Event processing hots up

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There have been several developments lately that suggest that the demand for event processing is hotting up. The first was the announcement by BEA that it was entering the event processing market with a product of its own. I will write more about this in a subsequent article.

Secondly, there was the acquisition of Spotfire by TIBCO, which will be used (in part) to bolster that company’s BusinessEvents platform.

Thirdly, Coral8 has announced version 5.0 of its software. This includes further developments of the language (CCL, an extension to SQL) so that there should now be no occasions when you need to use configuration files (which you previously had to do for, say, adapters) and it also includes extended event matching capabilities, which Coral8 has added at the behest of existing customers on Wall Street. The company has also introduced performance improvements as well as enhancing its monitoring and profiling capabilities.

However, it is not so much the latest release that is interesting but that the company reports that its OEM partners are now starting to generate significant numbers of sales. Indeed, in conversation, the company reports “exponential growth” in interest in this topic over the last few months. In particular, it has identified a new use case for the technology that a number of users are deploying. The company refers to this as ‘customer experience monitoring’ which combines both web experience and call centre monitoring.

Finally, and perhaps most excitingly of all, the FSA (the UK’s Financial Services Authority) will be powering its SABRE II (surveillance and automated business reporting) system based on a solution provided by the Detica Group that will be based on the Progress Apama platform. This will replace the existing SABRE system and is intended to provide a transaction monitoring and abuse detection system, which will be used to monitor trades in UK markets as well as compliance with MiFID (markets in financial instruments directive). The key point here is that the FSA believes that a significant amount (approaching 30%) of what it calls “informed trading” takes place prior to takeover announcements and, indeed, that this is a significant factor prior to all major company (FTSE350) announcements.

While the existing SABRE system has some capabilities to help the FSA in its fight against abuse it lacks the ability to monitor trades in real-time, it doesn’t have the sort of advanced monitoring and alerting capabilities that you can get from an event processing platform, and it doesn’t have the ability to look at patterns of activity over time (for example, to identify similar patterns of trades conducted by the same groups of traders over time). All of these capabilities will be provided by the new SABRE II system.

Now, SABRE II is just one application and just one sale. But it is highly visible, not to mention prestigious. The knock-on effects on banks and other financial institutions should be significant. Add that to Coral8’s successes at the OEM level (and not forgetting Progress’ own partner base), plus the introduction of new products (and not forgetting all the other products in the market such as Streambase, Aptsoft and others) and I think you can see why I think the market is hotting up.