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Alternatives to Jess?

 
Sheriff
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Does anyone know much about the state of other Java rule-engines? Anyone got any opinions how they stack up against Jess?
I've done some googling and found Mandarax, QuickRules, Drools, ofbiz, JRules, Haley Rules Products, Common Knowledge. I'm sure there are probably more.
 
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One of the major Java business rules products out there is ILOG JRules. Also, ]Fair Isaac Decision Tools (Blaze Advisor), which is incorporated into Websphere Commerce Server
But all of these products are expensive. Jess is open source and free.
 
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Actually, Jess isn't open source, and it isn't free.
  • Many Jess licenses do include source code, but none include the right to redistribute the source code.
  • You can get a Jess license free for academic use, but commercial use costs money.

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    Michael Zalewski
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    If it's not free, then how much would one expect to pay for a commercial license. I bet the answer will not be a number.
     
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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    Long thread on this yesterday.
     
    Greenhorn
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    I tried to get a license at one time. For individual non-commercial, the cost is about $100. If you are working for a Federal agency, it is free but there is a mountain of paperwork to fill out. Universities and other schools can also get it free, but not students. I don�t know what the commercial cost is.
    There is a 30 day trial that is pretty good. I will give you a great idea on what it can and can�t do.
    If you want to understand about rule based expert systems, a very similar (and free) program is CLIPS. It isn�t java based but it is very worth while to play with to understand what that type of software can do.
     
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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    You can also get a version of Jess by buying the book "Jess in Action."
     
    Ranch Hand
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    Can I use it for commercial purpose or is it just academic.

    Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
    You can also get a version of Jess by buying the book "Jess in Action."

     
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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    The version you get with the book can only be used for learning Jess, for your own personal use.
     
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    We are evaluating Fair Issac Blaze ADvisor and Ilog JRules. they seem pretty good products, but their customer service is really very poor.
    Maybe opensource products will be the only alternative.
    Do you think so?

    How do Jess compare against them?
    is a comparison between then viable.
    manning is publishing very good books, but they have a week international channel. but that belongs to another question. :-)
    regards and congratulation for your books
     
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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    How does Jess compare to JRules and Blaze?
    Well, (sorry, another advertisement coming on...)
  • We think our technical support is the best in the business. We treat our customers like real programmers, and we only have programmers doing technical support -- no flowchart-following drones.
  • Only with Jess do you get source code for the engine, which gives you incredible flexibility.
  • Performance-wise, Jess has consistently tested faster than either of these products; not by a large margin, but consistently better.
  • Price-wise, Jess is very competitive (comparable or better.)
  • Feature-wise, Jess's rule language has innovative features like both forward and backward chaining, knowledge-base queries, dynamic updating of the rule base, property-change event support, and more.

  • So surely there must be disadvantages, too? There are some: the biggest one is turnkey-tool support. Jess is the rule engine for "real programmers." If you want a slick graphical tool that lets your manager enter his own rules (or at least, looks as though it could during the sales presentation!) then Jess can't do that for you. Some other more practical tools are missing too, especially a graphical debugger, which would be nice. But an Eclipse-based Jess IDE, including a rule editor and a debugger, is being developed for the next Jess release!
     
    Jerzi Deflanax
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    Very interesting.
    do you have a roadmap or schedule for those new tools?
    thanks
    note: It would be very useful to your prospective customers, to have a comparison document. remember that they have big marketing budgets :-)
     
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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    Do you have a roadmap or schedule for those new tools?


    The first "technology previews" of Charlemagne should appear in Q403. The first alpha versions of the full release will go out in Q1; the final version should be released in Q2 or Q3 of next year.
     
    Frank Carver
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    Michael Zalewski wrote: But all of these products are expensive
    As far as I can tell, Mandarax, Drools and ofbiz seem to be open source and free. Others may be as well.
     
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