Saturday, November 12, 2005


Business Rules and Reference Architecture

I am a periodic participant in the business rules community and have created a lot of noise around the fact that the community has no publicly available notion of a business rules reference architecture. In order to solve for this particular absence I needed to spend time in figuring out how to get a variety of participants ranging from industry analysts to various software vendors whom compete with each other to engage...

The value proposition for software vendors in participating in the creation of a publicly available reference architecture is an opportunity for a vendor to figure out what is necessary to make the architecture replicable and affordable to larger number of clients. Some vendors will intuitively understand the value proposition in front of them while others will learn too late about a missed opportunity.

I know that I need to also find an equivalent hardware vendor that will provide servers for this excercise. The usual suspects of Sun, Dell, and IBM come to mind, but I have been noodling the notion of getting the folks over at Azul Systems to contribute. Their 384 CPU platform may make it easier to test a variety of products for interoperability. Need to followup with this folks sometime next week.

As far as the industry analyst community, I have failed miserably in getting any of them to engage. I figured that at least one of the analysts that covers business rules approaches would have understood the value proposition to their clients in such an excercise but I seem to be mistaken. I did make the attempt to bring out the point that other analyst firms have been successful in engaging the community in this regard in the past. For example, the folks over at RedMonk love to work on initatives in this space. They did a great job of creating the notion of open source industry analysis and published earlier in the year a paper on Compliance Oriented Architecture that was licensed under creative commons. If anyone knows of a better way to engage an analyst, please do not hesitate to ping me.

I did manage though to line up two different architects from Fortune 500 enterprises to also participate. One is from the medical equipment space and the other from hospitality. With my background in financial services the mix feels just about right. I would love to encourage my EA peers in other industry's to also consider participating in its creation.

As far as an approach, I hope to create a new website in the next couple of weeks that will allow the assembled members a place to work and communicate. I hope to announce more details on this effort as time permits...

For those unfamiliar with business rules approaches, I urge you to check out the Business Rules FAQ blog...

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