BBC2011: IDC on Collaborative Business development

IDC’s Stephen Hendrick presented on Decision Management at BBC2011, and (of course!) commented that the future of business rule tooling was likely to be sense and respond (CEP) event processing capabilities. Stephen also presented an IDC model on social / collaborative development – something also touched upon by Paul Haley in his talks on the future of  “knowledge management” in the BBC2011 and RulesFest conferences.

As TIBCO is also a major provider of social media technology (tibbr), it is worth maybe suggesting what “collaboration” might mean in terms of operational systems.

  • Social collaboration starts with text, not images / diagrams (/voice / video)

Although it is possible to display / allow constrained edits  to / verify / validate visual models like BPMN, state models and so on, these don’t fit too neatly on the average smartphone that is the base platform for social media. So one is more likely to collaborate against a textual representation of such models, but more often than not that textual model will look like… a ruleset.

  • Representing text forms on social media like tibbr is easy

Displaying a rule editor in a chat session is not difficult. Collaboration models could also involve adding refactoring tools to allow rules to be split, joined, extended, subclassed etc. But at some point you need a specialist editor in your chat session – if only to keep track of the suggested changes / evolution. IDC’s model also adds more user roles that will need specialist controls too, like the discussion “leader”, “guider”, “critic” etc.

While some such collaboratively-developed rulesets might be considered as overly complex for social-media development, there are certainly areas that could benefit from this form of interactive development: consider specifying complex event definitions using an event pattern language. Or providing examples for a non-discrete event pattern mechanism like Netrics (now TIBCO Patterns) to learn from. This could be very interesting for certain industries to explore!

Note: this session also blogged about here.