I was asked the other day by a colleague who wanted to get an introduction into Oracle Business Rules if I had some tips & pointers in order to get started, so I thought I'd might put the answer here; perhaps some more people can use it as well.
For a short, but good introduction to what rule based programming is, please check:
The article describes short and concise what rule base programming is all about.
OK, so now you know what it is, but how to get started using it? If you are using the Oracle SOA Suite, then you already have a rule engine in place, so why not start using it?
To see a viewlet on how-to use it, go to the Rules section in OTN: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/ias/business_rules/index.html
It is available under the 'Viewlets and Tutorials' section. After that, it is time to start learning more about it.
If you have a developer's background, I would suggest that you start with the 'Oracle Business Rules Language Reference' (available at: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B32110_01/web.1013/b28964/toc.htm), this will give you a feel for how the Rule language works; after all this is really the foundation. When going through this document, you will of course need the API, it's available here: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B32110_01/web.1013/b28966/toc.htm.
The document contains many small examples that will help you to get started and get familiar with the language. The examples are run using a command line interface that ships with the product. An alternative is to download the RulesTools extension for JDeveloper 10.1.3.x. This will give you the option to execute script files written in the Rules Language directly in JDeveloper, as well as some other stuff that will ease programming in the Rules Language.
Once you are familiar with the Rule language, or if you are coming from a more business oriented background, you should start to have a look into the Oracle Business Rules Rule Author; it is the GUI that is used for creating the rules. The documentation for it is available here: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B32110_01/web.1013/b28965/toc.htm.
In the previous given link to the Rules section on OTN you will find even more demos and tutorials to help you get started with the Oracle Business Rules.
I hope this will help you to take your first steps down the road of Oracle Business Rules and rule based programming. Good luck!