Suggestions on best approach to Documenting business rules

Suggestions on best approach to Documenting business rules

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TSF posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My team is going to begin reviewing the many business rules (perhaps in the hundreds) we have for saving sales orders, quotes, purchase orders, etc. in our 15 year old system in preparation for moving them into CSLA business objects.

Would anyone be willing to point me to some examples or particular methodologies you've seen or used to document rules? What I'm looking for is a format that could be used as a future master reference for what rules impact the various business actions, how they're related to one another, order of priority, etc.

It will likely take us weeks to go through the many thousands of lines of VB6 code as well as stored procs littered with rules and write them down in an appropriate way. And before I just start putting them into a hastily created Word document, I'm trying to find out if there are standardized approaches to this kind of thing. We could use something like Visio to show a graphical representation of them, but I'm not sure if that is the best way to go about it since that isn't really a "reference" that someone could easily pick up and find information about a particular rule.

I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks.

tiago replied on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hi Tim,

I like the way Behavior Driven Development people document business rules.

TSF replied on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thanks, Tiago. Do you have any examples or links that demonstrate their documentation format?

JonnyBee replied on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Look at this:

"In September 2005, the Object Management Group (OMG) approved the "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" (SBVR)[1] to become a final adopted specification of the OMG.  SBVR, which is the first OMG standard for fact models and business rules, is in finalization as of this writing.

SBVR is a highly-structured set of fundamental concepts, not a syntax for rule representation.  In part, this approach is necessary for multi-lingual support; in part, it is to ensure support for a variety of representational schemes.  One such scheme is RuleSpeak®, which played a central role in the shaping and proofing of the standard itself.  The material that follows is extracted from the RuleSpeak Annex of SBVR."

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