Business Rule Structure
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Introduction
Structure
Design Principles

Suggested Business Rule Structure

As discussed in the introductions, rules should be defined in the class model (ACM). This should be done by adding an operation to the appropriate class, giving it suitable name (of the rule) and providing a description of what it is trying to do.

What is documented within the rule in principle is not really that different to what is typically described in an (say) XL list, however where it is documented becomes important. Note that the translation of what is traditionally though of as a business rule to these operations is not necessarily on a 1-to-1 basis. It will certainly require additional analysis activity thinking along classic O-O lines: what (class) has the responsibility to undertake the behaviour suggested by the rule.

For example: the trade object may be expected to “validate”  itself, but to do so it will need to collaborate with other objects, e.g. instrument.

It is not recommended that a structured syntax (e.g. OCL, pseudocode) is used to describe these rules still need to be validated as part of the business domain (however their later specification can use these). Nonetheless the business rule should document either in the description or as part of the operation signature:

bulletBusiness logic concerning behaviour and any collaboration that is not self evident from the ACM
bulletAny parameters required and what part they play in the business logic.
bulletRange of possible outcomes (these could be simple (pass/fail) but could be more complex. However in all cases the outcomes should be finite (e.g. in implementation would have a unique code) and definable (the business logic that would result in the outcome should be clearly defined)
bullet Optionally, for complex behaviour, separate Activity or State Diagrams for some classes can be also provided

The following sections explore in more depth the way these rules are identified and described in the model.

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This paper has been prepared by Codel Services Ltd to illustrate how structured business modelling can help your organisation. Codel Services Ltd is an IT Consultancy specialising in business modelling. If you would like further information, please contact us at: Deryck Brailsford, Codel Services Ltd, Dale Hill Cottage, Kirby-Le-Soken, Essex CO13 0EN,United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)1255 862354/Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 435227/e-mail: info@codel-services.com