In PDC goes with the flow | InfoWorld | News | 2005-09-14 | By Eric Knorr there is an interesting definition of the difference between desktop apps and enterprise apps - workflow and business rules. Although at first sight it looks like Microsoft is announcing a new product to support both workflow and business rules, careful reading makes it clear that they are talking about the use of business rules IN workflow. Those of us who have been working with BPM and Workflow partners for a while realize that there is another class of business rules - those to do with business decision-making.
Although it can make perfect sense to embed the rules for a process into a workflow tool like WWF and rules specific to a desktop application in that application's VBA, it does not make sense to embed decisioning rules into these applications. Decisions are, or at least should be, a corporate asset. They should be consistent across channels and processes and should reflect accurately regulations, policies etc. In addition many organizations have thousands of such rules and have to show that they are in compliance with them, making rule management a critical issue. For all these reasons and more most organizations should consider keeping their business decision rules in a powerful rule management system and then using those systems' deployment mechanism to push rules out into the various applications and processes in which they are required.
Both of the leading business rules vendors, Fair Isaac and ILOG, have .NET versions that will likely work just fine with this new technology.