Version 4.0 of JRules was announced last Monday. Pierre Heran, Ilog's chief executive, said, "With version 3 we put the writing of rules into the end-user's hands by giving them a rule language generator to help them devise their own standard method of writing the rules. Now we are adding a repository to allow companies to bring together all of the rules so that they can be centrally managed and controlled."
Business rules encapsulate the logic that drives a business process. Put simply, a business rule takes the form of an if/then statement that would normally be part of a program. For example, if the Web site customer's shopping cart contains goods worth more than £100, then credit them with £5 off their next purchase.
If this was embedded in a program, it would have to be referred back to the development team every time the discount changed. By separating such rules from an application, changes can be made by the user as the processes evolve.
The addition of the rules repository means changes can be managed and tracked, allowing audit trails to be retraced and the rules that applied at any given time in the history of an application viewed. Ilog has also incorporated the ability to develop rules for detecting time-oriented patterns within flows of events.