Sunday, September 25, 2011

On Actian and action applications

Ingres, one of the oldest DBMS companies which produces open source DBMS, and the first of the sequence of companies that Mike Stonebraker founded and sold, has recently changed its name to Actian, and positioned itself as focused on "action applications in big data".  The stated rationale about "action applications" is that current BI create reports and then it is left to the human to read the reports (or screens) and decide what to do, in "action applications", the application trigger actions automatically in response to data events and thresholds.   It seems that people from the BI community re-discovers/re-invents the Event-Condition-Action model?   so they'll probably get to more advanced event processing at some point.

It is interesting to note that the motivation they state on the Actian website (you'll have to press on "action apps" to see it) is - "BI is not working, more than $10B are spent every year on a pile of reports with no actions".    I guess that this is somewhat consistent with my previous posting citing a study that indicate that human decision makers don't succeed to get fast decisions based on BI.   Maybe BI is getting in the hype cycle to the phase of disillusionment, and maybe people in this community like SAS CEO who said last year that event processing has limited appeal  to BI (along with BI in the cloud), would have second thoughts.


keith said...

The Action Apps from Actian Corporation are simple event processes that can be layered to build a sentient whole. However far you look, the human element will always be there to initiate what function each of the Action Apps performs. Enabling the ability of many individuals to direct the lightweight Apps is where the 'inteligence' comes in.

Marco Seiriƶ said...

It's nice to see that the CEP ideas are spreading. As a fan of the ECA style of computing its interesting to see that they sort of rediscovered that style of computation, or to quote myself several years back:

"The ruleCore CEP Server adds the capability to immediately generate actionable alerts when any asset, item or process is behaving in an unforeseen way.

These alerts can be used to initiate processes or workflows in your systems. Allowing you to react almost instantaneously to sudden, high-value business situations."

sound pretty similar right?

It seems that they ended up solving pretty much the same problem but with a slightly different approach. But it's nice to see that the ideas in the CEP community are indeed valid and can be solved using slightly different technology stacks (as we always knew anyway..)