Can you understand that all three of the following business rule statements mean the same thing? Here’s what must be true: If you mow the lawn on Sunday your lawn mower is to be electric; otherwise the lawn is not to be mowed on Sunday.
1. It is permitted that the lawn be mowed on Sunday only if the lawn mower is electric.
2. It is prohibited that the lawn is mowed on Sunday if the lawn mower is not electric.
3. It is obligatory that the lawn not be mowed on Sunday if the lawn mower is not electric.
I’m fairly certain you can. And if you can determine they all mean the same thing, I contend a machine ought to be able to do so too. I mean as stated in this exact same human-friendly, structured natural language form. And tell you that the statements mean the same thing (in effect, that they are redundant). That’s the kind of language-smart (cognitive) capability that business innovators should be expecting – no, demanding – from software vendors.
P.S. In the OMG standard Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) the three statements are a restricted permission statement, a prohibition statement, and an obligation statement, respectively. You might prefer one or another of these forms of statements, but each is correct and reasonably understandable. Here are the RuleSpeak© equivalents – even more friendly:
- The lawn may be mowed on Sunday only if the lawn mower is electric.
- The lawn must not be mowed on Sunday if the lawn mower is not electric.
- (same as 2)
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