SBVR Speaks on Rules: Violations of Business Rules

Ronald G.  Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal , and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC) Read Author Bio       || Read All Articles by Ronald G. Ross

EU-Rent has concerns about regulations pertaining to taking cars across national borders and consequent implications for insurance coverage, so it restricts the area for a rental. It has the following behavioral business rule, named the Area of Usage Rule:

Area of Usage Rule: No rented car of an open rental may be outside the authorized area of the rental.

Sample violation scenario: EU-Rent discovers that the rented car of an open rental is outside the area authorized for the rental. In other words, the behavioral business rule is violated by the rental.

In such circumstances, EU-Rent could respond by:

(1) Taking some remedial action such as canceling the rental. The required new state of affairs could be addressed by the following rule, which uses the verb concept "behavioral business rule is violated":

An open rental must be canceled if the Area of Usage Rule is violated by the rental.


  • Like all rules in SBVR, this rule takes no action; rather, it simply requires the 'canceled' state of affairs for the rental. Any action taken to cancel the order is outside the scope of the rule and of SBVR.

  • This behavioral business rule governs the behavior of EU-Rent staff, whereas the Area of Usage Rule governs the behavior of EU-Rent's rental customers.

(2) Taking consequential actions — e.g., notifying the insurer; advising the renter that the rental is canceled and they are not insured and should not drive the car; recovering the car and charging the renter for the recovery; etc. Such actions, as before, are separate from the rule violation itself, and outside the scope of SBVR.

(3) Imposing some sanction — canceling any future rental contracts for the renter, and barring the renter from being an additional driver on current or future rentals. Applicable sanctions could be specified in the form of additional behavioral business rules, though any actions to apply them would again be separate and out of scope.

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Standard citation for this article:

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Ronald G. Ross , "SBVR Speaks on Rules: Violations of Business Rules" Business Rules Journal Vol. 20, No. 10, (Oct. 2019)

About our Contributor:

Ronald  G. Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal , and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC)

Ronald G. Ross is Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rule Solutions, LLC, where he actively develops and applies the IPSpeak methodology including RuleSpeak®, DecisionSpeak and TableSpeak.

Ron is recognized internationally as the "father of business rules." He is the author of ten professional books including the groundbreaking first book on business rules The Business Rule Book in 1994. His newest are:

Ron serves as Executive Editor of and its flagship publication, Business Rules Journal. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences world-wide. More than 50,000 people have heard him speak; many more have attended his seminars and read his books.

Ron has served as Chair of the annual International Business Rules & Decisions Forum conference since 1997., now part of the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference where he serves as Co-Chair. He was a charter member of the Business Rules Group (BRG) in the 1980s, and an editor of its Business Motivation Model (BMM) standard and the Business Rules Manifesto. He is active in OMG standards development, with core involvement in SBVR.

Ron holds a BA from Rice University and an MS in information science from Illinois Institute of Technology. Find Ron's blog on For more information about Ron visit Tweets: @Ronald_G_Ross

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