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Start-up rethinks business rules software

Why can't business rules software work more like a spreadsheet?

That was the question Corticon Technologies Inc. asked itself three years ago when it set out to design a different kind of business rules platform, said Eric Kintzer, vice president of business development at the San Mateo, Calif.-based start-up.

Believing that business rules technology was missing the point by having programmers set up the business rules, Corticon decided to approach business rules from a business analyst perspective, Kintzer explained. So rather than taking the programmer approach of starting with the business rules engine, Corticon began with a spreadsheet-like interface that business analysts would be familiar with and could then use to set the business rules themselves.

Corticon's approach ''started with a familiar spreadsheet-like metaphor for modeling business rules that business analysts would be very familiar with and then built a rules engine that matched it,'' Kintzer said. ''We didn't come from the expert system heritage era like most of the other rules engine vendors. We designed a spreadsheet-like approach for modeling, analyzing and testing the rules that business analysts can do entirely without any programmer intervention.''

The first version of the Corticon product shipped in late 2002, Kintzer said. Version 2.8 of the Corticon Decision Management Platform became GA late last month with rules engine performance improved to run 10 times faster than previous versions, he added.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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