It's my pleasure to introduce Pierre-Henri Clouin, an ILOG colleague, for this post on Complex Event Processing (CEP). CEP has emerged as one of the "hot topics" in the rules space over the past 12 months. Pierre-Henri is based in Sunnyvale, California and has spent several months looking at the technical capabilities of the CEP products as well as how they are positioned. His first post provides a nice introduction to the subject matter.
Pierre-Henri Clouin, ILOG
As interest grows in CEP, we have started receiving inquiries about how CEP and BRMS compete with or complement each other. After discussing with customers, prospects, and vendors, and reviewing a wide range of use cases, a few patterns have emerged.
CEP shines when:
- event data rates are very high, typically in the 100,000s events per second, and with multiple event streams;
- latency is low, typically in the millisecond range;
- flat data model, simple data type;
- a few stable rules/ statements/ queries (a few dozens at most) are deployed for filtering, joins or aggregate computation.
These core capabilities are well documented. For additional details, Mark Tsimelzon’s CEP Complexity Scorecard summarizes them very effectively.
On the other hand, a BRMS addresses three critical needs:
- rich rulesets, typically ranging from a few dozens to tens of thousands of business rules;
- a complete lifecycle management environment for business rules, empowering technical and business users to author, manage, simulate and retire business rules;
- extreme agility with the ability to update business rules in as little as a few minutes.
ILOG BRMS does not compromise on performance either, as have shown benchmarks and actual deployments with demanding customers, such as some of the largest websites, payment networks, underwriters, and telecom operators.
The map above sums it up: a CEP engine complements a BRMS for use cases with large data rates, low latency, and rich decision automation and management. The CEP engine pairs down the volume of events and only passes interesting events on to the BRMS to perform a rich decision process. Examples abound, notably in fraud management and national security.
Conversely, CEP overlaps with BRMS at the low end of data rates, latency requirements and rulesets. This is the area where we’ve seen some confusing accounts and claims and where a CEP engine provides limited value on top of a BRMS.
In upcoming posts, we will continue to explore and discuss best practices surrounding BRMS and CEP. We encourage you to reach out to us with related experience and questions.