IBM Decides to Give Decision Engine an Update
October 8, 2013 Alex Woodie
Some decisions made during the course of business are critical, and should only come from the executive suite after careful deliberation. However, for every important decision, there are a hundred less important decisions that need to be made, which need not ever touch a human’s brain, especially if one has IBM‘s Operational Decision Manager (ODM) keeping an eye on things.
ODM is a Java-based automated decision management engine that has been in the IBM software collection since IBM acquired ILOG in 2008 for $340 million. Before being given the boring and descriptive ODM name, the software went by WebSphere ILOG JRules, and before that, under ILOG, it was called simply JRules.
ODM is used to automate the execution of business rules and business decisions on a real-time basis. What that means exactly depends on the industry it’s used in. In a banking environment, ODM can be used to weed out those who obviously do not qualify for a loan, based on credit scores or other determining factors. In an insurance setting, ODM can be used to update underwriting rules or to accelerate the claims process.
There are vacation companies that use ODM to keep track of pricing and discounts in the creation of customized vacation bundles. Also, governments use ODM to determine eligibility for social services. (However, it’s unclear if President George W. Bush was referring to JRules when he declared “I’m the decider.”)
With version 8.5.1, IBM updated the core deciding engine within the Decision Server. The new Decision Engine improves load times and execution times of decision services served within Decision Server, IBM says. It has also improved the incremental migration tool to help customers upgrade to the new version (which probably won’t spur many upgrades in and of itself).
This release also brings support for WebSphere Application Server version 8.5.5, Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, and the Tivoli Directory Server. It also brings new licensing options for customers who only initially require the business rules management capability in Decision Server Rules Edition, and not the full ODM suite.
Lastly, IBM is now supporting ODM on its PureSystems line of converged systems. Specifically, the company has delivered an ODM Application Pattern that deploys to the PureApplication System W1500 and W1700. ODM is also supported on IBM i and other operating systems.
ODM 8.5.1 becomes available November 29. For more info, see IBM United States Software Announcement 213-411 (pdf).