An old colleague asked me to explain a little about the difference between Complex Event Processing or CEP and decision management. In particular he referenced a recent series of articles by James Kobelius in which the last one (titled Really Happy in Real Time) discussed how “Complex event processing empowers the contact center to manage the customer relationship”.
Interestingly enough this whole topic – of rules, decision management, analytics and CEP – has been going on in the blogosphre recently. Check out theses posts by me on my ebizQ blog as well as related ones elsewhere:
- CEP is Not BPM, BAM, BRE, BRMS or SOA
- Smart Order Routing and CEP – Made for Each Other
- Business rules, decisions and events.
- CEP is Not Low Latency Messaging, EAI or ESB
- Still more on event processing
- More on Why Routing is Not Complex Event Processing
I am not going to repeat the whole discussion here but suffice it to say that Complex Event Processing involves Complex Event Detection/Correlation, Decision Management and Process Execution. Thus a CEP product may well have many, if not all, of the capabilities you need for decision management. Similarly, the difference between a decision management platform and a CEP one is simply the degree to which the underlying platform “understands” events and has capabilities to make it easy to detect and correlate them.
Me, I think that few companies will find that ALL decisions are part and parcel of CEP applications (any more than they will find that all decisions are tied to business processes) and will find it useful therefore to consider a CEP environment that handles decisions well, a Business Process Management environrment that does likewise and a core decision management environment. This might all use the same rules engine or analytic execution engine but from an enterprise architecture point of view it is important to think of them separately.