As many readers will know, the Siebel Public Sector release which was the “first” 8.2 to make it out of the factory door introduced some fantastic functionality called “Effective Dating”. In spite of a name which, in English at least, means you cannot help but giggle and sounds like a self-help book for lonely people, the functionality was one which broke new ground for Siebel :-

History of changes for key data. Take for example Ms Casey Cheng. If she gets married (perhaps after reading about Effective Dating) she may become Mrs Casey Smith, if she chooses to adopt a “married name”. Of course this throws up a problem since for many CRM applications, when we update the name to Smith, we may find it harder as an end user to discover, when did we write to her (answer = never, since she had another name before). And this can scale up into a bit of a challenge. The Effective Dating introduces the capability to create Change Points – indicate to Siebel from when a change is valid. This can help immensely. A reminder of this is visible below, from our Youtube Channel.

As Siebel configurators and consultants, I am sure our readers are coming more regularly into contact with Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) , a high-performance constrained natural language platform to create business rules. This platform is evolving fast and is now integrating into the entire CRM platform (CRM On Demand, Cloud CRM, Siebel Enterprise). And one of the nice features (there are so many) is the ability to deal with rules based on Temporal Functions. You guessed it! The ability to consider data that has changed over time. Now the example of Casey Cheng may not require much in the way of business rules, but perhaps the following will be more familiar, especially if you are reading this on a Monday morning after a busy weekend.

OPA Temporal Function Demo

This opens a whole raft of possibilities that would be painful to design as Siebel configuration or scripting, things like “if the applicant has had a balance of less than 100 dollars for more than three days in the last six months” suddenly become possible thanks to a family of functions like whenlast, whenfirst, temporaldayssince,valueat  and so on. And since the Oracle Policy Modelling designer can import Siebel entity models (Business Objects, Business Components and so on) you can focus on the rules more than the setup.

Just another reason why Oracle Policy Automation is a clever choice for Siebel.