Marc Adler: Analytics are an Integral Part of the CEP Stack

June 29, 2008

In Recent Buyouts, Marc Adler of Citigroup blogs “Despite what the various pundits of the CEP world say, I still think that analytics are an integral part of the CEP stack.”

Mark also says something else I agree with, “… [TIBCO] Business Events [ … is …] a more workflow-oriented product, something that you would NOT use to pump Level2 quotes through and create algo apps.”

Kudos to Marc!  Very insightful. Keep on blogging!

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TIBCO Leaps Ahead in CEP with Insightful Acquisition

June 24, 2008

TIBCO Software shows, yet again, why the team in Palo Alto far outpaces the rest of the field with their announced acquisition of Insightful.  

Everyone who follows The CEP Blog and my vision for the business use of CEP understands how much energy and passion I have put into explaining why the crude time-series analysis of streaming data cannot possibly solve the vast majority of complex business problems CEP must address. 

TIBCO’s acquisition of Insightful shows just how serious TIBCO is about working to make the vision of “Predictive Business” a reality.    TIBCO means business, and a large part of what that means is helping customers solve their most challenging business integration problems, which can be summarized in CEP-speak as detecting opportunities and threats, in near real-time, as a core corporate competency. 

If you spend a few moments on the Insightful web site, you will find a treasure of documentation that discusses a gold mine of advanced statistical analytics that can be used in a number of mission critical applications.

This is the class of analytics that form the backbone of complex event processing.  In fact, as I have often pointed out (to the dismay of some of my CEP colleagues), any software company that discusses CEP and does not support or advocate advanced analytics are selling snake oil.      TIBCO obviously understands the difference between snake oil, smoke-and-mirrors marketing, and the technology it takes to solve real operational problems.

My hats off and warm congratulations to the team in Palo Alto for demonstrating, yet again, why TIBCO is committed to solving real customer problems with realistic solutions.

Maybe TIBCO will evolve to mean “The Insightful Business Company”   versus the tired and stale “The Information Bus Company” of yesteryears?

Disclaimer:  I have not been an employee of TIBCO for over a year. 


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


Probabilistic Complex Event Triggering

June 8, 2008

Here is an interesting paper, Probabilistic Complex Event Triggering, Daisy Zhe Wang, Eirinaios Michelakis, and Liviu Tancau, Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley, circa 2005.

One of the first things I noticed about the paper was the discussion of probability in the content of complex event processing, including Hidden Markov processes, Bayesian Belief Networks, and inference models.  

The second thing I noticed was that David Luckham’s work on CEP at Stanford was not referenced anywhere in the Berkeley paper.

 


Is CEP a Service or a Process? Reloaded

May 30, 2008

In Is CEP a Service or a Process? Paul Vincent of TIBCO blogs that any classification of CEP depends on the application, concluding that CEP is both a process and a service. 

Well (sorry Paul!), I disagree.  CEP is neither a process nor a service; CEP is a concept architecture for processing complex events.   (I have advocated a CEP functional reference architecture, as most readers know.)

To illustrated this point, let’s take a quick look at another functional reference architecture (or, if you perfer, a conceptual architecture), distributed computing.

Is distributed computing a service or a process?

Of course, it is neither a process nor a service, distributed computing is a generic architectural pattern (or style) for processing distributed data, generally across a network.

The same question can be asked of SOA. 

Is SOA a process or a service?

Again, the answer is almost identical. 

SOA is an architectural style (subclass) of distributed computing.

Now, is CEP a product or a service?

CEP is an architectural style (or pattern) for processing complex events.

CEP is neither a process nor a service. 

On the other hand, there are component of a CEP solution that can be represented as a stand alone process or a service.   The same can be said of EAI, SOA, and other subclasses of distributed computing architectural styles and patterns.


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.


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 ….