Back to the Workshop!

In this episode, we will look at the subject of cross-entity reasoning again to investigate some functions which we do not cover in the Policy Automation training. Firstly though, we need to talk about Scope.

Scope

Many users of Policy Automation will be familiar (and not in a good way) with “X is not in scope. You may need to use an alias when referring to the X”. It’s one of those errors that most people will get in the construction of rules. To make matters worse, sometimes juggling the rules and changing the order, or moving them into different files, and the error goes away. So what is going on?

Firstly, we need to understand how the Word Compiler works. For it is the Word Compiler we need to think about. The Word Compiler works from top to bottom down the page. And as it works down the page, it uses the entity instances defined in the previous line, as the scope of the current line. Let’s extend our rulebase and focus on customer satisfaction to demonstrate.

Add two new entities, the customer, and the wheelcover. Make sure the wheelcover is a child of the Car entity.

Add the relevant Reference Relationships and make sure the Relationship Text is suitably friendly

Scope in our Word Document Example

Now Consider the following piece of rule text from Microsoft Word. Notice the “cascading logic”.

In the Conclusion, we set up the initial scope as the Customer. In the first line we proceed to “narrow” the Scope to the Customer’s Car. This is acceptable as there is a Relationship defined with the Customer as the Source and the Car as the Target, and it is One to One.

In the next line, we scope down to the Car’s Wheelcovers. Again, as the Customer’s Car was in scope in the previous line, this is acceptable as the Car has a Child Entity called the Wheelcover and there is a Reference Relationship in place. Finally in the last line we have a condition that references the Wheelcover, since it is in Scope.

For completion we show both the terse and the long form. Since the Word document may continue to have further rules in it, you always need to be vigilant about setting scope clearly in each of your rules.

In addition, we need to choose the correct function depending on the nature of the Relationship. In this respect the Function Reference is useful.

In the next episode we will continue our Workshop and build out the various logic we promised a few chapters ago, as well as continuing our Function discovery.

Until next time!