Writing Effective Business Rules

Writing Effective Business Rules

1st Edition - January 27, 2012

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  • Author: Graham Witt
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123850522
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123850515

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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.

Key Features

  • 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


    Business Analyst, Business Process Modeller, Data Modeller, Business Rules Specialist, Regulation and Compliance Specialist, Legal Specialist

    Table of Contents

    • Dedication



      Chapter 1. The world of rules

      1.1 What is a business rule?

      1.2 Why rules are important

      1.3 Best practice rule management

      1.4 The nature of the problem

      1.5 The solutions

      1.6 Summary

      Chapter 2. How rules work

      2.1 Operative rules

      2.2 Definitional (structural) rules

      2.3 Normative, prescriptive, and descriptive rules

      2.4 Business processes

      2.5 Rules in user interfaces

      2.6 Rules governing electronic messages

      2.7 Rules ensuring database integrity

      2.8 Human activities other than business processes

      2.9 Summary

      Chapter 3. A brief history of rules

      3.1 Implementing rules

      3.2 Documenting rules

      3.3 Recent developments

      3.4 Summary

      Chapter 4. Types of rules

      4.1 Rules governing the physical world

      4.2 Legislation and regulations

      4.3 Organizational constructs

      4.4 Rules governing the collection and recording of data

      4.5 Taking account of the physical world in data rules

      4.6 Rules governing other business processes

      4.7 Rules governing which parties can perform business processes

      4.8 Rules governing human activities other than business processes

      4.9 A complete taxonomy of rules

      4.10 Summary

      Chapter 5. The building blocks of natural language rule statements

      5.1 Nouns

      5.2 Proper names

      5.3 Verbs

      5.4 Determiners

      5.5 Adjectives

      5.6 Prepositions

      5.7 Conjunctions

      5.8 Pronouns

      5.9 Literals

      5.10 The three uses of ‘that’

      5.11 Summary

      Chapter 6. Fact models

      6.1 Fact models: an overview

      6.2 Terms and names

      6.3 Fact types

      6.4 Building a fact model

      6.5 Using a fact model for other aspects of system specification

      6.6 Summary

      Chapter 7. How to write quality natural language rule statements

      7.1 Typography and punctuation conventions in rule statements

      7.2 Rule statement anatomy

      7.3 Why templates?

      7.4 Rule statement quality

      7.5 Summary

      Chapter 8. An end-to-end rule management methodology

      8.1 Rule discovery

      8.2 Analyzing rules

      8.3 Developing the rule statement vocabulary

      8.4 Documenting rules

      8.5 Rule book quality assurance

      8.6 Rule publication

      8.7 Rule book and fact model maintenance

      8.8 Summary

      Chapter 9. Rule statement templates and subtemplates

      9.1 Using the templates to write rule statements

      9.2 Definitional rules

      9.3 Data rules

      9.4 Activity rules

      9.5 Party rules

      9.6 Summary



    Product details

    • No. of pages: 360
    • Language: English
    • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2012
    • Published: January 27, 2012
    • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
    • eBook ISBN: 9780123850522
    • Paperback ISBN: 9780123850515

    About the Author

    Graham Witt

    Graham C. Witt is an independent consultant with over 30 years of experience in assisting enterprises to acquire relevant and effective IT solutions. His clients include major banks and other financial institutions; businesses in the insurance, utilities, transport and telecommunications sectors; and a wide variety of government agencies. A former guest lecturer on Database Systems at University of Melbourne, he is a frequent presenter at international data management conferences.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Independent Consultant, Sydney, Australia

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