A Survey Of Streaming SQL

The latest issue of CACM has an article entitled “Data In Flight” by Julian Hyde (chief architect of SQLstream). The article is a survey of streaming SQL technology and how it may apply to ever increasing datastreams.

I will also highlight two small items out of the article. The first is an assertion that web application authors are generalists:

The technologies for powering Web applications must be fairly straightforward for two reasons: first, because it must be possible to evolve a Web application rapidly and then to deploy it at scale with a minimum of hassle; second, because the people writing Web applications are generalists and are not prepared to learn the kind of complex, hard-to-tune technologies used by systems programmers.

And second, about 2/3 of the way through the article he finally makes the logical connection to CEP, and throws in an aside about an ongoing religious war. Is this the CEP/Rete debate that I am aware of, or some other debate?

CEP has been used within the industry as a blanket term to describe the entire field of streaming query systems. This is regrettable because it has resulted in a religious war between SQL-based and non-SQL-based vendors and, in overly focusing on financial services applications, has caused other application areas to be neglected.

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One response to “A Survey Of Streaming SQL”

  1. Karl

    My take on this – which I have tried to express in blogs in the past- is that these wars are all caused by the confusion introduced by how CEP vendors position their offering.

    Each vendor appplies its marketing spin on the discussion: http://tibcoblogs.com/cep/2009/08/21/cep-versus-esp-an-essay-or-maybe-a-rant/
    Of course, in that view CEP is the superset of everything – including production rules. I reminds me of the assertion made at ORF that BPM is a specialization of CEP…
    I have listened to presentations which describe whole systems – from fraud management to originations management – as “CEP instantiations”. That’s an incredibly confusing generalization.

    As you know, there are other positions which attempt to make a very clear and dogmatic distinction between event processing, business processes and busines rules. See: http://www.edmblog.com/weblog/2008/11/an-attempt-at-demystifying-cep-bpm-and-brms.html – which is the perspective I support. I find it clear, each technology / approach has a clear objective, and where they meet and how they interact is clear.

    Our decision management industry will fare much better once we clarify all these things.


    P.S. also note that there is confusion also introduced by talking about SQL-based CEP approaches. They are not SQL-based, they just happen to use a SQL-like syntax for the continuous query capabilities.
    Another souce of confusion…

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