Businesses spanning every industry are undergoing tremendous disruption and change as the need for faster, more accurate, and cheaper application development tools increases exponentially. The digital age has brought with it significant opportunities but putting systems in place that make the most of these opportunities is easier said than done.
As business leaders scramble to keep up with the competition, and improve the rate at which their businesses operates, one technology has stood out among the rest, event-driven architecture (EDA), the backbone behind event-driven applications.
So, what is EDA? Gartner defines it as “a design paradigm in which a software component executes in response to receiving one or more event notifications.” One of the simplest and most widely known use-cases for EDA is an app that most of use all the time (usually following one too many drinks at the bar). No, I’m not talking about the latest dating app. I’m talking, of course, about Uber.
When you request a ride on the app, a flurry of events instantly spring into action: your location is determined, the system looks for nearby drivers, drivers are alerted and sent a notification, the driver is routed to your location, and finally the best route is determined, and you are taken to your destination.
All of this happens in real time. There is no human sitting at a desk at Uber, connecting you with a driver when you want one, then directing the driver to the place you want to go via the most efficient route. All these perfectly timed events occur because an event-driven application enables real-time human-machine collaboration.
Uber is just one of the many event-driven applications that we use daily; we just don’t recognize we are using EDA technology a lot of the time. Despite EDA being unrecognized by the vast majority of businesses, Uber's founders were able to build a very successful business powered entirely by the real-time, event-triggered capabilities of event-driven applications.
Even if you work in a well-established organization, here are the 5 reasons you need to adopt event-driven applications for your business:
- Vastly Improves App Development and Iteration Speed
One of the biggest challenges facing development teams today is the increasing complexity of applications and the infrastructure they run on. One of the biggest features of the latest generation of platforms for making your app real-time and event-driven is the ability to abstract away massive amounts of code through a low-code development approach such as the one used by VANTIQ. Less up-front development time means your business saves money and your go-to-market time is much faster.
But any developer knows the work isn’t complete once an application is “finished”; in fact, for a lot of businesses this is when the actual work begins. Being able to quickly and easily iterate on and evolve your applications is what truly allows your business to digitally transform.
An oil refinery running its entire operation using a real-time event-driven application can’t afford to shut down its operations for weeks at a time when an addition to the refinery requires new code to be written. Being able to drag and drop new elements directly into your application gives your organization the agility it needs to operate in the digital age.
- Enables Real-Time Human-Machine Collaboration
Imagine for a moment you are the proud owner of a leading renewable energy company. Traditionally, when a maintenance issue arises on one of your wind turbines, a stack of logistical work instantly ends up on your plate: finding the closest field service workers, informing them of the issue, coordinating the correct tools to bring to the job site, routing the worker to the correct turbines, the list goes on. Businesses in the digital age can’t operate efficiently with overly manual processes, they need to be event driven.
Now imagine you are the proud owner of a leading real-time event-driven renewable energy company. Smart sensors on the wind turbine detect higher than normal temperatures coming from the gearbox. The system immediately takes action, automatically taking the turbine out of service to prevent any further damage. Next, the system locates the nearest field service worker and relays the maintenance issue details, a live data feed of the turbine, and the specific tools required to complete the job. Finally, the field service worker is routed to the malfunctioning turbine and the real-time status of the repair is continuously updated in the system. All of this happens between the field service worker and your event-driven application.
No extraneous human involvement is required, leading to reduced costs and increased efficiencies. That’s the power of event-driven applications.
- Allows Distributed Applications to Communicate in Real-Time
Let’s face it, no product/service has everything. Luckily, there is usually a tool already developed that solves almost any problem your business could have. The challenge comes when you try to take these distributed (and sometimes quite different) programs/data streams and make them communicate in real-time to run your business at the speed it needs to operate. This is another place where event-driven architecture shines.
Using a traditional development approach, connecting an outside source to your application is a serious undertaking, requiring a significant monetary and time investment, and, in some cases, a disruption in service while the changes are made.
With event-driven applications (specifically those built on VANTIQ), you can connect data streams to your application using built-in enterprise connectors. Have a data source that isn’t already built-in to the platform? No worries, VANTIQ allows you to build any enterprise connector your heart desires using Extension Source Software Development Kit (SDK). With event-driven applications (specifically those built on VANTIQ), you can connect data streams to your application using built-in enterprise connectors. Have a data source that isn’t already built-in to the platform? No worries, VANTIQ allows you to build any enterprise connector your heart desires using Extension Source Software Development Kit (SDK).
- Build Real-Time, Mission Critical Applications
In the business landscape, success and failure is measured in a matter of seconds. Today’s applications need the speed and agility that EDA delivers. A database centric architecture simply cannot keep up with the real-time needs of business in the digital age.
If we take our renewable energy example from earlier, imagine the repercussions of not being able to react to the overheating gearbox in real time. What started out as a short service outage and a relatively simple fix could now turn into a catastrophic failure of the entire turbine.
Think about how Uber works. Their entire business would not be able to operate if it was built using a database-centric framework. People use Uber because it makes their lives easier. If you had to wait ten minutes for the dispatch center to contact all drivers in your area every time you needed a ride, people would still be using taxis.
- Future-Proofs Your Business
If there is one thing business leaders collectively have nightmares about, it’s being left in the dust by their competition. We are at a turning point in technology and therefore a turning point in how businesses operate. The future of applications will be event driven, not because it’s a nice to have feature, but because it is a necessity to run at the speed of real time.
The question isn’t if you need to move to real-time, event-driven applications, it’s when. Technological innovations are increasing at an exponential rate and show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Society is sitting at the bleeding edge of many extremely disruptive technologies, such as object recognition, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, just to name a few. This means applications aren’t getting any simpler.
Luckily, you don’t have to digitally transform your company by building these technologies from scratch. By adopting an agile, event-driven architecture you can be sure your business is prepared for whatever the future brings.
Want to learn more about event-driven applications and see how companies like Ford and SoftBank are using this technology to transform their business? Join us at VANTIQ GPS 2019, October 22 – 23, 2019, in beautiful San Francisco CA. Seating is limited so register now!