February 26, 2021 By Christian Milam 2 min read

What’s the difference, how can they benefit you and which is the right choice for your business?

Event-driven architecture and event streaming are valuable to your business in many ways and can largely resemble each other — but what are the differences, and why do they matter?

Event-driven architecture vs. event streaming

Both event-driven architecture and event streaming center around events. Events are records of something that occurred, such as a mouse click, keystroke or loading a program. The difference in the platforms is in how the events are received.

  • Event-driven architecture publishes a single-purpose event that another application or service can use to perform one or more actions in turn.
  • Event-streaming services like Apache Kafka and Confluent publish streams of events to a broker. Consumers of event-streaming platforms can access each stream and consume their preferred events, and those events are then retained by the broker.

It’s important to note that event-streaming platforms offer certain characteristics a broker does not — event-streaming platform records are persistent, allowing applications to process historical data as well as real-time data without the threat of deletion by a broker. And event-streaming platforms can be used for both simple and complex event processing, allowing event consumers to process and perform actions based on the result immediately.

How event-driven architecture and event streaming interconnect

However, you don’t have to choose one or the other. Event-driven architectures and event streams can work in conjunction to give your business better ability to react to events in real time and accelerate your path to machine learning. The in-stream processing provided by event-driven architectures with event-streaming capabilities enable your business to respond to data in motion and eventually make rapid decisions based on all available current and historical data.

This helps make your business smarter, faster and better able to detect and solve issues.

Which is best for your business?

Event-driven architecture and event-streaming platforms both allow your business to observe, record and react to events in real time, expanding the reach of your data and providing an improved customer experience. Choosing what platforms to incorporate is a question of the scalability, flexibility and control you wish to leverage over how your events are managed.

Event-driven architecture, event streaming and IBM

IBM Event Streams is an event-streaming platform built on open source Apache Kafka that helps you build smart applications that can react to events as they happen, making it ideal for mission-critical workloads. This helps create more engaging customer experiences thanks to access to a wide range of connectors to core systems and restful APIs to extend the reach of your data assets.

IBM Event Streams is also part of IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration, a solution that includes messaging, API, application and data integration options, along with the event-based capabilities of IBM Event Streams.

Use these offerings to empower your team to make better business decisions today.

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