Create rules for Optimization advisor

This topic explains how to create new rules for Optimization advisor. For example, you can create a new rule that identifies which Request for Quotations (RFQ) cases have an empty title. Using titles on cases makes them easily identifiable and searchable. While quite simple, this example shows what can be achieved with optimization rules.

A rule is a check on application data. If the condition that the rule evaluates is met, opportunities to optimize processes or improve data are created. The opportunities can be acted upon and, optionally, the impact of the actions can be measured.

To create a new rule for the Optimization advisor, add a new class that extends the SelfHealingRule abstract class, implements the IDiagnosticsRule interface, and is decorated by the DiagnosticRule attribute. The class must also have a method decorated with the DiagnosticsRuleSubscription attribute. By convention, that is done on the opportunityTitle method, which will be discussed later. This new class can be added to a custom model with a dependency on the SelfHealingRules model. In the following example, the rule being implemented is called RFQTitleSelfHealingRule.

[DiagnosticsRule] 
public final class RFQTitleSelfHealingRule extends SelfHealingRule implements IDiagnosticsRule 
{ 
… 
} 

The SelfHealingRule abstract class has abstract methods that must be implemented in inheriting classes. The core is the evaluate method, which returns a list of the opportunities identified by the rule. Opportunities can be per legal entity or can apply to the whole system.

protected List evaluate() 
{ 
    List results = new List(Types::Record); 
    
    DataArea dataArea; 

    while select id from dataArea 
        where !dataArea.isVirtual 
    { 
        changecompany(dataArea.id) 
        { 
            container result = this.findRFQCasesWithEmptyTitle(); 

            if (conLen(result) > 0) 
            { 
                SelfHealingOpportunity opportunity = this.getOpportunityForCompany(dataArea.Id); 
                opportunity.EvaluationState = SelfHealingEvaluationState::Evaluated; 
                opportunity.Data = result; 
                opportunity.OpportunityDate = DateTimeUtil::utcNow(); 
                
                results.addEnd(opportunity); 
            } 
        } 
    } 
    
    return results; 
} 

The method shown above loops over companies and selects RFQ cases with empty titles in the findRFQCasesWithEmptyTitle method. If at least one such case is found, then a company-specific opportunity is created with the getOpportunityForCompany method. Notice that the field Data in the SelfHealingOpportunity table is of type Container, and can therefore contain any data relevant to the logic specific to this rule. Setting OpportunityDate with the current timestamp registers the time of the latest evaluation of the opportunity.

Opportunities can also be cross-company. In this case, the loop over companies is not necessary and the opportunity must be created with the getOpportunityAcrossCompanies method.

The following code shows the findRFQCasesWithEmptyTitle method, which returns the IDs of the RFQ cases that have empty titles.

private container findRFQCasesWithEmptyTitle() 
{ 
    container result; 

    PurchRFQCaseTable rfqCase; 
    while select RFQCaseId from rfqCase 
        where rfqCase.Name == '' 
    { 
        result += rfqCase.RFQCaseId; 
    } 
    
    return result; 
} 

Two more methods that must be implemented are opportunityTitle and opportunityDetails. The former returns a short title for the opportunity, the latter returns a detailed description of the opportunity, which can also include data.

The title returned by opportunityTitle appears under the Optimization opportunity column in the Optimization advisor workspace. It also appears as the header of the side pane showing more information about the opportunity. By convention, this method is decorated with the DiagnosticRuleSubscription attribute, which takes the following arguments:

  • Diagnostic area – An enum of type DiagnosticArea that describes what area of the application the rule belongs to, such as DiagnosticArea::SCM.

  • Rule name – A string with the rule name. This will appear under the Rule name column in the Dianostics validation rule form (DiagnosticsValidationRuleMaintain).

  • Run frequency – An enum of type DiagnosticRunFrequency that describes how often the rule should be run, such as DiagnosticRunFrequency::Daily.

  • Rule description – A string with a more detailed description of the rule. This will appear under the Rule description column in the Dianostics validation rule form (DiagnosticsValidationRuleMaintain).

Note

The DiagnosticRuleSubscription attribute is required for the rule to work. Typically, it is used on opportunityTitle, but it can decorate any method of the class.

The following is an example implementation. Raw strings are used for simplicity, but a correct implementation requires labels.

[DiagnosticsRuleSubscription(DiagnosticsArea::SCM, 
                             'Assign titles to Request for Quotation cases', 
                             DiagnosticsRunFrequency::Daily,  
                             'This rule detects Requests for Quotation with empty titles.')] 
public str opportunityTitle() 
{ 
    return 'Assign titles to Request for Quotation cases'; 
} 

The description returned by opportunityDetails appears on the side pane showing more information about the opportunity. This takes the SelfHealingOpportunity argument, which is Data field that can be used to provide more details about the opportunity. In the example, the method returns the IDs of the RFQ cases with an empty title.

public str opportunityDetails(SelfHealingOpportunity _opportunity) 
{ 
    str details = ''; 
    container opportunityData = _opportunity.Data; 
    int affectedRFQCasesCount = conLen(opportunityData); 

    if (affectedRFQCasesCount != 0) 
    { 
        details = 'The following Request for Quotation cases have an empty title:\n'; 
        for (int i = 1; i <= affectedRFQCasesCount ; i++) 
        { 
            PurchRFQCaseId rfqCaseId = conPeek(opportunityData, i); 
            details += rfqCaseId + '\n'; 
        } 
    } 

    return details; 
}

The two remaining abstract methods to implement are provideHealingAction and securityMenuItem.

provideHealingAction returns true if a healing action is provided, otherwise, it returns false. If true is returned, the method performAction must be implemented, or an error will be thrown. The performAction method takes a SelfHealingOpportunity argument, in which the data can be used for the action. In the example, the action opens the PurchRFQCaseTableListPage, for manual correction.

public boolean providesHealingAction() 
{ 
    return true; 
} 

protected void performAction(SelfHealingOpportunity _opportunity) 
{ 
    new MenuFunction(menuItemDisplayStr(PurchRFQCaseTableListPage), MenuItemType::Display).run(); 
} 

Depending on the specifics of the rule, it might be possible to take an automatic action using the opportunity data. In this example, the system could generate titles for RFQ cases automatically.

securityMenuItem returns the name of an action menu item such that the rule is only visible to users who can access the action menu item. Security might require that specific rules and opportunities are accessible only to authorized users. In the example, only users with access to PurchRFQCaseTitleAction can view the opportunity. Notice that this action menu item was created for this example, and was added as an entry point for the PurchRFQCaseTableMaintain security privilege.

Note

The menu item must be an action menu item for security to work correctly. Other menu item types, such as Display menu items will not work correctly.

public MenuName securityMenuItem() 
{ 
    return menuItemActionStr(PurchRFQCaseTitleAction); 
}

After the rule has compiled, execute the following job to have it display in the user interface (UI).

class ScanNewRulesJob 
{         
    public static void main(Args _args) 
    {         
        SysExtensionCache::clearAllScopes(); 
        var controller = new DiagnosticsRuleController(); 
        controller.runOperation(); 
    } 
} 

The rule will display in the Diagnostics validation rule form, available from System administration > Periodic tasks > Maintain diagnostics validation rule. To have it evaluated, go to System administration > Periodic tasks > Schedule diagnostics validation rule, select the frequency of the rule, such as Daily. Click OK. Go to System administration > Optimization advisor to view the new opportunity.

The following example is a code snippet with the skeleton of a rule including all the required methods and attributes. It helps you get started with writing new rules. The labels and action menu items that are used in the example are only used for demonstration purpose.

[DiagnosticsRuleAttribute]
public final class SkeletonSelfHealingRule extends SelfHealingRule implements IDiagnosticsRule
{
    [DiagnosticsRuleSubscription(DiagnosticsArea::SCM,
                                 "@SkeletonRuleLabels:SkeletonRuleTitle", // Label with the title of the rule
                                 DiagnosticsRunFrequency::Monthly,
                                 "@SkeletonRuleLabels:SkeletonRuleDescription")] // Label with a description of the rule
    public str opportunityTitle()
    {
        // Return a label with the title of the opportunity
        return "@SkeletonRuleLabels:SkeletonOpportunityTitle";
    }

    public str opportunityDetails(SelfHealingOpportunity _opportunity)
    {
        str details = "";

        // Use _opportunity.data to provide details on the opportunity

        return details;
    }

    protected List evaluate()
    {
        List results = new List(Types::Record);

        // Write here the core logic of the rule

        // When creating an opportunity, use:
        //     * this.getOpportunityForCompany() for company specific opportunities
        //     * this.getOpportunityAcrossCompanies() for cross-company opportunities

        return results;
    }

    public boolean providesHealingAction()
    {
        return true;
    }

    protected void performAction(SelfHealingOpportunity _opportunity)
    {
        // Place here the code that performs the healing action

        // To open a form, use the following:
        // new MenuFunction(menuItemDisplayStr(SkeletonRuleDisplayMenuItem), MenuItemType::Display).run();
    }

    public MenuName securityMenuItem()
    {
        return menuItemActionStr(SkeletonRuleActionMenuItem);
    }

}

For more information, watch the short YouTube video: Optimization advisor in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations