The Predictive Battlespace

June 11, 2008

Friend and colleague Don Adams, CTO World Wide Public Sector, TIBCO Software, explains how CEP can be used to sense, adapt and respond to complex situations in The “Predictive” Battlespace: Leveraging the Power of Event-Driven Architecture in Defense


Scheduling Agents with Rules Engines

April 5, 2008

Paul Vincent of TIBCO talks about agents in his post, CEP and Agents…

At the core, TIBCO’s BusinessEvents is RETE-based rules engine and rules engines are well suited for scheduling problems.  This makes perfect sense, since many of TIBCO’s customers deploy BusinessEvents in scheduling-oriented, not detection-oriented, solutions.

It begs to be pointed out, however, that scheduling is only one component of a CEP architecture. 

Normally, the scheduling component of a distributed event processing architecture manages the intelligent scheduling of the sharing of data between distributed agents that are running a variety of analytics.

Simply stated, all agents are not rules engines; however, rules engines are often used to schedule the cooperation between analytical agents in a distributed agent-based architecture.


Event-Driven Business Process Management and the Example of the Deutsche Post AG

March 8, 2008

Christoph Emmersberger and Florian Springer have finished their thesis which was written onsite at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA, USA (Note: the link to this paper is not working now):

Event-Driven Business Process Management taking the Example of Deutsche Post AG:  An evaluation of the Approach of Oracle and the SOPERA Open Source SOA Framework

The topic of this thesis was the prototypical integration of the Oracle products

  • ·Oracle BPEL (Business Process Management),
  • ·Oracle BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), and
  • ·Oracle CEP (Complex Event Processing),

within the SOPERA system environment, with the focus on CEP.

For evaluating the capabilities of the components, a business process regarding to shipment, investigation and claim was modelled and implemented.

Different approaches were discussed, evaluated and implemented as prototypes.

The focus of the implementation was to use events for the purpose of monitoring a business process.


Please Welcome Dr. Rainer von Ammon to The CEP Blog

February 12, 2008

Today is an especially joyful occasion on The CEP Blog.    I am pleased to announce that one of the world’s top experts on CEP, Dr. Rainer von Ammon, has joined the blog.

Dr. Rainer von Ammon is managing director of the Centrum für Informations-Technology Transfer (CITT) in Regensburg. Until October 2005 he was Professor for Software Engineering, specializing in E-Business infrastructures and distributed systems, at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. Rainer is still teaching there and at the University of Applied Sciences of Regensburg. From 1998 to 2002, he worked as Principal Consultant and Manager for R+D Cooperations at BEA Systems (Central and Eastern Europe). Prior to this, he was Professor for Software Engineering in Dresden with a focus on development of applications with event driven object oriented user interfaces and component based application development. Before this Rainer was acting as manager of the field Basic Systems at the Mummert + Partner Unternehmensberatung, Hamburg. After finishing his studies of Information Sciences at the University of Regensburg, he started as project leader of Computer Based Office Systems (COBIS) from 1978 to 1983 and afterward founded a start up company with some of his colleagues.

Some of you may recall my recent musings, A Bitter Pill To Swallow: First Generation CEP Software Needs To Evolve.   When you read Rainer’s excellent reply, you will quickly see why we are very pleased to have his thought leadership here at The CEP Blog.  Dr. von Ammon and his team are leading experts in CEP and related business integration domains.  Not only does he provide thought leadership, his team  researches, develops, implements and tests CEP solutions.   

In another example of  his thought leadership, some of you might recall this post, Brandl and Guschakowski Deliver Excellent CEP/BAM Report, where Hans-Martin Brandl and David Guschakowski of the University of Applied Sciences Regensburg, Faculty of Information Technology/Mathematics, advised by Dr. von Ammon, completed an excellent CEP thesis, Complex Event Processing in the context of Business Activity Monitoring

Please join me in extending a warm welcome for Dr. Rainer von Ammon to The CEP Blog.


A Bitter Pill To Swallow: First Generation CEP Software Needs To Evolve

February 8, 2008

Frankly speaking, the CEP market is now saturated with hype about all the great things CEP can do, detecting opportunities and threats in real time and supporting the decision cycle.  However, in my opinion, it is time for the software vendors and analysts to move beyond the marketing hype and demonstrate real operational value with strong end user success, something seriously lacking today.

I have advocated this evolution for two years, including the notion of expanding CEP capabilities with proven techniques for event processing that have worked well long before current “Not yet CEP but called CEP” software hit the marketplace and airwaves.

For example, in my first CEP/EP presentation in New York in 1Q 2006, I presented Processing Patterns for Predictive Business and talked about how the US military has implemented high performance detection-oriented systems for many years (in the art-and-science of multisensor data fusion, MSDF), and how every day, when we sit at home (or at work or in transit), we are comforted to know we are safe from missile attacks because of what I would also call “complex event processing.”   There is a very rich history of “CEP but not called CEP” behind the scenes keeping people safe and warm. (The same thing can be said with many similar examples of complex event processing in use today, but not called “CEP” by CEP software vendors.)

This is one reason, when I read the “CEP history lessons,” I am amused at how, at times, the lessons appear self-serving, not end user serving.  There is so much rich event processing history and proven architectures in “CEP but not called CEP” (CEP that actually works, in practice everyday, long before it was called CEP).  It continues to puzzle me that a few people the CEP/EP community continue to take the “we invented EP” view.  Quite frankly, the history we read is missing most, if not all, of the history and practice of MSDF.

When we take the current CEP COTS software offerings and apply it to these working “CEP but not called CEP” applications, the folks with real operational “CEP but not called CEP” detection-oriented experience quickly cut through the hype because they are, based on their state-of-the-practice, now seeking self-learning, self-healing “real CEP type” systems.  They are not so excited about first generation technologies full of promises from software vendors with only a few years of experience in solving detection-oriented problems and very few real success stories.

The same is true for advanced fraud detection and other state-of-the-art detection-oriented processing of “complex events” and situations.  The state-of-the-art of complex event processing, in practice, is far beyond the first generation CEP engines on the market today. 

This is one of the reasons I have agreed with the IBM folks who are calling these first generation “CEP orchestration engines” BEP engines, because that view is closer to fact than fiction.  Frankly speaking again, process orchestration is much easier than complex detection with high situation detection confidence and also low false alarms.

Customers who are detection-savvy also know this, and I have blogged about a few of these meetings and customer concerns.  For example, please read my blog entry about a banker who was very sceptical in a recent wealth management conference in Bangkok.  I see this reaction all the time, in practice. 

Complex problems are not new and they still cry out for solutions.  Furthermore, many current-generation event processing solutions are already more advanced that the first generation CEP engines on the “call it CEP” market today.  This is a very real inhibitor, in my opinion, to growth in the “call it CEP” software space today – and credibility may ultimately be “at risk.”  Caution is advised.

Candidly speaking again, there are too many red-herring CEP-related discussions and not enough solid results given the time software vendors have been promoting CEP/EP (again, this is simply my opinion).  The market is in danger of eventually losing credibility, at least in the circles I travel and complex problems I enjoy solving, because the capabilities of the (so called) CEP technologies by software vendors in the (so called) CEP space have been over sold; and, frankly speaking, I have yet to see tangible proof of “real CEP capabilities” in the road maps and plans of the current CEP software vendors.  This is dissappointing.

This pill is bitter and difficult to swallow, but most of my life’s work has been advising, formulating and architecting real-time solutions for the end user (the C-level executives and the operational experts with the complex problems to solve).   CEP software must evolve and there needs to be more tangible results, not more marketing hype.


BEP is BEP, CEP is CEP

January 24, 2008

Joe McKendrick, in Taking the ‘complex’ out of complex event processing, makes a case for renaming CEP, BEP.

Joe references IBM’s Sandy Carter, as I did in my post earlier today, IBM Says Business Event Processing is Not CEP.

Joe wants to change the world “complex” to “business” in CEP because he believes the word “complex” is not good for marketing.

The problem with Joe’s approach, as I see it, is that CEP is different than BEP.  However, I remain open-minded on the topic.

There is quite a difference in event-driven orchestration-oriented processing, BEP. and situation detection-oriented event processing, CEP.

BEP is, for the most part, about orchestrating event-driven business processes.

CEP is about detecting opportunities and threats (situations) in real-time.

It is not clear to me that simply renaming BEP CEP touches the core technical and business differences.


IBM Says Business Event Processing is Not CEP

January 24, 2008

Sandy Carter, IBM’s vice president of SOA and WebSphere strategies, said something in IBM Buys AptSoft To Boost BPM-SOA Line I completely agree with, relative to most of the technologies folks are calling “CEP” these days:

“In the marketplace today, everybody talks about complex event processing,” Carter said. “We actually are trying to rename that category, because we believe the real value is in business event processing, with a focus on the business.”

For example, none of the current CEP vendors are doing “complex event processing” as many of us have said, repeatedly.

TIBCO and AptSoft, for example, are examples of companies that are really implementing, business event processing. You can easily confirm this in TIBCO’s press release, TIBCO BusinessEvents 2.2 now shipping…, where Paul Vincent blogs:

The main change with this [TIBCO BusinessEvents 2.2] release is the inclusion of new deployment options:

+ deploy BusinessEvents within a BusinessWorks container: great for using BusinessEvents as a decision engine for SOA integration processes, choreography, transaction flow monitoring, etc, or for using BusinessWorks as a ruleflow tool.

+ deploy BusinessEvents as a BusinessWorks container: great for exploiting SOA orchestration and services under the control of CEP, such as invoking complex adapters.

This is absolutely, “business event processing” just as IBM’s Sandy Carter stated, correctly in my opinion, not CEP.

The same is true for event stream processing (ESP). ESP technology from companies like Apama, Coral8 and StreamBase, is much more closely aligned with the “business event processing” than anything that is truly CEP.