Defining the language of complex events

The Event Processing Technical Society, an organization formed in June by Complex Event Processing bigwigs to collaborate on the future direction of event processing, has announced its first deliverable: a glossary of terms designed to provide “a common language for developing applications and software infrastructure that use event processing concepts”.

The glossary is available for download (PDF) while EPTS members can also comment and make suggestions on its wiki. It is based on an initial glossary published by David Luckham and Roy Schulte in late June. The glossary has three goals:

  • “to accelerate the learning of the event processing concept;
  • to further community communication by enabling practitioners to utilize common concepts and terms; and,
  • most importantly, to provide a foundation for analysis and the development of best practices, publications and industry standards.”

The glossary should also useful in defining the CEP sector for outsiders given the widespread use of apparently interchangable phrases such as Event Stream Processing, Event Processing, Stream Processing and Complex Event processing.

Here’s some edited highlights for the uninitiated.

Event: Anything that happens, or is contemplated as happening.”

Event (also event object, event message, event tuple): An object that represents encodes or records an event, generally for the purpose of computer processing.”

Complex event: an event that is an abstraction of other events called its members.”

Complex-event processing (CEP): Computing that performs operations on complex events, including reading, creating, transforming or abstracting them.”

Event stream: a linearly ordered sequence of events.”

Event Stream Processing (ESP): Computing on inputs that are event streams.”

Simple really. For the full context, you are encouraged to refer to the full glossary.