Ever faced this dilemma before? The business walks through their manual processes and describes their decision points within those manual processes. The translation of these decision points into business rules by technologists can often lead to misunderstandings. In addition, the business may find that their rules need to be tweaked based on process improvements made in the course of developing the Appian solution.
When it comes to making business decision rules, this should be left to the decision makers instead of hard-coding decision rules or forcing designers to write their own rules based on limited understanding of the business processes. With the introduction of the Decision object in Appian 17.2, it makes even more sense to turn over the decision rule design responsibilities to the business by training them to write business rules instead of writing the rules for them within coded expressions.
The Appian Decision object takes all the complexity out of designing smart decision rules. If you can explain your business rules in plain English, the Decision Designer can help you turn those rules into real business logic using the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard that can be used directly by your Appian solution.
Built-in Validations and Testing
To help ensure that your decisions are all-inclusive and error-free, Appian runs various validation checks on your rule set. You need not worry about making sure there are no overlapping rules if none are desired, as the designer will show you any rows that would cause conflict. Conversely, you need not worry about making sure there are no gaps when testing on input ranges, as this will also be highlighted for you by the system.
In addition to helping you write your rules, there is a built-in test harness to help you test your entire rule set. This will allow you to run various scenarios and make sure that the rules evaluate
the way you expect them to in all cases.
With the business taking on the responsibility of writing complex rule sets, designers can focus more on how those rules are used within SAIL forms, process models, and even Web APIs to expose those decisions to external systems. With the seamless integration of the Decision object as just another object type within Appian, working with Decisions becomes as simple as working with any expression in the system.
Developers will be able to design smarter, more efficient, easily maintainable processes when planning from the start to use Decision objects wherever applicable. An initial basic Decision rule set would be created by the Developer wherever Decision objects can be utilized as part of the development process. Then, those Decision objects will be exposed to those in the business that will be in charge of maintenance of decision rules, along with some training on how to add, remove, and edit rules in the system and test them before publishing any rule set changes. Once the application is built around Decision objects, making changes to business rules will become a much simpler process, as it will require no code changes!