Decisions Blog


Do You Need a Business Rules Engine?

Since you are reading this blog post, it’s likely that you already know what a rules engine is. For those that don’t, a rule engine separates business logic from an application and exposes that logic in a graphical designer that allow business people to create, edit or understand the business rules associated with a business process. Software applications that manage business rules can go by a number of names. They are often called Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS), Decision Management Systems (DMS) or Intelligent Decisioning Platforms (iDP).

So, why a business rules engine?

First, you might need a rules engine because you have lots of rules. Industries like healthcare and financial services are full of rules. These rules can govern things like – How does this claim need to look so that it isn’t rejected? Each healthcare payer has certain codings they are looking for or they will reject a given claim. By implementing these rules in a rules engine the people closest to the process can update and maintain these rules to increase automation and improve first-pass claims submission rates (as well as get rid of all their yellow sticky notes). Government, manufacturing and logistics also have lots of rules. When you begin to look at business processes within any company you begin to see just how many rules we all operate under on a day-to-day basis.

Next, you might need a rules engine if these rules change regularly. Rules in government are susceptible to changing regularly. For example, those related to social benefits are subject to change with legislation on a frequent basis. Business rules related to discounts, pricing, sales territories – these all change frequently as well. Often times, simple changes like these can take months before IT can properly re-code systems to account for these changes as they are working on other priorities.

The third reason you might need a rules engine is that you would like to involve business people in the maintenance of these rules. IT people understand logic, but they don’t always understand the nuances of the business to properly translate rules into an application. By involving business people in the creation of these rules you can bypass this translation step and have the business teams own the rules.

If you would like to understand more about rules engine or where they might fit in your application architecture – we’d love to discuss this with you. Please feel free to get in touch at or request a demo.