Ilog engine targets compliance
- By Jack Vaughan
Sarbanes-Oxley (SarbOx) compliance spans the organization and, consequently,
can span the gamut of software in the organization. Some viewers suggest that
one of the natural focal points for compliance-related software may be business
process management (BPM) tools. We spoke recently with Nicolas Robbe, director
of business solutions at component and BPM player Ilog, who looked at the
reasons for SarbOx interest on the BPM side.
Ilog offers a Solution Accelerator for such purposes. Robbe said he has seen
a shift in the audience for Solution Accelerator for compliance, as companies
have gone through a series of compliance projects of which SarbOx is just the
latest. The move has been from CFO to project manager and now, said Robbe, to an
''architecture audience.'' Ultimately, business analysts will also join the
The SarbOx effort tends to uncover ''leaky pipes'' and auditors find ''a number
of things that need to be fixed in the business process,'' Robbe said. They also
locate places where a company may want to introduce automation and control
Why BPM? The answer is that SarbOx and the like are about policies, hence
rules engines and BPM systems. ''At the end of the day it is about enforcing
policies on data stored in financial systems and CRM systems; [it is also about]
making sure that the data complies, and that how you handle data complies with
policies,'' said Robbe.
Solution Accelerator is three things, he said. First, source code sits atop a
rules engine, and includes specific domain models and supports various kinds of
reports; second, is a set of project management resources that include reference
architectures and project plan templates; finally, there are connectors to
accelerate integration of the various system elements via JMS, MQ and legacy
Changes in Ilog's evolving product line show some of the ways in which
compliance requirements can change the rules engine business. Implementing
compliance in source code prevents you from having the degree of observability
that you need, so high-level interfaces are in order.
''Some business logic is in data; it is in databases and can be found,'' said
Robbe. ''But decision logic is in source code.'' With improvements made to Ilog's
offering, users can get readable, English-like descriptions of the rules. This
helps as business analysts and other non-programmers look to fill new roles in
corporate compliance and IT governance.
Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.