If I understand what you are doing, you probably have some legacy data from which to work. If that's the case, don't even look at the legacy data until you have determined the rule logic. Then decide what data would be necessary to support that logic. If the data exist (or if most of it exists) within the legacy system, it shouldn't be too hard to convince management that you need just a few extra attributes or tables in the existing database. However, if there are drastic changes, then perhaps you can pull the legacy data down to your Unix or (God forbid!) Windows platform and add what you need at that point. The last solution is usually what happens on most projects.

On the other hand, Dr. Friedman-Hill is correct in that you can always add rules (assuming that the data are there to support the rules) or even add rules and objects later. And this is also what normally happens on most rulebased projects. Even XCON started with only a few hundred rules, grew to over 1,000 the first year or so and then past 10,000 rules within a few years as more and more rule modules (sets) were added. If you are working on an enterprise project, probably the best thing is to do a pilot project with a few hundred rules, a few (less than 50 normally) objects and do an end-to- end implementation. Be sure to involve the highest level of management (for approvals and support) and the lowest levels of users (to be sure that it works correctly and will be widely accepted) along the way. Then grow gradually, not by leaps and bounds. Bon Chance!


James C. Owen
Senior Consultant
"Never give up.  Never give up.  Never, never, never give up."
From a speech by former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, during the most trying times of the British Empire; a great leader too soon forgotten by his country after keeping it from being swallowed up by the Nazi Empire during the second world war.

On Dec 13, 2005, at 8:43 AM, Matthew Hutchinson wrote:

Hi everyone,

Just a conceptual question... since starting with Jess, it always seemed to me generally you have the rules established first, then load in facts which in turn trigger these rules. No problems there. But is it "proper" to consider having the facts already in memory and *then* adding rules which I know will trigger - basically a sort of "query on the data" mentality? Is this a bad concept?


Matthew Hutchinson
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Spatial Sciences
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845

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