The IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM) platform has evolved rapidly and significantly in the past few years: a new management console, a new engine (the Decision Engine), new projects organization (Decision Services), a SaaS offering (ODM on Cloud), and we can expect more to come as new platform deployment options are made available.

But inevitably, as new features and capabilities are released, older ones get deprecated. Also, the SaaS delivery model does not support customizations which require repackaging the platform EARs.

To help you assess the state of your existing projects, the ODM Transformation Advisor application performs a number of sanity checks on the rule projects and decision services found in your on-prem Decision Center repository.

In particular, it will flag the use of deprecated features as well as features which would have to be refactored before the projects can be migrated to the ODM on Cloud SaaS platform.

The application will also look for rule project artifacts that do not align with some common implementation good practices.

Check-out a sample report that is produced by the advisor.

List of checkpoints

The table below lists the current list of checkpoints that are performed by the tool.

Check Deprecation N/A for SaaS
Use of classic rule engine
Use of classic rule projects
Use of rule templates
Use of decision trees
Use of CRE API classes in B2X
Use of domain providers
Use of custom valueInfo
Use of custom valueEditor
Use of custom rule properties

Additionally, the advisor is looking for the following situations:

  • Projects with too many branches
  • Rules defined in the same project as a BOM entry
  • Rule tasks using an exit criteria
  • Different algorithms used the same rule flow
  • Rule tasks using the Rete or Sequential algorithm
  • Use of technical rules
  • Definition of rules under the root folder
  • Use of rule priorities
  • Rules derived from rule templates
  • Java-like verbalization in the BOM
  • Spelling error in BOM member verbalizations
  • Rules with the same name across packages
  • Rules using ‘else’ statement
  • B2X code for BOM members that is too long

For each of these cases, the advisor points to the rule project artifact in the repository and provides a recommendation associated with a common rule project development good practice.

Download and test drive

You can download the ODM Transformation Advisor on GitHub from this repository: ODMDev/odm-transformation-advisor. Instructions on how to run it on your ODM repository are provided in the README.md file.

More information and feedback

The advisor implements most of its validations using ODM business rules that are applied to your rule repository artifacts. For example, the check for rules that are defined directly under the root folder of the project is implemented with the following simple rule:

definitions
  set rule to an ilr business rule in elements ;
if
  the rule package of rule is null
then
  add entry Rule Under Root : < project, rule > to report ;

Aside from enjoying a sip of our own champagne, the goal of using rules was to make the advisor easily expandable to new validations, specific to your enterprise standards, without having to write any code. The advisor can then be used as a standard validation step, possibly as part of a Continuous Integration toolchain.

This application was built based on the expertise of the IBM Cloud Technical Enablement group. If you would like to discuss expanding it and/or integrating it into your operations or have other questions, comments, or feedback, please send email to Pierre Berlandier at pberland@us.ibm.com.

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