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
"/> Where Do Event Processing and BAM Tools Pay Off?
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Event processing is the underlying foundation for business activity monitoring (BAM), one of today's most important IT-enabled management techniques. BAM promises to improve the quality and timeliness of many kinds of operational business decisions by providing near-real-time insights into business operations and the external environment. The rapid spread of business dashboards is evidence that business is ready, willing and able to adopt BAM on a broad scale, although dashboards are only one of the channels for distributing event-based insights to end users. BAM is one of the few IT-enabled initiatives that end-user business people can appreciate first hand. They readily grasp the value of having fresher and better information, especially when they can see a prototype that displays the key performance indicators (KPIs) that they personally want for their day-to-day jobs.

CIOs and application managers can expect an increasing number of requests from the business units for BAM and other event processing systems. Architects and developers who haven't built such systems in the past can learn from the experiences of those who have. The issue of tool selection has a few surprises: most BAM systems are not built with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) "BAM" tools, and most event processing is not done by COTS complex-event processing (CEP) engines either. However, BAM tools and CEP engines are quite valuable and cost-effective when used in the right situations.

To address the growing importance of this field, Gartner has organized a new conference on Event Processing and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) to be held from September 19-21, 2007 in Orlando Florida (see http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=502259&tab=overview). It is aimed primarily at architects, software engineers, business analysts and IT managers. The conference has a special emphasis on case studies. About 13 case study speakers will participate, along with 3 experts from academia and a number of Gartner analysts. We will also be joined by 16 vendors of event processing and BAM products who will demonstrate the range of capabilities available on the market today. This article provides a look at some of the issues regarding tool selection for those who will attend the conference and others who just want to learn more about the subject.


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