I haven’t yet used BizTalk 2004 Vocabularies or Business Rule Composer. I had the impression I’d simply be able to create a vocabulary once for my \”universal\” incoming schema, and then create a policy for each external application that needs to receive transformed data out of it.
So I had hoped that once I had created the policy to deal with one external application, I could just copy that policy and modify it for the needs of each other external application I’d deal with.
Now from the few articles on the subject that I can find, I’m thinking the whole copy and modify plan is not going to work easily. Any comments? Are you actively using the Business Rule Composer? Is the effort worth the benefits?
I have used Rules a lot in the past, but mostly for calling from an Orchestration.
You can copy a policy; it just takes a small amount of effort. You can take a completed policy and export it as Xml using the Rule Engine Deployment Wizard. Then, all you have to do is change the Policy Name and import it. Now, you have a copy of your Policy you can modify.
What I see as a big pain in vocabularies. When you use a vocabulary, it binds to a specific version of the vocabulary. So, if you create a new version you need to manually everything that uses the old version if you want to remove it.
From what I have found so far, it’s easier to think of the Rules as just Xml. The Rules Engine uses SQL as a store of for this Xml to make it faster. If you wanted, you could code all your rules in a text editor and just import them (as long as they followed the Xml schema the rules were expecting).
Oh, you might also want to look at Acuman Business (http://www.acumenbusiness.com/). They have a few cool tools for working with rules and I think they are free. I think they have a tool for updating vocabulary versions too.
Hope this helps.
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