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More rules in more platforms

Interesting to see that JBoss has jumped on the rules bandwagon as reported, for instance in InfoWorld JBoss enhances middleware line.  Following on from the inclusion by Microsoft and Oracle of basic rules engines in their platform products this is part of an active trend for embedding rules.

Despite working for a vendor of a business rules management system, or perhaps because I do, I see this as good news.

Firstly it obviously validates the technology - major players in the platform and business process management space are investing in business rules technology as a way to deliver part of their solution (presumably the decisioning piece).

Secondly this means that an ever increasing number of BPMS (Business Process Management Systems) and platforms have the infrastructure to support rules-based execution (Oracle, for instance, has defined "decision services" as part of its BPEL offering). This makes it much easier to integrate any rules technology with these platforms and this is key to leveraging rules across multiple touchpoints to get the consistency benefit that it offers.

Lastly these platform embedded version seed, but do not restrict, the market for truly cross-platform rules products such as Blaze Advisor (Fair Isaac's solution in this space). When you use Blaze Advisor to manage business rules you can not only use a more sophisticated solution (stronger repository, better performance, management tools for tens or hundreds of thousands of rules, better tools for business user rule management etc etc) you also get to deploy the result of this externalization across all your platforms - Oracle, Microsoft, IBM Mainframe, Java, .NET etc.

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