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Elements of Business Rule Management: Unit Test Framework

December 10, 2012

While building rules, having the ability to see them run and evaluate if what they are doing is what they were designed to do is important. However, one of the problems that can happen in any set of business rules – whether built graphically in a tool like the Decisions rule designer, or coded by programmers – is a rule is fundamentally changed or even broken without anyone being able to catch it.

In the software development world most methodologies now involve not just writing a piece of code but also writing (in code) a battery of tests that allow a system to be excersized and validated automatically. The advantage of this is when behavior is broken or changed, the test execution tool can catch this and it can be dealt with.

In a graphical environment there is the need to this same type of testing.

  • Is this rule still producing the results I am expecting? 
  • Does this rule handle bad input as it was designed to do?
  • Does this rule fail when it it supposed to? (yes, a rule failing might be what it is supposed to do, in the case of missing data etc)

The decisions platform includes a unit test framework that allows tests to be created and executed in a graphical environment.

Every test includes:

  • Name
  • Inputs to the rule or flow
  • Expected result (expected to return a value? expected to fail? expected to run without failure?)

Would you like to see a demo of how you can unit test rules within the Decisions platform? Drop us a line here

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Carl Hewitt
Prior to starting Decisions in 2009, Carl began in mid 90′s as an innovator in object oriented programming for business. He started his first technology company in 1998 (oop.com) which developed a graphical configuration technology and rules engine. The company was sold to NetDecisions, a global technology company and private equity fund in 2001. As the CTO over technology ventures at NetDecisions, Carl also organized and created Fluency, a voice recognition technology based on the oop.com platform. In 2003, recognizing the potential of workflow in conjunction with other configuration technologies, Carl formed Transparent Logic. Using a .net based platform, Transparent Logic delivered a fully graphical platform for creating workflows, rules and form building suite. Transparent Logic was sold to Altiris/Symantec in January 2008. At Symantec, Carl was the Senior Director in charge of R&D for the workflow team. During his time at Symantec, he created the next generation Symantec Service Desk, based on the workflow technology.

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