Why do we need a Jargon Buster for OPA – Determination you may ask? Surely this is just “what Policy Automation does?”. The goal of this jargon-buster is to clarify just what you can do with Policy Automation, and the different kinds of ways to use it.
Firstly, determination defined – Policy Automation allows us to determine, report or calculate a conclusion for a rule or rule set. An important principle is that the data needed to determine any conclusion must come from a human being, or be transferred to Policy Automation by another system. In short, Policy Automation does not manage or store any data for your rules outside of a session. There is no internal database in the architecture diagram.
To enable a human to provide data to reach a conclusion, Web Determination is the easiest option. It uses the build in engine to create dynamic screens for data entry. But even that can cause novice users some surprises – like automatically optimized User Interfaces that don’t display all our logic. Watch this video to learn more.
The Web Determination has been optimized thanks to forward chaining. This automatically reduced user interface can confuse people, especially those used to building Siebel Applets that show every field under the sun! The standard, automatic Web Determination screens will only show the absolute minimum of questions to determine the conclusion of your rule or rulebase. This optimization illustrates the linear inference engine at the heart of the product. Screens and Screen Files can be used to render the Web Determination using a specific set of questions in a specific order, if required by flexible circumstances.
In the next section we will look at Determinations Server and the two ways of operating we have.