A business rule management system (BRMS) is basically a technology or software system that is designed specifically to define, develop, deploy, store, implement, and monitor the execution of business rules. To be more specific, it is a software system that helps automate the process of implementing business rules or decision logic.
Business rules are also known as decision logic, as these rules are essentially logical statements that describe the behaviour and the operation of a business, and also help the business to achieve its goals. These rules can include policies, statements, and requirements. A BRMS helps automate the execution of business rules and thereby, enables businesses to adapt readily to new operating rules.
A BRMS can reduce the time required for implementing new business rules, as it automates changes to IT systems and thus, reduces the dependence on IT staff. This means that IT personnel do not have to manually configure the IT systems for implementing new business rules. BRMS software or tools provide a central storehouse for business rules, which can be used to develop, track, and edit rules in a single-sourced environment.
However, the main difficulty faced by enterprises in implementing BRMS is that it is not easy to define business rules. One needs to have an in-depth knowledge about the company, the industry in which it operates, and the regulations, in order to define and formulate business rules.
The main benefits of BRMS are:
On the other hand, the main disadvantage encountered by businesses in implementing specific BRMS tools is the requirement for extensive subject matter expertise. This can act as a hindrance at times. For example, technical developers must have knowledge about design practices, writing rules, and integrating software with existing systems.
Further, due to processes like rule harvesting, integration with existing systems, and rule edit tracking, the development cycle can become too long. Moreover, the reduced reliance on IT department may not materialize in reality due to the introduction of new business rules considerations continuously.
Nevertheless, the demand for BRMS tools are increasing continuously mainly due to the benefits of automation it brings to the execution and monitoring of decision logic. BRMS tools do help improve the accuracy and efficiency of decision-making.
They are especially suitable for those businesses, organizations, and government entities, which are governed by a large set of rules. Some of the popular BRMS tools and systems currently available are – Drools, IBM Operational Decision Manager, Red Hat Decision Manager, and Agiloft Custom Workflow.