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First Look

Krissi Danielson

Part 2: Mixing Event Driven Computing, SOA, BPM and BI for Instant Responsiveness

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Listen to part 2 (20:30) Download file

     Agenda and Resources

1. Defining Event-Driven Computing

     a. Event-Driven Computing Examples

2. Rationale for Event-Driven Computing
     a. Data Proliferation
     b. Increased Velocity

     c.
Technology is There

3. Becoming an Instantly Responsive Enterprise

Read a complete transcript of the podcast here

Download a free white paper on event-driven processing
To get the practitioner's point of view on event-driven architecture adoption and the state of the event processing market, ebizQ conducted an online survey during July and August 2007. This paper shares the results of the Event Processing Survey, along with ebizQ's observations on this emerging technology strategy.

Learn more about event-driven processing at BEA's Web site


Read Ruma Sanyal's Bio

You've heard of object-based computing and service-oriented architecture (SOA), but what about event-driven computing? The term has been floating around out there, but what does it really mean and how does it differ from past technology paradigms?

Ruma Sanyal, BEA Systems' director of product marketing for time and event-driven products, has some insights.

"An event is a thing or a state change that happens that may or may not be of consequence to a business," she explains. "An event could be a change in the price of a stock, the launch of a missile, the purchase of an item, the ordering of an item and the failure of a production line. The entire world is event-driven and always has been."

In computing, this might mean something like a toy manufacturer tracking purchase patterns for a particular genre of games in order to match supply to predicted demand. Another example might be a telecom service monitoring competitors' news announcements in order to predict market interest for potential new business efforts. All in all, event-driven computing is a way to increase agility and effectiveness.

Why Invest in Event-Driven Computing?

That's all fine and good, you might be thinking, but why should companies be interested in new technology for these purposes?

"It's threefold," says Sanyal. At the highest level, such an event-driven computing effort might be driven by the data proliferation in the enterprise and the need to find technology to manage that data and act upon it. Second, finding ways to manage data definitely increases business velocity.  Third, event-driven computing isn't a pipe dream anymore.

"The technology providers and the vendors that have specific products for complex event processing and event-driven computing is present today," Sanyal asserts.

Research suggests that companies are taking event-driven computing seriously as well. Sanyal points to a recent anonymous survey of 450 people in which 90 percent of respondents stated plans to boost event processing over the next two years.

"This really brings to bear the fact that event computing has reached mainstream," she says.

The Instantly Responsive Enterprise

BEA has even coined a moniker for customers who aspire to respond immediately to business threats or opportunities: "the instantly responsive enterprise."

But she urges caution for interpreting the definition of "instant." Companies rarely need to respond in milliseconds or microseconds to data, she says, but people's definitions of instant might be anything from microseconds to days.

"Whatever the definition of an instant for a vertical or an enterprise might be, within those realms, if the enterprise is able to react, that's really what is required to become an instantly responsive enterprise," she concludes.

3 Comments

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First of all, I like to appreciate you for a enlightening podcast over Event-Driven Computing

I have three question for you:
1. How do you deal with change management required for EDA in current IT infrastructure deployed with leagacy systems (like ERP (enabled with Real time reporting) where providing a CEP & BEM plugin to the leagcy system can also solve the purpose).

2. How recognized revenue is justified over such investments in highly volatile technology market as it may happen that till the client reaches the Break even point of investment technology will become outdated

3. What are the technological and business cahllenges faced by both client while adopting EDA and by vendors while delivering EDA products.

Dear Chander,
Thank you for the very good questions:

1. Enterprises should think about event computing more holistically. You have your ERP system, CRM, HR, other legacy, interface to partner systems, etc. Think of your event applications as interfacing with many if not all of these. Plugging in a CEP engine into your ERP system, while technical feasible, may not be really addressing your business needs. Is the ERP system the only one generating and consuming all your events? If not, then you probably need to think about which systems are involved and is a standalone CEP engine enough. There is some change management that will come into play since your existing systems may have to be able to publish events, typically through an adapter, to your event processing infrastructure and be able to receive composite events. However, it is difficult to speculate without knowing specific details, how onerous this may or may not be.

2. This is no different that the risk one undertakes in making most technology investment decisions. However, I would encourage you to disassociate any specific technology from this architectural paradigm that we call event computing. Event computing, like SOA, is here to stay. Life and businesses are event driven and the benefits of the event computing paradigm along with SOA are obvious. What technology and vendor you choose to address your event processing needs, depends on your risk profile, amount you are willing to invest, existing vendor relationships, match between vendors offerings and your short and long term requirements, whether you are focused on a robust infrastructure versus a point problem, etc.

3. Let me address client challenges:
i. The biggest business challenge is lack of knowledge about event processing and its benefits in the business community, as indicated by subject matter experts like the Gartners etc, as well as primary research that we have conducted. The result of this is lack of a business champion in the enterprise to drive the event processing cause forward and the lack of understanding of the business value proposition. IT architects are currently the biggest EDA proponents in the enterprise.

ii. The biggest technological challenge is the lack of an EDA-specific project budget. Most current EDA projects are tied into SOA/BPM projects, which is not a bad thing, in an of itself. Except it is an indicator of the fact that the amount of EDA investments is still at its infancy.

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I appreciate such an endeavour being championed by BEA and agree that most of the time our brain processes the events unconsciously and reacts to the events.

I have worked on creating an event driven framework and have some thing to share about. Unless the concept and realtime value addition to the companies is educated it is very difficult to pursue on such challenging efforts. I would love to see any kind of progress on this technology.

Join ebizQ producer Krissi Danielson for interviews with the innovators, movers and shakers behind emerging enterprise software solutions.Have a solution that qualifies? E-mail Krissi at krissi (at)ebizq.net

Krissi Danielson

Krissi Danielsson is a podcast producer with ebizQ and contributor to ebizQ's SaaSWeek site. View more

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