What to Look for in Choosing a Right BRMS

By CIOReview | Friday, March 17, 2017
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In the cybernetic world of applications, organizations are regularly seeking ways to strengthen their business rules during the times when they are chained into various important application codes or processes—which when changed are troublesome. With the erasure of IT projects, the business process management (BPM) systems are becoming inactive and are changing the rules of business strategy. To a layman’s eye, most of the business rules management systems (BRMS) will almost look alike, but the experts says that it is necessary to deeply analyze to discover the appropriate prices niche capabilities.

Though the BRMS applications are maturing today, not all of the tools are created equally. The Enterprise Architects (EA’s) and developers can select from a variegation of about 20 BRMS products in the midst of open source projects, standalone platforms, large vendors, and integrated suites. It is been observed by the experts that only a few features distinguish every unique application from the other, by keeping the price factor in mind.

In general, the corporate world desires to select the right BRMS applications that are custom-made to their bequest environments or their markets. As an example, the Red Hat (JBoss) and IBM are having the powerful characteristic sets in operating the products. It is also to be kept in mind that few financial companies support FICO Blaze Advisor. Companies that seem to be looking for simplicity often choose Open Rules, enabling the users to keep their business rules in their preferred Excel spreadsheets or Google Docs—with only a few vendors providing this type of BRMS. Experts say that a BRMS application can bridge the gap between IT and businesses by giving a control of the logic and offering even the code to business analysts. To evaluate a BRMS application there are 5 points to keep in mind.

1. Scrutinizing the Vendor Roadmap: Though many of the BRMS products today have various similarities between them experts says that organizations that chooses them should be cautious while evaluating, such as to be conscious about the vendor’s roadmap. Things like whether the vendor is really investing in the products and enhancing its functionality; will the included features match the organizations specific needs, has to be keenly observed. The product that is chosen has to be subjected for its ability to scale volumes of cases, rule sets and numbers of users.

2. Weighing the Cost of a BRMS Product: Choosing a product based on their cost is not appreciated by the experts in this field.

“IBM's BRMS line, called Operational Decision Manager (ODM), has a very rich feature set and relatively high price tag”, said Rymer, an expert. For many organizations, that might be overkill, he said. In some cases, the lower-cost commercial versions of open source products may be enough. Then again, said consultant Justin Phillips, IBM ODM suits those looking for more analytics and complex event processing. “You can look at different streams of data and act on rules,” said Phillips, senior business rules consultant at BP3 Global Inc., a business process management (BPM) consultancy. IBM's analytics—and analytics in general—are still a new area for BRMS, he added.

3. Knowing the Users before Purchasing a Product: “The identity of the target user plays a major role when deciding to buy BRMS products,” according to Dunie, an expert. Enduring value few applications are more citizen-developer focused, enabling the end users to work with forms and visual composition environments to test, create, manage, simulate and administer the product software. Whereas, the other applications are more IT focused and may not have the simulation, testing and integration capabilities beyond an API, he added.

4. The Performance of the Platform needs Attention: According to Dunie, “the last thing an organization needs is a service layer that can slow down decisions being invoked frequently or using a lot of data. In those cases, it may not make sense to implement business rules as a service and to head straight for a direct integration with an API.

In addition, platforms are a consideration. The majority of tools are Java-based, with a much smaller number being in .NET, Dunie said.

Ultimately, the environment as well as performances is also significant, as is cost, but it does come down to the comfort level of business users to change rules.