June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.350.1 - 11.350.10
Conceptual Modeling of Business Rules
The Entity Relationship (ER) and/or Enhanced Entity Relationship (EER) notation can be used to graphically represent action assertions. Action assertions are one of the three types of recognized business rules that control daily business operations. This graphical action assertion representation enforces constraints on the way data should be used by the organization and is implementation independent.
An organization may have many business rules that need to be implemented to correctly control the daily operation of the business. Traditionally these business rules have been encoded into application programs that have been virtually unrecognizable, unmanageable, and inconsistent3. Capturing business rules in such a way can lead to the business rules being inconsistent between various user applications. This approach places a heavy burden on the programmer, who must know all the constraints that an action may violate and must include checks for each of these constraints. An omission, misunderstanding, or error by the programmer will likely leave the database in an inconsistent state.
In this paper the ER/EER notation will be used to define business rules at the conceptual level in a relational data model. Placing the business rules at the same level as the data has a natural appeal because the business rules are always about the data. The business rules are thus used to enforce database consistency that goes beyond foreign key relationships and delves into how an organization should operate its business.
Business rules are basic to what the business knows about itself. Rules must be explicit. No rule can ever be assumed about any concept or fact7. Business rules can be divided into the following three types:1 structural assertions, action assertions, and derivations. Structural assertions are concerned with statements that express an aspect or relationship about the structure of a business. To define structural assertions an organization may also need to define business terms and facts. Business terms are the actual terms an organization uses to define how the business is to operate. A business term should have a specific meaning to an organization. Facts define relationships between terms. Derivations are concerned with statements that can be used to derive additional facts about the business. Derivations use facts known to the system to derive new facts based on some inference method. Action assertions are statements that control or limit the actions of the business. Action assertions focus on the dynamic behaviors of an organization by specifying what the organization should allow to happen and what the organization should not allow to happen.
This paper will focus on action assertions, which are constraints. In this way, business rules will be used to constrain different operating aspects of the business2. When the bulk of an organizations constraints are captured by implementing them in various user application
Sanati-Mehrizy, R., & Welborn, C., & Minaie, A. (2006, June), Conceptual Modeling Of Business Rules Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/921
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