces.

There are other reasons, of course, but it struck me as interesting that some of these general trends, identified over a year ago and clearly still relevant, pointed so directly to business rules and a decision technologies approach.

James Taylor blogs about decision-management technologies such as predictive analytics and business rules, discussing how they deliver agility, improve business processes and bring intelligent automation to SOA.

James Taylor

James Taylor blogs on decision management for ebizQ, and is an independent consultant on decision management, predictive analytics, business rules, and related topics.

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