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Productivity Through Experience

What is a Business Rules Management System (BRMS)?

A Business Rule Management System is a specialised piece of software infrastructure that supports
  • Building a business vocabulary and fact model of your business
  • Creating, documenting, reviewing, maintaining and retiring business rules via a well defined managed change control process
  • Sharing your business vocabulary and rules across your enterprise as you see fit
  • Rule search, dependency analysis and candidate change impact analysis
  • Testing business rules to ensure that their behaviour meets requirements
  • Deploying business rules onto production hardware
  • Embedding the transactional execution of business rules into your technical architecture
  • Justifying and explaining rule behaviour after the fact

BRMS are germane to many industries. Indeed any sector that needs to make a significant number of complex decisions based on client data can benefit from rules. We have used them within the investment banking (front and back office function), retail banking, insurance, telecommunications and healthcare industries.

We can assist you in selecting and integrating BRMS systems. We operate independently of vendors, giving you impartial advice based on many man years of experience.

What is a Business Decision Management System (BDMS)?

These are very similar to BRMS, but they usually offer more automony for business subject matter experts to create, test and maintain decision support applications with little support from IT until the business logic needs to be integrated with product systems. They are a refinement of BRMS aimed solely at SMEs, some of which can then deploy business decisions to BRMS.

What is a Rule Engine?

A rule engine is a subset of a BRMS that enforces rules by executing them. Rule engines can be embedded within a corporate infrastructure and used by other components to control business processes by evaluating and executing rules. They frequently use complex algorithms to determine the order of evaluation, eligibility and execution of rules. There are both free and commercially available rule engines, but as these lack the vital management support of BRMSs they are only of use in very specific circumstances. We would discourage the general business use of a rule engine, in isolation, by an enterprise. Use of a BRMS is usually safer.

Commercial BRMS and BDMS