An Introduction to Corticon for Java Programmers

An Introduction to Corticon for Java Programmers

Posted on July 14, 2015 0 Comments

Eric Moore, the co-founder of Corticon, introduces his series of tips for Java programmers using Corticon to manage business rules with a few basics.

As Ankur Goyal recently discussed, adopting a BRMS like Progress® Corticon® helps IT and Business collaborate on business rule changes and shorten develop time dramatically. Corticon helps accomplish this by separating rules logic from application code, so that rules can be adjusted without requiring IT development resources. This makes it an ideal tool for business analysts in a variety of industries that use complex business logic to make hundreds of business decisions a day quickly and competently.

Analysts can quickly model required rules changes and test them within Corticon without needing to run a complete application development lifecycle. Corticon provides a range of tools to test rules for conflicts, rule completeness and logic.

Corticon as a Fourth Generation Programming Language

As one of the co- founders of the Corticon business rules engine, I’ve worked with a host of application developers. And with the growth and adoption of Java and JavaScript in the enterprise—since about 2011, Java has been known as the world’s most popular programming language—I see more and more of these programmers using Corticon. Java and JavaScript have many benefits. However, I do see Java and JavaScript programmers new to Corticon experiencing some initial bumps and bruises.

Corticon can be understood as a code-generation system that creates components to do the rules processing that a programmer wants to accomplish. Corticon is thus a fourth-generation programming language because of its semantic, human-readable approach. By capturing human logic—for example, “no one under the age of 18 is eligible to vote”—Corticon provides a model-driven design environment with which to discover, model, execute and improve operational decisions and associated business rules within information systems.

Going Declarative and Letting Corticon Write the Code

As many programmers know, imperative programming in business process management is going the way of the dinosaur. Using an imperative model, a programmer defines specific sequences of commands to be executed. Java and JavaScript programming is similar in that the programmer must write out all the process steps necessary to execute when a particular state exists. For example, if a user clicks on a button inside a website to indicate that they have finished a survey, the programmer has to iterate every single action the browser will execute in order to send the survey results to a server, close the survey page and thank the customer.

Corticon is strictly declarative, that is, expressed what the program is supposed to achieve—in our website example, close the survey and thank the user—without specifying  the exact steps the program must take or in what order. A declarative approach allows for business processes that cannot be predicted in advance—something that is necessary in industries where complex rules are in effect depending upon large sets of variables, such as insurance or finance.

Look for My Next Java Programmer’s Tip

Next week, I’ll be discussing how Corticon handles rule dependencies. But remember that help is always available should you need it. Check out these online resources, or contact us anytime.


Eric Moore profile

Eric Moore

Eric Moore is a Software Architect at Progress.


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