Business Rules without a BRMS

Occasionally, after delivering a design proposal for the use of Business Rule Management System (BRMS, or ‘rule engine’) in relation to a specific business problem, we’re asked:

We like the idea of using business rules for this, but is the use of a commercial BRMS really warranted? Our rules are really simple. Couldn’t we make do with a home grown product, perhaps based on a database or spreadsheet?

This is a fair question and it deserves a considered answer.

In this article I discuss the value proposition of BRMS, the pitfalls of clients attempting to develop their own tools to fulfil this function and how this approach can, in the long term, be more expensive than buying a commercial product.

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Why Use Business Rules For Accounting?

We’ve accumulated 15 years experience in the construction of BRMS based accounting systems. Over the past decade we have coordinated the architecture, design and implementation of six enterprise accounting systems based on business rules. We believe, from this experience, that Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS) are a very apt and empowering technology for this purpose. Furthermore that they are better than bespoke systems built on relational technology and off-the-shelf systems (like MicroGen). Despite recording our findings in our whitepaper and earlier blog articles, potential clients occasionally still ask: why BRMS? In this article we consider additional answers arising from questions posed to us by clients in the past year.

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