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Day 2 at IBM IMPACT kicked off with another IBM keynote. Dave Farrell got it started telling us that IBM got record attendance this year and that customers will be talking about how “business in motion” has helped them. First up is Jim King of BMI – a licensing and rights management company in the [...]

Decision Management can only succeed if the business rules for decisions can be effectively managed. Effective management must involve both business and IT organizations. There must be alignment and collaboration if the business rules are to be managed correctly. Indeed empowering this collaboration is the primary value of a business rules management system. Yet most [...]

There’s a great article over on IBM’s Good Decisions blog called “What’s Decision Management got to do with Business Process Management?” The article lays out a nice scenario for Decision Management and differentiates between business event processing, business rules management, analytics and business process management. It is definitely worth a read. There are a couple [...]

Nicklas Holmberg from the Lund School of Economics and Management in Sweden presented on the importance of separation of concerns in business process design. His work has been in healthcare, particularly around a system for vaccination management, and is focused on business rules and a business rules-centric approach to designing services and processes. Nicklas began [...]

Mike Hoskins, Pervasive’s CTO, opened the conference talking about Pervasive Data Innovation. Mike sees a wave of integration innovation coming in the next few year. Pervasive, if you don’t know them, is a 28 year old company with 250 employees and thousands of customers and is particularly strong with partners and ISVs. 39 consecutive profitable [...]

[amazonify]0470027215:right[/amazonify][amazonify]0470027215::text::::Business Rules Management and Service-Oriented Architecture by Ian Graeme[/amazonify] This is a fairly technical look at business rules, the technology of a business rules management system and patterns of using them. The book gives a fairly quick overview of SOA and then introduces business rules, both as an approach and as a class of technology. [...]

Well here we are at another IMPACT. The event has 5,000+ attendees. Keynotes begin with some humor from Billy Crystal. Steve Mills got the serious section kicked of by reminding us that technology is so pervasive it is easy to forget what we rely on it for. Billions of transistors, billions of people connected to [...]

Dan Rosanova wrote a piece on The SOA Knowledge Gap that made me think (again) about the value of business rules as a way to manage requirements. Dan points out that
“A unique SOA challenge is its need to bring together SMEs from across the enterprise.”
Now this is true but I don’t believe that better management of requirements is the answer. In fact what is needed is a way to turn what the SMEs know into something that can be managed in a repository and used to power systems directly. Working with SMEs to create sets of business rules to represent their know-how not only allows this knowledge to be stored in an executable format – reducing the likelihood of implementation error and speeding deployment and maintenance – it also allows each SME or SME group to manage their own rules. A modern Business Rules Management System (BRMS) will allow different users to have different access to rule sets, allowing each set of rules to be managed by those who know them best or those who “own” them. The BRMS can then be used to package up the relevant rules – typically many sets from many SMEs – into a decision service that can be deployed into a service-oriented architecture.
Because the SME’s can edit the rules directly, business agility is increased because the time from the SME realizing that a change is needed to the time when that change is deployed can be cut dramatically using the rule management features of a typical BRMS.
Dan’s comments about how to gather the know-how from SMEs are all good, but gathering their know how as requirements and not rules is going to limit the good it can do. I have blogged a lot on this topic but check out these two posts on the difference between requirements and Requirements and on how to fit business rules into a software development lifecycle.

Fred Cummins had a post on the topic of measuring agility in which he gives two ways to assess how well SOA supports agility. When a business change is considered how many services must change to accommodate the new business requirements for services that change, how significant are the changes It is this second point [...]

I got a briefing this week from my friends at Tibco about their Service Performance Manager product released a couple of months ago. The product is a big step along the road to what some call “autonomic computing” in that it provides dynamic and automated monitoring and correction of service levels in a service-oriented world. [...]

IBM, SOA and Business Rules

Well it seems that IBM believes in business rules too. I was reading SOMA: A method for developing service-oriented solutions which I found thanks to Eric Roch’s post on IBM’s SOA Methodology anda couple of things struck me: Business rules get called out explicitly both in the meta model Eric shows and in the overall [...]

Steve Cranford of PwC wrote an interesting piece called Bringing Order to Chaos (brought to my attention by Alan over at Tibco) that made me think. Steve’s focus is on the next software suite for enterprises (something he calls an Intelligent Business Performance Platform) consisting of business intelligence, business process and business rules. Reading this [...]

Mike Gualtieri of Forrester had a blog post a few months back that I missed then but that he pointed out to me this week – What Is Your Future? In it he outlines two scenarios at either end of a continuum. One is that application development changes in incremental ways such that “The application [...]

I am attending the IBM IMPACT show today and tomorrow and will try and blog live from the show. So far the wireless isn’t working in the keynote location (I am on my broadband wireless modem, thank you Verizon) and the room has no tables and no power for the HUGE number of laptop users [...]