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Power Users often encounter limitations such as complex formulas, obscure business knowledge, and errors from using outdated sheets.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

Getting started with VSCode and Codespaces

A key first step is to make sure you have a GitHub account created and you are logged in to the site using a web browser. You should have already done this if you worked your way through Chapter 5. Once logged in, open the repository containing your decision models – Figure AB.1 shows the repository with the models we used in Chapter 9.

VSCode.Dev or Codespaces?

In KIE Sandbox, you’ll see an option to open the project in VSCode.Dev. This is not what you’re looking for. It will open a Visual Studio editor and allow you to modify the decision model.But you will still need to find the Connect to Codespaces button in this editor to provision the Azure cloud, which does the heavy lifting or running/testing rules.

For most people, it’s quicker to open Codespaces via GitHub using the instructions that follow.

Figure AB.1 – Starting Codespaces from GitHub

Microsoft has now rolled...