Thursday, August 19, 2010
On event processing as a technology and as a business
Philip Howard, an analyst who covers event processing for several years now, has posted a blog entitled: what's happening with event processing, observing that event processing is getting integrated with other areas such as: BPM, data integration and more. This is not a new phenomenon; in the EPIA book, we mention that among the event processing trends is moving from standalone to integrated even embedded, and this trend is evident with the evolution of event processing as a start-up universe, to having bigger software vendors as dominant forces. However - will event processing as technology going to disappear? I don't think so. There is common functionality among event processing utilization in various industries, applications, and hosting technologies, in all of them there are functions of filtering, event transformation, aggregation, pattern detection, and routing. It is not cost-effective to re-invent the wheel for each individual use (although there are variations). This is a similar situation to databases; database can be used for various reasons, and also be embedded with various other technologies and products (e.g. application servers, BPM, system management products, messaging systems - all use databases), while there are also variations, it is not the case that each of these areas develop database technology in an ad-hoc fashion. Thus, I see event processing continuing to evolve as a technology, and having both research and development activities that build generic event processing tools. From the business point of view, there will always be some niche for event processing stand-alone applications, but as Philip writes, most of the market will indeed be in the integrated area, this fact already reflects on the event processing technology in terms of need for standards, interoperability features, and ability to have embeddable collection of building blocks and components. More about this - later.