The business rules engine, which will be embedded into NetWeaver, can check business events for regulatory compliance or monitor business processes.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

October 17, 2007

2 Min Read

SAP AG is letting little moss grow under its feet as it plans to buy YASU Technologies, a privately held business rules engine supplier, on the heels of its $6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects.

Yasu Technologies is a 120-employee software company in Hyderabad, India, founded in 1999. It is an example of promising offshore startups being sought by established European and North American buyers, frequently companies like SAP, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, and Microsoft. SAP says Yasu represents another of its "targeted, fit-in acquisitions to complement" its broad application offering.

No price was announced, but SAP said it planned to complete the acquisition in October. The announcement was made in a statement released during the three-day SAP TechEd 07 conference in Munich, a training event for SAP users.

SAP said it will embed the business rules engine into its NetWeaver application platform so that business rules can be applied across heterogeneous systems. Business rules engines can capture human knowledge in the form of rules, then deal with "if...then" situations that allow the rules engine to check business events for regulatory compliance or monitor business processes to save time, resources, and money.

SAP will enable its application users "to encapsulate business rules... that are independent of applications" and "consistently apply business rules to their business processes," the firm said in a statement.

Business rules engines allow rules to be built by business analysts and managers then be managed centrally by IT staffers. Rules engines aid the establishment of a services-oriented architecture by making the rules available as needed to different services, rather than building them into multiple applications.

John Rymer, analyst with Forrester Research, said SAP should have little problem integrating Yasu's QuickRules Business Rules Management System into its NetWeaver product line. Yasu produces both Java and .Net versions of QuickRules. NetWeaver products can work with Java products.

"The key is satisfying both programmers and nonprogrammers. Yasu has got some very good tools for the business user," Rymer said in an interview.

Rymer said he talked to Yasu two years ago when the firm had about 60 employees, with "55 of them engineers." By choosing to sell the company to SAP at this point, its owners can take a financial return on the strong product they created without engaging in the long slog to get it established in the marketplace against better-established competition.

Rymer said the market leaders are iLog's Business Rule Management System and Fair Isaac's Blaze Advisor. CA offers Aion, Pegasystems has SmartBPM Suite, and Microsoft offers Microsoft Business Rules Engine. Other contenders include Corticon Technologies, Haley Systems, InRule, and Versata.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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