What Is a Rules Engine?

A business rules engine is a software that enables business users without IT skills to capture, implement and change business logic in any process and application.

This business logic is typically captured as rule flows and decision tables using a visual editor. After quality assurance, it can be executed automatically – either within an application or as a web service that can be used by all kinds of applications and processes.

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Rule engines are used to drive automation with the agility demanded by digital business operations. The areas of application are manifold.

Why Use a Rules Engine?

With a rule engine, companies can halve the time-to-market and implement changes up to 10 times faster. But there are even more reasons.


The visual modeling approach makes business logic transparent and understandable for both business and IT.


Business logic can be changed whenever needed without coding. This makes processes and applications highly flexible.


Business rules are managed centrally which avoids redundancies and ensures consistent business processes.

If the business rules, e.g. for performing an age verification, were hard-coded within an application, they were intransparent, difficult to change and might be inconsistent in various applications or channels.

How Does It Work?

Business users model their requirements in the form of rules that can be executed automatically. These rules can be embedded into any application or called by any process as a service.

Decoupling Business And IT Cycles

Typically, business requirements changes more frequently than IT applications or business processes. Pricing specialists might want to adjust their policies on a weekly basis, or insurance claims professionals might need to change settlement processes on their own. Business rules management makes all this possible.

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More Business Enablement, Less IT Bottleneck

In the fast-paced digital world, companies need to resolve the IT bottleneck and empower their business people.


Business departments are looking for faster ways to deliver software solutions – solutions that meet their requirements, that can be defined by the domain experts themselves and that can be changed without IT support.

Business Responsibilities:

  • Business requirements
  • Rule modeling and authoring
  • Simulation and testing
  • Documentation

IT departments can be relieved from implementing ever-changing business requirements. Instead, the scarce IT resources deal with core IT tasks that are the basis for digital business transformation.

IT Responsibilities:

  • Architecture
  • Integration
  • Deployment
  • Infrastructure

When Should You Use A Rules Engine?

There are some typical scenarios, when companies benefit from rules engines.

Change business logic more frequently

Make business logic more transparent

Organize and structure lots of rules

Centralize dispersed business logic

Automate repetitive tasks

Speed-up development processes

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