Why You Need a Business Rules Engine

If you’re thinking about starting a new business, you’ll want to also consider your business rules – using a rules engine. When you hire new employees, vendors, freelancers, and more, you’ll need company rules. Company rules ensure that you don’t come under scrutiny when you have to let someone go or cancel a contract. These business rules protect your new business, ensuring that everyone understands what is expected of them and the consequences that follow negative actions and rule breaking.

According to www.businessrulesgroup.org, there are a number of different types of business rules. Some of the more popular types include:

  • Structural assertion – “a defined concept or statement of a fact that expresses some aspect of the structure of an enterprise. This encompasses both terms and the facts assembled from these terms.”
  • Action assertion – “a statement of constraint or condition that limits or controls the actions of the enterprise.”
  • A derivation – “as statement of knowledge that is derived from other knowledge in the business.”

*All definitions are quoted from the Business Rules Group website.

When Should You Use Business Rules?

Most businesses use a Business Rules Engine to create their rules. These third-party companies specialize in software that allows you to produce business rules in a run time production environment. The engine may come bundled with other services, including a comprehensive business management system. You should definitely be using the engine if any portion of your business is run on a computer/network.

Your employees are going to want to be able to frequently check your policy on the things they’re doing. For instance, if an employee is wondering how many days they’re allowed to call in sick, they can check your knowledge base. This knowledge base was created using the rules engine, as is a knowledge base on how-to information for employees who are in training.

Not only can a knowledge base contain your company’s rules regarding attendance, but also execution tips on how to preform job functions. For example, if an employee has to create a budget, the information on what steps to take to create said budget can be located in the knowledge base. The knowledge base can contain everything from a glossary of work-related jargon to sales tips.

Can Anyone Use a Rules Engine?

In short, yes. Rules engines are designed to be user-friendly, meaning you don’t need to know code to add new rules to the database. That’s what makes these engines so popular and why most businesses add room in the budget to have one set up. They’re simple to edit and make changes to. In fact, they can be changed at any time, whenever a new rule needs to be added or an old one requires an update.

If you’re concerned about security, most rules engines require a password to login. You can keep this login information to yourself or share it with your IT staff. It’s possible to set up multiple logins. If you’re concerned about hackers, not just your employee’s access, then you’ll want to look for an engine that’s encrypted to provide protection from third parties.

The Bottom Line

The last thing a small business owner needs is an employee taking unscheduled time off, coming in late, or generally slacking. Without rules set in place, you could be sued if you fire this employee. It’s absolutely essential to keep a set of rules for your staff.

You can use the same database to create a knowledge base, essentially explaining everything to know about your company and how jobs are performed. This is going to save you so much time in the long run, because your business associates will know that they can just search the database, instead of coming to you, whenever they have a question. In this modern day and age, nearly every business is utilizing a rules engine, and so should you be.


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Contribution made by Becky W.

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