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This book introduces the conecpt and mechanics of business rules, and is essential reading for anyone involved in eliciting and writing requirements, or developing specifications. I want to disclose that I am a staunch advocate of business rules, so take this into consideration as you read this review.This is one of two books on the subject. The other book, Business Rules Applied by Barbara von Halle, is more suitable for an experienced practitioner or someone responsible for implementing business rules as an enterprise methodology. This book, however, focuses on the basics and addresses topics, such as object orientation and development, that are not found in von Halle's book. Both books are valuable, but to different audiences.What I like most about this book is that it painstakingly describes how to define business rules, and how to clearly and unambiguously describe them. Moreover, the approach given in this book employs the object constraint language, which is a part of the unified modeling language (UML) version 1.1. As such it shows how to integrate business rules into use cases, and to develop artifacts that align to organizations that are using UML or the Rational Unified Process, as well as object-oriented frameworks in general.My favorite chapters were 3, which is about defining business rules (getting them right) and 5, which covers controlling business rule quality. To me these are the keys to understanding and using business rules, and both chapters were clear and filled with examples. I also liked the appendix, which covered logic another essential knowledge factor for analysts who are involved in requirements and specifications.If you're new to business rules or are exploring them, start here. Even though the von Halle book is better suited to experienced practitioners, I would still recommend this book to members of that audience who are working in object-oriented environments or are using UML. If you are also using UML, do consider also reading Alistair Cockburn's excellent book titled Writing Effective Use Cases because that book is completely consistent with the material in this one.


Excellent post, Craig, with a needed message - Ben


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