Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On BRMS and EP

This is a slide rule, an ancient means to do arithmetic calculations easily if one has some experience in working with it. When I took the matriculation exam in mathematics many years ago, the Israeli ministry of education did not allow the use of calculator, since calculator at that time was relatively expensive, and it was considered of giving unfair advantage to those who can afford it, however they allowed the use in slide rules, so it served me well at that time. Today slide rules together with logarithmic tables and typewriter found their way to museums, but other type of rules are still with us.

Some Blogs have recently made references to the recent Forrester report with the catchy name:
Must You Choose Between Business Rules And Complex Event Processing Platforms?

The Forrester reports discusses some confusion that exists between the two terms. It is true that there is some ambiguity of the word "rules" - on one hand rule-based is a kind of programming style that can be used to express event processing patterns, and between BRMS - a collection of products with a certain functionality. Forrester also claims that to add to the confusion there are people who use (or abuse) BRMS products to do CEP applications and CEP products to do business rules applications. You can read the rest of the original report for more details. In my previous posting about state processing and event processing I have talked about the difference between the two. In fact, BRMS products are processing the current snapshot (state), while event processing is about processing of the history of transitions, different kind of techniques and optimizations are used for each.
I have also blogged recently about decision agents, talking about the fact that event processing agents (at least some of them) can be a subset of a larger whole which can be called - decision agents. And indeed, while the two type of technologies are distinct, there is also a sense to look at them with a unified view. Here I share the vision of James Taylor who talks a lot about Enterprise Decision management which consists of business rules, event processing and analytics. We'll hear much more about this concept - more later.

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