Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News The Complex Event Processing Forrester Report

The Complex Event Processing Forrester Report

This item in japanese



In his new post, Complex Event Processing Is Cool - And Very Hot! , Mike Gualtieri discusses event processing which is often called "complex event processing" (CEP), which is a hot new enterprise middleware category. Mike gives the following definition of CEP:

CEP answers the question: "What is happening right now in our business?" Sometimes the answer is as simple as ordering more products when the inventory dips below safety stock, but often it involves recognizing patterns of business events that foretell critical business situations that require immediate action.

CEP platforms analyze streams of data as they flow from live sources such as transaction flows, click streams, market data feeds, and myriad other sources of data swirling around inside a business environment. The platforms then prompt either downstream applications or people to react to the information by resetting processing priorities, changing online sales strategies, buying and selling stocks, or performing some other action.

A new Forrester report - "The Forrester Wave: Complex Event Processing (CEP) Platforms Q3 2009" - evaluates most popular CEP platforms using 114 criterions. According to the report:

One of the unique things about [CEP] is that it can detect patterns of events... Intelligence isn't just about knowing what is happening. It's [about] looking ... at ... the patterns in real time... You don't get that [knowledge] by looking at a data warehouse - that's too late. It's what happened and it's historical.

The report identifies the following companies as CEP leaders:


  • Progress is considered by the report a step ahead of the rest of the market and continues to execute well. Acquisition of United Kingdom-based software provider Apama, provides further opportunities for Progress expansion.
  • Aleri is as a strong product backed by a strong strategy. Its offerings are further expanded by the acquisition of Coral8 this March. According to the report the future of the platform rests in the combination of the two products - original Aleri and Coral8. The rolled-up offering is likely to provide expanded application visualization tools, additional tools for business users, and more solution templates and frameworks.
  • StreamBase Systems has an installed base of 75 customers. A large portion of these installations is in financial services companies taking advantage of the larger steaming-data platform.
  • Tibco Software has a market presence second only to Progress. Known best for its business integration and process management software, TIBCO sells CEP as an add-on solution.
  • IBM provides two CEP offerings. WebSphere Business Events, based on 2008 acquisition of AptSoft, allows users to define the business events they are interested in detecting. A second CEP offering called InfoSphere Streams, introduced this spring is built to get organizations up and running very rapidly. The intelligence could be used in highly complex fields such as military intelligence. According to the report it is not clear how the two IBM CEP products will fit together. The report also notes that none of the other vendors have anything like InfoSphere Streams.

The report also considers the following companies as strong performers:


  • Oracle. The report notes that Oracle got into CEP later than some of the leaders in the space. Oracle’s CEP product is part of the Oracle EDA Suite and it is currently unclear exactly how many customers are using the solution.
  • UC4. As a result of SENACTIVE acquisition this summer, UC4 currently has a well-rounded portfolio of vertical industry solutions.
  • EsperTech is the only open-source vendor on the Wave list. According to the report, EsperTech doesn't have a lot of the tooling that the bigger platform providers have, but it has the core engine that is embeddable into third-party solutions.

Many of today's business and IT leaders understand the importance of reacting to business events as they occur in real-time and how that can dramatically change the performance and agility of their business. The CEP tools described in the report can be used to achieve this purpose.

Rate this Article


Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Community comments

  • Drools Fusion

    by Mark Proctor,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Hopefully Drools fusion will make it into the next report :)


    Drools Project Lead Drools Blog

  • Intelligent Event Processor (IEP) on GlassFish

    by Jim Bethancourt,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I noticed Sun's offering -- Intelligent Event Processor (IEP) is available under the CDDL license and is embeddable without any legal reprecussions. It looks full featured and has a good number of tutorials and a sizeable amount of documentation as well.


  • Re: Intelligent Event Processor (IEP) on GlassFish

    by Alex Vasseur,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    The following page actually lists all "solutions" past and present.

    Hopefully, I believe that is exactly what Forrester work was about: distinguishing from "look" to "is", weighting "technical", "business" and "established presence" criteria.
    If I make a bet, I believe IEP will have an unclear future with Oracle'Sun acquisition, but that Microsoft StreamInsight will make its entry next time...

    Jim - found the following in CDDL FAQ - which obviously is a repercussion
    "If I use code licensed under the CDDL in my proprietary product, will I have to share my source code? Yes, for any source files that are licensed under the CDDL and any modifications you make. However, you don't need to share the source for your proprietary source files."

    Alex (Esper)

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p