JBoss offers enterprise business rules management

The JBoss Enterprise Business Rules Management System could allow the company to compete with software giants like IBM and Oracle, analyst says

Extending its open source middleware platform, JBoss plans to offer on Tuesday JBoss Enterprise BRMS (Business Rules Management System), for enablement of business policy and rules development.

The announcement puts the company a par in the rules realm with vendors like IBM and Oracle, an analyst said. With the software, non-technical staff members can manage business processes without programming, the company said. Users can update business rules to reflect the day-to-day business and regulatory environment.

[ Related: Red Hat bought JBoss in 2006. ]

Key components of Enterprise BRMS include JBoss Rules Engine as well as "Web 2.0" Web authoring and management tools, with a rich Internet application UI. A repository is featured for version control of rules artifacts. The JBoss application server also is included in Enterprise BRMS.

"I think this is big announcement for [JBoss] because they have taken a good business rules engine and, by adding business rules lifecycle management tools and an authoring environment for end-users, they can now compete with the leading platforms," said Mike Gualtieri, senior analyst at Forrester Research.

"This new release will bring JBoss enterprise business rules on the same playing field as the other leading vendors, including FICO BlazeAdvisor, IBM ILOG, Pegasystems, InRule, Innovations, Corticon, Oracle Haley, and others," Gualtieri said.

"It is a full rules management system rather than just the engine," said Craig Muzilla, JBoss vice president for middleware. Rules can be developed for purposes, such as claims processing in an insurance application.

The rules engine was derived from the Drools community project, which offers a Java rules engine. The Web interface and repository were derived from the Guvnor project on JBoss.org.

Pricing for a one-year subscription for Enterprise BRMS, including support, patches, and updates, starts at around $20,000. Users can access the source code if they to maintain components on their own or add their own code.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.