Introducing RulePlex

Almost a year ago I began on a mission to create the first cloud-based rules engine. I called it RulePlex. After a few months of work I had succeeded. A lot of rules engines can be run (on virtual machines) in the cloud but mine was designed with a cloud-first approach in mind. On top of being cloud-based I had a couple of other goals I wanted for the engine:

The Wright brothers first flight.

- Allow rules to be written in any language

I accomplished all of these. The engine was awesome. When I was at a good place to ease up on the development, I did, and started to connect with as many people as I could trying to drum up business. I contacted all of my developer buddies, business contacts, previous employers… but no one was interested. I tried to generate business by presenting my software at business start-up events like 1MillionCups. I tried Google Adwords. I threw a hail mary to Scott Hanselman hoping he would do a hanselminutes with me. I even gave the service away for free just to get signups so people would look at it… but all of my attempts at getting the business going failed. I don’t think I did enough even though it may sound like I had.

I’m not giving up.

I’m changing things up!

Instead of being cloud-based I am falling in line with all of the other rule engines. RulePlex will be an on-premise install. It can still be run in the cloud but it won’t be touted as the first cloud-based rules engine any more. It’s nice that I was able to accomplish that feat but ultimately I think proximity to where it will be used will benefit companies more. The latency between the cloud an a corporate network is too much when apps need instant results.

Another thing I am changing is the ability to write rules in any language. I had support for JavaScript, C#, VB.NET, Ruby, and Python – but from now on rules will only be written in JavaScript. By going with only one language it will save development time tremendously. I chose JavaScript because it is the most widely used language today. It’s also not going anywhere anytime soon. It has become an incredible server side language thanks to V8 and the popularity of Node.js. It’s flexible/forgiving thanks to dynamic typing and business users can learn the basics easily.

The last thing I will be doing is blogging a lot more about RulePlex. I’ve been working on it for almost a year and I haven’t written anything (directly) about it. I want people to follow along with it’s progress and see how it is evolving and why things work the way they do. I want you to see what is influencing me into making design choices. Hopefully this will transform into a community of RulePlex users but I won’t get too ahead of myself. Let’s just start with clicking publish on this post.