Friday, November 2, 2007

XTP, Distributed Event Processing, and Distruptive Technologies

Hello everybody. Another experience of novice blogger - I had to start moderating comments, since I got spam attack of comments - so comments will not be seen in real-time anymore - but keep sending them anyway :-)

I have heard couple of times in the last few months talks from Yefim Natis
from Gartner who promotes now the concept of XTP - "Extreme Transaction Processing"
Yefim claims that XTP is a disruptive technology, in the way that it will be a new wave in enterprise application servers, he mentions in particular two disruptive technologies: dynamic grid architectures and event-based programming models. My friend Alan Lundberg asks in a recent blog what is the difference between CEP and XTP -- the short answer is that XTP is a framework that should have CEP capabilities but some other capabilities such as: transaction management, highly distributed environment etc... It is reasonable to think that some CEP applications will run on XTP, and maybe for some it will be overkill, but this depends on the ability of XTP to scale down as well as scale up. Another friend, Tim Bass (the person who talked me into writing this blog), has also recent blog about distributed event processing in which he said that "CEP engines should operate as cooperating intelligent agents" - and this assertion is the essence of the "event-based programming model" for XTP. I'll drill down into it in later blogs, but just point out some of the principles:
  • In the event-based programming model - events and their flow are the most basic primitive
  • Events are flowing among agents - agent may be intelligent agents that are doing "smart" things, or just software agents doing predetermined computations.
  • The wisdom of the system is both in the agents and in the network - the network itself is intelligent and getting decisions.

This is another view of the world than the current programming models that are based around objects (and recently services), and may act as a disruptive programming model towards them, since having event as a first class citizen changes things.... These are preliminary ideas, but I find this idea intriguing and fascinating, so I'll probably dig into it deeper.

More - Later.

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