Book Image

AI and Business Rule Engines for Excel Power Users

By : Alex Porcelli, Paul Browne
Book Image

AI and Business Rule Engines for Excel Power Users

By: Alex Porcelli, Paul Browne

Overview of this book

Microsoft Excel is widely adopted across diverse industries, but Excel Power Users often encounter limitations such as complex formulas, obscure business knowledge, and errors from using outdated sheets. They need a better enterprise-level solution, and this book introduces Business rules combined with the power of AI to tackle the limitations of Excel. This guide will give you a roadmap to link KIE (an industry-standard open-source application) to Microsoft’s business process automation tools, such as Power Automate, Power Query, Office Script, Forms, VBA, Script Lab, and GitHub. You’ll dive into the graphical Decision Modeling standard including decision tables, FEEL expressions, and advanced business rule editing and testing. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to share your business knowledge as graphical models, deploy and execute these models in the cloud (with Azure and OpenShift), link them back to Excel, and then execute them as an end-to-end solution removing human intervention. You’ll be equipped to solve your Excel queries and start using the next generation of Microsoft Office tools.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Free Chapter
1
Part 1:The Problem with Excel, and Why Rule-Based AI Can Be the Solution
5
Part 2: Writing Business Rules and Decision Models – with Real-Life Examples
9
Part 3: Extending Excel, Decision Models, and Business Process Automation into a Complete Enterprise Solution
13
Part 4: Next Steps in AI, Machine Learning, and Rule Engines
Appendix A - Introduction to Visual Basic for Applications

Meet Microsoft Script Lab – a modern version of VBA

Script Lab is a free Microsoft add-in for Excel, downloadable from the official app store. If you’re new to scripting in Excel, here’s a rundown of what Script Lab gives you:

  • It allows you to automate any boring, repetitive actions in Excel. So, a list of steps gets executed at a simple press of a button.
  • It gives you an editor within Excel to write your scripts – with guidance as you type to suggest the keywords you are looking for.
  • It gives you a way to save and share your solution with other users.

Microsoft Script Lab is what a modern version of VBA would look like. It leverages familiar web technologies such as HTML and JavaScript and gives many more options for a responsive user interface. Even if you don’t know these technologies, you can see the value in investing your time to learn them. Script Lab also runs within Excel, both on your laptop and on web versions of...