Oracle Policy Automation

Oracle Policy Automation
Oracle Policy Automation
Developer(s) Oracle
Stable release 10.1 / March 24, 2010
Operating system Java & .NET
Type Collaborative software
Website Oracle Policy Automation

In computing, Oracle Policy Automation (abbreviated OPA) is a suite of software products for modeling and deploying business rules within enterprise applications. Oracle Corporation acquired OPA in December 2008 when it purchased Australian software company RuleBurst Holdings, then trading as Haley[1]. Oracle Policy Automation was designed by RuleBurst to transform legislation and policy documents into executable business rules, particularly for the calculation of benefit entitlements and payment amounts. Although OPA was originally developed for and sold to the public sector[2], it can be used in other industries.[3]

Oracle Policy Automation continues to be available as a standalone offering and an integrated rules solution for Siebel.


Features and Components

Oracle Policy Modeling is a Windows desktop application for transforming legislation and policy documents into executable business rules. Rules are written in Word and Excel documents using phrases in languages such as English, Chinese and French[4]. These rule documents can be shared amongst business and information technology stakeholders, and commentary can be added into the documents without affecting the structure of the rules themselves. Other features of Oracle Policy Modeling include integrated test case execution and debugging capabilities, and the definition of interviews for interactive rule-based assessments. Interview screen order and branching logic can be defined using visual flow diagrams.

The Oracle Policy Automation runtime comprises three technologies:

  • Oracle Web Determinations: An interview application that uses screens, rules and flows defined in Oracle Policy Modeling to deliver Internet- and intranet-based interactive assessments. Data entered is used in combination with backward chaining to determine which screens need to be shown to the user in order to reach a decision.
  • Oracle Determinations Server: A WS-I Basic Profile compliant SOAP-based web service that exposes decision-making endpoints for deployed policy models. By passing data to Oracle Determinations Server, and receiving responses in return, enterprises can integrate rule-based decision-making with other applications and BPM solutions. Examples include Oracle's Siebel, or BPEL-orchestrated business processes. If insufficient data is provided to reach a decision, Oracle Determinations Server is able to explain what additional data may be required.
  • Oracle Determinations Engine: The engine used by both Oracle Web Determinations and Oracle Determinations Server, it is also available as a native Java and .NET API. Oracle Determinations Engine provides both full forward chaining and backward chaining capabilities, as well as low-level access to the interview engine. Unlike Rete-based rule engines, a full audit trail of how a decision was reached can always be generated.

Both Oracle Web Determinations and Oracle Determinations Server are supported on a wide variety of application servers, including Oracle WebLogic Server, Microsoft IIS, IBM WebSphere AS and Apache Tomcat.

Connectors for enterprise applications such as Oracle's Siebel and SAP are also available.


The product now known as Oracle Policy Automation has been sold under several different names, including Haley Office Rules and RuleBurst.

RuleBurst 7.0 was the successor to STATUTE Expert[5]. Although customers of STATUTE Expert were able to upgrade to the later versions, RuleBurst 7.0 was the first version of the product that has become known as Oracle Policy Automation today.[6]

Applications and Academic Interest

The Oracle Policy Automation software has been publicly deployed within several government web-sites. Australia's Department of Immigration uses it for visitors to check their eligibility for visas[7]. The UK Revenue and Custom's agency uses it for their Employment Status Indicator assessment tool[8], the UK governments online portal for businesses also uses OPA for over 60 interactive tools[9]while the United States IRS uses the software for guidance on tax law[10].

Oracle Policy Modeling's controlled natural language approach to rule authoring has been the subject of some research.[11][clarification needed] The product was also used to help establish the viability of the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format[12] standard developed by the Estrella Project[13][14]

Acquisition and Product Confusion

RuleBurst acquired the assets of Haley Systems in November 2007. At the time, RuleBurst and Haley were both marketing "natural language business rules" software and were considered competitors. Prior to being acquired, Haley Systems had licensed its HaleyAuthority rules product to Siebel Systems. HaleyAuthority was made available in Siebel 8.0 under the name Siebel Business Rules. When RuleBurst acquired Haley, it adopted the better-known Haley name for both its company and product branding. HaleyAuthority then became known as Haley Expert Rules and the RuleBurst product became known as Haley Office Rules.[citation needed] When Oracle acquired RuleBurst, Oracle also began jointly marketing OPA with the Siebel CRM solution. The plurality of names has led some commentators[who?] to incorrectly refer to Oracle Policy Automation and Haley products interchangeably as Haley or Haley Rules. However, the two products are separate and distinct offerings.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sue Bushell. "Business Rules Boost to Centrelink". CIO. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Oracle hunts for bargains in down economy - Eye on Oracle". 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Oracle Policy Automation on OTN". 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Tindal, Suzanne (2009-06-26). "DIAC to unleash release this weekend - Software - News". Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "tools". Business Link. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "CNL 2009". Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  12. ^ "LKIF-Core Ontology: A Commonsense-based Legal Ontology". Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Estrella » Deliverables & Publications". Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  14. ^ "Microsoft Word - VOORBLAD.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-03-26. 

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