As per Wikipedia, Oracle Policy Automation (abbreviated OPA) is a suite of software products for modelling and deploying business rules within enterprise applications.
It allows business users to write rules/legislation which can be evaluated to produce an outcome or to reach a result. For example, a customer’s eligibility for a mortgage application can be determined by running the eligibility criteria(rules) with the customer’s input.
The rules are in written using Microsoft Word or Excel in a natural language like English, French or Chinese.
It is somewhat similar to RedHat Drools or IBM iLog JRules, the only (key) difference being that the rules can be written in a natural language which allows a business user to write them using Microsoft Word or Excel.
The rules once written can be integrated very easily to any existing application or can be used via the various execution options provided by OPA.
The below diagram describes the OPA Technology overview.
Policy Capture & Management: This is the place where we write, store and test our rules/legislation. OPA provides a Windows based tool to perform these tasks, it’s called Oracle Policy Modelling tool.
- Oracle Policy Modeling: OPM tool helps in capturing the rules/policies using Microsoft Word or Excel. Rules can be written in natural language (English, French, Chinese) by analysts which then gets transformed into rules model. OPM also helps in running and testing these rules using inbuilt server. The output of OPM is a zipped file which contains the compiled rules/policies also called as Rulebase.
Policy Execution: Policy Execution in OPA helps in executing the policies (rules/legislation) written using OPM. It provides various different ways to execute/run the policies and get a result.
- Oracle Determinations Engine: ODE is the core engine which takes the compiled rules (Rulebase) and executes the rules. It can be embedded within any Java or .NET based applications to execute the policies and retrieve the result. It provides Java and .NET based API’s to connect to the Rulebase and access the rules.
- Oracle Determinations Server: ODS is a wrapper over ODE and provides Web Services interfaces for clients to access the rules using a SOAP based web service. The client sends the data through a SOAP web service request, ODS then runs the rules and send the result back to the client via the response.
- Oracle Web Determinations: OWD is a wrapper over ODE and provides a web application to access the rules. Users can input the data on screen which is then used to run the rules and reach a result. The screen design, flows and summary can be modified using OPA.
Solution Integration: Solution Integration provide means to connect policies (rules/legislation) with existing business applications. It provides different connectors which can be used to connect to existing applications like SAP, Seibel and Oracle CRM on Demand.
- Siebel Connector: It provides a way to integrate the policies with Siebel through workflows and UI.
- Oracle CRM On Demand Connector: It provides a way to integrate the policies within Oracle CRM on Demand.
- SAP Connector: It provides a way to integrate the policies with SAP ABAP using the SAP Java Connector.
In the next article we will start with writing rules(policies) in Oracle Policy Modelling tool and will learn more about the tool.
- Oracle: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/oracle-policy-automation/resources/index.html
- Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation by Richard Napier
- OPA Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/OraclePAVideos/featured