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Forrester on event processing and business rules


Last month Mike Gualtieri and Charles Brett published “Must You Choose Between Business Rules And Complex Event Processing Platforms?” In this they ask and answer a question that has come up a fair bit recently:

How can you choose between investing in a business rules platform and a complex event processing (CEP) platform? The answer is not as easy as saying “a business rules platform is for rules” and “CEP is for events.”

Mike and Chris make the very valid point that both CEP and BRMS products “facilitate more-agile application development by providing specialized tools that enable both developers and business users to externalize business logic” but that this does not make them equivalent or even substitutable. Like me they find the fact that rules, and analytics, appear in both contexts as part of a broadly overlapping set of terms confusing. Nevertheless they conclude that business rules and CEP products/approaches:

  • Are both capable platforms
  • Share characteristics but are also different
  • Complement each other

And they go on to emphasize the value of a CEP platform to correlate events “across a voluminous stream of incoming events” while focusing a BRMS on the automation of decisions. I could not agree more. In fact I wish Forrester would take the lead and start talking about Decision Management plaforms instead of business rules platforms.

It is a great little piece – highly recommended for anyone who has been wondering how to plan for both CEP and business rules/decision management. You can get it here if you are a Forrester client and it can be purchased separately.

If you read my blogs then you will know this is a topic I have addressed a few times. For instance: