Temporal Modeling (Part 2)
Last time in the Zen Files I shared with you some features that a long-distance rider uses on a dashboard to make the ride efficient, convenient, and safe. When building an interface for a rule system, customization of the user interface is usually required.
Currently, the major manufacturers of rule engines provide very limited out-of-the box functionality for building a user interface for the results side of the rule equation. There is usually an interface to view and make changes to rules, but little to no consideration is given to how the results are to be viewed. Most all applications need some kind of user interface; very few processes are 'hands free'.
After much thought about the functionality that a user interface must have in order to support a business rule system, I have come to realize that there is a defined pattern surrounding the building of an interface for a rule system. Figure 1 visually describes the pattern a rule system will need. I call this pattern the rule portal pattern.
Figure 1. The Rule Portal Pattern.
Copyright Design-Time, LLC 2007
As with all patterns, this pattern was discovered, not invented. It has always been my thought and belief that business and software patterns exist, and through observation and study we can discover these recurring patterns and put them to use in our systems.
Most business systems will find a need for each of these components to meet the usability requirements in a rule system. Understanding this pattern will help you plan and design a rule system that will be effective for the business and convenient for the user. Each of these basic components can be configured to meet the custom needs of most business applications.In the next installment I will discuss the use of each component, and in the concluding installment the Zen Files will discuss the architecture needed to support this user interface pattern.
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