How Workflow Engine Software Differs from Business Rule Engine

A workflow engine and a business rule engine are frequently confused. However, the phrases "workflow engine" and "business rule engine." are distinct and cannot be used interchangeably. It is vital to understand each concept and its various functions.

Workflow Engine Software

A workflow engine is a piece of software created to assist users in enforcing a group of repeating actions known as a "business process" or "workflow." The workflow engine uses design cues from the workflow to direct the process through each stage. The software achieves this through task routing, also known as workflow automation.

A workflow is a collection of operations that transforms data into a final product. It is the timing-bound orchestration of predictable, repeated operations. For example, when one buys a piece of cloth in an online store, the retailer initiates a workflow that includes order fulfillment, payment processing, and dispatching to delivery.

The majority of workflows are done manually and sent through email or paper for approval. However, in the past few years, contemporary firms have automated their operations using workflow software to increase speed, precision, and cost-effectiveness.

The process designer, a feature that enables software users to run a workflow instance without scripting, is hard-coded into the majority of these workflow applications. The admin may dynamically assign tasks based on the form's information, route tasks in a linear order, add conditions, exceptions, parallel branches, etc., using the workflow designer.

Workflow engines are pre-coded codes that perform a step while considering a workflow architecture or how tasks should flow from one stage to the next. The software's workflow engine is a piece of code that moves tasks from one step to the next.

The workflow engine follows the design and executes the tasks rather than dictating "how" a workflow should go.

Business Rule Engines

A business rule engine is a collection of criteria in software that, when all (or a predetermined number of) conditions are satisfied, will cause the execution of the application code. It involves establishing standards for how a piece of software should act, given particular constraints.

A business rule engine allows non-technical software developers to modify the product's behavior in accordance with their company's needs without requiring them to alter the underlying algorithms. They enable speedy and efficient decision-making depending on an abundance of data that is too much for humans to handle.

Business rule engines guide software to infer conclusions based on certain criteria and have no influence over coordinating processes. However, a business rule engine can simulate a workflow process when provided with specific conditions.

Benefits of a Business Rule Engine

The business rules engine's ability to update the rules without also updating the rest of the application code is one of its main benefits. As the needs of the company evolve, this makes it easier for developers to maintain their apps. The resources may therefore be allocated to develop other business components because the risk and expense of changing the application are greatly minimized.

A business rules engine's load balancing functionality improves an application's scalability by offloading the rule-execution process to many servers. This enables the main webserver to manage an increase in the number of requests efficiently.

It allows you to construct logic without intricate coding since the programming language replaces logical rules and decision tables.

Workflow Engine Vs Business Rule Engine

Non-technical end users can alter a process' behavior in real-time with the help of a workflow engine or a business rule engine without altering the code.

However, their contrasts outweigh their commonalities. They serve fundamentally distinct functions. A workflow engine is based on the workflow process, while a business rule engine is built based on rules or conditions.

A workflow engine is specific to the workflow, while a business rule engine is specific to the enterprise. A workflow engine is built to run a workflow process, while a business rule engine assists in complex decision-making.


While a workflow engine and a business rule engine are distinct and cannot be used interchangeably as they play different roles, they are both essential to the success of a business. When looking for software, a company must look for the workflow engine that best suits its business structure and needs.

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