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Charles Young Microsoft Business Rule Framework
MS BRE Backward Chaining - Part 3: The ‘Bound Variable' pattern
This is the third and final part of a three-part series, as follows: · Part 1: Situating the Business Rules Engine · Part 2: Backward Chaining: the 'Simple Name' pattern · Part 3: Backward Chaining: the ‘Bound Variable' pattern In Part 2 we looked at how developers can use procedural attachments and 'directive events' to implement a simple form of backward chaining for Microsoft's Business Rule Engine. In this third, and final, part, we will extend the code to tackle more complex backward-chaining ......

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 5:29 AM

MS BRE Backward Chaining - Part 2: The 'Simple Name' pattern
This is the second of a three-part series, as follows: Part 1: Situating the Business Rules Engine Part 2: Backward Chaining: the 'Simple Name' pattern Part 3: Backward Chaining: the ‘Bound Variable' pattern In part one of this three-part series, I explained some of the historical influences that led Microsoft to design their Business Rules Engine as a 'situated reasoning engine'. In this second part, I want to look at a pattern that exploits these features. Microsoft's engine is often described ......

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 5:27 AM

MS BRE: Using Compensation handlers
Being known for my interest in rules processing, I quite often get asked to help with problems with MS BRE. A couple of days ago, I was asked to help investigate an issue occurring in production for a BizTalk Server application. Occasionally, in a fairly high throughput system, BizTalk logs an error stating that a problem has been encountered while executing a rule set. That is the only information provided, with no hint of what the problem might be, and because the issue only occurs intermittently ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 12:48 AM

MS BRE: The Rules Engine Update (REU) Service and Policy Execution
A question came up tonight on BizTalkGurus on my favourite subject of rule engines. I don’t blog enough these days, so this gives me an excuse. Essentially, the question concerned an incorrect, but understandable, suspicion that MS BRE may be using remoting to execute rule sets out-of-process. This is not the case. You can find an article describing what actually happens at: ......

Posted On Sunday, January 13, 2008 10:13 PM

MS BRE: State Transition Pattern
My fellow BizTalk MVP, Leonid Ganeline, asked if I would comment further on mechanisms to govern sequential flow in rules in MS BRE. He was picking up on some comments I made in my article comparing WF and MS BRE rule performance (see What I had in mind was the use of state transition patterns within rule sets. These can be used to layer a degree of sequential control over the set-based pattern matching approach taken by engines ......

Posted On Sunday, September 16, 2007 1:06 PM

MS BRE Backward Chaining - Part 1: Situating the Business Rules Engine
This is the first of a three-part series, as follows: Part 1: Situating the Business Rules Engine Part 2: Backward Chaining: the 'Simple Name' pattern Part 3: Backward Chaining: the ‘Bound Variable' pattern Karl posted on forward and backward chaining at I emailed him privately and talked a bit about how backward chaining can be implemented on Microsoft's Business Rule Engine (I even sent him a little example). A couple of days later he published a ......

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 5:25 AM

Constraint Satisfaction and Rete
A few days ago, Daniel Selman of ILOG (now owned by IBM) published a solution to the Einstein puzzle. See He did this in response to a challenge from James Owen who is one of the organisers of the October Rules Fest conference. James invited the various vendors who have involvement in the conference to provide a solution using whatever approach they deemed best. See ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 24, 2009 2:47 PM

Microsoft BRE Survey
I'm delighted to report that Microsoft is currently asking for responses to an on-line survey on the use of Microsoft BRE - delighted because it indicates that serious thought is being given to the evolution of this technology. If your organisation uses MS BRE, do please take a few minutes to provide feedback. The survey is at: The only issue I would highlight is that the survey deals mainly with present and past use ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:09 PM

BizTalk Server 2009 - Rule deployment issue
There is a small configuration issue with the Microsoft Business Rules Composer in BizTalk Server 2009. This will only affect you if you deploy the rules engine by itself without the rest of BizTalk Server. In a full installation of BizTalk Server, BTS provides a set of BTS-specific Rule Framework components in as assembly called Microsoft.BizTalk.RuleEngin... This includes a RuleSetDeploymentDriver component that manages deployment of rules via the SQL Server repository. The BTS-specific ......

Posted On Friday, November 20, 2009 7:28 AM

MS BRE: Clearing Working Memory
My colleague, the ‘Arch Hacker’, forwarded an email to me this evening from Kenton Price. Kenton had noticed some peculiar behaviour using the Microsoft Business Rules Engine. Here are the pertinent extracts from Kenton’s report: “It appears that if you assert a fact in a rule, it hangs around for subsequent instantiations of the rule engine, behaving like a long-term fact.... I solved it by retracting each asserted fact on every exit path (I had a jump-out-early that halts and stops all other rules, ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:11 PM

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