Sources have told me the complex event processing market collapsed around five to six years ago.   So, I logged into our old CEP community, the Complex Event Processing Community and indeed I wanted to confirm or get a status update.  So, I posted there a few days ago asking for an update on what’s going on in CEP land, but no cigar.   It’s certainly a hollow ghost town over there.

Why did the CEP market collapse so fast and so hard?

Even though I was out-of-the-picture at the time, scuba diving and enjoying my time in Asia, I can guess.

My best guess is that the buzzword and the promise of CEP was just way too far ahead of the technology curve to actually make it happen.   It’s a very hard problem to create situational knowledge from streams of simple data and much less from huge clouds of diverse, unfiltered, unformatted, “diverse” data.

So, since the buzz of CEP was well ahead of the power curve to actually “do it”; CEP vendors just “dumbed it down” to less least common denominator.

This, in my view, is the main reason the CEP market collapsed around five years ago.    The same can be said for other very good ideas head of the power curve.  “Artificial Intelligence” is the big one that comes to mind first.   “Situational Awareness” is another huge tech area that also comes to mind.  There are others; but all those roads lead to the same “holy grail” of machines process information like we humans.  This includes machine learning and other similar tech areas which are required for higher levels of machine processing and “machine cognition”.

CEP was simply a very good idea that was way ahead of it’s time and so the CEP market as we knew it five to ten years ago is dead.   Very dead, it seems.


  1. Well, as we all know, “stream processing” is not “complex event processing”. In fact, one could easily make the argument that “stream processing” was the vine that strangled CEP. Anyone who still believes that “stream processing” is “complex event processing” simply does not understand what complex event processing is and the technological challenges that lie ahead to actually create actionable situational knowledge from clouds of data. “Stream Processing” is simply pattern matching on a stream of data. That is not CEP and so it does seem the stream processing advocated just hijacked the CEP buzzword and eventually help destroy the CEP market.

  2. An aggregation-oriented CEP solution is focused on executing on-line algorithms as a response to event data entering the system. A simple example is to continuously calculate an average based on data in the inbound events. Detection-oriented CEP is focused on detecting combinations of events called events patterns or situations. A simple example of detecting a situation is to look for a specific sequence of events.

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