Wednesday, January 7, 2009

IBM WebSphere Business Events - going Esper? And WebSphere eXtreme Scale going on his own? And so does ILOG?

As you may already know, IBM complemented its CEP/BEP offering with the AptSoft acquisition back in January 2008.
And they got SMILE continuous query processing research going on, and integration into their data grid WebSphere eXtreme Scale / ObjectGrid offering.
And now they got ILOG.
So what's the strategy around?

As with all IBM products, software downloads for trial and comprehensive documentation is available online, and you will quickly notice that WebSphere Business Events (v6) requires a good old database. This is where intermediate state will be kept and where correlation will occur.
Interestingly, CEP emerged out a wider trend that seeks to revolutionize the way we manage data (remember we sometime refered to Active Database in the academic work that precedes current CEP product offering) with a shift from "store then query" to "query as it comes" - or in other words, store the queries and flow data thru aka "continuous queries".

This quickly makes me claim that IBM WebSphere Business Events is lacking a big piece of the CEP platform puzzle, and likely why IBM is willing to complement this with another solution for more troughput/latency sensitive use cases with its InfoSphere Streams vision. Indeed, for that one, you'll have to wait late 2010 as explained.

So now should we assume that Esper will take part in an IBM offering sometime down the road? Or should we assume that Esper got it so right that Esper materials end up in an IBM "what is WebSphere Business Events" slide?

Here are some surprising hints. The nice "Advanced Event Processing" one is Esper, as described in the EsperTech site for more than 2 years. It appears in a slide deck from IBM Pulse 2008 partner conference.





(disclaimer: Up until now, WebSphere Business Events v6 is not built upon Esper)

To add to IBM offering description around CEP or business event as they call it, you'll notice that WebSphere eXtreme Scale (former IBM ObjectGrid) has now integrated the IBM Smile research in it thus exposing some IBM made SQL like event processing language (similar to Esper and Coral8 approach). This approach is different from the WebSphere Business Event product although it largely overlaps in what it does.
CREATE VIEW stockView AS SELECT tickerSymbol, avg(price) as avgPrice FROM
(SELECT * FROM stockStream FETCH LATEST 5 MINUTES) group by tickerSymbol
There are some interesting tutorials available, and I think this part of IBM offering would deserve a lot more exposure in the CEP community.

Instead of that, IBM disparate vision around event processing just added ILOG to the cake as per this just released press coverage:
"IBM Completes ILOG Acquisition, Opens Door To Event Processing"
But I am not learning you anything since on IBM owns terms:
"None of these products amounted to a real strategy. We didn't have tight engineering, focused on business event management".

It will be interesting to see where that ends...

4 comments:

Roger Rea said...

Hi, Alex.... re your statement:

This quickly makes me claim that IBM WebSphere Business Events is lacking a big piece of the CEP platform puzzle, and likely why IBM is willing to complement this with another solution for more troughput/latency sensitive use cases with its InfoSphere Streams vision. Indeed, for that one, you'll have to wait late 2010 as explained.

Just wanted you to be aware that 'as explained' there will be a GA product in 1H 2010 (not late 2010). There is also an early adopter program with 10 customers today and an additional 20 or 30 customers in 2Q09.

For those who are interested, they can contact me.

Roger Rea
rrea@us.ibm.com

Alex said...

Thanks for the clarification Roger. This is really interesting to see how the IBM 'CEP/BEP is taking shape from different influence angles.

Are you folks thinking that there is "no one size fit all" in CEP hence coming up with SOA/BPM-CEP (WebSphere Business Event), high performance/scalable CEP (WebSphere eXtreme Scale stream processing features), and Rules-CEP (ILOG - somewhat in the direction that RedHat/JBoss drools is taking now)?

What is your standpoint ref. standardization of event processing languages?

Opher Etzion said...

Hi Alex.

IBM indeed does not believe that there is "one size fits all" for event processing, there are various types of applications with various functional and non-functional needs. BTW - Smile research has been discontinued and the Websphere Extreme Scale is now integrated with websphere Business Event - called WBE/XS.

As far as language standards, we don't think that the industry is mature for such a standard in this point, however, the EPTS language analysis working group that is kicking off this week is going to take an exploratory step towards possibilities for standards - there are several possibilities here. EsperTech or you as an indvidual are invited to join EPTS if you wish to participate in this brainstorming.

cheers,

Opher

Alex said...

Thanks Opher for your insights on what are IBM thoughts on this industry and how IBM R&D and innovation made its way into IBM products. This is great to hear, while knowing at the same time there are still plans and room for innovation and (not or) standardization and (not or) competition - since there is no one size fits all you probably also believe in that one.