Category: Excel Spreadsheet

Intelligent Advisor Rule Design – Word, Excel or Something Else?

The Intellgent Advisor practitioner has had a very long time to get used to working with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel as the means to construct their policy rules. Rule design has never been easier with the wonderful Word and Excel toolbars, and now in version 12 we have the integration with the Intelligent Advisor Hub Collaboration module,

Let’s look at some of those features and remind ourselves of just how good it is:

Rule Design

The ability to know where an attribute has been used in any and all documents. Select an attribute, right-click and select Where Used. Pin the window and use it to review and correct anything in those documents. Validate the changes in the document and watch the Where Used windows update themselves.

Rule Design - Toolbar

Be instantly aware of conflicts from other users thanks to the Word toolbar and version tracking tools. Avoid costly conflicts by checking before Uploading, Downloading after abscences and use Inclusions to ensure a common approach to Rule Design. Use six levels of formatting to nest your rules and make Reference Tags to ensure that cross-referencing with source documentation is easy.

So where will the future take us. We cannot know of course, although there were some early concepts that crept into a previous release by design or accident. We should never base purchasing or other strategic decisions on this sort of thing, but in a Cloud-centric world it is reasonable to assume that some discussion will be going on as to how to provide a Web-based rule design interface. If you attended any Focus Group events I’m sure it is something you discussed. So here is my question – what is your opinion in respect of Web Authoring? Rather than ask for comments, I’ve put together a 2 minute survey which is below. If you enter the survey I’ll put you in the prize draw to win a basket of goodies from the OPA Hub Website Shop as well.

Rule Design will evolve but where do you want it to go?

Create your own user feedback survey

Conditions & Conclusions in Oracle Policy Automation Spreadsheets

Conditions and Conclusions in Oracle Policy Automation Excel Spreadsheets

Since this came up in the recent Oracle Policy Automation discussions I was having with a customer, it seemed a good idea to summarize it for people who are Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation. There are two basic ways to use the column headings in an Excel file.

Using Column Headers with Condition or Conclusion Text

This is the usage that is taught first in the Oracle Policy Automation Essentials training. Using a small fragment of a fictitious speeding fine table, you can see the Condition Heading and Conclusion Heading formats are populated with Attribute Text.

Oracle Policy Automation - Using Table Headers with Attribute Text

Using Generic Column Headers

The second choice is to use generic headers, in fact these are the default headers inserted into the Excel file when you add it to your Project. In this example below you can clearly see the condition and conclusion texts in the relevant columns and the generic headers. This can be useful if you want, for example, to assert that different booleans are true as a result of a table row being true.

Oracle Policy Automation - Condition and Conclusion Generic Headers

Excel Limitations

There are some limitations which can occur when you are unfamiliar with Excel spreadsheets. Although these are not both directly related to generic column header usage I thought I would add them here for new starters to remind of the importance of using multiple columns where appropriate.

Oracle Policy Automation - Generic Conclusion Attempted Negative Error

As you can see in the example above, the use of a negative sentence in the generic conclusion is not allowed. We would have to reformat our table to use different, specific columns for our conclusion.

Oracle Policy Automation - Non Generic Conclusion Examples

Similarly, attempting to squeeze too much into a condition column will create another validation error:

Oracle Policy Automation - Generic Conditions Attempted Multiple Conditions

Hopefully this helps clarify what is possible, and what will need to be considered when getting started with Oracle Policy Automation Excel Spreadsheets. The official documentation can be found online here.

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