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March 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

On CEP and Standardization

Posted by Progress Apama

Last week Anita Howard wrote an article about the adoption of event processing in capital markets.  The first part was great - she reports that event processing is being broadly adopted in the capital markets (and other markets as well).  She also suggests that SQL is an approach to addressing the complex event processing (CEP) technology issue.  But then the article implied, via quotes from StreamBase, that SQL is the "only candidate" for a standard event processing language and that SQL is "widely used," and there was follow up in the blog from StreamBase marketing people that there was "broad support" for SQL as a standard for event processing.  Although it's accurate to say that a SQL based approach is a viable, and in some ways effective, approach to CEP, there are lots of other language-based approaches that are, arguably,  more effective, and, arguably, more "widely used." I'm waiting for the next claim that SQL has been adopted for CEP on Jupiter, indicating that SQL is, indeed, an intergalactic standard. 

But the real issue I have is that StreamBase continues to polarize the industry and provoke CEP-by-SQL religious language wars.  Naturally software vendors will emphasize that their approach is better than the next guy's, but tactics that divide early stage technology markets are not healthy and should be stopped immediately.

Research in CEP began simultaneously in the mid 1990's at Stanford University (David Luckham), Cal Tech (Mani Chandy), and Cambridge University (John Bates).  This work, and subsequent commercial work, has resulted in a range of language approaches to CEP, including:

  • Graphical point-and-click environments
  • CEP rules
  • CEP languages (e.g., David's RAPIDE, and Apama's EPL)
  • Java
  • SQL-like syntax

Vendors, of course, are a proxy for customer demand and preference, and so far, there is no "intergalactic CEP standard." Progress Apama supports graphical tools, CEP rules, a CEP language, and Java; I believe Aptsoft has visual tools;  I believe TIBCO BusinessEvents is Java based, and has graphical tools; I believe Kaskad has a language based approach; and I believe Aptsoft has a visual environment.  In other words, these vendors, and by proxy their customers, represent that there is strong support for visual, Java, rules, and language-based approaches to CEP.

At Apama, we will continue to avoid polarizing discussions about standards, and participate in the nascent standards discussions that are inclusive of all approaches.  We'll also continue to advocate other important issues like customer use cases, the business value of those use cases, architectural discussion about the relationship between EDA and SOA, continued work on the event processing glossary, and more.

Constructive discourse that unites, not divides, will help the tide rise for event processing, and lift all boats along with it - customers, vendors, and more.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Don't Shoehorn Event Processing into SOA

Posted by Progress Apama

Joe McKendrick followed up on the SOA / EDA debate.  His piece really nailed it.  Joe quoted the Apama blog post on "Is EDA the "New" SOA", which discusssed the role of complex event processing (CEP) and event driven architecture (EDA), and discussed some recent comments from Todd Biske.  Nice job Joe!

Friday, March 02, 2007

AITE Group Report on CEP

Posted by Chris Martins

Among the more compelling early success stories for complex event processing has been in capital markets – and more specifically algorithmic trading. So it’s not surprising that industry analysts that cover the area are paying attention to the value that CEP can offer.  One of the key analyst firms, AITE Group, has just published a report, entitled “Confusion about Event Processing (CEP): Overview of EP in the Capital Markets.”   The title suggests some angst about the proliferation of terms to describe the technology, but the report clearly affirms the value of CEP – whatever one's definition.  AITE’s press release states “…the algorithmic trading space helped define the direction in the capital markets. The capital markets represent a natural place for this technology…”  Given the Apama experience and success in capital markets, we would certainly concur with that view.   

For details about the report go to www.aitegroup.com