Business Rule

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A Business Rule is a human-readable rule that constrains business behavior.

  • Context:
    • It can (typically) constrain a Business Fact.
    • It can (typically) be under the jurisdiction of a Business Group.
    • It can be a Structural Business Rule that conveys necessity.
    • It can have a Rule Style, such as a: Prefixed Rule Keyword Style or Embedded (mixfix) Rule Keyword Style.
    • It can be an Operative Business Rule that conveys obligation.
    • It can be represented by a Specification Item.
    • It can be partially attained (implemented) by one or more Business Requirements. (some analysis is required to ensure that compliance is met).
    • It can involve Negation.
    • It can be in the form If-Then-Else.
    • It can be in the form of a Decision Table.
    • It can represent a Math Function.
    • It can be complied with.
    • A change in a rule can necessitate different or additional requirements. Examples(s):
    • Only a Rules Analyst may create a Product Relationship Rule. Counter-example(s):
    • Business Regulations (e.g. SOX) are not business rules; but business rules can be put in place to comply by them.
    • Laws of physics.
    • Adopted external standards (e.g. Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules).
    • It can specify a be a condition/action (C/A) rule.
  • Counter-Example(s):
  • See: Production Rule



    • A Business rule is a statement that defines or constrains some spect of the business and always resolves to either true or false. Business rules are intended to assert business structure or to control or influence the behavior of the business.[1] Business rules describe the operations, definitions and constraints that apply to an organization. Business rules can apply to people, processes, corporate behavior and computing systems in an organization, and are put in place to help the organization achieve its goals.

      For example a business rule might state that no credit check is to be performed on return customers. Other examples of business rules include requiring a rental agent to disallow a rental tenant if their credit rating is too low, or requiring company agents to use a list of preferred suppliers and supply schedules.

      While a business rule may be informal or even unwritten, writing the rules down clearly and making sure that they don't conflict is a valuable activity. When carefully managed, rules can be used to help the organization to better achieve goals, remove obstacles to market growth, reduce costly mistakes, improve communication, comply with legal requirements, and increase customer loyalty.

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  • (OPEN Process Framework)
    • A rule’s being “under business jurisdiction” means that it is under the jurisdiction of the semantic community that it governs or guides - that the semantic community can opt to change or discard the rule. “A business rule is a constraint that specifies a policy, business practice, rule, relevant governmental regulation, or physical fact concerning the customer organization’s current business enterprise."

  • SBVR 1.0 (12.1.2)
    • Business rules are lists of statements that tell you whether you may or may not do something or that give you the criteria and conditions for making a decision.

      A policy, decision or rule that influences how the organization runs the business. A business rule is a statement that defines or constrains some aspect of the business. Business rules may also pertain to business calculations.


  • DAMA08
    • A formally stated constraint governing the characteristics or behavior of an object or the relationship between objects (entities), used to control the complexity of the activities of an enterprise (not necessarily a commercial business).