Business Rules Technology and Rule-Based Systems

"Inference Engines for Everyone"

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Updated Sept 29 2008:

See: Inference Engines on the Dev. site

It is important ot remember that term 'business rules technology' is often associated with business process managment. From the Wikipedia article for the Business Rule Approach:

Some analysts believe the combination of business rules technology with Business Process Management offers an agile approach to workflow and enterprise integration. BPM and BR software support business goals by managing and running business processes and business rules in separate yet complementary ways.

In a narrow sense, 'business rules technology' encompasses only rule managment and rule engines.


Getting Started with Business Rules Technology

For the big enterpise-level systems, has many lists of rule engines and rule management systems. It has good links to almost every aspect of business rules technology, focusing on "building rule-based and knowledge-based applications, along with our experiences and best practices on rule harvesting, design, development, and management".

They also have a diagram of the history of rule engines, commercial and open source products, literally a family tree of rule engines. Does this family tree prove that rule engines are actually alive ? Sorry, bad AI joke. The image is a couple of megabytes, so downloading it may be no joke.

And, as if that weren't enough, also has some interesting ideas about the distinction between rule-based and knowledge-based systems in "Deciding between a Rule-Based or Knowledge-Based solution".

These guidelines can help you decide which type of solution is best for you:

Best Practice: Rule-Based systems are best for real-time decisioning systems and compliance systems that have many simplistic rules and broad logic.

Best Practice: Knowledge-Based systems are best for advising systems and product selection systems that have more complex rules and deep logic.

They see rule-based systems as running in real-time with fairly simple rules, for example monitoring some stream of data. Knowledge systems are advisor system, running upon demand rather than continuously.

Other important links include:

JESS - a Java-based expert system shell and scripting environment.

Biztalk, Microsoft's entry in the BR technology arena.

There are many dozens more - some may be useful for Semantic Web applications.


Tags:   BR   -   Technology

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