Taking the 'complex' out of complex event processing

IBM to push 'Business' Event Processing

Complex event processing (CEP) has been getting a lot of attention as of late, and is seen as the next stage of evolution for SOA projects. Now it has the big vendors -- including IBM -- promoting it.

How big will business event processing get?

However, IBM wants to take the technical allusions out of the term itself, referring to it as "Business Event Processing." The renaming to BEP makes sense, since I doubt if a concept that starts with the word "complex" is going to win a lot of converts.

As part of an announcement in which Big Blue said it would be buying AptSoft, a CEP (or make that BEP) tools vendor, Sandy Carter, senior vice president of IBM's WebSphere division, said that BEP should be at the disposal of, well, the business. "Everybody is talking about complex event processing. We are trying to rename that category, because we believe the real value is in Business Event Processing, the focus on the business. We believe we are elevating for customers something that was a deep technology capability, something that only engineers understand."

ZDNet colleague Dana Gardner also discusses IBM's strategy to open up CEP/BEP to line of business personnel.

With its purchase of AptSoft and plans to include CEP (er, BEP) functionality into its WebSphere platform, IBM obviously sees a robust market opportunity emerging. Carter said IBM already has invested a billion dollars in the events processing space, not counting its AptSoft purchase.

How big will CEP (oops, BEP) become?

IBM WebSphere CTO Jerry Cuomo recently said that he sees the SOA-EDA-CEP marriage as one of the most pronounced trends to watch in 2008. As Cuomo explained in an interview: “I really believe [event processing is] the next big thing in SOA…. we’re taking it very seriously.”

Others in the industry agree that CEP/BEP is going to be huge. In a new post, Don DeLoach, president and CEO of Aleri, said that "we are on the dawn of this explosion, and I feel it is surely coming."

What's driving the market? DeLoach thinks "the CEP market is going to be huge because it is being driven by a few unmistakable elements and irreversible trends. The volume of data that organizations need to deal with is growing and the time frames in which they need to act are shrinking. CEP is specifically designed to absorb large amounts of data in real-time and analyze that data on the fly." BEP as well.