Decision Tables

Alternative content

Get Adobe Flash player

Generally, tables are a convenient way of organising, storing and displaying business rules. We have all seen and used many forms of informational tables such as airline schedules, price lists, and product feature charts. Decision Tables extend the table concept by providing a detailed, concise, easily read, highly maintainable and logically organised way of representing and querying information and relationships.

Decision Table Rule Format

Like all Common Knowledge rule formats, the Decision Table seamlessly integrates with Common Knowledge Designer and the Common Knowledge SDK and can be easily combined with other business rule formats to create powerful solutions to complex business rule problems.


Common Knowledge Decision Tables provide a range of capabilities that allow you to create structured, readable and accessible representations of your business rules.

Interactive Designer Visual, interactive designer provides an intuitive tabular format for representing business rules
Interactive Execution Standalone execution and validation of Decision Tables entirely within Common Knowledge Designer
Explanations Add explanations in the form of Reason Strings to any rule in a Decision Table
Documentation Add custom information to your rules which will be included in auto-generated documentation
Evaluation Modes Choice of evaluation and execution modes for the Decision Table including AND, OR and XOR


Common Knowledge Decision Tables incorporate an ever-growing set of features that assist you during the design, authoring, execution and testing of your table-based business rules. Features include:

Nested Rules Embed execution of any other ruleset within Decision Table conditions and actions
Complex Expressions Specify complex expressions as the conditions and actions within a Decision Table to perform a range of operations including comparison (set, boolean and arithmetic), maths, statistics, string handling, financial, and date & time
Interactive Debugger Interactively debug your Decision Tables using breakpoints, stack tracing and expression evaluation
Mulitple Actions Define an arbitrary number of complex actions to be performed for each rule
Nested Rules Embed execution of any other ruleset within Decision Table conditions and actions
Rule Activation Colour-highlighting of evaluated conditions and performed actions as Decision Tables are executed
Cell Formatting Auto-size Decision Table columns and rows for easy table formatting
Cell Merging Easy auto-merge of common-valued table entries and expressions to provide a powerful aggregated view of your rules
Microsoft Excel compatibility Copy and  paste ranges of cell data from MS Excel applications
Efficient Evaluation Optional short-circuit execution of rules expressions to ensure maximum performance
Single & Multiple Rule Activation Limit rule activation to a single rule or allow multiple rules to concurrently activate as conditions are satisified
Evaluation Mode Choose how Decision Table conditions are evaluated from AND, OR, and XOR
Execution Mode Choose how Decision Tables are executed from Sequential or Lookup (very fast for sortable conditions)
Parameters and Return Values Pass parameters directly to Decision Tables and have Decision Tables return a result