Interview Series: Building an Event-Driven SOA
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Why is the financial industry so interested in complex event processing? I read a lot about algorithmic trading and its relationship to CEP.

CEP is relevant to all industries. It enables companies to manage manufacturing processes using RFID and WiFi tagging data streams to monitor humidity, heat, and weight, among other variables. Telecommunication companies can use it with VOIP or video streaming events. We are also seeing military use cases now for asset tracking or field tactical analytics. In the airline industry there is a growing need for matching event patterns that can occur from several event sources, such as passenger activity, boarding information events, baggage movement events, and flight status events. This technology could even go into gambling applications, allowing multiple betting type data streams that require granular complex implementations.

All these use cases require applications that can process large volumes of events from one or more sources, within millisecond response times, generally guaranteed under heavy computing load.

Particularly in the financial services sector, we are seeing algorithmic trading applications that need to take several live market data feeds, and in some cases, leverage seemingly unrelated streaming data that has been persisted in a database, and then immediately execute very complex event pattern matching for competitive advantage and significant instantaneous financial gain.

Do I need to know how to code to set up CEP query?

No. EPL is defined outside the programmatic aspects of the application, which facilitates high developer productivity and flexibility. In fact, you can dynamically alter queries associated with the application so as to react to changing conditions or circumstances in real time.

How are applications usually architected around time- and event- driven (EDSOA) products? Do you often see the use of service buses, JMS and so on, or is the architecture more lean?

As you can see from my previous use cases, you can now implement applications in ways that just weren�t possible before. The WebLogic EDSOA products can be used in isolation for certain applications that demand extreme transaction processing or they can work together with other BEA products to deliver a true event-driven SOA solution.

In fact, soon we will be posting our EDSOA lost airline baggage demo on dev2dev. This demo shows how the BEA WebLogic Event Server and BEA WLRT products work together with BEA AquaLogic Service Bus, BEA WebLogic Server, and the BEA AquaLogic BPM Suite to identify "missing event" situations surrounding lost bags. This simulated airport scenario clearly shows how these technologies can effectively address serious problems and enable an airline to provide a quality of service above and beyond the expectations of today�s traveling public. It�s just a demo right now, but I foresee a day when I�ll check luggage in at my departure airport and never again stand forlornly at the bag carousel upon arrival, wasting hours waiting for my clothes and toothbrush.

It must be hard to construct applications because EDA requires navigating around OSGi bundles, Spring Assembly Files, EPNs, and other components in the mix.

This has been true, but it�s changing. To support WLEvS we will be providing an additional Eclipse-based plug-in that simplifies the dynamic creation and deployment (publishing) of our new event server applications. Look for it on our dev2dev web site�I expect it will be up there from mid-July.

Architects have to ensure that solutions work effectively and deliver within cost and infrastructure parameters. How will adopting the WebLogic Time- and Event-Driven products impact the IT management team?

The BEA WebLogic EDSOA product family now enables IT to introduce new types of services and SLAs, which can lead to higher revenues. It also helps IT provide better customer satisfaction and retention which again can boost revenues. EDSOA promotes more agility with proactive operations, and this can make the organization more competitive and reduce operational costs. And of course our wealth of integrated services and pre-built Java container�with its event correlation, pattern matching, and deterministic garbage collection�can help drive rapid development for a tremendous time-to-market advantage.

Where can I get more information on using BEA�s event-driven SOA?

The corporate BEA Website has a wealth of information on these products, and the Dev2Dev and Arch2Arch Websites will be soon updated with developer- and architect-focused materials including articles and screencasts to help accelerate understanding of the design and development of EDA. From mid-July, these Websites will also offer additional software for the Eclipse IDE and event server monitoring dashboard technologies.

Anne-Christine Strugnell editor of Arch2Arch Advisor, is technology writer who has been in the biz long enough to have written an article in Object Magazine on developing using DLLs in C++, and (in 1996) a high-level piece for Oracle presciently titled, "The Internet Changes Everything."

Robin Smith is the Senior Engineering Product Manager at BEA Systems for the WebLogic Time and Event Driven (TED) Product Family.