Sunday, January 29, 2006
Thoughts on Workflow and Rules Engines
Many workflow engines use rules engines at their core. I am of the belief that they do differ in a couple of regards, including but not limited to:
- Workflow related rules don't really have any notion of vocabularies. Curious if they should?
- Business Rules used in rules engines use declarative constructs where one declares conditions and then later also declares negation conditions. Rules within workflow are if/then/else constructs.
- Business Rules engines use the RETE algorithm invented by Charles Forgy whereas workflow rules dont. Maybe folks haven't figured out how to apply RETE to human-oriented processes? Maybe they could skip Six Sigma type process optimization and go strictly RETE?
- Somewhat point in time, business rules engines provide finer-grained tracking and analysis of rules than workflow engines do. Not sure though what this means in terms of enterprise modeling?
May need to revisit prior thinking on the most scalable enterprise service bus in existence: ServiceMix. Anyway, Am I on the right track?
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