Just caught this ZDNet article attempting to join the dots between SOA and event processing, via an eBizQ commentary. The article (from ZapThink) utilises the term “business event processing” – presumably because this sounds trendier and fits better with Business Process Management, whereas we all know they are really referring to what we call complex event processing (CEP). The article states:
Combined with SOA and BPM, therefore, BEP extends the value of each as well as the synergies between them. Following SOA best practices can leverage the value of both BPM and BEP, as SOA hides the complexity of the IT environment from the business aspects of the solutions. The bottom line is that BPM, SOA and BEP combine to meet the needs of the business more effectively than any one or two of the approaches can separately.
Of course, defining and managing your IT assets as services makes sense (e.g. see TIBCO ActiveMatrix), but such highly standardised services don’t always map to the CEP domain. For example note that TIBCO’s CEP stack is based on different technology than the TIBCO SOA stack, and are used for different priorities (event processing throughput versus deployment flexibility). But of course, one can (and does) invoke IT services in event processing actions – so these stacks are regularly used together. But then it was interesting that one customer cited (at the last TUCON) that the advantages (to the business) of the CEP application was used by IT to justify the expense (to the business) of their SOA project…
We’ve been hearing about things like asynchronous web services for a while now, but to most people a service is still the equivalent of an RPC – something you call, then wait until it returns. The antithesis of such SOA thinking is the emergence of new, CEP-based asynchronous services exemplified by TIBCO Active Service Gateway – performance, flexibility, SLAs, rules, distributed service gateway, controlling and managing a “conventional” SOA layer. This metapattern (CEP drives and monitors SOA) is of course a variation on another well-known pattern (CEP drives and monitors BPM). So no surprises as to where we think the interesting part of the CEP-SOA relationship lies!