Where to put the Business Rules?

One of the problems of large software development projects — especially distributed systems and integration — is managing the business rules. Mergers and acquisitions magnify the problem. Policy updates in one part of the system may not be seen elsewhere. Often the same rule may be "hard-wired" in many places, deep in application code. Your CEO cannot understand why urgently needed changes, that seem so simple, can take weeks and months to implement. Thankfully, with the uptake of Service Oriented and Component Based technologies, business rules can now be managed separately.

The risks of not doing this are:

  • major opportunity costs — not being able to respond quickly to changes in your market;
  • penalties where statutory / regulatory changes have not been fully implemented to deadline; and
  • disruption of business process where routine maintenance of important business rules has resulted in catastrophic inconsistencies.

Business Rules White Paper— version 2
(NB: please see below for updates on the latest version.)

You can download a white paper on business rule management systems here:

Service Oriented Business Rules Management System — version 2
by Ian Graham CTO and Principal Consultant, Trireme International

1.4Mb (12 seconds download with Broadband 2Mb/s
 or 6 minutes with 56K dialup)

This downloadable report discusses business rules and business rules management systems (BRMS), especially those that use the Rete algorithm, are compatible with a service oriented architecture (SOA) and component based. There is also a focus on the way natural language is treated. Eleven products are described and three reviewed in detail. These are ILOG JRules, Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor Version 6 and Haley Systems HaleyAuthority (aka Authorete, Authority) and HaleyRules (Eclipse).

Note: this is Version 2 of the report. We intend to keep on expanding the report in the light of new products and product versions that come to our attention. New versions will be posted periodically.

Watch this space for version 3.

For advice on business rules from expert consultants please email us.

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