eBay Develops Risk Management System with Progress Corticon

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Retail & Wholesale


eBay required a millisecond response from a rule service to ensure a responsive customer experience.


Corticon's rules engine could rapidly stand up to eBay's demanding production needs.


Corticon provided performance, scalability, accuracy, integrity and agility.

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Customers trust eBay.com because it's a safe place to do business. To ensure that buyers get what they paid for, eBay may temporarily withhold payment from certain sellers for certain transactions until the purchased item arrives on time and in the promised condition. Using the Progress® Corticon® rules engine for each transaction, eBay rapidly evaluates thousands of business rules to determine if and how much to withhold, which ensures a smooth customer experience.

These rules relate to numerous complex variables, including:

- Product category
- Seller reputation
- Geographical location of both seller and buyer

This transaction involves thousands of business rules spread over hundreds of decision tables known as rulesheets. eBay requires a millisecond response from the rule service to ensure that the customer experience on the website remains highly responsive.

Why did eBay select Progress Corticon?

With incredibly tight development timelines, eBay required a rules engine that could rapidly stand up to its demanding production needs. With years of experience with leading commercial and open source rules engines, Corticon was selected based on key criteria, including:

1. Performance and scalability—eBay’s environment requires millisecond response times with the ability to scale across millions of transactions per day worldwide—capabilities delivered by Corticon’s patented rules engine

2. Accuracy and integrity—eBay needs guaranteed accurate results from the rules engine, and Corticon’s unique rule integrity features ensure the right decisions are made at the right time

3. Agility—eBay’s dynamic business requires constant adjustment to business rules, and Corticon’s spreadsheet-like modeling tools provide unprecedented speed and ease-of-use

After implementing Corticon’s rules engine for its escrow arrangement on its ecommerce website, eBay is working on extending the use of Corticon to other parts of its organization.

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