Business Rules Engine Comparison [Updated Guide]

Dive into business rules engine comparison and find the perfect Business Rules Management Systems for enhanced business efficiency.

Business Rules Engine Comparison [Updated Guide]

Mukul Bhati

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Business Rules Engine Comparison [Updated Guide]Business Rules Engine Comparison [Updated Guide]
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Welcome to our business rules engine comparison guide. Here, you will get the most accurate insights into the top business rules engine and how they fare against each other.

Business Rules engines come in many flavors - script-based, coding-based, declarative, etc. The most crucial aspect is to pick a rule engine that fits your needs.

Our Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) comparisons pit the most popular names in the industry. It will help you pick the best rules management system for your business.

Now, let's understand the key aspects that are essential for rules engine comparison;

What criteria to evaluate for Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) comparison?

Business rules management systems are critical for smooth workflows and efficient process execution. That's why it's prudent to pick a rule engine that integrates aspects that are critical to implementing business rules effectively. Below we will take a look at the important criteria you must evaluate for rules engine comparison;

  • Rule Deployments - The first criterion to evaluate is rules deployment. Different BRMS used different rule deployment methods - manual deployment, service deployment, web-based, no code rules deployment, etc. Various deployment methods require varying levels of technical expertise. Low code deployment methods are by far the easiest and don't need coding or technical knowledge. If you don't have a technical team, it's the best method to begin with a rule engine.
  • Import/Export Features - Moving further, you must evaluate the import-export function of a rule engine. You might need to export business rules to an Excel sheet or XML format in case of system updates or modifications. Import/export features ensure that you do not rule business rules and easily insert them in a new or upgraded system. Also look at supported formats for import/export - XML, CSV, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), Excel, etc.
  • Performance - How to perfect your BRE performance and execute business rules is also a critical aspect. It's speed, efficiency, and agility in executing business rules. Additionally, BRMS solutions should be flexible enough to support running tests best on different data sets and conditions.
  • Integration - Next, you must assess the compatibility of rule engines with different systems. Integrations with third-party systems enable BREs to expand their scope and functionality and therefore are a must in quality rules engines.
  • Scalability - Businesses grow over time and may implant additional processes to cater to the expanding business needs. A BRE should be scalable enough to handle the growing business demands, otherwise, the enterprise won't be able to sustain its growth.
  • Price - BREs are primarily intended to reduce manual work, save time, and reduce costs. If the upfront cost of implementing a business rules engine is considerable, it might lose its strategic value against the long-term benefits it promises.
  • Support - Rules engines are basically software and they might suffer from periodic malfunction. However, prompt support from the BRE vendor ensures that the rule engine is up and running without disrupting the workflows. That's why support is an essential criterion for business rules engine comparison.

Top 5 Business Rules Engines Comparison

Rules engines offer diverse features and functionality. Let's compare the top business rules engines and understand what they offer;

1. Nected

Nected is a powerful rule engine and business automation solution that offers a low-code/no-code interface for rules implementation. It's characterized by its lightning-fast rules deployment and super speedy iterations.

  • Rule Deployments - Since it's a no-code low code platform, rules deployment is easy and can be carried out by non-tech people.
  • Import/Export - Nected offers Seamless import/export options.
  • Performance - Super fast working with 3X faster time to release. In addition, Nected also boasts 200-500ms performance capability and 10X faster iterations via experimentation.
  • Integration - Nected offers Seamless integration with databases, and APIs.
  • Scalability - Nected is built using high-performing language, Go, and utilizing modern stacks. It makes Nected highly scalable without compromising on performance.
  • Price - A free demo is available upon request

Support - Nected offers a standard support option which is an email and contact form on their website. The support team is agile and quickly resolves users' queries and concerns.

Key Takeaway

Nected stands out for its no-code/low-code interface and easy rules deployment and changes. Likewise, its scalable architecture and extensive performance make it one of the best business rules engines.

2. IBM Operational Decision Manager

Next, we have IBM Operational Decision Manager, an enterprise-grade business rule engine that is adorned with high-end features like auditing, versioning, and traceability. IBM is available as a part of IBM Cloud Pak® for Business Automation or a standalone platform.

  • Rule Deployments - IBM provides a low code rule engine via IBM Automation Decision Services but still some technical expertise will be required to deploy business rules. Rules deployment is a multistep process in IBM which takes away some of the ease.
  • Import/Export - Excel and XML import/export rules options are available.
  • Performance - IBM ODM is an enterprise-grade platform. It requires a dedicated server and extensive resources to deliver top-notch performance.
  • Integration - SOAP integration. It also includes APIs to integrate with other systems.
  • Scalability - Highly scalable solution however scaling can be done in cluster
  • Price - Doesn't disclose the price, however free is available for 30 days.
  • Support - Maintain extensive documentation and offer quick support via the support team.

Key takeaway

IBM ODM is exhaustive and the initial setup is complex. It requires extensive knowledge of the platform plus technical expertise to effectively navigate the ODM platform and deploy business rules.

3. JBoss (Drools)

JBoos, also known as Drools is an open source business rules management system. It means you don't need to spend a dime to benefit from its features. Drools supports Decision Model and Notation (DMN) and includes web authoring, rule management, and Eclipse IDE Plugin.

  • Rule Deployments - Drools is not a low code/no code platform. Although it provides a graphical rule flow editor and decision table support, technical expertise is still required to deploy rules on Drools.
  • Import/Export - Yes, Excel and XML
  • Performance - Drools is a high-performing rule engine. It packs key features like a forward-chaining inference engine, rule compilation, caching, and parallel execution to deliver top-notch performance.
  • Integration - Apache Camel integration, JAVA integration, Spring Integration, RESTful APIs
  • Scalability - Drools are designed to be scalable. It uses a rete algorithm for rule matching and distributed execution that enhances its horizontal scalability.
  • Price - Open Source Platform.
  • Support - Practically non-existent. Although there are several dedicated drool communities and forums where you can look for answers to your queries.

Key Takeaway

Drools deliver high performance and extensive scalability, but it only suits technical teams with extensive expertise in coding. On top of that, a lack of official support can put many in a difficult position if they need assistance.

4. SMARTS Decision Management Platform (Sparkling Logic)

SMART (Sparkling Logic) is a data-powered rule engine and decision management platform specifically designed for business analysis. However, its low code/no code environment, and its ability to seamlessly author, manage, and execute business decisions make it suitable for various businesses.

  • Rule Deployments - SMARTS include graphical tools with point-and-click functionality for decision modeling. It makes rules deployment simple.
  • Import/Export - Support Excel for importing and exporting business rules.
  • Performance - SMARTS offers an agile platform with decent performance. It offers point-and-click functionality to quickly create and deploy rules and transform data into high-quality decisions.
  • Integration - Analytics integration, machine learning models, and RESTful APIs.
  • Scalability - SMARTS easily adapts to enterprise architecture and governance models to offer high scalability. But it's still a new platform and has to catch up to more established platforms like IBM ODM or Drools.
  • Price - Live Demo available upon request
  • Support - Limited support is available through the contact form.

Key Takeaway

SMARTS focuses heavily on the business analytics part. However, its low code functionality coupled with AI Model Ops, decision analytics, lifecycle management, and scalable architecture makes it a competent decision management platform.

5. Red Hat Decision Manager

Last on our list is the Red Hat Decision Manager, which facilitates the creation of applications and microservices to automate business decisions.

  • Rule Deployments - Rules deployment is not easy on Red Hat Decision Manager. You have to use the Business Central interface or use KIE APIs to deploy its services which need technical know-how.
  • Import/Export - Support importing/exporting projects in Excel.
  • Performance - High-performance rules engine and decision manager. Uses Drools rule engine, forward chaining mechanism, etc. to deliver high performance.
  • Integration - Supports Maven integration, RESTful APIs, Spring Boot, Spring Security, etc.
  • Scalability - Scalable solution armed with complex event processing (CEP) technology and business resource optimization.
  • Price - Open Source Platform
  • Support - Maintain an extensive documentation page. Also, provides useful guides to address various aspects of implementing business rules. However, assistance via the support team is limited.

Key Takeaway

Redhat Decision Manager is a high-powered rules engine that delivers extensive performance. But again, it's a complex platform that needs exhaustive technical knowledge to make the most of it.

Business Rules Engine Comparison Chart - In a Nutshell

The below table gives you a concise overview of how different business rules engine fare against each other including their ups and downsides;

Comparison Criteria



Jboss (Drools)


Redhat Decision Manager 

Rule Deployment



Need Technical Knowledge 


Not beginner-friendly

Import/Export support

Hassle Free

Excel & XML

Support Excel & XML




High performance 



Decent performance 

Heavy Duty Rule engine


Multiple integration options

Several integration options


Analytics, APIs, Machine Learning Models

Maven, Spingboot, RESTful APIs



Extensive scalability 

Delivers high scalability

Adaptable architecture 

Scalable solution


Free demo available 

30-day free trial

Free, Open Source 

Live Demo on request

Open Source


Robust support system

Agile support team


Limited support

Detailed documentation and how-to guide. 

It appears that the ease of use and performance are really the benchmark to determine the value of a rule engine. While coding-based rules engines still deliver the best performance and scalability, no-code BRMS solutions are taking over rapidly. They offer a wider accessibility and significantly expand the scope of the rules engines.

Check Out Quick Guide To Choose Best Business Rules Engine

Nected - Implementing Rules Engine The Easy Way

Nected is a leading no-code/low-code cloud-based rules engine that offers exhaustive features and functionality to implement business rules and automate workflows.

Rules engines are diverse, but they all have the same goal - simplify workflows and improve business efficiency.

It eliminates the technicality that often deters many business heads from deploying rule engines and smoothening their business processes. It's super fast working and heavy performance ensure your business is running within the bounds of defined rules and moving forward at a road pace.

Get Started in Just 15 Minutes or Book an expert Demo.


Business rules engine comparison offers you a deep peek into the features and functionality of different BRE systems.

You now understand how individual rule engines work. It puts you in a better position to decide the best BRMS for your enterprise.

Nected is a powerful business automation and rules engine solution that is easily accessible to technical and non-technical people alike. Signup now and experience the power of a business rules engine with Nected.


Q1. What are business rules?

Business rules are a set of instructions that enable the smooth running of business workflows. Depending upon the process they control, business rules can be simple or complex and can incorporate logic. For example, an e-commerce website implements a 15% discount on every product purchase above $100; that's a business rule. 

Q2. What is a business rules engine?

A business rules engine, also known as a business rules management system, is software that stores and automates defined business rules.

Q3. Do I need to know coding to implement business rules?

No, coding is not needed to implement business rules. Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) like Nected offer a low code/no code interface that enables smooth adaptation of business rules. All you need to know is the processes and steps that make your business run smoothly.

Q4. What are low-code/no-code business rules engines?

Low-code/no-code business rules engines are specific software that enables implementing business rules without the need for coding. These platforms provide drag-and-drop interfaces that allow non-technical people to contribute to the rules development process. It facilitates faster rule deployment and iteration. Likewise it also promotes smoother collaboration between technical and non-technical teams within the enterprise.

Q5. What industries benefit from business rule engines?

Business rule engines have a broad scope and are applied in various business sectors.

In particular, these industries benefit the most from business rules engine;

  • Banking and Finance
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • E-commerce and Retail
  • Logistics and Transportation

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