The end is nigh (for the BRE market)!

Recently a customer commented that some manager had complained about TIBCO BusinessEvents not appearing on their favorite analyst vendor’s grid for Business Rule Engines. Ignoring any quips regarding the true value of such analyst quadrants, lets look at this in more detail:

  1. Some analysts have now put their Business Rule Engine market analyses under the general section of “Business Process Management”. This is because conventionally, BREs and their associated BRMSs are used to define automated decision services for business processes. Indeed, the last Gartner MQ on BREs dates back to 2005, and almost everyone who was on the “leader” side of the board has been acquired or renamed; Forrester has more recent analyses but only on “traditional” BREs (as invoked from BPMSs). [*1]
  2. Business Rule Engines are applicable to pretty much any process that requires decisions – whether controlling manual processes (for BPM) or automated processes like CEP.
  3. Most analysts are still gearing up to cover CEP and the relationships between events, processes, services, and decisions. BRE analysts can’t know everything that is going on in software technology.

So, does a “BRE” market really exist any more? BREs are a software technology used for automating decisions, and there is certainly a large market for decision automation and management; in TIBCO, for example, the TIBCO BusinessEvents rule engine is also embedded in our MDM and SOA SLA [*2] products as part of our Business Optimization suite.

So the BRE market is not just part of the “BPM” market, but part of the wider business optimization market. And the BRE “market” is not ending, its just evolving.


[1] In the category of “fascinating yet bizarre” commentaries on the BPM-BRE marketplace: a BPM vendor who has partnered with a BRE vendor, now claiming that the BRE market is stagnant and that in fact they are competitors …

[2] Also commented on recently by James Taylor.