Any Elegant Solution to Our Current Business Rules Dilemma? Nooo.
I get this question all the time, and it’s a painful one, so let me answer on the record.
Question: In our enterprise architecture tooling, there’s a business dimension in which we define Business Concepts (the real business language), and an IT dimension containing Information Objects (data organization model).
How can we solve the problem that business expresses rules as they relate to Business Concepts, while IT needs to translate these into rules related to Information Objects? We don’t want to bother business with IT model concerns, nor duplicate the rules in two places.
Can you please shed light on an elegant approach to this dilemma?
My answer: The standard SBVR provides the ‘elegant’ approach, which is technology that can “read” language based on the business vocabulary (e.g., RuleSpeak) and/or dialog with people to disambiguate those statements.
Until such technology is commercially available – and why not, look what IBM Watson can do! – two forms of each statement are unfortunately necessary. The key for your rule management regime is to maintain traceability between them. By the way, the mapping is almost certainly 1:m, not 1:1.
I wish I had a better answer, but there just is none today. All I can say is that current implementation technologies for business rules are very, very primitive.
Acks: Tom Andries
 The OMG standard Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules. See the SBVR Insider section on www.BRCommunity.com for insights about SBVR.
Tags: business vocabulary, data models, IBM Watson, rule expression, rule management, RuleSpeak, SBVR, traceability
Ronald G. Ross
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.