Oracle Insbridge 4.9 Release Review

Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.9 was released in February 2015 and with it comes quite a few enhancements aimed at making areas within RateManager more user-friendly. There’s also several new system requirements and close to 40 defect fixes. We’ll only walk through some of the key enhancements and system requirement changes, so be sure to check out the Release Description PDF included in the installation files from Oracle for a comprehensive list of fixes and updates.

SKIP 4.8 AND GO STRAIGHT TO 4.9?

Before we get into the 4.9 release, it’s important to talk about 4.8 for just a second. If you’re looking to upgrade from 4.7 or a prior version of Oracle Insbridge, you might want to skip 4.8 altogether.

Release 4.8 does not include all of the hot fixes that were created for 4.7, while 4.9 does.

Many of the customers we work with have policies in place to not install the latest version of a product or to be first adopters. This is understandable, however, we wouldn’t recommend choosing 4.8 simply due to the hot fixes from 4.7 versions that you’ll be missing out on. If your company has the same policies and you are looking to upgrade soon, then consider version 4.7.2 or 4.7.3 (with associated hot fixes) instead.

UPDATED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Oracle added and removed support for different platforms and databases with the 4.9 release. Here’s the run-down:

Added:

  • Oracle Database 12.1.0.1.0 (12c)
  • Oracle WebLogic 12.1.3 (12c)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • IBM WebSphere 8.5

Removed:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • IBM WebSphere 6.x
  • 32-bit operating systems

There are also requirements to have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 installed, an updated Oracle Client if you’re using an Oracle database, and to re-install Oracle BI Publisher (OBI). Keep all of this in mind when upgrading.

KEY ENHANCEMENTS

Here’s a list of some of the key enhancements contained in the 4.9 release. All of them are geared towards making RateManager more user-friendly.

Summary Report Format for Debug Reports

The new Summary Report format basically collapses everything that you would normally see in a debug report using the Test Case Editor or Testing module. This is useful in scenarios where you are executing very large rating programs, but know exactly what you’re looking for in a debug report and don’t need to sift through a ton of information. Unfortunately, this feature is turned off by default and once you turn it on, all debug reports will use this format. To turn on the feature, navigate to Tools > Preferences > System and change the Debug Report Format drop-down to ‘Summary Report’. Hopefully Oracle will add the ability to toggle between reports at the time you want to view them, since both have their benefits in certain situations and some users within the same company may prefer one report over another.

User Defined Constants

If you find yourself using the same custom value in multiple algorithms or calculated variables, you can now add a user defined constant value at either a system or domain level. A system level user defined constant can be used across any line of business, while a domain level constant is only available within a specific line of business. If the constant value needs to change for any reason, you can do it once and it will propagate everywhere it’s used.

Message Templates

Message templates give you the ability to define system level messages that can be used within any line of business. The format of the template allows you to insert placeholders that can be populated by variables at run-time – a very handy feature. Here’s an example provided from the User Guide:

If you want to output a message “As of December 2016, Alamere no longer insures driver over the age of 100 with a coverage limit of $100,000.,” you can begin by typing it in.

Next, replace the items that may change. If one program will change in December but another will change in January, delete the date and click Insert to put in a placeholder. If the company name will change, delete the name and click Insert to put in a placeholder.

Continue until you have the template that you want with the placeholders that you need.

As of [?], [?] no longer insures drivers over the age of [?] with a coverage limit of [?].

The messages are automatically included in the result XML under a node. This should be a pretty nice feature for those customers using Oracle Insbridge to handle underwriting rules and messaging.

User Defined Reports

Oracle has made a Reporting database available that provides a view into content created in RateManager. Any reporting tool that can access a SQL Server database can connect to the Reporting database, where customers can build custom reports on the data. This should be a powerful enhancement for anyone that needs access to rating data but don’t want to dive into RateManager to see it. The database schema and more details can be found in the following installation file folder: 4.9.0-insbridge-doc\Designtime Reporting\InsbridgeReporting\InsbridgeReportingDoc\index.html.

MISCELLANEOUS ENHANCEMENTS

There were several other enhancements that I don’t want to spend too much time covering, but they’re worth mentioning:

Copy From Global to Local

A feature that’s been a long time coming, users can now copy variables and algorithms from global to local.

Enhanced Sequencing and Output Mapping Screens

The Sequencing screen has been updated with options to add/remove/move multiple algorithms at once and search functionality has been added to find algorithms easier. The Output Mapping screen has also been updated with better sorting, searching, and filtering options.

New Mathematical Functions

Gamma and Natural Log mathematical functions have been added for any customers out there doing some seriously complex rating.

CONCLUSION

Oracle Insbridge 4.9 contains a number of enhancements that are going to make life a little easier in RateManager. With nearly 40 defect fixes included as well, this is a release that you should consider taking if you’re looking to upgrade. The feature I’m most curious about is the new Reporting database. I’m looking forward to seeing how customers use it and how easy it is to generate custom reports. We’ll definitely be looking into what reports we can come up with here at Second Phase. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the release or would like more information.

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