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I've been using Drools as a central part of the Identity Management system at Cardiff for about 4 years. And was asked on the last developer design call (14 April 2010) to write up a summary of this. It does all the following for us:

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  1. Fast - far faster than other methods (such as XSLT), this is especially useful as we have thousands of rules
  2. Embdeddable in Java apps
  3. Flexible - we found it more flexible than using lookup tables for namespace mapping
  4. Separates the business logic from the application code, meaning that you don't need to be a developer to maintain rules
  5. Rules can be written in spreadsheets (as well as many other methods)
  6. Rules can be very complicated, but it's always fairly easy to see why something has happened as long as all rules are held within Drools
  7. Rules operate on normal JavaBeans, so there's no conversion to/from a specific format
  8. Drools rulesets can call functions that are java code in order to manipulate data

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