As you must know, in every single company there will always be a constant about a specific topic names “rules”. The rules can differ between companies but they will always exist to give order and a unique path to reach their respective objectives. So, a good question could be “How can we create these rules?” Or “How can we manage the changes to these rules once they are set up?”. Well the framework that will help us to resolve these questions about the rules is the SAP Business Rule Framework Plus, in other words BRF+.
Before talking about BRF+ I would like to explain about “What is a business rule?”. Technically you can define it as a “statement that defines or constrains some aspect of the business. It is intended to assert business structure or to control the behavior of the business.” So, in simple words, a business rule is a formal expression of knowledge from an operation or behavior in a desired direction.
Now we make us the second question: “Why it is important to drive business process in a dynamic way?”. We can answer this with another question, “Will you be able to pay and waste time developing new applications, reports or programs for the system every time the business rules changes?”. The answer in most of the cases will be NO. The processes are always changing, with the use of BRF+ and their business rules we make easier the adaptability and modification of all the processes with less effort.
So, after understand “What is a business rule” and “Why the dynamic process” the next step is “How does this business rules works with BRF+”. If you don’t know how does BRF+ works or what it is do not worry, I’ll explain you with a simple description and example. Imagine that you own a company, so you have employees and these employees receive a salary. The salary is calculated between several kinds of rules that can be changing though the years or even every month. Here is where the BRF+ tool enters, instead of going into the code every time that you want to change or add a new rule to the calculation of the salary you use the BRF+ application to modify the rules as if they were simple sentences. These rules are made from a simple IF-THEN condition so there you can add a new decision table, formula, expression, etc. to modify the content of the rule.
In traditional programming, we create the programs for a specific requirement, in other words, the program just have a main purpose which was created for. It can be modified but it will require much more effort of money, time, and analysis. With BRF+ applications we can just adapt the new rules to their own operation program, this means we can change the rules and we do not need to affect the code.
Now that we know the purpose of the BRF+ comes the question, “Why do we need to use it? Or which are the benefits, advantages in using the BRF+ tool in my operations?”. Well, to answer this question first we need to understand that not all the people involved in the operations of the company has technical skills to understand or modify directly the code of the system applications. So, one of the advantages in using the BRF+ tool is that this application allows to every functional guy with knowledge in the operations to manage these rules. In other words; you don’t need to have experience as a developer, if you know the flow of how the rules works in the continuous daily operations, you are qualified to modify the rules in the BRF+ application. Of course, that to give complex modifications or further technical setup to the complete BRF+ applications you must need a Business Rule Administrator that helps you with your requests. Another advantage is that you can program all your different operations in different applications, for example if you work to the public sector you can distribute your applications in tax calculations, custom duties, land regulations, license fee calculations, etc. Every application has their own rules and their own flow of communication between other SAP applications and even with other modules. This is because you can set workflows and functions to distribute these operations.
To resume what I´ve explained, I would like to do an emphasis in something very important. Business rules can be as simple as adding a tax to a retail price or they can be very complex such as managing all the organization process flow. So, no matter how simple or complex the rules are, being able to create, maintain and track the business rules of the operations processes of an organization is critical for its success. This is what BRF+ gives us, a tool where we can manage all the business rules operations, deploy, execute, monitor, and maintain in a single place.
In my experience, I would like to give you a “live example” which the BRF+ was used. For example, the calculation of the benefits for the people of a small country. As you must know every government has their own laws and rules. So, there is not an exception to pay the pension or benefits to their people. These rules were always changing because they needed new formulas, new operations to know the amount calculation of what they were going to earn. They started with the registration in the portal and after they input all the fields, the BRF+ application make its validations using what we talked about (expressions, formulas, rules, rulesets). The rulesets contained these rules and the rules the formulas or expressions to calculate the amount of every one depending of their age, disabilities, work experience, etc. So, after the BRF+ application finished the validations, the total amount was published in the portal. If they need to make changes they do not need to touch the application, they just need to change the rule to adapt to the new business operations.
As a conclusion, we can assume that business rules and operations are in every company, and we need a dynamic and agile way to manage them. The BRF+ is the solution to this issue. You need less effort for a faster way of modify your business processes. The IT area is growing and growing as we advance to the future and with this comes the new paths for this kind of technologies as BRF+ is.
To finally conclude, let me tell you dear reader that if after assimilate this you have doubts about whether to incorporate this tool in your organization or if you simply have doubts about learning to develop in this technology, ask yourself this question, “how many companies or organizations do they need to optimize and manage their daily operations in an effective and practical way?” You will be surprised about the results and hopefully your answer about use BRF+ will be positive. Thank you for read.