CSERC: Business Rule Language

Lex Wedemeijer, Open Universiteit Nederland

Business rules are an important concept in today’s business operations. Students in a Business Management and IT curriculum must learn the basics of business rules by capturing and describing the declarative rules that apply in a restricted business context. Learning to specify rules in exact detail is hampered by the lack of rule languages suited for instructional purposes. Natural language or semi‐formal languages are too versatile and imprecise, whereas most formal languages presuppose advanced knowledge of mathematics and set theory. We described an essential language for denoting declarative business rules. The language provides only five basic statements which are closely matched to the architectural structure of declarative business rules. The expressive power of the language enables to capture rules very precisely. A tool can be built to depict the conceptual models of each rule, to generate a system prototype for editing data according to the rules and thus to test the rule workings, and to output functional specifications for subsequent system development. The clear and simple structure of the language is well suited to learning and understanding. Hence, it is expected that it will improve the learning curve of students in mastering the basics of declarative business rules.