Ilog Inc. wants to push its business rules technology into Web services, a move that could make it easier for business users to manage and change policies without the help of programmers.
To do it, Ilog is integrating its product lines. Later this month, the company will release the next version of its Java-based optimization engine, JConfigurator, according to Jean-Francois Abramatic, Ilogs senior vice president of research and development. The engine will be integrated with Ilogs JRules business rules technology and include support for the Web services standard Simple Object Access Protocol as an access protocol, instead of a proprietary technology. JConfigurator lets users set preferences and then configures the application to run in accordance with those preferences.
In addition, Ilog—with headquarters in Paris and in Mountain View, Calif.—is working to integrate its Java-based visualization software, JViews, with its business rules technology in an upcoming release of those products. The visualization products are suites of components for building user interfaces. Users can input data, and the systems make diagrams based on the data.
"Business rules really fit with the Web services infrastructure," Abramatic said."Web services allows you to integrate applications that have been deployed independently of each other and to talk to each other. The key challenge is to put the business user in control." Ilogs JRules can be embedded in Web services on application server platforms so users can apply business rules or policies consistently across transactions and processes, he said.
Harrahs Entertainment Inc. used JRules technology this year for its Enterprise Promotion project, an intranet-based, enterprise-level system that runs Harrahs sweepstakes and promotions. The system supports the Las Vegas companys promotions and manages the campaign rules, said Tim Stanley, vice president of IT. Harrahs allows its properties across the country to run the promotion with their own wrinkles, so it put in a rules engine to enable local users to set up the promotion with their modifications.
"Rather than us hard coding each property and all the different policies, we put in a rules engine and let the user set the tone," Stanley said, adding that Harrahs can still run the campaign from a central perspective.