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Professional BizTalk® Server 2006 by Ewan Fairweather, Kevin B. Smith, Darren Jefford

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7.8. Rule Store

During development, rules need to be stored in a staging area ahead of being made available for execution. The default store for rules is a SQL Server database, which provides a resilient and easy-to-manage location for rules.

Rules policies or rulesets are represented in an XML document, regardless of status, are stored in the BizTalkRuleEngineDb database and then within the re_ruleset table as an XML blob. During development of a rules policy, the policy is saved within the database, but it is not available until it's explicitly published and then deployed.

The process of publishing makes that version of a rules policy immutable, in that it can no longer be changed, and a new version must be created to introduce changes. At this stage, rules still cannot be executed until they have been deployed. After a policy has been published, it cannot be unpublished. This restriction provides a form of traceability and auditing of the first stage of the rule's life cycle.

The process of deploying makes the rules policy live and ready for execution. The deploy process can be reversed by undeploying the policy. The publishing step can be seen as a staging ground, enabling you to stage a new rules policy before later making it available for execution.

SQL Server is used as the rule store to provide a highly available and shared store for rules between multiple BizTalk servers. If you are hosting the BRE yourself and not using BizTalk, however, you can also make use of a file-based ...

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