Click here to close now.


Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Adrian Bridgwater, Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT

Microservices Expo: Product Review

Product Review: FICO Blaze Advisor

Blaze Advisor helps technology teams maintain the business rules/policies

This article reviews the features of Blaze Advisor, a business rules management system from FICO. Blaze Advisor helps technology teams maintain the business rules/policies separate from application code base and provides business users with ability to author & manage rules/policies in immediate response to business events.

Blaze Advisor - Features
FICO Blaze Advisor is a rules management solution that covers the entire process of developing, deploying and maintaining rule based applications. The features of Blaze Advisor 6.9 are detailed below:

Rules Development
Blaze Advisor provides an IDE for developers to model, build, test and deploy rules. Blaze can extract object definitions from legacy systems, databases or XML documents and extend them to define rules as using business terms. There is a performance monitor in the IDE that shows rule statistics like no of times a rule is executed, time taken for execution, rules that take most time etc.

Rules Authoring
Blaze provides a configurable web based interface, Rules Maintenance Application for business users to author and manage rules. Rules are authored in simple vocabulary that conveys business meaning of the rule.

Rules can also be managed in Excel in the form of decision tables, having it connect to Rules repository using Blaze API to leverage versioning capabilities and to work with data online or offline.

Rules Groups
Blaze has ability to group Rules into Rule Sets and manage them together based on projects/tasks. Also, sequence of Rules execution can be visually depicted as Rule flow and can be easily managed in RMA and Advisor IDE.

Rules Verification
There is a ‘Verify' feature in RMA that can be used by business users during creation/modification of rules to ensure rule correctness, to check that the rules follows best practices and to prevent any errors such as rule conflicts. Blaze also provides an automated unit testing tool (named BrUnit) for testing the rules.

Rules Invocation
User defined entry points (Rule Flow, Rule Set, Functions etc.) can be created during the deployment process for invocation of rules. Rules entry points can expose MQ/Java/Web Service interfaces for invocation by other applications.

The rules are compiled and cached in a memory structure to improve the performance of rules execution. Also, this cache gets auto refreshed when the underlying rules are modified and this ability is built in to Deployment Manager.

Rules Repository
Rules created in Blaze are stored in XML format and versioned in centralized rules repository. Advisor IDE and RMA provide the ability to compare versions and manage changes to rules in repository. Blaze also provides a hierarchical view of rules in repository and ability to search rules based on associated metadata in rules repository.

Blaze provides a ‘Decision Simulator' module that helps business users estimate the impact of new/updated rules before releasing them into production. Decision simulator provides out of the box simulation reports that help users measure the business impact of rule change/introduction. Blaze IDE also provides wizards for technical teams to create custom simulation projects and expose it for business users.

Analytical Models
Predictive models created in PMML format from other analytical tools like SAS can be directly imported into Blaze Advisor and used within a rule/rule flow.

Model builder, a tool from FICO can be used to create models and then import these models into Blaze Advisor as a rule/rule flow in a decision process. These models are stored in Decision Manager Repository and can be used similar to that of Rules repository.

Blaze helps expose the right scope for rule editing to match authority and skills of users, ensuring proper governance and control. Access controls can be configured at the level of rules/rule flows in RMA. For ex: Rule flows depict the sequence of rules execution and generally not changeable by business users without prior approval and stringent testing procedures so modification of rule flows can be disabled and only modification of rules will be enabled in RMA for business users.

Rule Engine Standards
Blaze uses Rete III algorithm for matching rules within core engine and it is claimed to be the fastest one among algorithms, roughly 100 times faster than previous Rete I algorithm. The product is compatible with JSR 94 specification thus enabling it to be used in a standard way on JEE platforms.

Logging monitors are available at multiple levels in the product - to monitor the rule server activities, rule execution requests etc. It provides ability to track the events within the rule engine, seeing which rules have fired, steps taken in the rule flow, and changes to the data. Also, product has ability to set auditing to any level of depth of detail and store the logs in any location.

Blaze also has a rules dashboard that displays details on number of rules executed, its response time, input/output data etc. It also provides Monitoring APIs that can be used to gather similar types of data for display.

Blaze Advisor provides all the capabilities of BRMS and is one of market leaders in this space. It has the leading performance considering the fastest algorithm it uses and caching abilities. It also provides an easy to use authoring environment to manage rules/rule flows, to perform rules verification and ability to leverage analytical models in decision process.


More Stories By Ravi M

M.Ravi is a Senior Technical Architect, specialized in providing architecture and design solutions on broad of spectrum of areas such as JEE, SOA, ESB, BI, CRM & SAS.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...