Within Part 2 of our Business Rules Blog Series, I will provide an overview of BRDP’s and how to begin utilizing them when new to S1000D. For purposes of this blog post series, I am using S1000D version 4.1.
What are BRDPs?
BRDP stands for Business Rule Decision Point. Within the spec they are numbered using the code BRDP-S1-XXXXX. The first BRDP is BRDP-S1-00001, and subsequent BRDP’s roll that last number up (BRDP-S1-00002, etc.).
The spec defines BRDP’s as “A place in S1000D that indicates where a decision must be made, the results of which is captured in the business rules of a given project and/or organization.” To put it another way, BRDP’s are just business rules that the spec has pre-identified for you to review and address. For example, the first BRDP asks you to decide “…whether and when to use the alpha characters “I” and “O”. It’s a fairly simple decision you can probably make quickly, just remember to keep all the stake holders involved throughout the process.
Using BRDPs to create business rules
When it comes to putting together business rules, BRDPs are a great place to start, but they are also a great place to get stalled. You see, there are 552 BRDPs identified in the spec, so don’t try to address all of them before beginning, or you might get overwhelmed. To help break the BRDPs into more manageable chunks, the spec has divided them into 10 categories.
Begin by downloading the spec from the S1000D website and then finding the BRDP-relationships-Iss4-1_001-00.xlsx file in the BRDP Relationships subfolder. The third sheet in that file is called BRDP – BR Category Map. That sheet is designed to help you filter out the BRDPs by category (the little down arrow next to the column header BR_CAT_ID (column F)). Make a copy of that sheet and add a column to capture the decision that is made for that BRDP.
I recommend you start with category 1, General business rules, so set the filter to only show the Cat001 BRDPs. There are twelve category 1 BRDPs to address, so it shouldn’t take too long to get through those. Involve as many stake holders as you can when getting started. If you can get them all to participate in deciding these first twelve BRDPs, you will have a great idea of how to move forward with the other BRDPs.
You made it!
Congratulations, you should now have a spreadsheet with your first business rules documented. Use this as your foundation to move forward. Since business rules include more than just BRDPs, there could also be places where decisions must be made that aren’t identified as a BRDP. Feel free to add those to this spreadsheet.
After you finish with category 1, I suggest you take a shot at category 2 (52 BRDPs) and then category 5 (86 BRDPs). If a BRDP sounds too complicated or goes over your head right now, skip it and come back later. As you read the spec, learn more about S1000D, and begin documenting your business rule decisions, your knowledge will grow and you will be able to come back and tackle those tougher BRDPs.
Give yourself plenty of time to go through these first three categories. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few months to get going. If you need help with BRDPs, feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’re here to help.