Methods and associated structures for rapidly processing messages in a distributed computing application. Rules are stored in structures defined by the present invention and methods associated therewith rapidly process the boolean predicates of the rules to determine what actions need be taken in the distributed computing environment in response to receipt of a message published by a publishing application in the distributed computing environment. Rules argument tables store rule argument entries which each represent a single boolean predicate test clause which compare a column (field) of a published message with either a fixed value or with another column of a published message. All rule argument predicate clauses which are AND'ed to form a rule are related in the rules argument tables by a common rule.sub.-- id column value. An operations table stores entries each of which describes groups of attributes of rules stored in the rules argument tables. Rather than evaluating all rules against a received message as is known in the prior art, the tables of the present invention are searched using indexed random search methods to rapidly locate only those rule arguments (predicate clauses) which are applicable to the received message. The present invention thereby rapidly locates and evaluates all rules which are applicable to a particular published message without need to locate or evaluate other unrelated rules.