Seems like Microsoft have now gone public on the Microsoft TechEd site that they have a Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine that will be coming to market shortly (see MagmaSystems blog post). One of my colleagues Mark Woodgate attended a briefing event at Microsoft for this technology back in February this year – here’s an extract from some internal notes that Mark made back then:
“Microsoft CEP is very similar to StreamBase conceptually (and not unsurprisingly), in the sense that there are adapters and streams and how you merge and split them via some kind of query language is the same. However, StreamBase uses the StreamSQL which as we have seen is SQL-like in syntax but Microsoft CEP uses LINQ and .NET and although conceptually it is doing the same thing, it does not look the same. StreamBase’s argument was you can be an SQL programmer to use it and don’t need lower-level like .NET; however, it’s not SQL really as it has all these ‘extensions’ you have to learn so using .NET might look more tricky but in fact it makes sense. They don’t have a sexy GUI yet for designing CEP applications like StreamBase but it will be done in Visual Studio 2008.
Currently, you build various assemblies (I/O adapters, queries and functions) and then bolt them all together, called ‘binding’ by command line tool. You then deploy the application onto one or more machines using another tool so it’s a manual process right now. They are aware this needs to be made easier and more visual. They are allowing other libraries to be bolted in via the various SDKs so it’s pretty open and flexible. It works well with HPC and clusters/grids (or so they say) and of course can be used with SQL Server. The CEP engine also has a web interface based on SOAP so at least non-Windows based systems can talk to it”
The release of this technology will be an interesting addition to the CEP market and to the Microsoft technology stack in general. Assuming performance is at credible levels (i.e. not necessarily leading but not appalling either) it will certainly bring both technical and commercial pressure to bare on existing CEP vendors (see earlier post on Aleri/Coral8) and has the potential to broaden the usage of CEP. Obviously Linux-Lovers (sorry, I didn’t mean to be personal…) will not agree with this, but Microsoft is putting together an interesting stack of technology when you see this CEP engine, Microsoft HPC and Microsoft Velocity coming together under .NET.