This article expects exposure for BRM terminologies Rules, Rule Set, Decision Table, Action etc. The knowledge of process and need for rules modeling is anticipated. The NetWeaver release referred is EHP1.
The suggestions are based on my learning while working with BRM and modeling rules for process automation.
In BRM Modeling, business rules are transformed into system rules and decision activities. In normal practice the BRM is used with BPM for smooth and
configurable automation process, which is robust and easy to maintain. Following are some guidelines which can help in choosing the appropriate
modeling approach and setting correct attitude.
Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some points which help in rules modeling.
- Functional person (Business Involvement)
- Always involve a functional (business) person from the team / group which is going to use the final process.
- Make sure the Functional person understands the modeling phenomenon and is aligned with modeling approach. This helps in reading and interpretingrequirements (Business rules/Company policies) in efficient manner.
- This does help in estimating impact analysis.
- Inputs from functional person will help in categorizing business policies.
- The requirement needs to be derived from a complete list/set of business policies. During modeling consider only rules and policies that are directly involved in decision making for a current process / process step.
- First filter towards the process boundary and successive filtering towards granularity of decision making.
- Approach Finalization
- With relevant set of requirements in hand, work towards choosing a modeling approach that seems most suitable.
- Once done, review and check for not fitting blocks.
- SOA approach
- Consider the policies that can be configured as RULE-SET and exposed through SOA, leading to reusability and generalization.
- SOA can be considered as a good option if there are multiple systems and /or non-SAP systems that could use the service in runtime.
- While interpreting requirements from the business rules and policies, the result should come out in terms of conditions, actions. This will give more inputs on technical side as the parameters and variables in the design will come out clearly.
- The above will follow with grouping in rule-sets and Decision-Tables.
- Rule Sets can be thought of as the rules grouping as per the relevance to business decision, the operational parameters that are used and relation between the rules.
- Final Aim
- Reusability and centralized application control should be goal while modularizing.
Here there are no hardcore suggestions to avoid something. Below are few input that will avoid complexity and confusion.
- Excessive modeling,
- Similar to “normalization” in RDBMS same is case with modeling in BRM. Excessive “Modeling” needs to be avoided as this might make the design more complex to comprehend and to maintain.
- A single “decision table” can replace a group of rules concerning a particular requirement.
- Independuncy injection (technically “funny” term ! I know )
- By “Independuncy” I mean the rules design should be granular unit in sense of Rule-Sets. The rules adhering to common “conditions” /”condition-parameters” should be in same rule-set as far as possible.
- Especially in web service. The decision related to a particular parameter and / or condition should be in same rule-set. E.g. if there are 4 rules thatcater to eligibility decision for a particular product. Try to make a single service with comprehensive signature.
- Multiple existence:
- In some cases the conditions / rule decisions can get repeated. In multiple rule-sets. This needs to be avoided as the changes in future become cumbersome or might create inconsistency in the complete logic.
That’s all folks !
Finally, There can be more inputs please update in comments.
In case you need assistance in SAP BRM Modeling, please contact us. Please send us your questions, comments or assistance request, and our team would be glad to assist you.
By Nikhil Joshi (on behalf of SAP Consulting Team)
SAP :: Streamlined
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