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Friday, October 16, 2009

Apama 4.2 release - Cruising in the fast lane

Posted by Louis Lovas

Apama 4.2 release - Cruising in the fast lane
The Apama engineering team has done it once again. True to our record of releasing significant new features in the Apama product every 6 months, the v4.2 release is hot off the presses with major new functionality. The Apama roadmap is driven by a keen sense of our customer requirements, the competitive landscape and an opportunistic zeal. The engineering team is a dedicated R&D team driven to excellence and quality. We are dedicated to delivering value to our customers. A consistent comment we've heard from analysts and customers alike is the maturity of the Apama product.  

The current v4.2 release, the third in the v4.x family adds significant enhancements in three concurrent themes - Performance, Productivity and Integration. This consistent thematic model is one we've held for a number of years. Below I've touched upon the highlights of the current release along these themes:


  • Performance
High Performance Parallelism for Developers.  The Apama Event Processing Language (EPL) provides a set of features uniquely suited to build scalable event-driven applications.  The language natively offers capabilities for event handling, correlating event streams, pattern matching and defining temporal logic, etc. Equally important, the language provides a flexible means to process events in parallel.  For this we provide a context model and a new high performance scheduler. Contexts can be thought of as silos of execution, where CEP applications run in parallel. The scheduler's role is to manage the runtime execution in an intelligent high-performance way, and to leverage the underlying operating system threading model. It’s via the context architecture that the Apama Correlator squeezes the most out of operating system threads to achieve maximum use of multi-core processors for massive vertical scalability. For IT developers, this is a effective and efficient means to build high performance, low latency CEP applications without the pitfalls of thread-based programming, such as deadlocks and race conditions.

High Performance Parallelism for Business Analysts.  Not to be left out of the race, we've also ensured the scalable parallelism provided in the Apama CEP engine is available through our graphical modeling tool, the Event Modeler. We've had this graphical modeling capability since the very first release of Apama. This tool designed for analysts, quantitative researchers and of course developers, allows you to design and build complete CEP applications is a graphical model.  Parallelism is as easy as an automatic transmission, simply select P for parallel.

  • Productivity

Real men do use Debuggers (and Profilers too). The Apama Studio now sports major new functionality for development, a source level debugger and a production profiler. Building applications for an event-driven world presents new programming challenges. Having state-of-the-art development tools for this paradigm is a mandate. The Apama EPL is the right language for building event-driven applications - now we have a source-level debugger designed for this event paradigm. Available in the Eclipse-based Apama Studio it provides breakpoints to suspend applications at specific points, examine contents of program variables and single stepping. It works in concert with our parallelism as well. Profiling is a means to examine deployed Apama applications to identify possible bottlenecks in CPU usage.

Jamming with Java. We've enhanced our support for Java for building CEP applications. The Apama Studio includes a complete set of wizards for creating monitors, listeners, and events to improve the development process when building java-based CEP applications in Apama.

  • Integration

The (relational) world plays the event game. While we have provided connectivity to relational databases for many years we've made a significant re-design in the architecture of how we do it with the new Apama Database Connector (ADBC). The ADBC provides a universal interface to any database and includes standard connectors to ODBC and JDBC.  Through the ADBC, Apama applications can store and retrieve data in standard database formats using general database queries, effectively turning these relational engines into timeseries databases. The data can be used for application enrichment and playback purposes. To manage playback the Apama Studio includes a new Data Player that enables back-testing and event playback from a range of data sources via the ADBC. One can replay at varying speeds event data and time itself. The tested CEP applications behaves temporally consistent even as data is replayed at lightening speed.

Cruising at memory speed with MemoryStore. The MemoryStore is a massively scalable in-memory caching facility with in-built navigation,  persistence and visualization functionality.  This allows CEP applications, which typically scan, correlate and discard data very quickly to retain selected portions in memory for later access at extreme speed. This could be for managing a financial Order Book, Payments or other data elements that the application needs to be able to access at user’s requests quickly. Furthermore, if required the in-memory image can be persisted to a relational database for recovery or other retrieval purposes, and lastly the MemoryStore allows selected portions of the in-memory cache to be automatically mapped to dashboards.

Well that's the highlights. There were also about a dozen other features within each of these three themes, just too numerous to mention.

We are committed to improving the Apama product by listening to our many customers, paying close attention to the ever-changing competitive landscape and researching new opportunities.

Again thanks for reading, you can also follow me at twitter, here.
Louie



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Comments

Marc

Nice improvements, Louie. Good to see that Apama has moved into enhancing developer productivity. By chance, I mentioned Apama's success in the HFT area to some people today.

-marc

Kai Tischler

Hello Louie !

Your following statement has raised my greatest interest:

"The Apama v4.2 release enables the development of low latency CEP applications without the pitfalls of thread-based programming, such as deadlocks and race conditions."

That statement sounds very compelling to me :-) ! But which class of (web) apps can one develop with the Apama v4.2 release ? I for one have the following requirements:
- Persistance - using OODBMSes, XML DBs or RDBMSes
- CEP
- Realtime Messaging/Data Management
- Scalability/Performance: Which means exploitation of parallel and distributed processing

Can one cover all those requirements with the Apama v4.2 release ?

And how can I testdrive the Apama v4.2 release ? I couldn't figure out a trial download on the Progress website ...

Many Thanks in advance for Your answers


Cheers and Tschüss

Kai (Tischler) from Northrhine-Westfalia in Germany

Louis Lovas

Hello Kai,

The Apama platform does support a number of persistence models. I mentioned a couple of new ones in our v4.2 release (ADBC, and MemoryStore). This by default covers your RDBMSes. We also have standard connectivity interfaces for other persistence engines (such as Object and XML databases).

We support connectivity to a variety of messaging subsystems.

Parallelism and scalability are key capabilities in our platform - wrapped in the CEP paradigm.

You can get access to our product via the following url:

http://www.progress.com/apama/request-demo/index.ssp

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Apama continues to raise the bar in complex event processing (CEP) leadership!

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Good to know that Apama 4.2 release is based on customer requirements and the team is making good improvements to the product in a timely manner

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