The DEAT Business Rule Pattern Language

Russell R. Hurlbut, Ph.D.

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Rule Pattern 21: Priority

Problem Resolving Conflicts among Competing Actions that can occur as a Result of an Event

When a business process has several activities that can be performed simultaneously, some mechanism for indicating which activities are more important is needed. The priority of activities should be able to be specified in absolute terms or in relative terms to each other. The net result should indicate an ordering for performing the activities.


Define absolute and relative priority levels to handle conflict resolution.

Example Listing Processing

A real estate company prescribes that upon securing a listing that a number of activities should take place. First, the listing should be submitted to the multiple listing service. A follow-up seller's packet should be sent before advertising copy and photos are produced. The priority of actions is dictate by legal obligations as well as good business practices.
Listing Processing Parameters
Action submit listing to MLS
Priority type absolute
Priority level 1
Action seller packet
Priority type relative
Relative Placement before
Relative action ad copy

UML Representation and Related Patterns

The Priority business rule pattern does not directly map to any UML model element. However, they are most closely related to PseudoState model elements that are designated as a fork kind. This pattern shares an affinity with the Ordering business rule pattern, however the focus here is on activities rather than members of a collection.


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