Friday, December 14, 2007

Streambase (yet again ...)

After vowing to bypass Streambase in my CEP engine evaluation, I may be forced to eat crow. I agreed to let Streambase into the evaluation process because I need to have two CEP engines in my project ... one as primary and one as "cold backup". And, for various reasons, Aleri and Esper did not pan out for me.

The new CEO of Streambase, Chris Ridley, came down to New York to meet with me, with his chief architect, Richard Tibbetts, in tow. They acknowledged some of the errors of their over-aggressive marketing, and told me about their sharpened focus on the financial industry marketplace.

They also let me have an eval version of Streambase that is not constrained by any license key, and in the interests of expediency, they graciously allowed me to bypass their eval agreement (which would have taken weeks to make it through my company's legal processes at this time of the year).

I installed Streambase on my laptop. My first impressions are ..... "slick". In other words, all the superficial, glossy stuff that gives the initial impression to a prospective customer is all there. Nice documentation with plenty of graphics, a great interactive tutorial, etc. I was "warned" that Streambase puts a lot of time into their studio and help system, and I can definitely concur. Nice job, guys.

I am going through the tutorials now. Several things jump out at me right away:

1) They use Eclipse as the foundation of their Streambase Studio. I am quickly becoming a fan of Eclipse, especially the way that you can automatically update Eclipse plugins.

2) The development methodology is more "file-based" than the other products. A familiar paradigm to Java/C# developers.

3) There are two ways to develop apps. The Event Flow method uses a GUI-based method. You can also program in StreamSQL. Unfortunately, there is no tie-in between the Event Flow and the Stream SQL files. In other words, unlike Coral8, if you make a change in the Event Flow, it does not get reflected in the StreamSQL file. In your project, you can have multiple Event Flow files and multiple StreamSQL files. I would love to be able to develop in either system, and have them automatically translated to the other system.

4) There are certain things that you need to do in the Event Flow system that you cannot do in StreamSQL. There are comments in their demo programs to this effect. I would welcome a document that outlined these differences.

5) I noticed that the icons used in the tool palette are identical to the ones that Aleri uses. Interesting. Someone looked at the other company's product.

6) Richard Tibbetts and Mark Tzimelson are very respectful to each other's work. Nice to see that kind of respect at the technical level.

©2007 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

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