Business Rule Diagrams

Meeting

I have recently started an effort to really understand the business processes in my enterprise. By using a statechart, you can document the flow of your business logic.

A state diagram is a type of diagram used in computer science and related fields to describe the behavior of systems. State diagrams require that the system described is composed of a finite number of states; sometimes, this is indeed the case, while at other times this is a reasonable abstraction. Many forms of state diagrams exist, which differ slightly and have different semantics.

The primary artifact that comes from a statechart is a diagram that illustrates business logic. It provides a large amount of information in a dense, yet incredibly easy to absorb format. It is the ease of understanding that makes this a great tool for validating your understanding of the business process with stakeholders.

In this article by Scott Sehlhorst we learn a little more about the basics of creating a diagram, plus the limitations of the diagram.

There are three elements of information that are documented in a UML statechart. The first is the list of possible states. In the example above, the rounded rectangles represent the possible states for a customer-order (Shipped, Delivered, etc). The second is the exhaustive list of all allowed state transitions (“Deliver Order” is the event that causes a transition from Shipped to Delivered). The third element is the events that describe (or cause) the state transition. “Deliver Order” is one of them.

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