(Richard Tibbetts is the Chief Architect for StreamBase, co-author of a recent paper with Oracle entitled Towards a Streaming SQL Standard, and StreamBase's representative to the Event Processing Technology Symposium, or EPTS).
There has been swift and strong response to the paper that Anand Srinivasan (from Oracle) and I presented last month at VLDB in Auckland. The paper, Towards a Streaming SQL Standard (download a PDF of the paper), seems to have touched a nerve in the community. All of a sudden, everyone is very excited about standards, and has an opinion to share. Some, such as Louis Lovas of Apama, perhaps concerned about being left behind, have been predictably negative and discouraging. Opher Etzion from IBM shared a balanced, constructive point of view. And then others have used this advancement as yet another excuse to re-hash the tired debate about "what is CEP?" (we have provided no link to these discussions because the debate is pointless).
I'd like to address some of the mis-perceptions about this paper, because it's easy and deceptive to leap to the conclusion that "Oracle and StreamBase have proposed a new standard." Instead, there are two key points to bear in mind when reading our work:
#1. This is an academic paper. The goal of this paper is to advance standardization discussions by raising the processing model as a core element of any CEP standard. With event processing, when the results are produced can be as important as what the results are. That is, the same answer, produced later, is not the same answer. In SQL standardization, which deals with finite result sets, timing has not been a problem. In CEP however, it is a difference between implementations. The paper doesn't take a position on which existing approach is best. It merely states the problem. The paper doesn't propose a standard. It proposes one solution to one problem in standardization, as part of a broader effort. We think this is an important observation, revealed by hard work and research. We leave it to the community to decide if this observation is as important as we think it is.
#2. Standardization is a very slow process. StreamBase is dedicated to standardization. But standardization is a long process, and we've been working on it for almost 5 years. And we will continue that commitment. It will be years before we have a complete complex event processing language standard, with multiple conforming implementations. There will be open standards bodies, and lots of work between groups of vendors to resolve their differences. In the early stages, it will likely be the smaller groups that make more progress. Sure, we have a bias: we think SQL is a great foundation to start with. But we're happy to debate all approaches, and examine deeply the tradeoffs, just like we did with the Oracle research.
So StreamBase hasn't declared "victory" in standards; we are simply moving the discourse forward. I'm pleased that the community has responded strongly, because reaction means the debate has advanced. We think thoughtful standards research is the best way to continue to promote standardization, and the rising tide of CEP, because a rising tide lifts all boats. And we encourage all CEP vendors to do the same.