This page discusses the "new" style of decision tables.
The current idiom (pre 4.0) is fairly flexible, but not terribly helpful.
It is proposed that the next phase of decision tables (post 4.0) should really split into 2 directions:
1) Rule templates (Steven Williams module to take tabular data and generate rules according to arbitrarily complex templates)
2) A "guided" decision table which has a more limited scope then at present, yet provides validation etc. A GUI with a pallete of facts, fields and operators is provided, along with wizards and input validation.
See the attachment for the latter as an example. It is intended to have a web and rich client editor, providing real time validation and data entry controls.
If a user needs to go beyond this sort of idiom, then 1 is best ( ie powerful, but you get less GUI validation, and requries the help of an expert to set it up).
Attached is a decision table
BMI Driver Decision Table is also attached to provide an example of a decision table currently implemented using JBoss Rules and geared toward the business user as the rule developer. This decision table provides a template for all decision tables where the rule developer is able to select condition or action constructs from a dropdown which automatically populate the technical mappings. Technical rows such as mappings and bindings are hidden from the business user to keep the focus on business content rather than implementation details.
The functionality in this ods table can be greatly improved upon by incorporating certain features in the web creation of decision tables including:
Dropdowns for Condition and Action Constructs
Guided editor for in cell editing. Selecting a cell can generate a popup with a guided editor or the guided editor can appear at the bottom of the table as seen in other products.
Import of XLS / ODS format into the repository for update in the web. Business Users can update spreadsheets very quickly with the information they need, and developing a decision tables in the web with a guided editor can be tedious at best. The import feature is essential to productivity.