Wrong Way Go Back
Wrong Way Go Back

In respose to CEP is Not BPM, BAM, BRE, BRMS or SOA, fellow blogger Mark Palmer posts, Smart Order Routing and CEP – Made for Each Other.   Mark does a good job describing his perspective on smart order routing (SOR), yet his counterpoint that SOR is “complex event processing” is quite unconvincing.

I agree with Mark that SOR is important and very interesting; but in his reply he seems to be confusing CEP with “complex EAI” or a “complex messaging” application.  For example, Mark says,

“It’s not uncommon for a single SOR system to connect to 10 or more markets and multiple asset classes.  Not only is this a confluence of events, it’s a stunningly complicated environment in which to create a complex, real-time model in which to apply “simple” routing decisions. On this basis alone, SOR needs CEP.”

Connecting to many market feeds with multiple asset classes might be complicated, but “complicated connections” are an EAI  (adaptation layer) function, not a core CEP function.   In fact, TIBCO Software has been doing this type of low latency back-office order routing for many years, and TIBCO historically calls this “messaging.”  Adding some rules to high speed, low latency messaging does not make it a “CEP” application.

Mark goes on to set up a counter argument to ILOG’s Changhai Ke, comments with,

“SOR operates by analyzing the confluence of events from market data feeds, order flows from OMS systems, and executions, aggregating and analyzing those events in real time, and adjust routing decisions on the fly.”

This is the well travelled argument the “new stream processing vendors in capital markets” have been saying, still unconvincingly, for the last few years.  Basically their perspective is that if you have a lot of “feeds” and a core requirement for “speed” – “feeds and speed” – you are doing “complex event processing.”

Mark Palmer forcefully stated his opinon that the folks who do not agree with him do not “understand” modern day SOR.    However,  a strong counter argument can be made that the “newcomers” to capital markets like StreamBase do not understand that “feeds and speeds” with order routing is little more than moderan day EAI.   This is a basic message routing capability and it has been around for a long time.  After all, Wall Street operated quite well before the term CEP was coined!  TIBCO technology was providing Wall Street back office, low latency, smart order routing a decade ago, and they called this technology “messaging”.

So, I remain unconvinced, at least by Mark’s passionate counter post, that SOR is CEP.   SOR, as Mark and other have described it, is a low latency messaging technology.  Message routing rules have exisited in this technology space for decades.

I agree with Mark completely that low latency EAI (like SOR has been described) can be quite complex, from a “feeds and speeds” perspective.   However,  I remain skeptical that “feeds and speeds” is much more than  modern day messaging and message routing.

In closing, in the network and security management world we have been dealing with “myriad feeds and speeds” for as long as I can remember, but admitted not like capital markets.    Taking myriad feeds, running rules against the feeds and then routing the messages/events for further processing, regardless of the complexity of the feeds and the data, is actually more of a messaging/ESB technology than a CEP technology.

I remain completely open minded to any convincing counter arguments.