v10i2p4 - CLEI ELECTRONIC JOURNAL, VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2,...

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A RULE REPOSITORY FOR ACTIVE DATABASE SYSTEMS Sidney Viana UNIFIEO - Centro Universitário FIEO, Computer Science Department Osasco, Brazil, CEP 06020-190 viana@unifieo.br and Jorge Rady de Almeida Junior University of São Paulo, Department of Computer Engineering São Paulo, Brazil, CEP 005508-900 jorge.almeida@poli.usp.br and Judith Pavón Anhembi-Morumbi University, Computer Science Department São Paulo, Brazil, CEP 04546-000 jpavon@anhembi.br Abstract: Active Database Systems (ADBSs) provides a good infrastructure to define and execute active rules. Nevertheless, this infrastructure offered by ADBSs does not completely satisfy the necessities of rules management that demands current business applications. Rules also need to be stored in appropriate structures to facilitate their management, as the existing structures for data in these systems. This work proposes a rule repository, composed by structures that allow the storage and organization of rules, in order to facilitate their management. For this purpose, a rule classification with the main rule types existing in the literature is presented, and then, it represents the characteristics and anatomy of each type in a meta-model, with the goal of analyzing the data that must be stored about rules. The rule repository, proposed in this paper, has been built based on this meta-model. Keywords: Business Rules, Active Database Systems, Rule Repository 1. INTRODUCTION Today’s fast changing and global environment dictates that a successful enterprise has a rich decision- making process. This means not only gathering and processing data using information systems, but also making decisions with the support of business rules. Business rules are statements about how a business is done, i.e. about guidelines and restrictions concerning to states and processes of an organization. The business rules representation, storage and management are crucial in all information systems, because this knowledge becomes the main assets of all enterprise. The business analyst can make decisions faster when rules are automated. This automation requires an environment that provides resources for the rules storage and management. For its appropriate storage, it is necessary to have a proper understanding of the concept of rule and its parts or elements. Rules should be specified in an executable rule language, i.e. a SQL standard language, in order to be automated in an information system (IS) [3]. The activity of rules management consists of the definition, query, elimination and modification of rules [14]. Generally, business rules are specified in a programming language, like Cobol or Java, or in an Active Database Systems (ADBS). An ADBS is a conventional database system extended with the capability of reactive behavior [1]. This means that the system can perform certain operations automatically, in response to certain situations that have occurred in the database. The ADBS is composed by an Active Database Management System (ADBMS) and a database. An ADBMS support the definition, management and CLEI ELECTRONIC JOURNAL, VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2, PAPER 4, DECEMBER 2007
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execution of Event-Condition-Action (ECA) rules[11, 14] or variations thereof that specify reactive behavior. ECA rules consist of events, conditions and actions. That means: “when an event occurs, check the condition
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v10i2p4 - CLEI ELECTRONIC JOURNAL, VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2,...

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