Is MDM the way to manage event patterns, rules, & decisions in an IT system?

One of the interesting use cases for TIBCO CIM (TIBCO’s MDM product), which is incidentally part of the same TIBCO Business Optimization product stack as TIBCO’s CEP product BusinessEvents, is managing some of the artifacts used in event processing in some applications. Now this may seem strange: why should event definitions, event patterns, or decision rules be considered “master data”? On reflection, though, it might seem strange to even ask that question, as if one is treating things like event patterns and business rules as input data to an application, then these are surely as “master” (as in “business critical”) as it gets.

Lets see what MDM brings to the table: from TIBCO’s MDM page we see:

  • MDM ensures that master data (assets, people, locations) is accurate and consistent across multiple transactional systems.
    • Well, you certainly want event processing definitions, patterns and decision rules to be accurate and consistent. These may require more specific verification and validation over simpler data sets, but such tests are themselves part of the “process”…
  • It enforces the necessary processes, policies, and procedures so that clean data stays clean.
    • So even if we have more complex verification and validation processes, these can be included in MDM.
  • It allows organizations to manage the complex hierarchies and relationships within their data such as the relationships between two products, a customer and a vendor, general ledger hierarchies, and so on.
    • And also relationships between multiple versions of events, patterns and decisions and each other, presumably. At a more complex level part of the management means hierarchies of processes and their inter-relationships…
  • Through effective MDM, organizations can eliminate errors, become efficient in their business activities, and accelerate critical processes such as new product introductions, service provisioning, cross-sell/up-sell, and customer service.
    • If the business activity is updating / maintaining their event processing applications, then maintaining consistency and associated artifacts across services makes sense too.
  • Additionally, MDM builds a data services foundation that supports IT initiatives such as SOA and BPM.
    • And, er, CEP.

And of course if I am treating / storing event processing models as master data / in MDM, then I can also treat / store other changable, critical (BPM) process models as master data / in MDM, too. The MDM system becomes an IT repository as well as a business repository.

Food for thought, anyway!