What defines a business rule exactly and why can they be difficult to keep track of? We will use this article to answer that question.
To start with, there are two core concepts that are easily confused – strategy and business rules. Strategy is the high-level direction that an organization follows, while business rules provide detailed instructions for how the strategy is put into action.
The rules that an organization follows may not be documented anywhere, but they are embedded in the actions and processes that members of the organization undertake.
There are two types of business rules:
- Those that are performed manually, on a daily basis, and may well have evolved over time without any real thought.
- Automated business rules where, at some point in time, the rules were captured, documented, and translated into a computer program.
The challenge that a lot of organizations face is to know what business rules are actually carried out and what impact those rules have on their business. For manual rules, it is possible for organizations to undertake projects with the sole purpose of documenting the business rules. However, this can be expensive, time consuming, and the results may not be useful. Therefore, the more resource friendly approach is to document them as part of another project such as an automation project.
The automated business rules on the other hand are harder to document for the following reasons:
- The business experts that defined the rules have left
- They are written in an old language that is no longer used to any great extent
- Even if the programming language is understood, the rules are so embedded in the code it is difficult to find them
- The documentation for the applications is either out of date or non-existent.
EvolveWare’s Intellisys™ Platform provides both the data and the features required to extract and modernize business rules by:
- Automating meta-data extraction from source code, including the embedded business logic
- Providing features to consolidate the business logic into business rules and processes
- Automating the export of the extracted rules and processes into third-party products such as business rules engines, BPM, and ERP products
Ultimately, once you have extracted the current rules underpinning your business, the Intellisys Platform enables you to evaluate how relevant these rules are for the future of your business. Depending on the conclusion you come to, you are then ready to take the next steps towards modernizing your applications.