Give Your Business Logic a Framework with Drools
Subject:   Business Users
Date:   2005-08-04 08:24:20
From:   paul_browne
Response to: Business Users

I wrote these articles based on experience as a Java / J2EE developer , so 'us' is very much from that viewpoint. Given that 'Java-only' developers must implement business rules anyway , using the Drools framework offers gains in time , flexibility, resuability , testability and easier maintenence.
Like all frameworks, the choice of using a Rules Engine or not will vary by project , organisation and skillsets available.
The aim of the article was not to entice business users to use Drools (I don't think that many of them read O'Reilly!) , but if that is the way you would like to use Drools , one tool that may help is the Drools-Excel Integration ( .
Paul Browne (
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  • Business Users
    2005-08-04 14:04:25  vikdavid [View]

    Ok, I was impressed by the Drools-Excel link. On a previous project, we did exactly this: took business rules written in MS-Excel by the biz users, wrote some scripts to convert Excel->XML, and our program worked with the XML 'rules' at runtime. Very nice that the drools people provide a standard way to do this.

    I'm stressing the business users because IMHO rules engines are supposed to make biz rules more maintainable. And one way I've see that work is if you can actually take what a business analyst gives you (eg: an Excel file) and convert it to a format that the program can use (eg: XML), with little or no programmer intervention. BUT if the programmer is just writing the rule in XML instead of Java, then... like you said, it's a skillset thing and that leads to other problems (a topic for a long blog entry ;-).