Expressing business rules : a fact based approach : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Information Systems at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Numerous industry surveys have suggested that many IT projects still end in failure. Incomplete, ambiguous and inaccurate specifications are cited as a major causal factor. Traditional techniques for specifying data requirements often lack the expressiveness with which to model subtle but common features within organisations. As a consequence, categories of business rules that determine the structure and behaviour of organisations may not be captured until the latter stages of the systems development lifecycle. A fact-based technique called Object Role Modelling (ORM) has been investigated as an altemative approach for specifying data requirements. The technique's ability to capture and represent a wide range of data requirements rigorously, but still in a form comprehensible to business people, could provide a powerful tool for analysts. In this report, ORM constructs have been synthesised with the concepts and definitions provided by the Business Rules Group (BRG), who have produced a detailed taxonomy of business rule categories. In doing so, business rules discovered in an organisation can be expressed in a form that is meaningful to both analysts and business people. Exploiting the expressive simplicity of a conceptual modelling technique to articulate an organisation's business rules could help to fill a significant requirements gap.
Management information systems, System design