Policy Automation – Gender in Policy Modelling

In previous posts we looked at a variety of different traps and challenges that Policy Modelling rule writers face as they work through the exercises of their Oracle Policy Modelling training. This post aims to clarify a concept which is not mentioned in the training, but which extends the ideas discussed last time – designing for the context of the rulebase.

Perhaps the simplest form of context is one that we all learn quite early  – the notion of gender. Consider possessive pronouns (in English, his or her or its, for example) – their use can considerably enhance the delivery of a Policy Modelling web determination:

Claimant : Janet Smith

Has Janet completed her complaints form?

Claimant : Bob Jones

Has Bob completed his complaints form?

Setting up the functionality comes in four parts which we will look at in this post. It does not require us to rewrite our rules or think up some convoluted way of getting round the problem.

Part One – Create the Attribute

Creating the “gender” Attribute is quite straightforward. In the example below you will see a standard Entity called “the customer”, with the default identifying Attribute displayed as well as a manually created text Attribute called “the customer’s gender”. For the sake of good practice we have given Public Names to the Entity and the Attributes.

OPA - Customer Gender Setup

Part Two – Assigning the Gender Attribute

In the next screenshot, we have selected the identifying Attribute for our customer Entity and we have selected the “gender” Attribute in the relevant Property. So the customer has now an assigned Gender Attribute.

OPA - Identifying Attribute with Gender

Part Three – Displaying the Gender Attribute

Of course in order to make this worthwhile we need to let Web Determination users select a value for the Customer gender. When you add the gender Attribute to a Question Screen you will notice a telltale icon to reveal that Policy Modelling has understood that this is gender Attribute. In addition you will see that List of Values has automatically been added to your Question Screen for the collection of the Attribute value.

OPA - Question Screen with Gender Attribute Collected

Part Four – Collecting the Gender

Now that our gender Attribute is in place, we can see the result when we implement a rulebase. The rule below will serve as a simple demonstration.

OPA - Example Rule for Gender Post

The key statement is “the customer has completed the customer’s complaints form if”. The second “the customer” will be affected by our new functionality.

Remember that to ensure you are able to enter your Customer instances and supply their gender, you will have to create an Entity Instance Collection Screen.

OPA - Entity Instance Collection Question Screen

OPA - Customer Collection Screen

Finally make sure you add the global goal (“the interview is complete”) to your Assessment Summary Screen before you Build and Run a Web Determination.

OPA - Assessment Summary Screen

Alternatively you can run a Build and Debug session instead. In both cases you should see a result similar to that shown below.

OPA - Debug Gender


OPA - Bob and His Complaints Form


If you do not provide a mechanism whereby the gender can systematically be collected, what will happen? The side-effect of forgetting to add your gender Attribute to the relevant Question Screen will be something like the text shown below. Of course you would prefer it to look something like this, so make sure you collect the gender!

OPA - His Her Its


Finally, now that you have set up this feature in your rulebase, you can use substitution to display the correct gender pronoun using the following documented syntax.

%custid% and %custid:his/her/its% complaints form 

Until next time, have fun!

Author: Richard Napier

After 8 years in case management and ERP software roles, Richard Napier joined Siebel Systems in 1999 and took up the role of managing the nascent Siebel University in Southern Europe. He subsequently was Director of Business Development and Education for InFact Group (now part of Business & Decisions) for 8 years. He now runs Intelligent Advisor IT Consulting OÜ. Owner of intelligent-advisor.com, he also is Co-Founder of the Siebel Hub.

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