thinking in rules

How Low Can You Go?

Mike Grucella | 10/6/2014

Mission Impossible: Hard-coding

Low-code platforms have been getting quite a bit of publicity, particularly with the release of Forrester’s report, “New Development Platforms Emerge For Customer-Facing Applications.” While the report focuses on some of the more obvious applications like BPM, CMS and Cloud, there is no mention of Business Rule Management Systems. True, a BRMS is not an all-encompassing, end-to-end platform for building applications. However, it is an all-encompassing, end-to-end platform for the business rules that are used in applications, even BPM, CMS or Cloud.

All of those other platforms can help you create and manage the customer-facing part, but like any application, there’s an underlying component that acts as the brains behind that application. Place an order, apply for a car loan, compare insurance rates for your zip code, or use your credit card at the grocery store. It doesn’t matter how simple or complex the transaction is, something needs to do the dirty work – processing, validating, calculating and so on . That something used to be code. Lots of code: hundreds, probably even thousands, of lines of code. Messy code: unmanageable, indecipherable and, my personal favorite, unlocatable code. Code written by many developers over many years.

The consequence of having all of this code ultimately comes down to slower delivery. And in a world where your customers require applications that keep pace with their demands, slower delivery could be your application’s demise.

BRMS: The Special Ops of Low-Code

Business rules have one mission: Get in, get the job done, and get out. Like a special ops mission, when it’s done right, you never even know we were there. Let’s say you have an application that processes loans. It’s a very rule-intensive process and one that needs to be adaptable to changes in policies and regulations. If you took ALL of your hard-coded logic and replaced it with a BRMS, this is what you’d have left:

How’s that for low-code? THREE LINES. To break it down for you:

  • Create an instance of the rule engine and tell which rule to use (Line 20)
  • Pass in the data that you want the rules to execute against (Line 22)
  • Tell the rule engine to execute the rules (Line 24)

What’s even better is that those three lines of code never have to change.

I think we have your low-code covered.


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