Difference between direct and pattern inheritance in pega

Direct and pattern inheritance in Pega 

Pega, a leading platform for business processes and customer relationship management, uses a robust inheritance mechanism to enhance application reusability, maintainability, and scalability. Inheritance in Pega is primarily categorized into two types: direct inheritance and pattern inheritance. Direct inheritance follows a linear, hierarchical structure, while pattern inheritance allows for more flexible, non-linear rule reuse based on naming patterns. Understanding the differences and use cases of these inheritance types is crucial for developers aiming to build efficient, scalable, and maintainable Pega applications, ensuring optimal application design and performance.

While PRPC tries to process rule R1 if a rule is not found in the current class, it looks at Pattern Parent Class and so on in Pattern inheritance. If the rule is not found even in the base class, then it throws a rule not found exception. Between two inheritances, pattern and direct, the first priority is pattern inheritance.

Find By Name First Pattern Option in Class Rule Rule from:

Open class group rule:

Open class group rule form. This option makes  template-based inheritance take priority over direct inheritance. If we uncheck this check box, direct inheritance will take priority, which means that when a rule is not in the current class, Prpc looks at direct parent classes.

Direct inheritance in Pega

Direct inheritance in Pega is the more straightforward of the two types. It follows a hierarchical structure where a subclass inherits properties, methods, and behaviors directly from its immediate superclass. This form of inheritance is similar to the classic inheritance model found in many object-oriented programming languages.

Characteristics of Direct Inheritance:

Linear Hierarchy:

Direct inheritance establishes a clear, linear relationship between a class and its immediate superclass. Each class directly inherits rules and properties from its parent class.


Due to its linear nature, direct inheritance is easy to understand and manage. It allows for a straightforward implementation of rules and properties.

Limited Scope:

Direct inheritance is limited to the direct parent-child relationship, which can restrict the reusability of rules across different parts of the application.

Advantages of Direct Inheritance:

Clarity and Simplicity:

The straightforward hierarchical structure makes it easy for developers to understand the inheritance path and troubleshoot issues.


Since a class directly inherits from its immediate superclass, the behavior and properties are predictable and consistent.

Disadvantages of Direct Inheritance:

Limited Reusability:

Direct inheritance restricts the reusability of rules to a narrow scope, often necessitating duplication of rules across different parts of the application.

Rigid Structure:

The linear nature of direct inheritance can lead to a rigid and inflexible application structure, making it challenging to adapt to changing requirements.

Pattern Inheritance in Pega

Pattern inheritance offers a more flexible and powerful mechanism by allowing a class to inherit rules and properties from classes that share a common naming pattern, regardless of their position in the hierarchy. This approach is particularly useful in large and complex applications where reuse and modularity are critical.

Characteristics of Pattern Inheritance:

Pattern inheritance
Pattern inheritance

Flexible Hierarchy:

Pattern inheritance enables a non-linear, flexible inheritance path, allowing classes to inherit rules from multiple classes sharing a naming pattern.

Enhanced Reusability:

By leveraging naming patterns, pattern inheritance facilitates the reuse of rules across different parts of the application, reducing redundancy.

Broader Scope:

Classes can inherit rules from any class within the same naming pattern, providing a broader scope of rule reusability and modularity.

Advantages of Pattern Inheritance:

High Reusability:

Pattern inheritance maximizes rule reusability, allowing developers to define common rules once and reuse them across multiple classes.


The ability to inherit rules based on naming patterns promotes a modular application structure, making it easier to manage and scale.


Template-based inheritance offers greater flexibility in designing the application structure, enabling developers to adapt to changing requirements more easily.

Disadvantages of Pattern Inheritance:


The non-linear inheritance path can introduce complexity, making it harder to trace and understand the inheritance chain.

Potential for Conflicts:

Due to the broader scope of inheritance, there is a higher potential for conflicts and rule ambiguity, which requires careful management.

Use Cases and Best Practices

Understanding when to use direct inheritance versus  template-based inheritance is crucial for building efficient Pega applications. Here are some use cases and best practices for each type of inheritance.

Use Cases for Direct Inheritance:

Simple Applications:

Direct inheritance is ideal for simple applications with a clear and straightforward hierarchy. It ensures clarity and predictability.

Tightly Coupled Rules:

When rules and properties are tightly coupled and specific to a particular class hierarchy, direct inheritance is more appropriate.

Predictable Behavior:

In scenarios where predictable and consistent behavior is essential, direct inheritance provides a reliable solution.

Best Practices for Direct Inheritance:

Maintain Clear Hierarchies:

Ensure that the class hierarchy is well-defined and logical, minimizing the risk of confusion and errors.

Avoid Deep Hierarchies:

Deep hierarchies can complicate maintenance and understanding. Aim for a balanced and manageable class structure.

Use Cases for Pattern Inheritance:

Large and Complex Applications:

Template-based inheritance is beneficial for large and complex applications where modularity and reusability are critical.

Common Functionality:

When multiple classes share common functionality,   allows for the efficient reuse of rules without duplication.

Dynamic Requirements:

In environments with dynamic and evolving requirements,  template-based inheritance provides the flexibility to adapt and scale.

Best Practices for Pattern Inheritance:

Consistent Naming Conventions: Adhere to consistent naming conventions to facilitate template-based inheritance and ensure clarity in rule inheritance.

Manage Rule Ambiguity:

Implement strategies to manage and resolve rule conflicts and ambiguity, such as using rule resolution techniques and clear documentation.

Modular Design:

However, to achieve this effectively, make sure to design the application with modularity in mind. By leveraging template-based inheritance, you can thus create reusable and maintainable components.


In conclusion, the difference between direct and pattern inheritance in Pega highlights the importance of choosing the right inheritance strategy based on application requirements and complexity. Additionally, direct inheritance offers simplicity and predictability, making it suitable for straightforward applications with clear hierarchies. In contrast, pattern inheritance provides enhanced flexibility and reusability, making it ideal for large and complex applications where modularity is crucial. Moreover,  template-based inheritance allows for non-linear rule reuse based on naming patterns, enabling broader rule reusability and adaptability. However, Understanding these differences ensures developers can build efficient, scalable, and maintainable Pega applications tailored to specific needs.

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