Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Event Processing In Action
Event Processing In Action - this is a title of the book on which I have started to work recently together with my colleague Peter Niblett - although I am typically writing my Blogs always as I and not as We, this time I'll use We in any case that what I am writing refers to Peter as well. In the next few days the first chapter of the book will be made public by the publisher as a green paper. In the picture above you can see a provisional cover of this book, but this is not final yet. The book is planned to be available towards the end of 2009.
The Web 2.0 plays a role in this process, as explained below. Here are some Q&A about it,
What is the motivation for a new book ?
The book has been initiated by Manning Publications, a computing books publisher; their market survey indicated that there is a significant market need for a new book that will articulate and provide a deep dive into the concepts and facilities of event system applications. This book is intended to be the major reference book for enterprise architects, application developers (both technical and semi-technical), and is also expected to be used for instructional purposes (a textbook for a university level course on event processing).
The book written by David Luckham entitled "The power of events" (Addison-Wesley, 2002) has been very influential in setting the initial awareness to the event processing area, and it still is a big inspiration for us; the new book is intended to reflect the contemporary thinking around event processing which has been evolved since 2002.
Why have we agreed to write this book ?
Writing a book is a big responsibility, it is a substantial burden on our time. Furthermore it is a tremendous challenge to produce a high quality book in an emerging area for these target audiences - especially considering the very high expectations that have already been generated around this book. We believe that this book is indeed required, and as technical leaders in the community it is our duty to take this task and help shape the newly emerging discipline of event processing this way. We were also encouraged by our management and colleagues to take this mission.
What is the approach taken in this book ?
The approach taken in the book will not be surprising to the readers of this Blog. Indeed, the book can be considered as a direct descendant of the Blog, it seems that the publisher has approached me based on recommendations of anonymous members of the event processing community that referred him to look at this Blog. I got feedback from others that this Blog is one of the popular sources today to learn what event processing is, but the Blog, as a Blog, is not written in methodical way, it jumps from one topic to another, it treats the various topics in a relatively superficial way, and includes "noise" like this posting; the book should be more focused, getting things in the right order, and in the proper level of depth. The style of writing is similar to that of the Blog.
The book will explain all the event processing concepts by showing step-by-step how a single use case has been constructed. The explanation, like my approach in the Blog, is aimed to be language-style neutral and explain the concepts using a patterns oriented model (although, due to the ambiguity of the term patterns in event processing we use the term building blocks). We are planning to have an appendix in which we will list existing EP products and open source offerings, and provide some high-level details, without providing evaluation or endorsement to any of them. We'll ask for collaboration of the various product owners to get accurate information about their products.
What is the relationship between this book and IBM ?
Both Peter and myself are IBM employees; Peter works in the IBM Hursley Lab in England, where I am working in the IBM Haifa Research Lab in Israel. However we are writing this book (after clearing the legal and managerial permission) as individuals and not as IBM employees; A disclaimer stating that the book represent our opinions and not necessarily the opinion of IBM will be clearly made in the preface to the book, as is done in the top of this Blog. There is a big EP oriented community inside IBM and we hope to get feedback from this community, as part of the feedback from the larger community.
How are Web 2.0 technologies going to impact the authoring process?
As any other book, there is a formal review process, in which the publisher consults with a collection of reviewers representing people from the target audiences, thus most reviewers are architects and developments from various industries, and academic instructors teaching EP courses. In addition, nowadays, book authoring is also considered as an interactive process between the authors and the readers. The MEAP program (Manning Early Access Program) enables readers to interact with the authors through a forum, and contribute comments and questions on the book while being written; when the book will get into the MEAP program I'll further explain it
What are the next steps?
As I have said, Peter and myself are facing with a substantial challenge to create a high-quality book for the readers, and are sure that feedback and reviews from the larger community can help us provide a better book for the target audience; The green paper is due to appear hopefully by the end of this week; I'll post the URL on this Blog as soon as it is available, the MEAP for this book will be set up in the next few weeks. I'll also use this Blog to tell about some dilemmas and challenges in the writing process (another Web 2.0 means of communication).
More -- Later.