Tibco chair on event-driven technology.

I Find Karma (adam@milliways.cs.caltech.edu)
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 19:57:36 -0700 (PDT)

[Yes, I actually wrote up this summary myself. The amazing thing is, we
all know what a big nothing push is from a technology standpoint. And
yet, it's a multibillion dollar a year industry, it seems... --A.]

Infoworld has an interview [1] with Vivek Ranadive, the CEO of Tibco
[2]. Tibco, who claim themselves to be the leading provider of push
technology, is now trying to take that technology out to a broader
market. According to Ranadive, "Push is the term for an event-driven
technology... in the event-driven model, not only does the information
come to you, but it's always current... For event-driven information, we
invented the reliable subject-based multicast [standard]." This
standard --- for which Tibco is putting their patent out in the open so
companies like Microsoft can use it in their formats such as the Channel
Definition Format --- is better than traditional push, because it does
not flood the server and the network; instead, custom events flow as
needed through the system.

Ranadive goes on to say how "event-driven technology is the first
fundamental change in computing in forty years. For the last 40 years,
the model of computing is what I think of as the database engine model.
But the new model of event-driven computing is one that I describe as
information-centric computing." It's taken Tibco 10 years and hundreds
of millions of dollars to develop its event-capable middleware. But
that effort has paid off --- Tibco has gotten vicious competitors to
agree that Tib [Tibco's Information Bus] is the way to go: "3Com will
embed it in every network card; Cisco in every router. We've got Oracle
and Informix pushing this into every database that they have. And we're
also working with Microsoft and JavaSoft."

But not all of event-driven technology has been ironed out: modeling and
reasoning about the correctness of event systems, from the simplest
publish-and-subscribe on up, remains a difficult chore for the people
who set up these systems. I believe there is some fundamental research
in this domain that remains to be done, and this will probably be the
focus of my own research agenda for at least the next year or two.

[1] Infoworld, 7/21/97, page 57
[2] http://www.tibco.com/


I was really impressed with Hawaii from several perspectives, but
available chicks was not one of them.
-- Joe Kiniry