In the previous blog post we discussed Business Rule Extraction, why it was important and what you can do with the rules once you have extracted them. What we did not look at is what business rules are.
There are two concepts that need to be kept separate but can get confused. Firstly, strategy – this is the high-level direction that an organization will be following. Secondly, are business rules which provide detailed instructions about how the strategy is put into action.
The rules that an organization follows may not be documented anywhere but they are embedded in the actions and processes that members of the organization follow.
There are two types of business rules:
- Those that are performed manually, on a daily basis and may well have evolved over time without any real thought.
- Automated business rules where, at some point in time, the rules were captured, documented and translated into a computer program.
The challenge that a lot of organizations face is to know what business rules are actually carried out and what impact those rules have on the business. For the manual rules it is possible for organizations to carry out projects with the sole purpose of documenting the business rules. This can be expensive, time consuming and the results may not be useful. The more resource friendly approach is to document them as part of another project, for example, and automation project.
It is the automated business rules that are harder to document for various reasons:
- The business experts that defined the rules have left
- They are written in an old language that is no longer used to any great extent
- Even if the programming language is understood the rules are so embedded in the code it is difficult to find them
- The documentation for the applications is either out of date or non-existent.
EvolveWare’s Intellisys™ Platform provides both the data and the features required to extract and modernize business rules by:
- Automating meta-data extraction from source code, including the embedded business logic
- Providing features to consolidate the business logic into business rules and processes
- Automating the export of the extracted rules and processes into third-party products such as business rules engines, BPM and ERP products
The Intellisys Platform not only allows IT departments to gather information about their application portfolio and maintain it, but coupled with SMEs, the platform provides the information required to plan and take that portfolio into the future.