Business Rules Engine (BRE)

A business rule engine (BRE) is a component of software allowing non-programmers to change the business logic in a business process management (BPM) system. To carry out a business policy or procedure, a business rule or statement is required. Business logic uses data in a database and a sequence of operations to carry out the business rule.[1]

Components of Business Rules Engine [2]

At a minimum, a full-function BRE will include the following components:

  • Business Rule Repository A database that stores the business rules defined by the business users
  • Business Rule Designer/Editor An intuitive, easy-to-use, front-end application and a user interface that allows users to define, design, document, and edit business rules
  • A Query and Reporting Component Allows users and rules administrators to query and report existing rules
  • Rules Engine Execution Core Actual code that enforces the rules

Examples of Business Rules [3]

Every day millions of decisions are being made. We don’t realize that rules often govern what decision should be made when. Yet, each business system must apply the proper decision logic to each task in order to reach the desired outcome at the transaction level. Some examples could include:

  • Health insurance companies need to decide if a potential new customer meets eligibility requirements
  • Financial institutions must verify that a loan meets all requirements and guidelines for insurance, paperwork and regulations to mitigate risk and maintain compliance with numerous and constantly changing state and federal regulations, corporate policies, and customer expectations
  • Retailers need to determine which customers get free shipping and if payments should be held

See Also

A Business Rules Engine (BRE) is a software system that executes one or more business rules in a runtime production environment. The rules are stored in a repository and can be accessed and managed without altering the application code. This allows for greater flexibility and agility in decision-making processes, as business analysts or managers can update business rules without needing programming skills. BREs are used across various domains, including finance, insurance, e-commerce, healthcare, and government, to automate decisions based on business logic, such as pricing, eligibility, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance.

  • Business Process Management (BPM): Discussing the discipline of improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness through the management of business processes. BREs often integrate with BPM systems to automate decision-making within processes.
  • Decision Management System (DMS): Covering systems designed to manage and automate decision-making processes. BREs are a core component of DMS, providing the logic and rules for automated decisions.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): Explaining how AI and ML technologies can enhance BREs by incorporating predictive models and dynamic rules that adapt based on learning from data.
  • Expert Systems: Discussing AI systems that emulate the decision-making abilities of a human expert. BREs can be considered a form of expert system focused on the execution of business rules.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Covering the importance of ensuring that business operations adhere to relevant laws and regulations. BREs help organizations maintain compliance by enforcing rules that reflect regulatory requirements.
  • Data Governance: Explaining the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data in enterprise systems. Effective data governance supports the accurate execution of business rules.
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): Discussing the architectural pattern in software design where services are provided to other components via a communication protocol over a network. BREs can be deployed as services within an SOA, allowing for reuse and flexibility.
  • Workflow Automation: Covering the technology and processes used to automate complex sequences of tasks, workflows, or processes to improve efficiency. BREs automate decision points within workflows.
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Discussing the process of producing software with high quality and efficiency. The integration of BREs can impact the SDLC by allowing for more dynamic and adaptable software solutions.
  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): Explaining the use of software and architectural principles to integrate a set of enterprise computer applications. BREs can play a role in EAI by serving as a central decision-making component.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Covering strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. BREs can automate decisions related to customer management, such as segmentation and personalized communication.
  • Risk Management: Discussing the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings. BREs can automate the assessment and mitigation of risks based on predefined rules.


  1. What is Business Rules Engine? Techopedia
  2. Components of Business Rules Engine Techtarget
  3. Examples of Business Rules progress

Further Reading

  • A Realistic View of Business Rules Engines BR Community
  • Analysis of the Specifics for a Business Rules Engine Based Projects Techwell