What is Business Rules Engine: The Complete Guide

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Written By Haissam Abdul Malak

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Business rules engines are used to automate processes and improve productivity for organizations. They provide the ability to automate complex business processes with minimal human intervention or interaction. Companies can use a business rules engine to reduce costs, increase efficiency, minimize errors and speed up time-to-market.

A business rules engine is a software system used to automate, check, and execute business rules. It is used to validate and enforce rules in a variety of domains, including banking, insurance, and healthcare.

A business rules engine can help organizations to be more efficient and effective by automating the enforcement of business rules. This can free up employees to focus on more strategic tasks, and it can help to ensure that decisions are made consistent with the organization’s goals and objectives.

A business rules engine typically consists of three components: a domain model that defines the data entities in the domain; an inference engine that is responsible for evaluating possible outcomes or consequences given certain inputs; and an action mechanism that implements the actions to be taken based on the evaluation made by the inference engine.

It stands out from other decision support systems in that it is specifically designed to execute business rules, not just provide advice or suggestions.

How is a Business Rules Engine Used?

It is software that can automatically execute a decision made by humans. It is used to automate repetitive tasks, such as generating reports and eligibility requirements, by executing a set of rules.

Most business rules engines are used in many industries and have many use cases. They are often used in financial institutions, where they help with the automation of compliance procedures or risk management. They are also popular in retail where they help with inventory management or pricing optimization.

Business Rules Engine Benefits

There are many benefits to using a Business Rules Engine. One of the main benefits is it can make your processes more efficient and accurate. It also helps with compliance and auditing, which can help you stay in compliance with regulations.

It has been said that the best way to predict the future is by inventing it, so it’s important for companies to start thinking about how they will handle their future business processes now.

The seven benefits of a business rules engine are:

1. Increased Efficiency

One of the most important benefits of a decisions engine is the ability to increase operations efficiency by automating decision-making processes.

It can make decisions based on data and can execute actions automatically. This can free up employees from having to make manual decisions and can help to ensure that decisions are made consistently.

2. Improved Accuracy

Another great benefit is that it can improve the accuracy of decision-making by ensuring that decisions are made consistently and in accordance with pre-defined rules.

3. Increased Flexibility

A decisions engine can provide organizations with the flexibility to easily modify or update their business rules as required, without the need to make changes to underlying code or IT infrastructure.

4. Reduced Costs

By automating decision-making processes, most rules engines can help organizations to reduce the costs associated with manual decision-making.

5. Improved Customer Satisfaction


It can be used to automate customer service processes and improve customer satisfaction by providing faster and more accurate responses to customer inquiries. Additionally, it can be used to automatically generate customized responses to customer inquiries based on customer data, which can further improve customer satisfaction.

6. Enhanced Business agility

Enabling quick and easy changes to business rules can help to enhance business agility and responsiveness.

BREs can be used to enhance business agility by providing a central repository for business rules that can be easily accessed and updated by business users. This can help to reduce the need for IT involvement in business process changes, and can also help to ensure that changes are made in a consistent and controlled manner.

7. Improved Decision Quality

It can improve decision quality by automating the decision-making process and ensuring that consistent and accurate decisions are made.

By using a BRE, businesses can create a set of rules that define how a particular decision should be made. This set of rules can then be applied to different scenarios to ensure that the same decision is made each time. This can help to improve the accuracy of decisions and reduce the amount of time that is spent on making decisions.

How Does Rules Engine Work?

Business rules engines are computer programs that help automate decisions in a business. They are used to making decisions about what to do next, based on the information they have.

It is a decision-making program that automates what should happen next in a process or workflow. It’s usually combined with an application or system to provide the data it needs and make sure it can perform its tasks.

The decision-making program comes with input and output data, as well as a set of rules that govern how it makes decisions. For example, when you’re creating an order for your customer, you may use a rule engine to decide which products go into the order based on what type of customer they are and what products they buy most often.

Define rules, facts, priority (score), mutual exclusion, preconditions, and other functions are commonly supported by rule engines.

How Do They Deliver Business Value?

Business rules engines can deliver business value by automating decision-making, improving process efficiency, and providing better visibility into business operations.

By automating decision-making, BRE can help organizations make faster, more informed decisions.

By improving process efficiency, BRE can help organizations reduce costs and improve quality.

And by providing better visibility into business operations, they can help organizations identify and correct errors and improve compliance.

Drawbacks of using a Business Rules Engine


There are a few potential drawbacks including:

1. Complexity

They can be complex to implement and maintain. This is because they often require a deep understanding of the business domain and the specific rules that need to be implemented.

2. Cost

Business rules engines can also be expensive to purchase and deploy. This is because they are often commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products that come with a hefty price tag.

3. Performance

Another potential drawback is that it can impact performance. This is because the engine will need to be invoked every time a rule is triggered, which can add overhead to the system.

4. Flexibility

Finally, they can be inflexible. This is because they often require specific formats or representations for the data that they operate on. This can make it difficult to integrate with other systems or to change the rules that are being implemented.

Types of Business Rules Engine

The main types of business rules engines are:

1. Script-based rule engine

The script-based rule engine is the most basic type of business engine. It is also the easiest to set up and get started with. However, it also has limitations such as being unable to support complex workflows, logic, and calculations.

2. Declarative rule engine

The declarative rule engine is a more advanced type of business engine that can be used in an enterprise environment. It allows for more complex workflows, decision logic based bre, and calculations to take place in the background without any user input or involvement needed.

3. Hybrid rule engine

The hybrid rule engine combines the best aspects of both script-based and declarative engines; it has a graphical interface for easy configuration but it still supports programmatic development or coding based bre.

4. Rule-based engine

The rule-based engine is usually either a declarative or script-based engine, but the underlying rules are typically implemented as if they were in a procedural language such as C++.

Business users define company policies in a central location that will reduce manual data entry and automate the execution of different use cases including office administration.

Popular use cases of BRE


A simple use case for a BRE is to build a loan approval system for a bank. A simple set of rules for a loan approval system could be:

The loan approval amount is less than $50,000 Applicant’s credit score is above 650 or Applicant has a co-signer If all the conditions are met, then the loan is approved. If any of the conditions is not met, then the loan is not approved.

They provide a way to easily express this set of rules and manage changes to the rules over time.

Another example would be to use a BRE, a company may have a rule that all employees must take a certain number of vacation days per year. The engine can be used to automatically enforce this rule by ensuring that all employees take the required number of vacation days.

How to choose an ideal business rule engine?

The best BRE for your organization will depend on your specific needs and requirements. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you choose the right engine for your business:

  • Make sure it is easy to use and understand.
  • Make sure the engine is scalable and can handle your organization’s growth.
  • Make sure it is flexible and can be customized to your organization’s specific needs.
  • Make sure the engine is reliable and has a good reputation.

5 Benefits of Using an ERP System with BRE

The ERP system is a new way to automate your business. The benefits of using an ERP system with an engine are:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved customer service
  • More accurate and timely reporting
  • Reduced costs and improved efficiency
  • Improved data security

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