Sunday, November 02, 2008

Is Event Processing revolutionary?

Mark Palmer from StreamBase stated in a comment on Alex' weblog that CEP brings fundamentally disruptive capabilities to EDA.

I think CEP is not really revolutionary. Event processing and correlation has evolved from interrupt handling in computer systems and actuator/sensor technologies in industrial processes which already exist for decades.

Disruptive is that these technologies can now be applied to business events at an enterprise level and even at an inter-enterprise level. Thanks to networking, the Internet, ESB, standardization and generic event processors. These evolvements make the introduction of a holistic EDA approach to designing and building enterprise business systems very attractive as it is much more in line with the nature of real-life than any other approach.

5 comments:

PatternStorm said...

Hi Jack,

what might be disruptive, if it ever happens, is to architect (enterprise) software systems as what they really have become, i.e. reactive systems(*), as opposed to what they were, transformational systems(**). What I mean is that we are architecting what in the end are reactive systems with the old transformational mindset. The role of CEP here is that it improves the good old raective paradigm with interesting new aspects, such as hierarchies of (composite) events and (composite) event detection by pattern matching, that allow us to deal with the complexity of "big" reactive systems, allowing us to get closer to the possibility of architecting enterprise software systems as reactive systems...

(*) Reactive System = a system that continuosly interacts with its environment, it never terminates, the environment can start a computation at any time.

(**) Transformational System = a system that accepts some input, performs a computation, produces some output and terminates. Accepts input at predetrmined point in time.

Regards,
PatternStorm

Jack van Hoof said...

@PatternStorm,

Thanks for your contribution. I like your point of view. Well said...

-Jack

Paul Vincent said...

"Event processing and correlation has evolved from interrupt handling in computer systems and actuator/sensor technologies in industrial processes which already exist for decades."

That somewhat understates the difference between simple event-at-a-time event processing (eg of a mouse click, associated callbacks etc), and the continuous processing of events characterized by CEP. In the latter case, the same event can be used in multiple distinct event patterns "at the same time". Tim Bass uses the "sensor data fusion systems" as a historic context for CEP, which is probably a better analogy.

Is CEP revolutionary? No, but it is an enabling technology, allowing more widespread BAM-type applications and real-time decisions. IMHO.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hello Jack,

just a small note. The latest edition
of the Microsoft Architecture Journal has a few articles describing the usage of events in distributed systems and in manufactoring environments. They are a nice read.

Regards Rob

Jack van Hoof said...

I know about the Architecture Journal #17.

Especially this article is very good.

I would recommend a subscription to Architecture Journal to every IT-architect; it's free.