Did you ever download a software package and start reading the Readme.txt or ReadMeFirst.html file to see how to install everything and then find out that it had not been changed recently? Or that you downloaded the Mac OS X version, installed the Mac OS X version only to find out that all of the instructions were for either Windows or Linux? OK, so Linux should be close, right? If it works, yes. If it doesn't work, wrong!
I just downloaded ILOG JRules Studio 6.7.2 Evaluation package. The instructions clearly state
To run Rule Studio do one of the following:
In Windows, use the shortcut: Start > All Programs > ILOG > ILOG JRules > ILOG Rule Studio for Java.
On Linux, start Eclipse using the executable in
Nope. Not on Mac. There are some .app files there but they don't run on the Mac - maybe on Solaris or Linux, I wouldn't know since I usually do everything on a Mac or, sometimes, Windows. So, you have to find the build.xml file, read through it, and see if you can modify it so that you can make it run on the Mac properly.
And, remember all of those older files that you had to run under JRules? Forget it. You may as well rewrite all of that stuff using the "New and Improved" Eclipse interface. (Personally, I like writing my rules with a text editor but even the old BAL was kind of nice.)
Have you read through the Drools documentation recently? I really like Mark Proctor, Edson Terelli and the rest of the Drools guys - and I like the product - but they write what HAS to be the worst documentation in the industry. BUT, now that they are moving into "Big Boy" territory of BRMS tools (Advisor, jRules, etc.) Red Hat needs to hire a team of "real" Technical Writers to come in and help with writing proper documentation. I certainly hope that they do something soon or the only people using Drools will be the ones who can use the rulebase engine only and forget any of the ancillary bells and whistles that they have spent the past eight to twelve months adding to Drools.
I guess that the best documentation that I have seen is (forgive me for plugging an ex-employer) is the Fair Isaac stuff. Good docs that (usually) agree with the current version and is easy to use. Visual Rules docs are probably a close second. I've never had the privilege of using Haley Expert Rules so I can't say about them. I did look at Haley Office Rules but wasn't overly impressed with their documentation. ILOG JRules (the purchased version) documents used to be on a par with FIC but recently they have tried to go the "El Cheapo" route and skimp on that end of the product.
Anyway, before you DO happen to download the Studio, go to the chat room and see all of the problems that they are having with this "freebie" that they are putting out for six-month evaluation. THEN, if you still want it, at least you have been forewarned.