Activant Introduces Business Rule Engine for Distributors

DynaChange Rules empowers users to develop logic tailored to their businesses.

Activant Solutions Inc., a leading technology provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for distributors and specialty retailers, today announced the availability of DynaChange Rules, the next generation toolset for Activant's Prophet 21 software application. This versatile tool provides a Business Rule Engine that allows Prophet 21 users to insert their own business logic into the Prophet 21 code base without altering the application code itself.

"Our customers have indicated their desire for extensible solutions that will empower users to configure business behavior within the ERP system rather than customizing code. With DynaChange Rules, users can apply logic based on their own unique standards and processes to increase efficiencies and minimize errors," said Kevin Roach, executive vice president and general manager of Activant's Wholesale Distribution Division. "Our customers will now have available new levels of flexibility and control in molding the Prophet 21 business system to adhere to the best practices and policies defined by their companies, as well as replacing manual interaction with automation where possible."

Through the powerful capabilities offered by DynaChange Rules, administrators can write business-specific code to tailor and define:

1) Conversion Rules

Allow entered data to be converted into a given format. (For example, an Item ID entered as 3M – 12345 can be converted to 3M 12345 when the item is entered with 3M as the supplier.)Automatically set or change the value in a given field based on data entered in another field. (For example, an item entered with a product group of Pharmaceuticals could automatically set the Pedigree Tracking Checkbox to be checked, or the currency for a customer based in France could always be set to euros for proper currency conversion.)Auto-populate fields based on a value entered in a given field. (For example, a zip code validation could populate address fields based on the zip entered.)

2) Validation Rules

Create validation criteria for entered or saved data. (For example, Customer A can only buy items with Item Class 1 set to "No Restrictions." The system will provide an error message if an item without that Item Class is entered on an order for Customer A.)Allow for the creation of warnings and errors based on validation rules being met or not met.

3) Asynchronous Workflows

Users can organize business rules into a workflow using a Workflow Engine tool and then use the business rule engine to identify the trigger in the Prophet 21 system to initiate the workflow. For example, a distributor could set up a workflow so that a purchase order placed in the amount of $5,000-$10,000 triggers an alert to a sales manager for signoff, while an order over $10,000 triggers an alert for the CFO's signoff. When the inserted trigger is activated in the Prophet 21 software, the rules included in that workflow will be executed in the sequence indicated, without the user having to move around multiple systems.

Part of Activant's DynaChange Extensibility Series, DynaChange Rules requires Prophet 21 version 12.5 or higher, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 or 2010 (Express Edition or higher).

For information about Activant and its products and services, visit, e-mail, or call 1.800.776.7438, press 1. For information about this particular product offering, Activant customers should contact Activant Direct Sales at 1.800.776.7438, press 2, or e-mail