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May 07, 2012

CEP Commands Database Deathwatch

With the evolution of new platforms that enable rapid data processing, the trusted old databases of yore are beginning to gather dust in the halls of large enterprise computing.

As some in the complex event processing camp argue, the database’s day has come and gone as more businesses seek agility and hyper-response times through event-based approaches.

Well over a year ago, StreamBase CEO, Mark Palmer, laid down a heavy list of ways that complex event processing would change the enterprise business intelligence landscape. While you can read the entire list here, a good part of it focused on how static data just isn’t enough to enable competitive use of data.

These sentiments were echoed recently by execs at TIBCO—a company that is on database deathwatch as it looks to the future of real-time streams that enable business competitiveness.  

Raj Verma,VP of worldwide marketing at TIBCO, says that databases are still something of a “necessary evil” since companies need to store their data somewhere. However, he contends that this “data at rest” model is not a competitive way to view enterprise—it should be handled in a way that allows for fast, efficient use.

Verma claims that his CEO, Vivek Randive firmly believes that databases are done with and that the enterprise of the future is an event-driven enterprise.”

According to Verma, “Making decisions solely on what’s captured in databases gives you a very thin view of what’s happening in your organization. You have to marry that historical data with data in motion.”

The TIBCO exec says that even large retailers don’t make use of the right platform for rapid turnaround on this active data.

“The amount of data WalMart has about its customers would fill 130 libraries of Congress,” he says. “What they do with that data is analyse it, and then send out coupons and marketing material weeks later. I don't think that is a very effective marketing strategy.

“Compare that to Amazon.com which gives you a recommendation right then, by marrying your recent behaviour with your historical data," he says. "It's a perfect combination of data at rest and data in motion.”

Verma points to 20% year over year growth due to TIBCO’s emphasis on the “data in motion” concept. This is at the core of their Business Events complex event processing platform, for example, which moves beyond leaving data at rest for later retrieval—it, like other similar platforms, allows users to see otherwise hidden patterns across a stream of events among several applications within the enterprise.

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