Cambridge, Mass. — Is business rules technology finally hitting its stride? That's the question posed by Forrester Research Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm, which says business rules are now a key enabling technology for dynamic business applications.

According to Mike Gualtieri, senior analyst with Forrester, this is because they enable applications to be built for change. In a preview to the "Forrester Wave" research report due out in March that evaluates 13 business rules platform vendors, Gualtieri notes that because business rules are used throughout the enterprise to make operational decisions, enforce policies and comply with regulations, there's a perfect storm of trends brewing for the business rules space.

One of the key trends in business rules is the ability that new platforms provide for business people to directly create and maintain business rules. Another trend that Forrester identified, the evolution of the business analyst role, meshes nicely with this trend in business rules platforms to provide the technology and organizational ability to create and manage more flexible business solutions, Gualtieri notes.

But what about the idea that businesspeople might create and change business rules directly?

"For many people, this is a scary thought," Gualtieri says. "That is why it is critical for enterprises to adopt and extend their development processes, testing processes and release management practices to include businesspeople. The emergence of the new business analyst will play a key role in driving this."

Source: Forrester Research Inc.

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