Marwane El Kharbili

Apr 11, 2008

Drools - Business Rules the JBOSS way

I have been hearing about drools for quite time now, at least since 2 years. At the JBOSS JBOSSWorld conference in the US in mid-february in Orlando. Drools is the business rule management system (BRMS) from JBOSS. The contained rules engine is an implementation of the RETE algortihm. I am curious to know what their approach to business rules is. This is why I got started a little bit with the documentation to understand their user interaction strategy.

All I know is that Drools is rather destined to outsource business rules from java code. This is a pretty targeted use of business rules. But this makes sense since drools works on J2EE application servers (rules can be pulled from drools directly into the application). Drools uses the Google Web Toolkit and is free to download under the Apache license. My view on business rules is the following: rules exist on very different layers of the enterprise. Rules are inherently pervasive. for example, business rules can be modeled to describe business decision making patterns for a company routing electricity over a network of cable spanning the whole country. But rules can also be used to contain the parametrization logic of the application implementing this routing, potentially written in a target programing language. so both sets of business rules are needed. business rules have got to be modeled in both cases. The first set of business rules should be destiined to contain implementation-independent logic, and can capture rules on a business lelel. This is why I call these business rules. the other set of rules are implementation specific, and are destined to be modeled and integrated by the programmer, This is why i think they should be simply called rules. Now I am curious about what the components of drools are and what it would allow to do.

I am going to write some future posts about that as I will be discovering more about that. Hopefully some interesting ideas will come out of that.

Marwane El Kharbili.

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