Stories by James Owen

Open source rule management

Considering that a high-end BRMS (Business Rule Management System) costs about US$50,000 just to get started, and that annual maintenance, runtime fees, and professional services can drive the total toward a hefty half-million or more, organizations on a tight budget have incentive to seek alternatives. Thankfully, good options exist. Two of the better low-or-no-cost tools are Jess from Sandia National Laboratories, and JBoss Rules from JBoss, a division of Red Hat.

Bringing .Net rules to light

Ideal for complex apps with frequently changing rules, BRMSes (business rules management systems) give businesspeople and programmers a shared language that helps them implement changes quickly. Two companies, Fair Isaac and ILOG, make enterprise-class rules management systems for Java applications. Both recently announced they are bringing their premier products to .Net apps, and I've had a chance to see ILOG's new Rules for .Net in action.

Feature: Business rules management systems

A basic law of technology is that you only get smart results from smart tools when they’re used by smart people. Your developers may be great at writing code, but you don’t want them making ill-informed decisions about business rules. By the same token, business analysts should focus on what they do best rather than trying to translate business decisions into excruciatingly detailed requirements documents.