As IBM, Oracle and others combine middleware elements to create Complex Event Processing (CEP) engines - or Business Event Processing Managers, or eXtreme Transaction Processors (the terms are still fluid) - Tibco, a pioneer in CEP, is discussing its BusinessEvents Enterprise Suite 3.0.
IDC pegs Tibco as the largest CEP vendor with 40.5% of the market in 2007. Today's product additions are meant to maintain the lead.
Tibco describes CEP as the ability to rapidly respond to potential problems or take advantage of emerging opportunities – traits most firms would like to boast. BusinessEvent 3.0 adds an Events Stream processor that includes a query language for pulling events from active data streams; a Distributed Business Events distributed cache and rules engine for high scalability; and a Decision Manager that lets business users write rules that establish how events are handled.
At times, aspects of Complex Events Processing have been a bit like "rocket science," suggested Maureen Fleming, program director of BPM and middleware program for IDC. The Tibco software eases rules-based development, allowing business-side users to set the tone for CEP, she indicated.
"A rules engine is kind of complicated for business users or non-developers. Tibco has done a lot of work on the user interface. It is a 'business-usable UI,' and that is important in this market," she said.
Tibco's most famous successes have been in the realm of Wall Street apps. With the new product, the company hopes to take CEP technology into the mainstream. Such touches as a "business-usable UI" can better enable CEP to move beyond its market-data processing base. Tibco lists baggage claim tracking and processing for major airlines, supply-chain optimization in the distribution sector and cross-sell/up-sell programs for credit card companies among the mainstream applications where BusinessEvents 3.0 can help.
"There are a lot of people who have the knowledge or the rules of thumbs on how things get done in a business," said Alan Lundberg, Senior Product Manager, TIBCO Business Optimization Products. "These are the people that know the patterns - that a problem is going to happen. These people with the domain expertise are few and far between." With the new software, he said, these same people are better enabled to write the rules that run the business.