First impressions of ZB300 Developing Business Rule Applications with JRules 7 course

Yesterday was my first day with the self-paced, virtual course – ZB300 Developing Business Rule Applications with IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules V7.0. The introductory material stated that MS Windows and Internet Explorer were required so since I work on MacOS X Snow Leopard I had to revert to my just installed VMware Fusion image with MS Windows Vista Enterprise Service Pack 2 and IE 7. Nothing I would recommend doing to anyone unless really necessary. I had to install Adobe Flash player to run the slides, but it eventually turned out not to be a configuration I should have been working on – the voice went on fine, but the exercises were completely unresponsive. The button “Start Exercise” on slides didn’t work at all so I couldn’t run the exercises! The Citrix ICA client that’s necessary for the exercises seemed to not have taken off. Dunno what went wrong with the configuration, but apparently it’s not what was supposed to work for me during the course. I was really worried…

I can’t explain it, but I was following the rules so much that I had not even tried to test the course on MacOS. So, I’m sure you couldn’t imagine how happy I was when I went back to my MacOS X, installed Citrix ICA Client 10.00.600 and…everything went so smoothly – the exercises went with no troubles. I couldn’t believe it. It worked fine with MacOS X and Firefox 3.6 which is one of the many unsupported configurations according to the course requirements. Why the requisities stated that it’s an unsupported configuration, but it worked fine is beyond my understanding?!

The first sections of the course (Unit 1 – Introduction, Unit 2 – Introducing IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules and Unit 3 – Programming with business rules) were what you can find in the information center of ILOG JRules 7.0.2. It’s just the miniloan application and overview of the Rule Studio. The ILOG JRules version is 7.0 so although I wouldn’t expect many changes between 7.0 and 7.0.2 it’s something to be aware of.

Rule Execution Server Console version: ILOG JRules 7.0.0 Build #17 on 2009.06.08 Release Status: COMMERCIAL

What made things worse was that it took ages for starting up the entire environment in Citrix. I don’t know if it’s my network setup or something else, but the time to run the entire environment – Rule Studio, RES, RTS and DVS on Tomcat – was unbearable. 1,5h to have everything ready! Because of that I went on with the material and left the exercises for later. I’m going to give them a go today.

On the good side was that the lecturer had a nice and clear voice so it was a pleasure to have heard what I had read before in the InfoCenter. Excellent way to remember the stuff before even considering a JRules 7 certificate. I’ve just thought about it once having seen how easy it is to work with JRules. Perhaps, it will take some time to grasp the API, but…

On to the course…


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