After two years of vendor consolidation, which are the best business rules platforms for application development and delivery professionals to consider? In our judgment, based on growth rates, market presence, strength of product, and client interest, three vendors have risen to the leadership positions in this market, with two others coming on strong. IBM's ILOG has the strongest market position, but a surprising new alternative has gained strong initiative, and a one-time leader has lost momentum.
Although many application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals have experience implementing business rules platforms, Forrester's AD&D team has been receiving a continual flow of inquiries on this topic that suggests that clients want to know how the vendor landscape is changing and how those changes affect product choices. In fact, before evaluating a vendor's product features, clients consider the vendor's market momentum and the size of its customer base.
Our conclusion: The choices in business rules products have in fact changed, because the vendors have consolidated, expanded, and/or retrenched. Here is a picture of those changes:
As a result, the number of leading products has declined since we last evaluated business rules platforms. Some business rules vendors have expanded into other product categories. As a result, the decision to choose these vendors for a business rules product is more complex because business rules management is no longer their primary focus or their product sets include additional capabilities not directly related to business rules management. Within this category, there are:
BPM vendors that also provide rules.
Vendors that provide decision solutions.
At one time years ago, business rules platforms were a risky, esoteric investment. That's not the case anymore. The market's consolidation signals a level of maturity in the products, tools, and practices that makes business rules platforms accessible to everyone, not just the most risk-tolerant customers.
Mike Gualtieri and I did this research together.
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