Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What rules to put in a BRE?

Most organizations today understand the value of externalizing rules from application code by using a Business Rules Engine. The agility and flexibility derived from BREs allows for quicker roll out of new business rules and better business IT alignment.

But how do we determine what business rules should go into the BRE? Not all business logic needs to go into a BRE. The following methodology can be used to arrive at a good set of externalized business rules.
  • Prepare a set of variable data/rules for the application. Ask questions such as: What changes? Frequency of change? Who/What triggers the change?
  • Assign importance of agility to each variable data. What changes are time-critical? Business Impact if a business rule is not changed in time? Business benefit if we can change the variable data quickly.
  • Check if business users can make changes to the variable data. For e.g. if-else conditions can be handled by a business analyst, but change in complex statistical formulas may not be easy.
If we go through the above thought process, we can arrive at a logical set of variable data and rules that should be externalized by the system.