A business rules engine (BRE) is an application that manages decision processes using pre-defined logic to determine outcomes. BREs enable precise decision making, and are especially useful for complex dependencies, as well as in instances where regulatory or organizational rule changes frequently require logic changes. Automation can mean the difference between rules changes taking months vs. hours. They can also help companies avoid significant fines and penalties for falling out of compliance.
What are some examples of business rules?
Every day millions of decisions are being made. We don’t realize that many times rules govern what decision should be made when. Yet, each business system must apply the proper decision logic to each task in order to reach the desired outcome at the transaction level.
Some examples could include:
- Health insurance companies need to decide if a potential new customer meets eligibility requirements
- Financial institutions must verify that a loan meets all requirements and guidelines for insurance, paperwork and regulations to mitigate risk and maintain compliance with numerous and constantly changing state and federal regulations, corporate policies and customer expectations
- Retailers need to determine which customers get free shipping and if payments should be held
How do Business Rules Engines deliver business value?
- Keep pace with marketplace changes
- Boost efficiency and productivity
- Ensure regulatory and policy compliance
- Improve customer service
- Open new revenue streams
New Best Practice: Keep Decision Logic Outside the Code
In the past, embedding business rules in code was the typical way to automate, the purview of developers and IT systems. But when business rules change, the governing logic must also change. This means engaging IT. Often a very simple rule change takes months of programming to implement, especially when multiple systems must be coordinated and multiple teams deployed in the effort.
This is why modern enterprises are turning away from hard coding, preferring systems like Progress® Corticon® that keep the decision logic apart from the codebase. This enables non-programmers to manage the decision process, freeing IT to work on other business-critical tasks, and likewise greatly improving business agility.