Friday, February 29, 2008

Visualization Vendors and .NET

We have seen a whole slew of enterprise visualization products lately ... Tableau, Spotfire, RTView, and others that I cannot talk about.

Almost none of these vendors have components that can be embedded in a .NET UserControl. Almost all of these visualization suites are complete desktop or web-based apps. Many of these DO NOT deal with real-time, streaming data.

One of the vendors that has addressed the .NET component market is Panopticon. This company is slowly moving beyond there core competency of Heatmaps and are staring to offer various other useful visualizations.

To the visualization vendors who call me and are puzzled why I have not considered their products ... we need .NET components. We have a container that hosts different "applets" that run at the same time, each applet containing a .NET UserControl that, in turn, contain different visualizations.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

New Coral8 5.2 Released

This is from the Coral8 website. You may recognize some of these enhancements as things that may have been deficiencies when I detailed my use case a few months. Some of the enhancements catch Coral8 up to some of the features that its competitors have. (ie: Bucket Windows)

Good job, boys!


Coral8 Engine Release 5.2 Now Available

Coral8 is pleased to announce the general availability of the Coral8 Engine Release 5.2. It is available for immediate download. The Coral8 Engine

Release 5.2 contains a wide array of new features and enhancements including:

  • Queryable (Public) Windows

  • Automatic Event Causality Tracking in CCL Pattern Queries

  • Single-Match Patterns

  • "Buckets" Window

  • Edit and Debug Perspectives in Studio

  • PAM User-Authentication Plugin

  • Coral8 Portal

  • Custom Charts API

  • Streamlined UI for Managing Dashboards and Users

  • Java 1.5 SDK (Preview)

  • Messaging Layer Improvements

  • Access-Control File Changes

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 24, 2008

2007 Bonus Satisfaction Poll

Here Is The City has its annual Bonus Satisfaction Poll going on. Here are some updates. Looks like the Back Office was not too happy at most firms.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

CEP Engines and Object Caches

I am curious if any of the CEP vendors have support for getting data from distributed object caches. It is easy to feed data into a CEP engine through JMS (Tibco EMS), sockets, flat files, standard databases (SS, Sybase, Oracle, DB2). But, has anyone integrated an object cache like Gemfire, Tangasol, and Gigaspaces with any CEP engine?

I also notice that Gemfire RTE claims to have CEP capabilities.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Of Pipes, CEP, and Traders

In our Complex Event Processing system, we will eventually want to be able to give a front-end to our traders which will let the trader develop ad-hoc streaming queries on real-time streams. We also want to allow the traders to implement their own analytics by doing back-testing on several years’ worth of data.

I have been looking at Yahoo Pipes a bit recently, and it is conceptually the same thing as the kind of GUI that I have been envisioning for the traders. In Yahoo Pipes, you can take the output of one or more high-level objects and pipe it into the inputs of another high-level object.

Here is an example of a Yahoo Pipes gadget:

In our simple use case, let’s say that we define high-level objects that are of interest to traders. Such objects could be

a real-time market data stream,
a historical market data stream,
a real time order flow stream and cache,
a historical order flow stream,
a ticker-to-sector mapper and filter, and
some calculation modules.

These are the kinds of “queries” that we built in the Complex Event Processing engines (Streambase, Coral8, Aleri, NEsper) during our evaluation process. However, just like Domain-Specific Languages (DSL) can be created to make developing applications in a certain domain easier, we can make a domain-specific version of Yahoo Pipes that is geared for analyzing Equities data.

Once the trader has put together his Pipes, the result can be translated into one of the languages that the CEP engine supports. If we encapsulate the code generation module, then we can have code generators for Coral8, Streambase, Aleri, NEsper, and others. I am pretty sure that all of these engines allow you to dynamically register and unregister queries. You can dynamically read the status and output of the CEP engine and feed it back into the GUI.

Aleri and Streambase have GUI builders for their developers that look a lot like Yahoo Pipes. However, the GUIs are not packaged as toolkits; in other words, you could not take the Streambase GUI and adapt it for your own needs. Coral8 does not really have a fancy GUI builder; as mentioned here before, their GUI is fairly spartan. NEsper/Esper does not have any kind of GUI to speak of, as their model of embedding the engine inside of an application is different that the model used by the other vendors.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Digipede Video

John Powers of Digipede has weighed in with a short, 4 minute, painless video to watch on how you can treat a single multi-core machine as a grid.

John is one of the good guys of our industry.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

IT and Pay Practices

Jules sent me this interesting link about Gartner's study of IT pay practices.

One of the things that I noticed during this last bonus season was, despite all of the sturm and drung in the news, companies managed to come up with the money to handsomely reward its most valued IT employees. Almost all of the people who I know and respect on Wall Street and in The City managed to receive upside surprises on their bonus numbers this year (or if they didn't get it all in bonus, then they got increases in their base).

All of the companies on Wall Street are moving at a rapid pace to nearshore/rightshort/offshore a lot of their IT. This includes my company as well. DLG reports that nearshoring to Panama is working very well for his company. He goes down to Panama every few weeks, sees what his devs are working on, and then returns to the US with a disease that they now use penicillin to cure. But, how do you properly motivate these employees? As Garter says, "Performance management and reward systems will need to recognize and motivate the “out-of-sight” workforce."

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cayuga and SOA Conference

Thanks to Marco for a pointer to Cornell University's Cayuga Project. It's a CEP engine, it comes with source code, and it's free. Unfortunately, my megabank needs a full ecosystem, and the support model of an actual company, so this disqualifies Cayuga from further consideration. However, it would be interesting to see if the Cayuga people go off and form a commercial venture around this. (Jeremy, are you reading this?)

The SOA/WebServices panel was a success. Thanks to Tom Steinthal for inviting me to participate. A lot of the crowd was interested in CEP and the interaction of CEP and SOA. After the panel discussion, I was mobbed by a lot of vendors... something that I explicitly wanted to avoid. I would rather have been mobbed my my bank's competitors to engage in some general information sharing. I am very curious to see if CEP has moved out of the very "linear" world of algo trading and pricing.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fixnetix vs Wombat

I have heard of some companies starting to look at Fixnetix as a possible replacement and/or alternative to Wombat for low-latency market data feeds.

Has anyone done a bakeoff between the two? How about Activ?

Wombat is starting to promote its stack that include Coral8 for CEP/latency monitoring and OneTick for a tick database. Reuters has the same with Streambase and Vhayu. This means that Fixnetix and Activ will probably be looking towards that direction as well. Can an alliance with Aleri be in the cards for any of these vendors?

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved