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BEA on Event Driven Architecture Sounds a lot like EDM

(Posted by guest Blogger, Gib Bassett)

Yesterday BEA Systems released a white paper summarizing their findings of a customer study regarding Business Process Management (BPM).  The paper is titled “The State of the BPM Market – Business and IT: Solving Process Problems Together.”  BEA also culled through numerous analyst and other industry expert insights to narrow in on the key trends driving adoption of BPM related technologies.  There were two especially notable items in the report that show an Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) approach to operational decision automation, connection and improvement is becoming an increasingly mainstream concept – even if the term EDM isn’t the label.

First, the report connects BPM to the growing trend toward Event Driven Architecture (EDA), a term applied by IDC in 2007 to describe an IT infrastructure blending: “Event Middleware and Complex Event Processing,” “Event-Enabled BPM Suite,” “Event-Enabled Process Modeling,” and “Business Analyst Skill Set.”  The business driver for this trend, cited in the report from Gartner, is the increasing need for near-real-time-visibility of information and processes.

The way the report describes “Complex Event Processing Engines” is comparable to the flexible new generation Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) which conform to EDM principles by way of managing business rules as well as serving as deployment platforms for analytics:

“Two important pieces of middleware are required to fully support EDA. Messaging middleware capable of reliably transmitting extreme message volumes has already been widely deployed. The other piece is complex event processing engines. These are responsible for listening to the event feed, detecting patterns based on a rule set, and sending out events once a pattern has been found. One example of this is a fraud-detection unit that monitors the feed of all trades executed on a stock exchange; a complex event processing engine would identify patterns and trigger appropriate responses.”

Business Rules software that lacks this capability are also highlighted in the report as being a gating factor to EDA and should serve as a filter to technology and architecture professionals through which they evaluate supporting products and technologies:

“Traditionally, a BRE will receive a request containing a set of data such as a customer’s credit history or demographic information; it evaluates the data against a set of rules and returns a decision (e.g., approve for new credit). EDA requires the evaluation of rules as well, but the architecture is fundamentally different. Complex event processing consists of looking for patterns across a certain time window in a high-volume stream of events. Rules describe those patterns and when a pattern is found, it triggers an outgoing event that other systems can listen for and act on.”

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