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Writing Effective Business Rules

Book Description

Writing Effective Business Rules moves beyond the fundamental dilemma of system design: defining business rules either in natural language, intelligible but often ambiguous, or program code (or rule engine instructions), unambiguous but unintelligible to stakeholders. Designed to meet the needs of business analysts, this book provides an exhaustive analysis of rule types and a set of syntactic templates from which unambiguous natural language rule statements of each type can be generated. A user guide to the SBVR specification, it explains how to develop an appropriate business vocabulary and generate quality rule statements using the appropriate templates and terms from the vocabulary. The resulting rule statements can be reviewed by business stakeholders for relevance and correctness, providing for a high level of confidence in their successful implementation.



  • A complete set of standard templates for rule statements and their component syntactic elements
  • A rigorous approach to rule statement construction to avoid ambiguity and ensure consistency
  • A clear explanation of the way in which a fact model provides and constrains the rule statement vocabulary
  • A practical reader-friendly user guide to the those parts of the SBVR specification that are relevant to rule authoring

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Image
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1. The world of rules
    1. 1.1 What is a business rule?
    2. 1.2 Why rules are important
    3. 1.3 Best practice rule management
    4. 1.4 The nature of the problem
    5. 1.5 The solutions
    6. 1.6 Summary
  9. Chapter 2. How rules work
    1. 2.1 Operative rules
    2. 2.2 Definitional (structural) rules
    3. 2.3 Normative, prescriptive, and descriptive rules
    4. 2.4 Business processes
    5. 2.5 Rules in user interfaces
    6. 2.6 Rules governing electronic messages
    7. 2.7 Rules ensuring database integrity
    8. 2.8 Human activities other than business processes
    9. 2.9 Summary
  10. Chapter 3. A brief history of rules
    1. 3.1 Implementing rules
    2. 3.2 Documenting rules
    3. 3.3 Recent developments
    4. 3.4 Summary
  11. Chapter 4. Types of rules
    1. 4.1 Rules governing the physical world
    2. 4.2 Legislation and regulations
    3. 4.3 Organizational constructs
    4. 4.4 Rules governing the collection and recording of data
    5. 4.5 Taking account of the physical world in data rules
    6. 4.6 Rules governing other business processes
    7. 4.7 Rules governing which parties can perform business processes
    8. 4.8 Rules governing human activities other than business processes
    9. 4.9 A complete taxonomy of rules
    10. 4.10 Summary
  12. Chapter 5. The building blocks of natural language rule statements
    1. 5.1 Nouns
    2. 5.2 Proper names
    3. 5.3 Verbs
    4. 5.4 Determiners
    5. 5.5 Adjectives
    6. 5.6 Prepositions
    7. 5.7 Conjunctions
    8. 5.8 Pronouns
    9. 5.9 Literals
    10. 5.10 The three uses of ‘that’
    11. 5.11 Summary
  13. Chapter 6. Fact models
    1. 6.1 Fact models: an overview
    2. 6.2 Terms and names
    3. 6.3 Fact types
    4. 6.4 Building a fact model
    5. 6.5 Using a fact model for other aspects of system specification
    6. 6.6 Summary
  14. Chapter 7. How to write quality natural language rule statements
    1. 7.1 Typography and punctuation conventions in rule statements
    2. 7.2 Rule statement anatomy
    3. 7.3 Why templates?
    4. 7.4 Rule statement quality
    5. 7.5 Summary
  15. Chapter 8. An end-to-end rule management methodology
    1. 8.1 Rule discovery
    2. 8.2 Analyzing rules
    3. 8.3 Developing the rule statement vocabulary
    4. 8.4 Documenting rules
    5. 8.5 Rule book quality assurance
    6. 8.6 Rule publication
    7. 8.7 Rule book and fact model maintenance
    8. 8.8 Summary
  16. Chapter 9. Rule statement templates and subtemplates
    1. 9.1 Using the templates to write rule statements
    2. 9.2 Definitional rules
    3. 9.3 Data rules
    4. 9.4 Activity rules
    5. 9.5 Party rules
    6. 9.6 Summary
  17. Bibliography
  18. Glossary
  19. Index