Choosing a Business Rules Management Tool: Six Practical Tips
Reading time: 5 minutes
Business rules management systems (BRMS) are commonly used for developing, storing, editing, and executing business rules. Business rules define the behavior and logic of business processes that take place in corporate applications and systems and can include requirements, policies, and conditional statements.
A BRMS, therefore, serves as a single repository of all the business rules that can be managed outside applications, which enables business users and IT teams to collaborate more easily and update business rules in real-time. Such an approach makes a dramatic difference in how decision-making is automated, since business people are now able to implement the logic themselves instead of requesting that from IT specialists.
This article shares some tips on what to look at when choosing an ideal BRMS.
First off, make sure the solution you’re considering to use integrates well with all the apps and data types that will be used to execute the business rules. Check all the APIs and standards available. If you have a number of different departments that use various technologies and there is no single standard (for example, if both Java and .NET are used), make sure that the BRMS supports all technologies used within your organization.
A business rules management tool should be able to scale quickly, otherwise, you might face serious issues as your business grows and business processes become more and more sophisticated. So make sure that, irrespective of how complicated your business logic evolves, the BRMS is still able to provide a simple way to manage the increasingly complex business rules.
One of the useful features to look for in BRMS is a simulation or test environment that provides the opportunity to test your new or altered business rules before deploying them company-wide. This feature allows users to instantly view the results of the changes made, which can significantly boost the development process and help avoid many mistakes.
One of the crucial aspects of a BRMS is how convenient it is for users. Ideally, it should present business logic in a way that is intuitively clear for business users. It should also be easily managed or changed through a user-friendly graphic interface. Moreover, it would be an advantage if the tool doesn’t require the user to learn any kind of business notation language to use it. A truly accessible BRMS can provide equally good UX to both business and IT users since no special background knowledge or technical skills are required.
Before adopting a business rules management tool, it is advisable to make sure it allows for creating more complex types of business rules so that you can thoroughly customize your system's behavior. To do so, you can execute a proof of concept by providing the solution vendor with an example of the most sophisticated business logic you might require and asking them to model business rules in the BRMS to evaluate how it works.
The solution for managing business rules should also provide reliable tools for validating business rules created by users, otherwise, it can quickly become a mess. For example, it should alert users whenever they attempt to submit an incomplete business rule or in case the new rule conflicts with the existing ones. A BRMS should be able to log the history of changes made to business rules to ensure that the full business logic for any decision is available.
Adopting a business rules management tool can help companies address the issues arising in regard to the decision-making processes. These solutions empower business employees without a technical background to create business logic for efficient decision processes while eliminating the need for expensive and time-consuming IT development efforts. A BRMS like Rule Engine from OptimaJet would be an excellent solution for a wide range of businesses that are focused on making their decision-making processes more automated and robust.