Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On the Gartner 2009 application architecture hype cycle

Here is a revised version of my Blog entry that relates to the Gartner Application architecture hype cycle report (Gartner Report ID number G00168300 from July 16,2009) , the revision was done at the request of Gartner who asked that I'll make exact citations in their report, and make clear distinction between what is quoted from the Gartner report, and my own remarks.

Here are a collection of citations from the report that are of interest from the Event Processing perspective:

  1. "Event-driven architecture (EDA) is an architectural style in which a component (or several components) in a software system executes in response to receiving one or more event notifications". In the report EDA is positioned under the hype cycle phase "Climbing the slope of enlightenment" which according to Gartner's terminology is defined as " Focused experimentation and solid hard work by an increasingly diverse range of organizations lead to a true understanding of the technology's applicability, risks and benefits. Commercial off-the-shelf methodologies and tools ease the development process"
  2. CEP is positioned under the hype cycle phase of "Technology Trigger" which according to Gartner's terminology is defined as "A breakthrough, public demonstration, product launch or other event generates significant press and industry interest", and is the phase that precedes the "peak of inflated expectations" phase.
  3. For CEP: "market penetration is 1% to 5% of target audience"
  4. CEP use is expected to grow at approximately 25% per year from 2009 to 2014, but the use of COTS CEP products is expected to grow more than 40% per year in this time frame
  5. For CEP COTS products: " Most of these products are immature and incomplete"
  6. "Most business analysts do not know how to identify business situations that could be addressed through CEP, and that is limiting the rate at which CEP use can expand. Most software engineers are not familiar with CEP development"
  7. "The Event Processing Technical Society (EPTS) was launched in June 2008, and it is expected to facilitate the adoption of CEP".

Here are my own comments:

  • Note that EDA and CEP are positioned in different phases of the hype cycle.
  • The fact that the market penetration is low indicates that there is still a substantial growth potential, if we can overcome the adoption challenges
  • The adoption challenges consist of product maturity and market awareness. We are now still in the first generation of products in this area and maturity is typically achieved in later generation. Awareness and understanding of value and positioning are indeed a challenge.
  • EPTS indeed has been formed to facilitate the adoption of the event processing area. Both challenges mentioned here – advancing the state of the art to accelerate the next generations, and educate the general community about the value and positioning of event processing within the enterprise computing.

1 comment:

Hans said...

Hi Opher, I posted about this just now. I also have some comments on your comments:

Clearly, I agree with your comments about value and positioning. I would go so far as to say that this area is falling very flat. I don't mean to criticize without offering help, but it seems important to communicate just how flat these efforts are falling (IMO).

In light of the unclear value and positioning, it's hard to judge the adoption challenges, since it's hard to figure out what are the criteria on which we would judge that CEP has been adopted.

Taking the long view, none of this is a problem. The goal of improving methods for understanding and using events will lead to good results.

But looking at the Gartner Hype Cycle, I see a self fulfilling prophecy - that CEP is about to enter the disillusionment phase. If the businesses buying into "CEP" can't even get a good picture of its value proposition, what does that say about the potential for ROI on these purchases?