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Business Rules as Customer Interface

New Ways to Link Up

The business rule approach is profoundly changing the way we think about supporting business-to-business and business-to-customer interfaces. The concept of eDeals (any kind of agreement automated as business rules) mentioned earlier is just one way in which this is happening. Here are several more.

  • Supporting the supply chain: A parts supplier must package its goods for the convenience of the finished-goods manufacturers who use them. Convenience is naturally different for each manufacturer. How does each customer define convenience? Business rules!

  • Integrating support services: An international package delivery service seeks to integrate its services seamlessly within the automated workstation environments of its customers worldwide. Imagine all the differences across (a) national and subnational boundaries, (b) hardware/software platforms, and (c) customized user interfaces. What approach is the delivery service using to establish a standard baseline? Business rules!

  • Setting customer expectations: Local walk-in betting offices in a certain European country are required by law to make available to customers all the rules governing the placing of bets. These rules must cover every possible contingency. For example, what happens if your bet on a horse race includes some horse to show (come in third), but only two horses finish the race? (I am not really sure, but you probably end up losing your money somehow.) Basically, the betting rules let the customer know what treatment he or she can expect. By making transactions more transparent, you build trust. In general, how do you make business transactions transparent? Business rules!


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