While the sessions and discussions on event processing did not have the global significance of angels on pin heads or the Counter Reformation it did provide a clear indication of just how broadly and deep event based systems can reach. Whether it's a business application monitoring mortgage applications, IT management systems in a Network Operation Center, bedside monitoring systems in a hospital or a robot packing pancakes into boxes they all have a common underpinning, consuming and correlating streaming event data.
Granted, not everyone approaches it with the same
Systems Management people don't think about processing and correlating
events, they think about device management, KPI's, Alerts and the like.
Someone building, managing a business process is likely concerned with
- validating them, stock allocations, warehouses and
Nonetheless, a common framework model behind these systems is event
Two of my favorite sessions at the EPTS Symposium were a panel session on the EPTS Mission and an open forum on Grand Challenges, a brainstorming session focused on identifying barriers to the adoption of CEP.
Four panelists, myself included presented their expectations of the EPTS and it's role as an industry consortium, it's goals and what improvements can be made. As a baseline, the EPTS does have a existing mission statement defined as ...
Given this mission statement and my own expectations there are a number of basic intentions the EPTS should provide to the uninitiated to event processing:
|Awareness||Provide commercial business and industry the necessary knowledge of event processing as a technology supported by numerous vendors with continuing research in academia.|
|Definition||Provide a concise and definitive meaning of event processing, a Taxonomy of Event Processing so to speak. This is both from the horizontal technology perspective and also a vertical focus for a handful of specific industries. It's often difficult for business people to understand technology without the context of a business or application focus.|
|Differentiation||Provide a clear distinction that defines event processing and distinguishes it from other technologies. Event processing is available is many forms, this symposium provided evidence of that. Much of it is available in specialized form as in IT Systems management. There are also pure play event processing (CEP) vendors, such as Progress/Apama. But there are also Rules engines, Business Intelligence platforms, Analytic platforms, etc. This easily presents a bewildering world filled for choice, conflicting and overlapping marketing messages. The EPTS is in the perfect position to provide that clarity behind defining what is CEP and what isn't.|
|Cooperative||Event Processing rarely operates in a vacuum. There are many synergistic technologies that closely pair with CEP. Often this can have a specific vertical business flavor, but often it's other platform technology such as BPM and temporal databases.|
The EPTS has four working groups that have been active for the last year: Use-cases, Reference Architecture, Language Analysis and Glossary. To a large extent the working groups have provided and are working towards the definition of CEP that is clear. However, there still a need to highlight the salient value of event processing. For specific vertical domains, the value of CEP is clear-cut simply because the fit and function is tailor made. In Capital Markets, for example algo trading has all the hallmarks of a CEP application - high performance, low latency, temporal analytics and a streaming data paradigm fit-for-purpose. However, there are other application domains where CEP is equally viable but much more subtle. I believe the EPTS can provide a vendor-neutral taxonomy of event processing - from the basics to the advanced. Explain why it's unique and different, why language is important and how it is synergistic with a host of other technologies. To this end, the group has decided to form two new working groups to focus on many of these areas. Clearly a forward thinking move.
The Event Processing Technical Society is an organization made of up both vendors and academics. We're held together by a common thread, a goal that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and our collective will benefit all even as many of us are undeniably competitors.
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