LANSA’s Business Rules Engine is more than a data dictionary of field definitions, validation rules, reusable components and field visualisations – it promotes an entirely different approach to application development.
More than a data dictionary
Defining data and the business rules is an ongoing challenge. Hard coding these definitions and rules in every program that uses them increases the maintenance burden and leads to inconsistency with the rules residing in multiple places. Creating a data dictionary is one way to resolve the problem. The data dictionary provides a central place for data definitions and associated business rules. However, the information in a data dictionary is static and passive – a data dictionary is only a partial solution.
The LANSA Business Rules Engine extends the role of a data dictionary by becoming an active participant in the application. It kicks into action when an application updates business data, a user presses the help button and also to make an application work with continuously changing devices or databases.
The Business Rules Engine is both the custodian of the data and business rule definitions and the enforcer of the rules. The Business Rules Engine provides the data services layer for the application architecture. LANSA’s data services layer ensures the integrity of data by managing all access to all databases. Application programs only update any database by placing requests to the data services layer.
LANSA’s data services layer ensures the integrity of data by managing all access to all databases. Application programs only update any database by placing requests to the data services layer.
When rule definition and enforcement is the responsibility of one entity – the Business Rules Engine – ensuring the integrity of the data is easier and maintenance is reduced.
Application portability is now a reality
One reason to implement our Business Rules Engine is so that your business applications become abstracted from the technology platform. You are no longer limited to a particular combination of hardware, operating system, database or user interface technology. If you are replacing a legacy system because the technology has become outmoded, who’s to say that the next system you implement won’t soon start showing its age? To keep gambling on technology trends is to be certain of ‘losing big’ at least once. Our customers describe LANSA as their insurance against technology change, because it insulates them from being locked into old technology, or having to constantly revise their applications for platform, operating system or database updates. By choosing LANSA they avoid this technology trap, future proof their application and can stay focused on achieving business outcomes.
Significantly reducing your maintenance burden
Another measurable benefit of our Business Rules Engine is the effect that it has on lowering the maintenance burden throughout the life of a system. It’s not uncommon to find LANSA users reporting a 90% reduction in their application maintenance effort and costs. This staggering reduction is the cumulative effect of many design decisions that are built into the LANSA platform.
The benefits of reuse without the complexity
For instance, a whole library of built-in functions means that LANSA programs are smaller than you would expect. Smaller programs mean less code that, obviously, equates to lower maintenance. But even more significant is the amount of reuse that occurs because of the shared Business Rules Engine and the fact that a modification to anything can be made just once and then applied to all affected programs without recompilation. These benefits are not dissimilar to those you would expect from adopting the Object-Oriented (OO) programming model with concepts of inheritance, modularity, polymorphism and encapsulation. At LANSA we found a way to deliver on the promise of OO in such a simple way that developers don’t even have to think about the plumbing anymore, they can just focus on getting the job done.