David Luckham, the father of CEP, just published an article What’s the Difference Between ESP and CEP? In the article, Professor Luckham discusses the origins of CEP and ESP, the differences between streams and clouds, where ESP engines are today, how CEP and ESP will be less different over time, and the challenges going forward.
The article is a must read for anyone interested in event processing (simple, stream, complex). But before you go over, I have a quick thought on the challenge of “New Horizons”, described by Professor Luckham as follows:
New Horizons: The first challenge is to expand the areas to which event processing is being applied. We have to educate the IT community, and a lot of other communities, about its potentials, and that will involve a lot of proof of concept work. So far, the early adopters have been people who already know they need real-time event processing and their problems are usually well formulated. It is true that new applications are appearing all the time – in areas involving RFID, eRetailing and so on. But there are other areas where event processing could be applied…
…There are huge clouds of events from multiple disparate sources in Homeland Security2, Epidemiology, Global Warming and the Environment, just to mention three areas. We need to demonstrate that event processing can be applied to challenging problems in these areas. For example, could Homeland Security use telephone surveillance data to enhance monitoring bank transfer events on SWIFT networks for money laundering? Another example, there are some very imaginative experiments going on in medical epidemiology. It turns out you may be able to predict ‘flu outbreaks earlier by monitoring over-the-counter medication sales than by monitoring doctor’s reports. What about analyzing a lot of event sources for early prediction of epidemic outbreaks? And the world itself is becoming an event generating globe with sensors and probes for deep ocean pressure monitoring for Tsunami warning, fault monitoring for earthquake studies, forestry monitoring, etc. All of these events are available via satellite. What are the possibilities for event processing here?
The big question is what problems (business, social, government, science, technology) can/should event processing solve? But to answer that, we first need to understand the possibilities. Not only what events are swirling around in clouds, and floating in streams, but how those events connect, and what are appropriate responses.
This will require tapping into folks with deep domain knowledge, a knack for ‘pattern recognition’ and ‘connecting the dots’, and the ability to influence change. My early thinking is this person is a true ‘business architect’. A business person who architects (designs, creates) business models, processes, information flows, rules and policies.
If you are an IT person, considering event processing, find a ‘business architect type’ partner to explore the new horizons. Event processing isn’t just an IT thing. Read the article.