SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management: Externalize Critical Business Logic for Enhanced Flexibility

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • July 19, 2010
Discover how the Rete engine in SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management helps you define business logic — without the need for IT assistance. As this logic is encapsulated and handled in a dedicated environment, business experts can adapt rules during runtime to react to changing market conditions.
Key Concept
Rete (a Latin term meaning “net”) is the name of an algorithm for pattern matching. You define Rete-based rules by writing if-then statements. Each if-then statement represents one rule.

Business rules play an important role in your day-by-day business activities. They help to enforce company policies or business guidelines. Several typical business scenarios can be handled much faster due to the efficient handling of rules by automated rules engines. Think of all the business scenarios that can now be covered by using rule-based solutions:

  • Decision rules with the goal to automate complex decisions such as distributing workload by using a rule-based task assignment logic considering aspects such as availability and expertise of employees. Another typical use case for decision rules is the optimization of transportation logistics supporting truck loading and inventory management.
  • Validation rules for checking the contents and validity of data coming in via messages or forms. Another use case for validation rules is the verification of an applicant’s eligibility for certain product offerings, for a credit card, or loan.
  • Recommendation rules allowing the guidance of the buying behavior by personalized Web sites and product recommendations
  • Calculation rules for calculating sales commissions, prices, discounts, and rebates
  • Alert rules identifying suspicious or critical business events such as fraud, or the drop or increase of stock prices by a certain percentage in a certain time

As this list indicates, rules are almost everywhere. Handling them efficiently means huge benefits for companies as rules typically change frequently.

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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