Skip to Content

Carsten Ziegler started off re-iterating the same benefits of business rules  that came up when the SAP Netweaver Business Rules overview. He used an insurance policy application and pricing  scenario as an illustration. The rules for this scenario are organized into a  catalog that contains various rulesets, either if..then rules or a decision  table, just like Netweaver. Configuration options allow some of the  functionality to be deactivated for different users.The catalog contains  function definitions to access the rules, expression builder and so on. Some  “where used” information is available as is simulation. The simulation allows  you to test a function and see exactly how it would execute for a specific set  of values and a proposed rule change. It looked pretty robust in a quick  demo.

PwC issues a technology forecast in 2008 talking about business rules as a  parallel aspect of an intelligent platform containing business intelligence,  business process and business rules. The quality, they said, of the rules engine  used in a process platform makes a huge difference to overall process  quality.

BRFplus allows business users to find the rules that matter to their  business, explore and understand the rules, change and simulate/test them and  ultimately manage the rules. BRFplus is designed, he said, to bring business and  IT people together. BRFplus has the usual set of components – a rule repository  or catalog, an engine and an editing environment. The rule composition/editing  environment is browser based and supports more visualizations than the Netweaver  environment (decision trees for instance are added). Execution logs and change  management are also included. The engine generates code for execution and has an  API convenient for ABAP as well as an ability to deploy as a web service. The  decision table metaphor is pretty standard. All the usual features for managing  the rules, condition columns and actions as well as some tools to handle  completeness and consistency. The repository can use the ABAP Server for change  and access control for instance and supports versioning (including time travel –  executing the rules for a particular moment in time). The rules can be run (in  the ABAP server) on a single, central instance or distributed to instances for  local execution.

Invoking BRFplus is a simple function call from ABAP – 6 lines of code invoke  the function and pass the context in. Multiple rulesets can execute in a  function and then return a result. Rulesets can handle intermediate variables  (to enrich data passed to them), have all the usual object management features  like documentation and change tracking. Rules within the ruleset can trigger  side effects like sending email or calling ABAP (though personally I prefer  rules not to do this). The actions can also be extended by hooking up a function  or building a new expression – the user sees these just like all other BRFplus  actions. The backend can also be extended, overriding default behavior for  things like authorization and notifications.

BRFplus is already being used in many SAP applications from CRM (loyalty,  territory, real-time offers), Business ByDesign (many), Transportation (freight  costs for instance), Government (benefits, entitlement) and others like tax and  revenue management and the advanced metering infrastructure (rule based event  management). It was encouraging to see the number of these, clearly SAP has at  least started done the path of using rules to manage the logic in the business  suite.

BRFplus has replaced everything from table customization to code exits,  improving maintainability and bringing in business users to collaborate. In  addition SAP tools like BRF, derivation tool, VSR, FoBu and more are being  replaced with consistent use of BRFplus. This focus on having a single,  rules-based tool for managing logic and customization is great.

BRFplus is not done – there is still work to do. The second enhancement  release for Netweaver 7.0 is in ramp up now and is being used in 70 or more use  cases in the suite. This will release in 2010 for general adoption. Migration  and some competitive features are still to come. Sharing of rules between  BRFplus and Netweaver BRM and a shared repository is still to come, though the  tools can call each other already.

BRFplus users are changing the way business  and IT collaborate, see a rapid time to value and find the management of  BRFplus to be very seamless with the rest of their ABAP environment.

To report this post you need to login first.

3 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Manas Dua
    BRF Plus is definitely a very powerful rule engine..I was involved in one of the projects reusing BRF+.

    Our Project Incentive and Commissions Management was earlier using SD – Condition Technique ( Decison Tables and all that Pricing stuff ) to determine the commission percentage.
    Then In EHp5 we have implemented BRF+ as an alternative option to determine the same.

    Although UI’s of BRF+ are still not very user friendly and we had lots of issues reusing them, but I hope they will evolve with time.

    BRF+ for sure has found a lots of takers inside SAP.

    manas dua

    (0) 
  2. Ivan Geolog
    Hello,

    We need to send external data from POS terminal (check) directly into Loyalty Engine to process the points. Have a Loyalty Engine any API for data exhange? Inbound IDOC, for eaxample.

    Thanks in advance.
    WBR

    (0) 
    1. James Taylor Post author
      I am not aware of any formal API for loyalty information. If you cannot run the rules on the POS itself (and there are Linux based POS out there) then you will want to use the fastest API mechanism you can. This might be IDOC but you should check with someone who knows the SAP APIs better than I!
      (0) 

Leave a Reply