The Server-Side Pad

by Fabien Tiburce, Best practices and personal experiences with enterprise software

Business Rule Engine

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Much of the development in server-side programming in recent years has focused on declarative, loosely coupled components. This essentially amounts to building components (aka beans) and using XML descriptors to assemble business processes around these components. There are definite advantages to doing this, shortened development cycles and more flexibility around change management being two of the most compelling. The flag bearer of this movement is probably the wonderful Spring framework. While Spring is multi-talented, general purpose framework, there is another core technology most businesses need: a Business Rule Engine. A Business Rule Management System (BRMS), as these products are formally known, allows developers to declare and implement business rules, outside the realm of compiled code. The very capable, full-featured, open-source (and unfortunately named…) Drools from JBoss labs, is an BRMS tool that allows rules to be described using business semantics close to natural language. Since business rules is the portion of an application most likely to change over time, decoupling the rules from the core product makes sense. A BRMS is particularly well suited to data transformation, data validation and the implementation of any rule-based, conditional business process.


Written by Compliantia

April 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm

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