A rules engine is typically a component a workflow or business process management (BPM) application. Typically referred to as a “business rules engine”, this component makes intelligent decisions on how to process and branch the flow of a process based on specific criteria. An example would be the accounts payable invoice approval process where a manger may be able to approve invoice for a specific amount, but when exceeded, the approval is routed for a director level approval. These business rules are critical to any organizational process, and provide a logic layer allowing for optimal automation through intelligent decision making. Other examples below:
- Routing of claims to specific adjusters based on state
- When to escalate a customer support issue based on the critical nature
- Routing a mortgage for approval based on credit score
Most workflow engines have an embedded rules system, but there are also specific rules technology companies that can provide this service as an add on.