David Luckham, inventor of CEP
Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

What is CEP?

Complex Event Processing (CEP) is an emerging technology for building and managing information systems. The goal of CEP is to enable the information contained in the events flowing through all of the layers of the enterprise IT infrastructure to be discovered, understood in terms of its impact on high level management goals and business processes, and acted upon in real time. This includes events created by new technologies such as RFID.

Visit the comprehensive CEP website.

Other articles by Dr. Luckham:

BAM And CEP: A Marriage Of Necessity Or: Why BAM Must Use CEP
BAM Providers As Online Banking Fraud Preventers
The Beginnings of IT Insight: Business Activity Monitoring
Grand Visions For e-Commerce Require Solving 'IT Blindness'
Avoiding Disasters Waiting To Happen
"/> Event-Driven Applications: Book Excerpt
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Editor's note: ebizQ readers can save 30% on any version of Event Processing in Action (print edition or ebook) from www.manning.com. Simply use the promotion code "ebizq30" when checking out.



To read an excerpt from Chapter 1, click here!

Event-driven applications

In chapter 1 we defined the concepts of event, event producer and event consumer, and in this chapter we have examined in some detail the ways in which events are passed between producers and consumers. It is now time to take a step back and talk about how you use these ideas to build event-driven applications. We also look at the question of Event-driven Architecture and its relation to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Benefits of using the event-driven approach

One immediate question you might have is why you might want to use an event-driven approach in the first place. Here are some reasons:

  • Your application might be naturally centered on events. They involve some kind of sensor that detects and reports events and the purpose of the application is to analyze and react to these events.
  • Your application might need to identify and react to certain situations (either good or bad) as they occur. An event-driven approach, where changes in state are monitored as they happen lets an application respond in a much more timely fashion than a batch approach where the detection process runs only intermittently.
  • Your application might involve analysis of a large amount of data in order to provide some output to be delivered to a human user or some other application. By treating the input data as events you can use an event-driven approach to distribute this analysis across multiple computing nodes.
  • The event-driven approach can give you a way of extending an existing application in a flexible, non-invasive manner. Rather than changing the original application to add the extra function it's sometimes possible to instrument the original application by adding event producers to it (for example by processing the log files that it produces). The additional functionality can then be implemented by processing the events generated by these event producers.

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