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The Complex Event Processing software market has come a long way in a short time. There are now a large number of CEP software providers, many of whom have moved beyond the handful of early adopter customers, and are helping solve mission-critical application problems. And CEP has become a global affair, with software and solution providers hailing from multiple countries, and customers all around the world.

In 2006, the vendors that make up the CEP industry started collaborating on common terms and shared use cases and this effort has expanded into further market education. Large numbers of software developers are learning about CEP concepts and technology. And this fall, Gartner will hold the first commercial, end-user conference on Event Processing.

So, to borrow a term from Geoffrey Moore, can we safely say that CEP is starting to "cross the chasm?" Without a doubt, CEP is reaching an interested audience, solving some difficult problems, and addressing a real need. But is there more functionality that CEP technology needs to support to reach the next level?

The next generation internet is being called Web 2.0. We've even seen some people label the next round of business intelligence technology as BI 2.0. Since CEP is much younger than these two market segments, it would be unfair to call the next generation "CEP 2.0", but let's take a look behind the curtain to see where CEP is heading.

What is CEP?

Before we look at where CEP is going, let's step back and review the basics. Here is a basic definition of Complex Event Processing:

"Complex Event Processing software allows you to process and analyze multiple streams of high volume, high-speed events to uncover opportunities and threats as they happen, not after the fact."

As many of you know, event processing is not new. A number of applications have been built around the concept of event processing, including network management, security monitoring and algorithmic trading. But in these cases, event processing was an architectural approach to building an application, not a piece of packaged software.

CEP software gives you a reusable language, toolset and runtime engine that makes it much faster and less costly to build and deploy complex functions that can operate on the high-speed event data. Just like the database eased the development and deployment of high-volume data applications, the CEP engine offers a better toolkit, making the programmer's more productive, and packaged software for deployment, making the administrator's job simpler.


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