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Power Users often encounter limitations such as complex formulas, obscure business knowledge, and errors from using outdated sheets.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
Part 1:The Problem with Excel, and Why Rule-Based AI Can Be the Solution
Part 2: Writing Business Rules and Decision Models – with Real-Life Examples
Part 3: Extending Excel, Decision Models, and Business Process Automation into a Complete Enterprise Solution
Part 4: Next Steps in AI, Machine Learning, and Rule Engines
Appendix A - Introduction to Visual Basic for Applications

Testing Using VSCode, Azure, and GitHub Codespaces

While using VSCode goes beyond the scope of this book, it should still be accessible to many readers. It has been made even easier by the release by Microsoft of GitHub Codespaces – an online version of the VSCode editor. Because it runs fully in the Azure cloud and can be accessed via your browser, it doesn’t require any installation of software on your laptop.

If you’ve read Chapter 9, you may have come to this appendix to learn how to use VSCode (online) to run the Scenario Simulation tool. We’ll cover all the steps needed to set that up, as well as an alternative method that you might prefer since it also allows you to run the KIE samples showcasing scenario testing.

This appendix also provides an introduction to VSCode. VSCode opens up a range of other possibilities if you are interested in exploring not only decision models but also data science, machine learning, and programming languages such...