What is complex event processing?

Complex event processing (CEP) is a kind of technology that allows events to be processed on a continuous basis before being stored to identify meaningful events or combination of events based on a pre-defined set of rules. An event is defined as anything happening such as a change in state. Complex Event Processing is the method of processing multiple streams of events and correlating seemingly unrelated events to identify opportunities or threats. Traditional event processing typically does not involve making correlations, finding or comparing to historical data. Unlike conventional event processing technologies, CEP treats all events as potentially significant and records them asynchronously.

The typical CEP application area can be identified as having some aspect of “situation awareness,” “sense and respond,” or “track and trace” aspects which overlap in actual business situations. All of these can be classified as types of activity monitoring, for which the continuous evaluation of incoming events is suitable. CEP takes multiple data points from multiple sources and makes complex inferences based on that data.

CEP systems must be able to receive and record events and identify patterns of these events and any related data. CEP systems must also handle temporal or time-based constraints, especially for handling the non-occurrence of events.

CEP enables businesses to identify opportunities and threats and react to them quickly, a necessity in today’s fast-paced world.