With our 2015-JUNE release of the servicePath CPQ platform we have introduced a new Business Rules engine. This was developed with a number of specific objectives:
- Support the powerful functionality of the existing rules engine, but do it in a simpler way.
- Build an experience for the business user, not a developer. Not more steps, just forms and drag-and-drop
- Use examples from the previous 18 months to find patterns that shape how the new engine would work
- Strive to deliver a 3-5X efficiency improvement in the development and management of rules
We are very proud and excited to release the new rules engine that has met these objectives. The engine is more intuitive, easy to use and significantly less effort to build and manage rules.
Fundamentally, the big change is a move away from “rule steps” to “rule sections” that are reusable elements within the Business Rule. Sections really encapsulate and represent what would have taken multiple steps in the previous engine. To the User this reduces the need to know how a rule should be structured and rather depend on Rule Sections to define the structure for them.
The new sections can be selected by the user as needed:
In our analysis of example rules, we found some patterns that were repeated over and over. We took those and build a common set of “actions” that would make the action considerably simpler to implement:
Show groups or items based when a user makes a choice
Hide groups or items based when a user makes a choice
Set the quantity of an item or multiple items based on information
Set the properties for groups or items, selected item or all items in a group – this is the swiss arm knife
The example below will set the quantity for all database “products” in the “Database Server” group to the value of the processor
We also found more Users doing mathematically calculations within rules – calculate backup capacity, determine the number of licesnes, update the cost by a % due to complex configuration, etc. We have now merged our Calculator capability with the rules engine. You can build calculators as simply as writing an Excel formal, but then directly call a Calculator from within a rule. There are endless possibilities with this functionality.
Lastly, we found that many rules were common to one another. The new implementation allows you to clone a Business Rule and make your minor adjustments. This is a massive time-saver.
For existing clients we have already contacted you as we need to migrate to the new rules approach. This change required all existing rules to be refreshed and this is on servicePath to do for you.
We encourage everyone to check out the new knowledge base articles on Business Rules.
If you would like to see some real world examples, please call us and we can show you a number of examples on demo.servicepath.co/spa