Congrats to Coral8 and Marc Adler at Citigroup

April 7, 2008

In Coral8 is Our Choice or “How the Hell Did We Get Here?”, Marc Adler does his normal (and now expected) fantastic job of cutting past the CEP marketing hype and getting to the meat of the issues, from an actual user’s perspective.  Marc is spot on in his evaluation of the various so-called CEP vendors.   I highly recommend you read Marc’s post above.

The bottom line, today, is that CEP software products have a long way to go to live up to the current CEP hype and none are really doing what we would call “CEP”.   So, in the current market, the intangibles, as Marc points out, are critically important.  

Coral8 has recently demonstrated to the event processing community that they are above-and-beyond the competition in that category. 

Coral8 has an open software evaluation and licensing model, one you would expect in the year 2003-3005 (this is 2008). 

Coral8 has significant white papers, thought leadership papers and documentation, all freely and readily available. 

Coral8 is standing by to support you in your event processing efforts, from Marc at the big and powerful Citigroup (be careful of your subprime portfolio) to consultants in Asia (be careful of mosquitos), you can count on Coral8’s leadership to support you.

As Marc keenly pointed out, it is not the final imaginary number in low latency that is important; nor is it important that you call yourself the “top leader” and the “creator of the standards” that makes you important; nor is it how innovative or smart you are (or think you are).  What is important is your customer service model.

Coral8 has demonstrated to many of us that they take the customer service model very seriously and this is the reason that Coral8 has caught our attention in the past 6 months.

Congrats to both Coral8 and Marc.   We look forward to hearing more about the results of your teamwork and event processing solutions at Citigroup.


More on CEP Product Complexity

April 5, 2008

Mark Tsimelzon, President & CTO, Coral8 replies to CEP Product Complexity at Coral8 with More on CEP and Complexity.

In Mark’s reply he gently reminds us that the Coral8 Engine is a developer’s tool, not a business users tool.  Mark also tacitly reminds us that his customers are a bit smarter than our development team at Techrotech.  Perhaps that is why we can never get our SOA project off the ground!  

Mark’s customers can learn a new concept in a single day; however, our developers need a full week to learn the same thing.   Making matters more difficult, our CIO at Techrotech, Jerry Fleck is clueless according to the marketing analysts.  Jerry has not yet figured out SOA; so concepts like windows, joins, design patterns, causal tracking, messaging layers, adapters, CCL, and persistance will cause Jerry to fall Off the Grid.

It took us years to get rid of most of our legacy C programmers, bring in a bunch of Java gurus, and at the same time, correct our stock option backdating “clerical errors”.    Maybe we should now replace our worthless legal and HR departments with a CEP Engine?


CEP Product Complexity at Coral8

April 5, 2008

In What makes a Coral8 Expert?, Coral8 CTO Mark Tsimelzon outlines nearly 60 subject areas that a customer must master to become a Coral8 expert. 

While this complexity is impressive, it tends to demonstrate why CEP is, today, more hype than reality.

I can hear the team at Techrotech in my mind, “Yea! Greg purchased Coral8 for our CEP solutions yesterday!   Holy Cow!! Let’s go out and learn 60 topics in depth so we can become experts in using and deploying Coral8!”

So, let’s say you are intelligent and can master a subject in a single weeks time (if you have nothing else to do), so you can become a Coral8 expert in only one year if you don’t have a day job!!

I don’t know about you, but the way Mark describes their product, Coral8 sounds more like a lab tool for the engineering department of Caltech or Stanford than a tool for everyday business users.  Mark concludes his post;

Not too scary, is it?  – Mark Tsimelzon, President & CTO, Coral8

Hmmmm.   I think I’ll ask the software team at Techrotech to write some event processing applications in C since we have a strong team of C programmers coming off another project next week….  then again, I heard some Java programmers will be free in two weeks …. 

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.

BAM Solutions for CEP Engine Users

January 23, 2008

Today I noticed that SL Corporation has revamped their website with a new page, Solutions for CEP Engine Users.    The page is well written, reinforcing some of my earlier posts on the value proposition for CEP; so I hope the folks at SL don’t mind if I repost their excellent thoughts on BAM and CEP here. 

Solutions for CEP Engine Users by SL Corporation

© 1999-2008 Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation. All rights reserved.

Complex Event Processing (CEP) is a relatively new technology that is used to help companies detect both opportunities and threats in real-time with minimal coding and reusable key performance indicators (KPIs) and business models. Just as services are shared and reused in a SOA, CEP permits the sharing and reuse of KPIs in business activity monitoring while efficiently processing events so businesses can act on situations that impact business and take advantage of real-time processing.

Business activity monitoring, often referred to as BAM, is the capability that Gartner and other distinguished analysts use to describe this visualization capability in the business world. BAM introduces a human element to CEP. It is well-established that the human mind is, today and for the foreseeable future, far superior to machine intelligence in making sense out of complicated situations and events. Therefore, BAM is critical to the success of any complex event processing (CEP) solution.

Depending on an organization’s mission, BAM can be used in various levels within an event processing solution to help users visualize and understand the dynamics behind rapidly changing situations and critical business events. In other words, BAM plays a key role wherever there is a need for better insight into the myriad events that effect your business operations.

BAM provides real-time visualization and alerting capabilities for users to better understand how business events impact their organization. BAM software permits users to quickly prototype, build and deploy event processing business solutions. For example, a telecommunications company would find BAM useful to achieve event-driven SLA monitoring and management; and a large retailer would find BAM important as they stay on top of business-critical events in their supply chain.

Insight gained from BAM, in concert with event processing solutions, enable organizations to make better and faster business decisions so they can rapidly sense and respond to threats, problems and opportunities. BAM solutions permit applications to be designed, deployed and modified rapidly with minimal or no coding resulting in significantly lower development costs. Therefore, a key benefit of BAM in real-time event processing solutions is that KPIs can be deployed, monitored, revised, reused and utilized, economically and rapidly.

Depending on the business application, BAM-enabled visualization is required at numerous levels in an event processing architecture. For example, events from across the enterprise are typically processed by a CEP software platforms from companies such as TIBCO, BEA (soon to be Oracle), Progress Apama, StreamBase, Aleri, and Coral8.

Long before KPIs are displayed to the business users, BAM tools can be configured to assist application developers to monitor and visualize the raw event stream. For the developer, their business is developing applications, and BAM can be very useful when designing KPIs for event processing applications.

Fine-tuned KPIs that have been derived from an event processing application are displayed to the business user. These KPIs can indicate risks, threats, problems, opportunities and other emerging business situations that impact the business.

BAM, in concert with state-of-the-art event processing software, provides the framework for a complete sense-and-respond capability for businesses. Processing raw events and event streams for business opportunities and threats requires robust and rapidly deployable visualization solutions. This is the reason that many distinguished analysts believe that BAM and CEP are complementary and critically interdependent core business capabilities. We at SL Corporation agree, and are pleased to be the leading BAM visualization platform in the event processing/CEP ecosystem today.

© 1999-2008 Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation. All rights reserved.

Coral8: Event Stream Processing and Intrusion Detection

January 3, 2008

Not quite ready for prime-time, we have been testing our home-grown UNIX domain socket adapter using Coral8 Java APIs.   We are using this adapter to evaluate and demonstrate stream processing with intrusion detection systems (IDS) using event stream processing to reduce false alarms, detect derived situations from the raw intrusion event data, and feed a security management visualization dashboard.

You can click on the teaser image below to see more of our first IDS screenshots from Coral8’s Studio stream visualization tool.

Coral8 IDS Example

If you click on the image above, you will four additional event stream properties.  For this part of the demo, there are 14 total IDS properties in the event stream, but we only show 5 properties in this cropped screen capture.

I am quite sure that we could do similar integration with other event stream processing engines, but fortunately Coral8 makes it easy to download, start developing and testing. 

CEP/EP Reference Customers 2005-2007

December 29, 2007

On November 8th 2007, after compiling a list of CEP/EP reference customers from the open literature and public press releases, I issued a call for CEP reference customers in the Yahoo! CEP-Interest Group and on the professional networking site LinkedIn. During the past 7 weeks I provided an opportunity for all concerned to view and respond to my public worksheet.

Here are the results of the “CEP/EP Reference Customers Survey” for 2005-2007:

Apama 5
StreamBase 4
AptSoft 4
Coral8 2
Aleri 2
Agent Logic 1
Total CEP/EP Reference Customers (2005-2007) 25
Looking only at 2007, the total CEP/EP reference customers available in the public domain were as follows:
Apama 4
StreamBase 4
AptSoft 2
Coral8 2
Aleri 2
Agent Logic 1
Total CEP/EP Reference Customers (2007) 18
The criteria for inclusion in the survey were based on the following marketing and sales criteria (purely marketing criteria, not technical):
– Must be a (CEP/EP) software vendor;
– Must be an end user / customer;
– Must NOT be a partnership or OEM announcement;
– Must mention complex event processing (CEP) or event processing (EP) in the public statement; and,
– Reference must be available on the Internet and in English
Based on the results of this public survey, comments received, and experiences with the actual products by end users, I plan to followup with The CEP Blog Event Processing Awards for 2007.
Please stay tuned!