Where Real-Time Dashboards Fit

The benefit of stream processing is the ability to react in real time. So why do some vendors include a dashboard? "The minute you put a human in the loop, you're not talking millisecond [response]. Dashboards are fundamentally long-latency kinds of things," says StreamBase Systems CTO Mike Stonebreaker. The value of stream processing lies in the ability to provide a closed-loop system that analyzes the event and reacts in real time, he argues.

That's the ideal, says Tim Bass, principal global architect at Tibco Software. But the reality is that in many cases, human intervention may be required. No one is going to turn down a transaction if the system is only 70% sure that the buyer is committing fraud, he says. The trick is to correlate those events with other historical data streams to boost the confidence level to 99%. "Then you have capability to take automated action," Bass says.

Dashboards definitely have their place, says Celequest CEO Diaz Nesamoney. "The dashboard is there more for status check," he says. "In many applications, it's not as though something is going wrong all the time. You also want to know when things are running fine, what are my call volumes right now. You can see that visually."

Celequest's Performance Dashboard

Celequest's Performance Dashboard

(Click image to see larger view)

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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