What is an Event Driven System?

Modern organizations typically utilize several applications for each aspect of their business model. For example, restauranteurs may use one application for employee scheduling and an entirely different platform for payroll management. The demand for data management, analytics, and integration is at an all-time high. The ever-changing conditions in the field of data science have left many business owners searching for ways to improve their workflow methods through business intelligence models and machine learning. When considering the many facets of data science application, questions regarding the definitions and usage of an event driven system may arise. Read on to learn more about event streams, event logs, and how each new event can impact your organization when you use event driven architecture.

System Basics

A more commonly used term for event-driven systems is event-driven architecture or EDA. EDA is a software design pattern utilized when decoupled applications need to subscribe to or publish events through an event or message broker asynchronously. This event stream processing system is a means of building enterprise IT systems that allow the free flow of data between microservices and applications in real-time. This streamlined process eliminates the need for request and response data updates because an EDA will readily provide the information. Real-time updates mean faster reactions and a more meaningful allocation of resources.

What constitutes an event?

Anything that happens within or to your organization can be categorized as a new event. This may include inventory updates, customer intake, or sensor readings. Thankfully, the built-in event broker keeps track of which events within the database each application needs to be alerted to and filters out irrelevant content.

What are decoupled applications?

Decoupled or loosely coupled applications communicate without specific knowledge of where they are sending or receiving information. The decoupling process refers to splitting an application into independent components. These smaller application cohorts are often referred to as microservices. Microservices can drastically enhance your system’s agility. Understanding decoupling is crucial to understanding event-driven architecture because one of EDA’s primary functions is to enable decoupled applications.

How does EDA work?

An event broker acts like a middleman who plays an integral role in the event-driven architecture process. Through an event broker, data surrounding events is shared without requiring a follow-up response unless purposefully implemented. The lack of dependency between whichever applications are sending and receiving data is what defines decoupling. A simplified way of thinking about EDA is by examining the notification settings in your phone. If you are waiting on an important work email but notifications are disabled, you will have to repeatedly check and refresh your inbox.

Now, picture the notifications settings as the event broker, the work email as the event, and you as the system. You have input your interest in the work email to the broker by switching email notifications to “on.” Now, instead of incessantly refreshing your inbox for the necessary update, the broker knows you need that information and has taught itself to recognize the work email as a new event to report to you. It will not communicate with you until the event occurs, and it will not notify you about anything other than the emails you enabled.

How can you ensure events are routed to the proper applications?

The contents of an event are described with a hierarchical text string called the “topic.” This metadata lets publishers know what topic to send the event. Applications register their interest in events by subscribing to the topic. The event broker then executes the delivery, and all subscribers will receive an event notification. Subscribers need to subscribe to only the events it needs; the event broker handles the filtering process. Accordingly, a publisher must only send a single event to the event log or topic, and the event broker will step in for distribution.

Key EDA Concepts

There are a few architectural concepts that these types of systems must adhere to for maximum efficiency—for example, eventual consistency, event mesh, and deferred execution. More in-depth information regarding event-driven architecture, real-life applications, and supporting concepts are available on TIBCO’s website. As an industry leader in data science software, TIBCO retains videos, blog content, and additional resources essential for adapting different services into your organization.

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