Oracle Policy Automation

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Oracle Policy Automation
Initial releaseDecember 2009; 11 years ago (2009-12)
Stable release
12.2.17 / 18 November 2019; 12 months ago (2019-11-18)[1]
Written inJava & .NET
TypeCollaborative software
WebsiteOracle Policy Automation

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.[2] 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,[3] it can be used in other industries.[4]

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

Features and components[edit]

Oracle Policy Modeling is a Windows desktop application for transforming legislation and policy documents into executable business rules. Rules are written in Microsoft Word and Excel documents using phrases in languages such as English, Chinese and French.[5] 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 run-time comprises three technologies:

  • OPA 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.
  • OPA 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 OPA 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.
  • OPA Determinations Engine: The engine used by both OPA Web Determinations and OPA Determinations Server, it is also available as a native Java and .NET API. OPA Determinations Engine provides both full forward chaining and backward chaining capabilities, as well as low-level access to the interview engine.

Both OPA Web Determinations and OPA 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.[6] 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.[7]

Oracle has released several versions of Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) since it was acquired:

Product Version Released Comments
10.0 December 2009 (2009-12)[8] A major release with significant enhancements for both policy modeling and deployment.[9]
10.1 March 2010 (2010-03) Update release with several minor enhancements, including ability to build and continue in the rule debugger while retaining session data.[9]
10.1.1 April 2011 (2011-04) Maintenance release. Included critical fixes from 10.2. Replaces 10.1
10.2 December 2010 (2010-12)[10] Major release. New features included translation support for interview content, and ribbons for Word 2007 and Excel 2007 for marking up rule documents.[11]
10.3 September 2011 (2011-09) Incremental release. Added ability to use Oracle BI Publisher to define documents to generate during an interview. New syntactic language parsers were also added for Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian.[12]
10.3.1 November 2011 (2011-11) Maintenance release.[13] Replaces 10.3
10.4 March 2012 (2012-03) Major release.[14] New features included what-if analysis, a new batch processor and modules.[15]
10.4.1 May 2012 (2012-05) Maintenance release.[16] Replaces 10.4
10.4.2 October 2012 (2012-10) Maintenance release.[17] Replaces 10.4.1
10.4.3 April 2013 (2013-04) Maintenance release.[18] Replaces 10.4.2
10.4.4 July 2013 (2013-07)[19] Maintenance release.[20] Replaces 10.4.3
10.4.5 April 2014 (2014-04)[21] Maintenance release.[22] Replaces 10.4.4
10.4.6 May 2015 (2015-05) Maintenance release.[23] Replaces 10.4.5
10.4.7 October 2016 (2016-10)[24] Maintenance release.[25] Replaces 10.4.6
12.0 August 2014 (2014-08) Major release. First release of Oracle Policy Automation for Private Cloud.[26]
12.0.1 December 2014 (2014-12) First release of Oracle In-Memory Policy Analytics (built on Oracle Policy Automation 12.0).[27]
12.1 February 2015 (2015-02) Minor release.[28]
12.1.1 May 2015 (2015-05) Maintenance release. Works side-by-side with 12.1
12.2 August 2015 (2015-08)[29] Minor release. New features included inferred entity rules in Excel, custom language support, Finnish and Turkish parsers.[26]
12.2.1 November 2015 (2015-11)[30] Minor release. New features included policy usage statistics, project inclusions, reference tags, signature and photo capture on mobile devices, and an enhanced data mapping experience.[31]
12.2.2 February 2016 (2016-02)[32] Minor release. New features included interview checkpoints, touch-friendly interviews, free navigation in interviews and multi-level value lists.[33]
12.2.3 May 2016 (2016-05)[34] Minor release. New features included multi-channel interviews, interview checkpoints, signatures in forms and HR self-service example.[35]
12.2.4 August 2016 (2016-08)[36] Minor release. New features included RuleScript and enhancement of interview statistics and relationship handling.[37]
12.2.5 November 2016 (2016-11)[38] Minor release. New features included next-generation interviews, dynamic interview behaviour, enhanced navigation and access control for policy models.[39]
12.2.6 February 2017 (2017-02)[40] Minor release. New features included Service Cloud connection enhancements, programmatic & identity manager-based Hub user management, an integration user account type and exporting project data model.[41]
12.2.7 May 2017 (2017-05)[42] Minor release. New features included PDF form templates, interview extensions, embeddable interviews and batch Assess REST API.[43]
12.2.8 August 2017 (2017-08)[44] Minor release. New features included checkpoints for Service Cloud agents, mobile assessments for Service Cloud and deployments REST API.[45]
12.2.9 / 17D November 2017 (2017-11)[46] Minor release. New features included dynamic reference data loading, Engagement Cloud interview styling and Identity Cloud Service integration.[47]
12.2.10 / 18A February 2018 (2018-02)[48] Minor release. Enhancements included populating lists from rules, obsolete API warning and managing API clients programmatically.[49]
12.2.11 / 18B May 2018 (2018-05)[50] Minor release. Enhancements included embeddable JavaScript models, inline customer portal interview widget, session-based REST API licensing and the Integration Cloud Service (ICS) OPA assessment adapter.[51]
12.2.12 / 18C August 2018 (2018-08)[52] Minor release. Enhancements included locale awareness enhancements, OPA Hub Connections REST API and the Hub action audit log.[53]
12.2.13 / 18D November 2018 (2018-11)[54] Minor release. Enhancements included enhancements to file uploads, pinning the version of a Policy Modeling project and client authentication for web service connections.[55]
12.2.14 / 19A February 2019 (2019-02)[56] Minor release. Enhancements included using uploaded images in generated forms, using any interview data in interview extensions and providing conversational auditable advise via the OPA Chat API.[57]
12.2.15 / 19B May 2019 (2019-05)[58] Minor release. Enhancements included enhancements to the OPA Chat API, interview extensions API and deployments REST API.[59]
12.2.16 / 19C August 2019 (2019-08)[60] Minor release. Enhancements included Integration OPA interview adapter, generic integration protocol for interviews, importing batch assess REST requests into Policy Modeling debugger and single-click updating all project inclusions.[61]
12.2.17 / 19D November 2019 (2019-11)[62] Minor release. Enhancements included new Hub user interface, Entity level forms, and the ability to modify and resubmit interview data[63]

Applications and academic interest[edit]

The Oracle Policy Automation software has been publicly deployed within several government web-sites. Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship uses it for visitors to check their eligibility for visas.[64] The UK Revenue and Customs agency uses it for their Employment Status Indicator assessment tool;[65] the UK government's old online portal for businesses also used OPA for over 60 interactive tools,[66] while the United States IRS uses the software for guidance on tax law.[67]

Oracle Policy Modeling's controlled natural language approach to rule authoring has been the subject of some research.[68][clarification needed] The product was also used to help establish the viability of the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format[69] standard developed by the Estrella Project[70][71]

Acquisition and product confusion[edit]

RuleBurst acquired the assets of Haley Systems in November 2007.[72] 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.


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External links[edit]