Business Rules

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A statement describing a business policy or decision procedure. Earlier programming languages run business rules together into very complex algorithms. In business process analysis, each rule is usually stated independently, in the general format: If A and B, Then C. Workflow tools and detailed process diagrams often depend on business rules to specify how decisions are made. We generally associate business rules with activities. A decision diamond is adequate to show what happens if a loan is accepted or rejected, but dozens or even hundreds of business rules may need to be defined to clarify that a loan should be accepted or rejected. Training programs, job aids, software systems and knowledge management systems aim to document business rules either to automate the decision process or to make the rules available to other decision makers. The Business Rules approach is increasingly being subsumed by Decision Management, which extends the Rules emphasis to focus on the problems of defining a consistent vocabulary and determining how rule systems will be maintained.

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