Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spike in enterprise 'events' spurs debut of Event Processing Technical Society

The recent growth -- and expected spike -- in business event data in enterprises has led a group of IT industry leaders to form the Event Processing Technical Society (EPTS), designed to encourage adoption and effective use of event processing methods and technology in applications.

Among the founding members are such heavy hitters as IBM, Oracle, TIBCO Software, Inc., Gartner Research, Coral8 Inc., Progress Software, and StreamBase.

Event processing pioneer Dr. David Luckham, a founding member of EPTS, explained in a press release:

“We've had decades of development of event processing technology for simulation systems, networking, and operations management. Now, the explosion in the amount of business event data being generated in modern enterprises demands a new event processing technology foundation for business intelligence and enterprise management applications.”

EPTS has five initial goals:
  • Document usage scenarios where event processing brings business benefit

  • Develop a common event-processing glossary for its members and the community-at-large to use when dealing with event processing

  • Accelerate the development and dissemination of best practices for event processing

  • Encourage academic research to help establish event processing as a research discipline and encourage the funding of applied research

  • Work with existing standards development organizations such as Object Management Group (OMG), OASIS and W3C to assist in developing standards in the areas of: event formats, event processing interoperability, event processing (meta) modeling and (meta) languages.
EPTS, which does not plan to develop standards itself, has already begun work on an initial draft of the proposed glossary. A use-case work group is generating templates around documentation and presentation of the use cases.

Event processing was a hot topic at the recent TIBCO user conference, TUCON. (Disclosure: TIBCO is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.)

Fellow ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick has some thoughts on event processing, too.

The new consortium plans three additional work groups. The first will focus on developing information on event processing architecture. Another will identify requirements for the interoperability among event processing applications and platforms. The third will collaborate with the academic community to develop courses in this area.

The advance in the scale and complexity of streams of events will place a greater burden on infrastructure and architects. But the ability to manage and harvest analysis from these events could be extremely powerful, and provide a lasting differentiator for expert practitioners.

While the processing of such events has its roots in financial companies and transactions, the engine for dealing with such throughputs and variable paths will find uses in many places. The vaulting commerce expected as always-on mobile Web, GPS location and social graph data collide is a prime example.

We hit on these types of transactions as the progeny of online advertising in a recent BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights roundtable podcast.

Consumers and end users should begin to enjoy what they may well perceive as "intelligent" services -- based on the fruits of complex events processing -- from their devices and providers. Harvesting and using more data from sensors and device meshes will also require the scale that event processing requires.

We should also chalk this up to yet another facet of the growing definition of cloud computing, as event processing as a service within a larger set of cloud-based services will also build out in the coming years. The whole trend of event processing bears close monitoring.

EPTS will hold its next meeting Sept, 17-19 in Stamford, Conn. More information on the consortium can be found at the EPTS Web site.