Software development is adapting to the way the world is working as the way the world is working adapts to software.
In 2018, Gartner highlighted event-driven architecture (EDA) as a major driver of development in the tech and software sector. Or, in more media-friendly speak: a ‘top trend’. Among its forecasting, Gartner stated that by 2022:
- Event notifications will form part of over 60% of new digital business solutions.
- Over 50% of business organisations will participate in event-driven digital business ecosystems.
- 50% of organisations managing APIs will incorporate mediation of event notifications into their operations.
- Most leading providers of application platforms will include high-productivity tools for event-driven design.
Gartner – as usual – seems to have a pretty accurate crystal ball. The increased prominence of EDA in a broad range of sectors was notable earlier this year, with the launch of EDA Summit, the first global event devoted to the advancement of event-driven architecture in business. The Summit gathered business leaders, architects and technologists, with speakers from organisations as diverse as space agency NASA, business comms platform Slack, retail giant IKEA, and telco Vodafone.
What united the attendees, though, was the desire to provide better customer experiences, more efficient operations and greater agility. The hope – as predicted by Gartner – was that this can all be achieved with EDA.
But what exactly is event-driven architecture? Is it really the panacea that Gartner and others have forecast? And how likely is it that those 2022 predictions will be realised this year?
What is event-driven architecture?
Let’s refer back to Gartner on this one. The organisation defines EDA as ‘a design paradigm in which a software component executes in response to receiving one or more event notifications. EDA is more loosely coupled than the client/server paradigm because the component that sends the notification doesn’t know the identity of the receiving components at the time of compiling.’
This might make perfect sense to a technologist or developer. But for any business leaders or for those less familiar, EDA is a software architecture and model for application design which enables real-time user interactions. EDAs are a set of asynchronous communication patterns used to decouple Microservices. Decoupling allows you to build, test and deploy microservices independently.
An ‘event’ is something that happens and can be communicated via an event notification. A ‘command’ is a request from a party to produce a response, and can be communicated via a message.
In contrast to the traditional request-driven model, many application designs today are event-driven. These include platforms for things like customer engagement, which involve real-time processing and use of customer data.
What does event-driven architecture look like?
The keynote of the EDA Summit opened with some great examples of EDA in action: a truck arriving at a depot and a notification being automatically sent to dispatch a team; a technical failure triggering the dispatch of an engineer; a delay in a plane taking off triggering a notification to passengers; the slowing of a cargo ship resulting in its arrival time being updated.
EDA means all of these things can happen in real time. And, as the summit’s opening presentation highlighted, this allows businesses to be more agile and resilient, to win customers, build partnerships and retain employees.
Will EDA be big in 2022?
According to Gartner – yes. Here at AppDrawn, we can see that it’ll still be more of a gradual transition developmentally but this is a concept that is tipped to cause a serious re-think about how software is put together.
First, the benefits and value of EDA are huge. Customers can draw attention to events that require focus from customer experience agents, for instance. It offers an ability to more easily connect front-end and back-end systems across an IT stack, in real time. The model also enables faster time to market for applications and reduced costs.
Second, covid-19 and the pivot to digital, as well as the growth of the remote workforce, have accelerated the pace of digitalisation. We’re seeing major disruption, with technology and digital services transforming business operations and customer experiences. Customers themselves now assume that these experiences will be interactive and conducted in real time. Everything is getting ever-more connected: from our homes and cars, to medical devices, animals, robotic machinery, and so on. All of this demands connectivity between applications and networks. EDA enables all of these things.
Still confused by event driven architecture and how it can help your business and customers in 2022? Get in touch – we can talk you through the benefits and how EDA fits with our business software and application development services.