Sunday, November 22, 2009

Anything Happening in the World of CEP?

Since starting my new job, I have not heard very much about the world of Complex Event Processing. Has the buzz disappeared?

©2009 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.


Mark Palmer, StreamBase CEO said...

Hey Marc - welcome back :)

The CEP market is cranking - watch for a steady rhythm of very important news from StreamBase over the next 2 months, but even just recapping the LAST few months, there have been several watershed moments for us, and I think for the industry. For fun, I'll put my "top 10" together:

1) Roy Shulte / Mani Chandry's Book Published This is a big deal because Roy is the most respected analyst in the world of middleware and CEP, and the presence of this book should spread CEP more deeply in the consciousness of IT outside of the capital markets. Here's a link to his book on Amazon:

2) CME Group announcement I think this is THE customer announcement of the year - and another in a series of endorsements that show that CEP is going more mainstream and broader in terms of the applications it's being used for. Here was my blog post on what CME Group is doing, why they went CEP, etc:

3) StreamBase Continuing to Rise CMC Markets, RBC, BNY ConvergEx, PhaseCapital, BlueCrest, Kairos all announce StreamBase selections. The volume of announcements reflect great progress from StreamBase. And, event better, CMC Markets, who handle over a trillion dollars of trading traffic, was public about switching from Apama to StreamBase, which I examined in this post called "Why the CEP Tide is Turning To StreamBase" yesterday:

The CMC Q&A with CIO Asif Adatia was remarkable and informative. In case you missed it I posted it here:

Mark Palmer, StreamBase CEO said...


4) Aleri making progress in capital markets? I'm sure you'll be happy to have seen Aleri making some noise in the capital markets! They had a nice customer endorsement from ITG, and a few other smaller firms, but they seem to be getting more active, especially when it comes to risk management applications, where they have an application / framework thing.

On the other hand, we've had some very nice response to our offer to switch off of Aleri, and won some excellent customers due to concern about Ohio and what the future Aleri product line looks like, but I obviously don't have much info there, the Aleri guys don't brief us :)

5) Adoption of CEP in Brazil CEP adoption has exploded in Brazil, mostly led by Apama (they have the strongest local support). We had a nice announcement that was covered by the FT. Here was my blog post on it:

6) Microsoft Stream Insight buzz. There has been some smoke about the Microsoft CEP product, but no fire. But in general the buzz from Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle has increased.

7) Some, but limited expansion outside of capital market There have been a few public endorsements / signs of adoption of CEP outside of capital markets. Apama did a few, but they were hardly mainstream names or applications, unfortunately. I think a cruise ship and a location based services app.

8) Forrester issued a report on CEP it's great to see Forrester cover CEP as a space. The report was purely paper based and only mild utility for anyone in capital markets, but at least outside of capital markets it helps raise awareness.

9) Watch this space in the next 2 months 3 weeks ago, I tweeted that StreamBase will announce a series of news that will be remarkable. It started with CMC, and is to be followed with more big news about the progress of StreamBase in particular, but also CEP in general. 3 of the announcements, in my estimation, will rank in the top 5 on this list, so maybe I'll revisit later if you wish.

Hope that's helpful.

- Mark Palmer, CEO, StreamBase

OK, I only got to 9, but that's a lot.

Paul said...

Congratulations on your new role at Citadel - great role "doing whatever it takes"


Paul Blank
Caplin Systems

Hans said...

Less buzz, but maybe there's more actual news? Less speculation about the future of CEP, more analyst comments and real customer stories.

Maybe now we're where CEP should have been all along - working its way through real projects and use cases, not speculation over whether it's the next big thing.

But I think that the lack of users blogging still says a lot.

Mark Palmer, StreamBase CEO said...

I think that's right, Hans - in capital markets, more and more questions are: "Which CEP," rather than "What is CEP?" (and the hopefully long-gone debate about CEP, ESP, etc.). Now, we see more and more RFPs for CEP.

But as we know, the capital markets is VERY secretive - just look at Marc, who has gone underground thanks to his new employer? Unfortunately, this attitude is the norm, which is why the public news is so important and indicative. And it's also why there aren't many bloggers - developers simply won't divulge their strategies to the community - that's a fireable offense if it isn't done in the right way. Ironically, the other big market for CEP is the intelligence community, and they don't share what they are doing for other reasons :)

- Mark

marc said...

Paul, thanks for your comments. I wear so many hats that "doer of whatever it takes to get done" is appropriate at this point.

Mark and Hans, thanks for the updates. Of course, mostly slanted towards Streambase's successes. But, I do not have any skin in the game with regards to CorAleri, and I still wonder if they can pull off the Ohio migration. Right now, I am an interested observer.

It's a lot of fun trying to build an investment bank from scratch.

John said...

Hi Marc,

Glad to see you back and hope you are enjoying things. Your old pals are expanding their apps and keeping us on our toes.

I concur with Marco's comments… we are dealing with real-world customer expansion now and not speculation. Not only are we seeing new customers, but our previous customers are moving on to projects 2, 3 and 4 and coming back to buy more.

Mark was kind enough to mention one of our wins and you can see more on our website if you like ( And our recent string of customer announcements is not over yet (wink, wink).

We also continue to expand outside of capital markets, which you may not care much about, but over the long term it will carry the largest load of opportunities and revenue for CEP. We announced the rollout out at a European telecom carrier, Belgacom and were deployed in another smart energy grid app at Duke Energy. We also landed another HUGE online commerce customer recently and are deployed in the heart of one of the hottest, coolest new consumer online service offerings this year which is of tremendous scale – both of which we will be talking about soon.

There is huge activity around LiveOLAP in non capital markets accounts. I've always contended that a SQL-like CEP language reduces the developer learning curve (and does). But imagine analytic developers building and running analytic models the same way they always have, but now being to run them in real-time.
Not only is the CEP market interesting and expanding, but its fun. The conversations we are having have gone well beyond what the technology can do, and moved into what analytics can and should we generate! Every customer I visit is doing something cool that I would not have expected.

Look forward to hearing about all the great things you are doing.

John Morrell

Tim Bass said...

Hi Marc,

Congrats on the new position.

A lot is happening in CEP-land -- however, those advancing processing complex events are not calling it "CEP" the buzzword that a handful claim make them CEP "pioneers", LOL.

As evident from the comments, nothing new is happening in "the same old player's" CEP vendor club, just the same the same cheer leading by the same handful of niche company employees and their fans in FSI.

Want "pioneering" complex event processing?

Look into technologies like Google Googles, where Google uses image feature extraction for image matching with Bayes-driven statistical algorithms - image recognition and context retrieval all over the net in real time.

Or, want "pioneering" CEP?

Look at where Google is going with voice-to-voice language translation over the network, where you talk into your phone and your voice is translated to text on the back end, then Google translates the text to the language of your choice (51 at the moment and headed to 100 according to Google). This is complex event processing. Google's VP of Search called this "the secret of unlocking the web."

Also, look at what is happening at CERN with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). They fired it up and it is starting to get interesting! Detecting the fundamental particles that make up our universe, with over 10K scientists working on detection and analysis in (perhaps) the most expensive complex event detection engines ever created, that is complex event processing.

Oh Hum in the "self licking ice cream cone" financial services (who have diluted the meaning of CEP to mean, "whatever we do in FSI with a stream engine". It's just the same ole same ole from the same ole folks.

Just look at you comments! It is the "lonely heart club" ... there really nothing happening in "CEP the FSI hype" verus the very exciting world of processing complex events.



Mark Palmer, StreamBase CEO said...

A quick update that CEP has garnered global attention as one of 26 of the most important technology innovations in the world by the World Economic Forum at Davos. This is one of the "big pieces of news" I alluded to in my previous list. Here's some more detail on the selection, the process, and the significance:

This recognition has captured mainstream visibility for CEP. I'll be off to Davos to speak there in January about how CEP is becoming a critical element of real-time systems.

If CEP is a lonely hearts club, I sure like the company!

- Mark Palmer, CEO, StreamBase

TheBuccaneer said...


Congratulations on the new yob.

After a long and much deserved hiatus from all things event processing, I'm re-entering the fray.

With a much different approach than what is currently offered in the market today - we're engaged in a couple of POC's highlighting use cases that the current vendors' products have a difficult time addressing.

I'll be firing up the old blog shortly and will begin commenting there.

Take care and enjoy.


Rut the Nut said...

Building an investment bank from scratch, eh?

Now that does sound like an interesting challenge :-)

All the best with your new role Marc