Introducing RuleGuide™ - Business Decision and Rule Management


NOTE: This article is vendor sponsored by New Wisdom Software, LLC

Improve Business Decision and Rules Analysis with the right tool

RuleGuide is a tool that accelerates and improves the quality of business decision and rule capture, analysis and management. By providing an enterprise repository for business decisions, rules, and associated metadata, RuleGuide fosters ongoing collaboration and alignment of the business and IT teams.

RuleGuide is a business decision and rule management (BDRM) tool. Business teams use RuleGuide to capture, analyze, and manage business decisions and rules along with terms, facts, and supporting metadata. RuleGuide is a web based application enabling remote access for project team members to collaborate on decision and rule management in a real-time environment. Business analysis teams can access the RuleGuide centralized information repository anywhere via laptops, desktop, and now the iPad.

Key Issues

Many Business Analysts and Rule Analysts capture business rules using limited desktop tools. Desktop tools may be initially sufficient for a small scale or a pilot project, utilizing only a few team members and a small volume of information.

For distributed teams, desktop tools are inadequate. Teams soon discover a need for internet accessible tools with a scalable repository and real time access. Today many more business tools are starting to address efficiency, portability and mobile productivity using the iPad tablet and laptop.

Sponsored By:

New Wisdom Software, LLC

As projects grow with additional business team members and other projects are started, the volume of information and complexity increases and becomes more difficult to manage. With time, there is a need to version and manage changes to rules and terms. Communication becomes more difficult. With increasing growth, volume and complexity, the need for a web based tool with a shared repository escalates relatively soon to move beyond desktop tools.

RuleGuide meets this need. RuleGuide is an internet based application with a scalable repository from project to enterprise level to enable sharing and collaboration for multiple team members. This meets the team’s need to reuse rules and share common glossary terms and metadata, where the desktop tools were inadequate and did not scale for this level of activity.

The Solution

RuleGuide Software as a Service

RuleGuide Software as a Service (SaaS) is the preferred delivery model. This model includes the use of RuleGuide decision and rule management software. The service is scaled for a Business Unit(s) or company level.

Subscribing to hosted Software as a Service is a norm today for most companies. Large and small companies are taking advantage of substantial cost savings and efficiencies of the SaaS approach.

RuleGuide Software as a Service Includes: dedicated servers with security, 24 x 7 x 365 server support, with a 100% uptime guarantee, RuleGuide application maintenance and release support, the maintenance and monitoring of servers, software, and database, data backups, and a quick start up program for the business domain.

The New Wisdom RuleGuide Software as a Service is offered with a monthly service fee.

RuleGuide paired with the iPad

RuleGuide may be accessed using an iPad for the business analyst

New release! Portability, and mobile productivity, is achieved using RuleGuide paired with the iPad. RuleGuide may be accessed using an iPad for the business analyst who requires the latest mobile technology for instantaneous, remote business processing, and easy transport to business meetings.

It is so convenient! Business Analysts can process from any location with internet access using iPad convenience to update their RuleGuide information. For business review meetings, the business analyst can easily mirror the RuleGuide display on the iPad on to a large monitor for group viewing.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at RuleGuide

Decisions in RuleGuide

Decisions represent business logic;

  • Decisions are a framework of business logic made up from business rules which are organized as a rule family or rule set.

  • Rule Family contains rules that define the business logic. A Rule Family is a reusable rule set.

  • Business Rules are made up of conditions and conclusions. Rules are members of a rule family. Rule Families make up decisions.

  • Glossary Terms and Facts define the business language used to build formal rule conditions and conclusions.

Rich User Features

Each page offers a Search feature to narrow the views to relevant business information.

Each row on a page has an Impact feature used to identify and cross reference where an object is used with other information for analysis before making changes.

Decisions are captured to provide business context. Decisions are made up of rule families or rule sets and relates them to business strategy, motivations, and process models.

Decision Family Tree depicts the Decision Family and supporting rule families with condition fact types.

Note the DUI History’s Driver_Eligibility is flagged as an [INFINITE LOOP] due to a business logic integrity violation discovered by RuleGuide built in quality checks. In this situation, RuleGuide flags the loop for further analysis of the violation.

The Rule Family is the heart of the decision. RuleGuide automatically organizes rules by conclusion (e.g. Driver Age & Training Status) and pattern of conditions when constructing the Rule Family. These highlight relationships and dependencies between rules within rule patterns. Rule family is used to define business rules and for analysis of business logic. The Rule Family may be a reusable unit of rules within Decisions.

Business Rules Analysts maintain a comprehensive glossary of business terms to promote consistent understanding and usage of the business terminology. The rules are built with point and click selection of terms and values used in the rule condition and conclusion clauses.

The Rule Statement enables the user to capture rules as a Business Rule Statement in a natural language format and create a profile for these rules. Rule Statements are easily associated with Formal Rules and other business information captured in RuleGuide.


RuleGuide is a web based tool with a scalable repository which can be easily used starting from a project level to multiple projects while sharing reusable terms, rule sets, and information across the enterprise.

RuleGuide is accessed via the internet using a secure user login, with role-based security, enabling multiple users to have same time access to the repository. Users easily collaborate on updates, and sharing terms and information. RuleGuide record locking manages multiple users from changing versioned records at the same time, controlling the change management and information overlay issues.

RuleGuide for the Business and IT Team Members

RuleGuide is a tool for the business rules team to compliment business process management (BPM) and business rules management systems(BRMS). The BRMS for a company could be made up of one or many internally developed applications, processes, or a rule engines.

RuleGuide is intended for business team members to capture decisions, rules, glossary and related metadata. RuleGuide decisions are linked to supporting documents and models such as BPM and business decision models (BDM) documents (e.g. Visio, Blueworks). Rules are easily exported to support the business requirements package when delivered to the rules development team. Choose to grant read access to IT development team members so they too may gather a better understanding of the rules and the intended business implementation.

RuleGuide Core Concepts

  • Simplify the capture, analysis, and management of decisions and rules for the business team

  • Build an enterprise Glossary of terms as the foundation for rules and decisions

  • An enterprise wide repository to support reuse of terms, rules, and rule sets

  • Enable traceability from business process design to decision and rule implementations

  • Structure rule sets for understanding, analysis, and within a decision framework

  • Architect as a web server based application with SQL DB as the business information repository

  • Capture and manage supporting source information, business rule statements, and associate with business process models, decisions, and implementation

  • Enable distributed team collaboration

Getting Started

Have you already started gathering rules in a desktop tool or in spreadsheets? Getting started is easy with the RuleGuide Import feature. It’s easy! Format existing rules and glossary terms in the RuleGuide spreadsheet template, then use the Import feature.

Technical Environment

RuleGuide is a java application using Web 2.0 technology and an SQL database as a sharable repository for the business decision and rules team. The RuleGuide Software as a Service is hosted on dedicated secure servers with SQL repository, allowing the team members to work in concert in a real-time environment. The RuleGuide architecture enables users to log in to RuleGuide from anywhere there is internet access available. RuleGuide is very convenient for teams with members at different locations to enable collaboration.

What the Industry Analysts are Saying

"Today, RuleGuide business rules projects tend to be more strategic with broader scope and a focus on deployment of those rules in reusable Decision Services. This pushes the focus to the business rule lifecycle, to decisions and to business rule metadata. "

"We have reviewed New Wisdom's continued advancements and believe that the RuleGuide decision approach to rule capture and management provides increasing support for The Decision Model...We are excited with the continued commitment by New Wisdom to support The Decision Model. "

About the Author

Lee Lambert has over 30 years of experience implementing technology and business solutions. Since 2000 he has worked with clients to improve business rules analysis and management. Lee founded New Wisdom Software in 2006 to focus on the development of business rules analysis and management software for the business community.

Visit for more about New Wisdom and RuleGuide.

Additional Resources

RuleGuide Software as a Service (SaaS)

James Taylor on EDM: Updated Look at RuleGuide

RuleGuide Product Blog – The Latest



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