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14 April 2015

What are Business Rules and how do they work?

This post is also available in: Spanish

There are many definitions of Business Rules and there is even a manifesto published in over 10 languages establishing the conditions to be met.

The practical application of Business Rules in an intelligent Business Process Management System (iBPMS) can be defined as the set of rules that make up the structural framework, policy, strategy and operations of an organization.

In practice it would be entitled “How things should be done in this company”.

Business Rules should be defined and maintained independently to the company’s Processes. This doesn’t mean that Business Rules have no connection with the processes, on the contrary; they keep a close and constant relation. However, their existence and characteristics are derived from the company’s conception as a socio-economic entity and their mission is to meticulously define the company’s policies and modes of operation.

Their independence from the Processes in terms of their creation and modification is of vital importance for BPMS since it allows processes to be automatically updated with company policy changes without needing to change the model. It is simply a matter of changing the relevant Business Rule.

Type of business rules

Business Rules are divided into two groups according to their behavior:

  1. Textual Behavior, containing explanatory text (or any type of recorded information: images, audio, video, links, etc.) with explanations or instructions to follow. When used in the processes, the Textual Rules appear as instructions in the Personal Tasks execution window.
  2. Mechanical Behavior, which are applicable without human intervention and hence its application is performed in the Processes through System Tasks or in the Divergent Gates for automated decision making.