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Haley Rule Bursts into the business rules market

Business Rules Management and Business Rule Engines at a tipping point

Haley Rules was acquired yesterday by RuleBurst. Previously, RuleBurst seemed to position itself as an up-front rule modeling tool or rule management tool, especially for government applications, that integrated with the Microsoft Business Rule Engine for rule execution. With this acquisition, RuleBurst acquires one of the fastest rule engines on the block. Now they don't need the MSFT rules engine because they have their own! And instead of taking a few more years to build a stronger presence in the U.S., they established a strong presence in the US market overnight.

RuleBurst is a natural fit for legislative rules. As a matter of fact, they used to market their tool as Legislative Rulebase Technology years ago, when the company was called SoftLaw. They talked about the idea of Electronic Legislation. E-Government is a great niche, because government is good business.

Now it seems clear that RuleBurst is ready to go after the corporate / private-sector market just as hard. Ruleburst is very serious and methodical. They plan ahead strategies like international expansion (done), government rules market leadership (done - can you spell I R S?), and long-term expansion into the corporate rules market as well (well underway with Haley acquisition).

Adding the Haley Rules Engine could improve performance for deployment. Not sure what they would do with Haley Authority - that is very impressive natural language technology that is like nothing else on the market. There's a good reason Haley is based in Sewickley, PA: Carnegie Mellon University and A.I. expertise. Softlaw was one of the first companies to get into the rules market, and they are among the few who are still around today (under the name RuleBurst of course).

The new BRE Family Tree 2008 (as of yesterday) shows a quick summary of that history:BRE Family Tree 2008

Here's the official press release about the acquisition.

Here's the rest of the story:

In September 2001 I met with a SoftLaw executive (not sure if he was CEO at the time or if he became their CEO later) in Orlando, FL to brief him on the U.S. rules market and advise them on their expansion plans and strategies. We talked about challenges faced by government agencies such as the IRS, and their search for business rule engines and business rules management solutions. At that time I was working for IBM on the IRS Modernization project. Back then the IRS was looking at CA AION, Sapiens, etc. It took a few years, but SoftLaw (RuleBurst) finally broke through and is now one of the tools used on the IRS project.

During those meetings we also talked about marketing opportunities in the US. I told them about the Business Rules Forum and other rules conferences that they should attend and exhibit at. They started attending, and are now regular exhibitors.

This year at the Business Rules Forum it was a little odd that Haley Software did not have a booth. Now we know why.



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