Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Unicorn, Professor and Infant

What is common to - unicorn, professor and infant - and how they are related to event processing anyway? -- These where my associations while reading the amusing post of my dear friend Tim Bass when he writes "On elephants and analytics" in an amusing response to my blog posting from this morning .
I am glad that Tim likes my metaphor of the big elephant, since my visit in Thailand last year, I dream about elephants all the time -). Since I am in a metaphors mood today, I'll use some more.

It seems that both Tim and myself share the opinion that the domain of event processing is much larger than the applications that exist today. In fact, I have stated several times, including in my press briefing for the EPTS launch: I believe that the big challenges are still ahead of us, since the industry barely scratched the surface of the potential use

In my previous Blog I have used the metaphor of an infant to describe this state.

Tim is constantly writing about the hype around CEP, again, in the metaphor level, some people that claim that their infant is a professor, and this of course not really true.

Indeed, there are people who over-hype CEP (a perfectly normal phenomenon, there is a hype cycle for each technology, and CEP is getting closer to the top), no surprise here.
Where I respectfully disagree with Tim, is in his claim that what has been done until today is just hype and hence totally worthless, my experience shows otherwise, there are customers which use current products and get value from using these products, and for some strange reason, the number of such customers is even growing (as a comment - calling all of them "time-series stream data engines" is a gross generalization, there is a variety of products, and not all of them are based on time-series streams, on the other hand, those who are based on time-series streams also have value). This does not say that current technologies solve all potential applications, and satisfy all potential users, but treating all the existing technology as a unicorn,

saying that everything is a hype, and there is nothing concrete, like a mythological creature, seems to me as going to extreme. Which takes me back to the elephant that both Tim and myself like While I agree with Tim that those who describe their infant as a professor may be looking at a toy elephant, the other extreme of treating an infant as a unicorn seems also to miss some part of the elephant.

Getting back to issue that start the case analytics and EP -- in my mind - to say that all EP applications require analytic tools, is like saying that one cannot get value from relational databases without using analytic tool, this assertion is certainly true for some types of application, and certainly wrong for others --- and it seems that the same hold for event processing applications. I'll let every reader to quantify the ratio based on his/her experience.

And last comment: it seems to me that there are more than one person in this community who meet customers and care about the value to customer; nobody has a monopoly on understanding all types of customers, applications and business values, and surprise - some vendors actually
believe that bringing value to custotmers is a better way to do business than selling balloons.

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