All the cool stuff of JBoss BRMS

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All the cool stuff of JBoss BRMS

Giovanni MarigiJBoss ConsultantRed Hat, Inc.January 2012



What is a BRMS?
BRMS features
BRMS benefits

BRMS - Guvnor

BRMS Assets
working sets
decision tables
test scenarios
other assets

JBPM5 processes

BRMS authoring

Eclipse integration

Rule agents

What is a BRMS?

BRMS (business rules management system)
a software where to define and externalize the business and decision logic used inside programs inside an organization

What is a BRMS?

a single platform for business modeling

JBoss BRMS includes:

Expert: Rule Engine
Flow/JBPM5 : Rules Process Management
Fusion: Complex Event Processing
Guvnor: BRMS front end and repository for BRMS artifacts

JBoss BRMS is distributed:
. war archive
. already packaged with an EAP
. ready for AS7

What is a BRMS?

Every artifact inside a BRMS is an asset

The assets define a knowledge base

Business logic is made by several assets:
facts (domain model)
rules (of course)
business processes (workflows)
decision tables

Not only business rules!

BRMS features

Centralized repository of business assets

Version control of business assets

IDE/User tools to define and to governance the decision logic

Build, deploy, testing of decision logic

Packages of business assets

Categorization of business assets

Roundtrip, integration with dev Tools (Eclipse)

JCR repository (jackrabbit or modeshape) for assets

BRMS can be configured for high availabilty

BRMS benefits

Logic and data separation

Cross domain logic

Reuse, logic opened to changes

Easy to maintain the business logic

Changes in live systems

Several stakeholders can contribute in defining the business logic (Business Analyst, Rule expert, Developer, Administrators)

BRMS - Guvnor

Drools Guvnor 5.4.0 Beta1

Drools Guvnor 5.3.0 last stable

Drools Guvnor 5.3.0 includes:
Expert 5.3 (rule engine)
Fusion 5.3 (CEP)

Eclipse + JBoss Tools

BRMS 5.2 last stable

BRMS 5.2 includes:
- Drools Guvnor 5.2
- Drools Expert 5.2
- Drools Fusion 5.2

BRMS 5.3 (next release) will be based on Guvnor 5.3

JBoss Developer Studio

Bug fixing,patching
Enterprise certification | QA

BRMS assets - Package

Guvnor Knowledge base

How to start?
define a new package for
business assets

BRMS assets: Model/Facts

A package must contain a fact model

fact model != domain model
a fact model typically overlaps a domain model but better to make it decouple from the domain model

Rules and assets reason upon a fact model

Two ways to do define your fact model:
- upload a JAR file containing Java Classes
- declare a model within Guvnor

BRMS assets: Working Sets

Working sets are groups of facts

Use them to put constraints on a group of facts and restrict the reasoning domain of your business rules

Disabled by default

BRMS assets: Rules

Rules are the backbone of a BRMS

Don't use a BRMS if you don't have business rules

Don't use a BRMS if you don't want or you can't separate logic from data

Rules are processed and evaluated by a Rule Engine (Drools Expert)

Forward chaining rule engine which implements the RETE algorithm (ReteOO)

Rich native language to define rules

A rule is contained in a DRL file

More info on Drools Expert:
Jbug Italy slideshare site:

BRMS assets: Rules

Forward chaining

Rule Engine

BRMS assets: Rules

rule "Approve if not rejected" salience -100 agenda-group "approval" when not Rejection() p : Policy(approved == false,policyState:status ) exists Driver(age > 25) Process(status == policyState) then log("APPROVED: due to no objections."); p.setApproved(true);end

Anatomy of a rule

Example of a rule

BRMS assets: Rules

Inside BRMS there 4 ways to create
a rule:

- from scratch,code;
can be validated inside BRMS
(requires knowledge of Expert)

- using the guided editor

- uploading a decision table

- creating a decision table
spreadsheet via the guided editor

BRMS assets: Rules

Validation of a rule written from scratch

BRMS assets: Rules

Rules with the guided editor

BRMS assets: Decision Tables

Express rules with a spreadsheet

A spreadsheet can be imported or created via the guided web editor

A wizard generator for spreadsheet is available in BRMS!

A decision table at runtime is transformed in a series of DRL rules

BRMS assets: Test Scenarios

Test scenarios are assets used to validate that the rules inside the knowledge base (package) works as expected

A scenario is made by a given section (list of facts and its initial state) and an expect section

What we can assert in a expect section?

- Rule
Validate that a certain rule fired.

- Fact value
Validate fact values for a fact created in the Given section.

-Any fact that matches
Validate that there is at least one fact in the knowledge base with the specified field values.

BRMS assets: Test Scenarios

BRMS assets: JBPM5

A workflow is a process that describes the order in which a series of steps need to be executed, using a flow chart.

JBPM5 is based on Drools Flow

Workflow guided by rules

Rule workflow is the new generation of business workflow

Rules + workflow: dynamic processes

BRMS assets: JBPM5

JBPM5 workflow are BPMN2 processes

No legacy xml to define the workflow but a standard!

Human task (human interaction with a flow)
The task service implementation is based on the
WS-HumanTask (WS-HT) specification

Rule Task:
use drools rules inside the flow

Pluggable Service Task (work items):
nodes with custom logic
(e.g. DBControl, EJBControl, EmailControl)

Gateway (split,converge)
the decision in agateway can be taken by a drools rule!

Events (start,end,intermediate)


BRMS assets: JBPM5

BPMN2 editor in Eclipse

BPMN2 editor in BRMS (web editor)

BRMS can upload BPMN2 processes designed with other BPMN2 modeling tool

Online repository to download ready to use service tasks
JBPM Service repository

JBPM 3 to 5 migration tool

BRMS assets: JBPM5

When defined a new work item
is available inside Eclipse

BRMS assets: JBPM5

Web Editor integrated inside BRMS (starting from BRMS 5.3)
Available in Guvnor 5.3

BRMS other assets

Spring context
editor to define spring context files;once created they are accessible via HTTP inside the package

DSL functions
Define rules in a domain specific language

Enum data to be used in rules


Rule templates

BRMS authoring

Every asset in BRMS is versioned; every time an asset changes
a new version number is attached

Assets anyway can't be
branched or tagged!

An asset contains meta data

Assets can be categorized

An asset can be linked to
many categories

Categories don't have any meaning
at runtime; useful to order the assets

An asset can have a status
(e.g Draft, Completed);
it's a sort of label

BRMS authoring

A package otherwise is versioned on demand, taking a snapshot for deployment

Creating a snapshot means that the BRMS package is ready to be used from external application

Before taking a snapshot a build package is required

With a build every assets inside the package is validated

Status and Categories can be used to select only specific
assets to include inside a snapshot (Use selector)
(e.g. create a snaposhot only with assets belonging to category Fraud and with Status Completed)

A snapshot will be published inside the repository and accessible via a URL

BRMS authoring

BRMS Eclipse integration

Eclipse can be configured to import the resources (assets) published in BRMS

Assets can be edited in Eclipse and committed to BRMS (complete roundtrip)

Eclipse gives the capability to compare different version of the same asset

Requires JBoss Developer Studio 4.x or Eclipse 3.6.x + JBoss Tools

File --> Import --> Guvnor --> Resources from Guvnor

BRMS Eclipse integration

BRMS Rule Agent

How to use a BRMS package inside your application?

Create a Drools RuleAgent able to get (download) its KnowledgeBase from BRMS

Define a change-set.xml (simple xml file) file where the BRMS packages are listed

The KnowledgeBase is the entry point to fire rules, execute bpmn processes,...

BRMS Rule Agent

KnowledgeAgent kagent =

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