How Rules Manager Helps You Adapt Rules During Runtime

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • January 26, 2011
With the introduction of SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management as part of SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment, you can increase your flexibility by externalizing often changing rules into a rules management system. The biggest advantage of using a business rules management system is that you can change the rules during runtime as your business requires it. This article gives you a jumpstart to using Rules Manager, SAP’s management environment for maintaining deployed rulesets.
Key Concept
Rules Manager is a Web-based application that allows you to react quickly on changing business needs without involving your IT department. Changes take effect immediately, so you don’t need to start a long development project to adapt rules according to your business.

Assume that your business processes are guided by business rules. The classic example is a decision whether an approval for an order is necessary. The decision can depend on many aspects. The best way to handle these dependencies is to formulate them as rules.

One consideration for such a decision is the total amount of the order. If the order exceeds a certain threshold, the approval is mandatory. This threshold can vary depending on how long the organization has been a customer, how reliable the customer is in paying bills, and what the overall economical situation looks like.

However, what do you do if you want to change the threshold once your confidence in that customer has increased and you don’t want to approve every order coming from that particular customer? You want the involvement only in exceptional cases, such as huge orders of several million dollars in value. This is where the Rules Manager comes in, as it allows your business experts to adapt your business rules while they are productively running. This gives you the chance to react to changing market conditions faster. I guide you through the most important aspects of SAP’s Rules Manager, such as defining the access to rules projects, editing rules, and comparing different versions of rules.

Dr. Volker Stiehl

Prof. Dr. Volker Stiehl studied computer science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After 12 years as a developer and senior system architect at Siemens, he joined SAP in 2004. As chief product expert, Volker was responsible for the success of the products SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Process Integration, and SAP HANA Cloud Integration (now SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service). He left SAP in 2016 and accepted a position as professor at the Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences where he is currently teaching business information systems. In September 2011, Volker received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Technology Darmstadt. His thesis was on the systematic design and implementation of applications using BPMN. Volker is also the author of Process-Driven Applications with BPMN as well as the co-author of SAP HANA Cloud Integration and a regular speaker at various national and international conferences.

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