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This is one of the possible Use Cases.

1. Abstract

Of the deployed rules in use today, a large number are used in vendor-specific production rule engines (and derivative technologies, such as decision table processors).

A common use case for these rule technologies is that an organisation needs to switch rules from 1 rule engine vendor to another. This requires rule interchange in a common format.

2. Status

This use case is proposed by Paul Vincent of Fair Isaac. See also the existing effort at OMG for PRR - Production Rule Representation - which defines a common metamodel for production rule engine use, and a framework for other rule types to be defined in future.

3. Links to Related Use Cases

4. Benefits of Interchange

Transfering rules between vendor engines is a fundamental transport and interchange use case.

5. Requirements on the RIF

6. Breakdown

6.1. Actors and their Goals

6.2. Main Sequence

  1. RuleDeveloper exports rules into a RIF package or stream.

  2. RuleConsumer imports rules from a RIF package or stream. Semantic meaning is maintained.

7. Narratives

7.1. Transfer of rules from 1 vendor product to another

Generally, the semantics of rule engines are similar (see PRR).

  1. Vendors have many proprietary extensions to basic PR features (eg event rules, exclusive tables, rule priorities, ...). RIF may support some extensions and may delegate others to simple textual notation (eg for manual update).
  2. Rules eg PR production rules are defined against a data / object model. This is typically an in-memory model like Java objects, but for W3C work could be represented as either XML, RDF, or an XML metamodel of the data model. The data / object model may be called the Business Object Model for PRs representing business rules. This needs to be either identified or communicated with the rules in RIF.
  3. Example rule engine vendors' (languages) include Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor (SRL Structured Rule Language); ILOG JRules (IRL Ilog Rule Language); and rule formats for JESS, DROOLS, etc

8. Commentary

The most common rule vendors are for production rules (as defined in PRR). A RIF / RIF subset following the PRR metamodel would allow rapid support and use for RIF as well as providing an established vendor community for RIF-based software projects.