Book Excerpt - Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies

Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies by Mani Chandy and Roy Schulte provides a high-level overview of events processing. The book starts off with the basics – what events are – and moves quickly through other important terminology and key concepts, laying the groundwork. The book moves on to real-world applications that event processing is well suited for and then explains in an in-depth, yet not overly technical, manner how event processing handles those problems. From there, Schulte and Chandy get into some more detailed information about event processing, including industry standards and best practices. Chapter 9 may be of particular interest, as this is the chapter where the book gets into incorporating events with SOA.

The following is excerpted from Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies by Mani Chandy and Roy Schulte (McGraw-Hill; 2009) with permission from McGraw-Hill:

Introduction to Events and Event Processing

An event is anything that happens. A business event is an event that is meaningful for conducting commercial, industrial, governmental, or trade activities. Examples include receiving a customer order, making a bank payment, experiencing a power outage, changing a customer address, suffering a network security breach, detecting signs of attempted fraud, hiring an employee, and spotting change in a competitor's price. Events small and large take place all day, every day in every corner of a company and its environment.

A fundamental characteristic of events is that they cannot be entirely foreseen – a company doesn't know in advance when an event will occur or the details of the event's nature. Customers place orders competitors change prices, and dishonest people attempt fraud according to their own wants and needs, not on a schedule or plan known to the company or its employees.

A company, person, or animal is said to be event-driven when it acts in direct response to an event. The event acts as a stimulus, triggering some reaction. Some events represent threats that must be addressed. For example, a zebra that encounters a lion on the savannah will be event-driven to run away as fast as possible. Or a bank that picks up signs of credit card fraud will be event-driven to stop accepting charges on that card immediately.

Other events are positive opportunities that can be exploited. For example, a sales manager who receives a report that snow blower sales in the New York region are exceeding expectations will be event-driven to order an extra shipment of snow-blowers to take advantage of the market conditions. A trader who detects a price difference for a certain commodity in two different markets will be event-driven to buy in one market and immediately sell in the other to profit from the arbitrage.

To find out more about the book, you can take a look at the listing for Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies on the McGraw-Hill Website or download  Chapter 1: Event Processing Overview.

This was first published in October 2010

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