SBVR v1.4 Approved for Publication

Donald R.  Chapin
Donald R. Chapin co-chair, OMG Business Modelling and Integration Domain Task Force Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Donald R. Chapin

During the March 2017 OMG Technical Meeting, the Object Management Group's Board of Directors approved a new version (v1.4) of SBVR ("Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules") for publication.  As soon as the OMG publication process is complete, SBVR v1.4 will be freely available to the general public on the OMG's website at

This revision of SBVR was a very focused one, targeted on clarifying — for the business audience — the definitions of the various kinds of SBVR elements of guidance and element of guidance statements.  Most of the changes made in the v1.4 revision are related to this significant improvement for the business community.

Related to this, the preferred terms for the two main kinds of business rules were swapped with their synonyms so that the more business-oriented term for each is now the preferred term:  definitional business rule and behavioral business rule.

There were several small, isolated fixes included in v1.4 as well:

  • Defined the meaning of "is violated" when talking about 'behavioral business rules' as the correct understanding of this concept is fundamental to discussions about behavioral business rules.

  • Fixed an unintended consequence in the definition of 'rulebook'.

  • Fixed the definition of 'business rule' to make its "is practicable" characteristic explicit.

  • Added the concept of 'rule set' which is referenced in the normative SBVR Clause 23 but was not defined in SBVR.

  • Added to SBVR Annex A ("SBVR Structured English") three SBVR Structured English keywords that are used in Clauses 7–21 but had not been specified in Annex A.
Work is continuing on SBVR v1.5 which is planned to be available to the general public early next year.

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Standard citation for this article:

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Donald R. Chapin, "SBVR v1.4 Approved for Publication" Business Rules Journal, Vol. 18, No. 6, (Jun. 2017)

About our Contributor:

Donald  R. Chapin
Donald R. Chapin co-chair, OMG Business Modelling and Integration Domain Task Force

Donald Chapin is co-chair of the OMG Business Modelling and Integration Domain Task Force. He led the team that developed the OMG's "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" (SBVR) specification, and is co-chair of its Revision Task Force. Donald is also the OMG's Liaison to ISO TC 37 (Terminology and other Language and Content Resources) and the ISO TC 37/SC 1/WG 5 SBVR project leader. He is a member of the British Standards Institute Terminology Technical Committee (TS/1) and a British delegate to ISO TC 37.

Donald has substantial experience in training and methodology development — starting in the late 1960s, when he first introduced decision tables into IBM's internal application development training, and continuing to his current practice, where he is developing and presenting workshops for application of SBVR. Currently he is working with a major manufacturing company and a UK government agency on federated business policies expressed in SBVR. Donald is a member of the Business Rules Group and contributed to the development of the Business Rules Manifesto.

Donald can be reached at

Read All Articles by Donald R. Chapin
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