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Ten Guardrails for Success

Designing PegaRULES Process Commander™ (PRPC) Solutions

#1 – Adopt an Iterative Project Approach


You must define an initial project scope that can be delivered and provide business benefit within 60-90 days from Design to Implementation.

An iterative approach enables you to put a solution into production in a short period of time so you can begin gathering meaningful feedback from the business to drive subsequent releases. Key points to remember:

Document five concrete use case scenarios upfront and evaluate them at the end to calibrate benefits. Use your scenarios as storyboards and ensure that each delivers a measurable business benefit.

#2 – Establish a Robust Foundation


Your class structure must anticipate the layering of rules and comply with Chapter 4 (Designing Your Class Structure) of the Designing Your Process Commander Application book, which describes the SmartBuild process for designing and building PRPC applications.

As the foundation of your application, a well-architected class structure is critical for optimal processing and performance. It must be understandable, easy to extend, and utilize the standard work and data classes appropriately. Key points to remember:

Use your organization entities as a starting pattern, and then proceed with class groups. Lead with work objects. Create the class structure and “completed work” objects early. Position rules correctly by class and/or RuleSet. Actively use inheritance to prevent rule redundancy.


#3 – Do Nothing That Is Hard


You must use the standard PRPC “out of the box” rules and functions in the initial project release. Do not duplicate standard functionality.

Do things the easy way. Using the tested components that ship with PRPC decreases time-to-market and allows you to benefit from future enhancements. Key points to remember for the initial release:

Avoid creating custom HTML screens or adding buttons. Always use the “Auto-generated HTML” feature for harness sections and flow actions. Always use the standard rules, objects, and properties. Reporting, Urgency, Work Status, and other built-in behaviors rely on standard properties. Never add a property for controlling typical work or managing the status or timing of work.

#4 – Limit Custom JAVA


You must avoid JAVA steps in activities when standard PRPC rule types, library functions, or activity methods are available.

While using the JAVA option can be a powerful tool, investigate all of the rule types and existing objects before resorting to adding a JAVA step in either an Activity or HTML rule. Key point to remember:

Reserve your valuable time and Java skills for implementing things that do not already exist.

#5 – Build for Change™


You must identify and define 10-100 specific rules that business users own and will maintain.

Openly discuss rules with the business users throughout the SmartBuild process. Agree on the rules for which they are responsible and design/build accordingly. Appendix B in the Designing Your Process Commander Application book contains a list of rules that are intended to be maintained by Process Architects. Key point to remember:

Activities should NOT be on this list. Use other rule types for business-maintained logic.

#6 – Design Intent-Driven Processes


Your application control structure must consist of Flows and Declarative Rules, calling Activities only as needed.

Intent-driven processes have the rule-driven intelligence to guide users to do the right thing in a given situation. Key points to remember:

Use Flow Actions to prompt a user for input. Present fewer than five Connector Flow Actions for any individual assignment. If you need more than that, you need to redesign the process. Create Activity rules that only implement a single purpose to maximize reuse.

#7 – Create Easy-to-Read Flows


Your Flows must fit on one page and must not contain more than 15 SmartShapes (excluding Connectors) per page.

Flows must be easy to read, move from top to bottom, and minimize cross-over between steps. Key points to consider if a flow has more than 15 SmartShapes:

Create a subflow. Use parallel Flows to perform functions.

#8 – Monitor Performance Regularly


You must evaluate and tune application performance at least weekly using Performance Analyzer (PAL) to check rule and Activity efficiency.

Always allocate time during development to perform PAL testing to ensure that your configuration evolves cleanly and efficiently. Key point to remember:

When available, use the PAL Advisor and address any ratings greater than 100%.

#9 – Calculate and Edit Declaratively, Not Procedurally


Whenever the value of a property is calculated or validated, you must use Declarative Rules wherever appropriate.

Declarative Rules are change-aware and eliminate the need for more expensive Activities to check for and implement property value changes. For example:

Create a Declare Expressions rule instead of using a Property-Set method in an Activity. Use a Declare Constraints rule instead of a field validation rule.

#10 – Keep Security Object-Oriented, Too


Your security design must be rule-based and role-driven based on who should have access to each type of work (as defined in Chapter 11, “Controlling Access and Security,” of the Designing Your Process Commander Application book).

Standard rule types (Access Roles, Access Whens, Privileges, and Settings) provide the ability to control who can access all or part of a work object. Use these rules to implement a scalable security model for your solution that is class-based and leverages inheritance. Key points to remember:

Never code security controls in an Activity. Use the standard access roles that ship with PRPC only as a starting point. Use RuleSets to segment related work for the purpose of introducing rule changes to the business, not as a security measure (as defined in Chapters 3 and 13 of the “Designing Your Process Commander Application” book).