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Friday, September 28, 2007

Unus per utilitas ut fulsi perspicuus ero laurifer

Posted by John Trigg

The Gartner CEP show in Orlando last week demonstrated a number of interesting things about CEP platforms

1. The story of core CEP is common across all vendors

2. Aside from the nature of how CEP is expressed within a platform, true differentiation starts to emerge in tooling and user constituencies that are using CEP

3. Future state as described by Dr Luckham indicates that CEP logic becomes available inside reusable libraries/repositories that can be folded into applications.


The premise of Apama has always been that you must embrace the full spectrum of users – encompassing IT, business analyst, end user, and senior management, to gain true productivity and application acceleration with CEP development.  Perhaps that is true for any application development platform.  But this has been a core tenet of the Apama platform since day 1 when the idea of having a platform that incorporates both a core event language aimed at programmers, as well as a metaphor for expressing & implementing event logic for the non-programmer who owns the core IP of the process.  Being able to express this information graphically - thus making it accessible and understandable, and then take action, completes the user stack we aim for with our Apama platform.


We have blogged about this before here and here, but what got my interest this time is the pitching of pure CEP programming approaches that are supposedly open to the core business user.  To construct a complete CEP application within a comprehensive platform you should be able to exercise the skills and knowledge of different users in a collaborative environment. Iterative and componentized development of interfaces, business logic, presentation and action come from the minds of many and in CEP all 4 elements are core to rapid, real time execution and adaptiveness.


The point that Dr Luckham makes about the accessibility and reuse of CEP components in CEP application construction as a future state is one which can be realized now.  The use of Smartblocks within Apama allows for the encapsulation of reusable logic that can subsequently be incorporated in other CEP processing.  For instance, logic to represent common trading algorithms or known air traffic congestion patterns or network intrusion patterns or supply chain metrics or internally developed analytic - all can be expressed as a CEP pattern.  Creating any of these as an Apama Smartblock, organizing them into meaningful catalogs for analysts to interrogate and select from, speeds application development and eliminates replication of core CEP logic within a larger implementation.


The mainstream adoption of CEP won't be based solely on it being cool technology (it is, but then again so was this). Being able to accelerate and redefine application construction in a real time world will further its adoption.  And maybe so will a solid and well thought out set of standards.  But that is for another time …


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