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Enterprise Messaging and Event Streaming – perfect partners for modern IT environments

By Matt Sunley posted Fri March 31, 2023 09:42 AM


Imagine you’re building a shed. You have a hammer and nails for boards that need to
withstand shear pressure, and a screwdriver and screws for the joins requiring superior tensile strength. Now let’s make it more challenging. Try banging in the nails with the handle of the screwdriver and driving in screws with the hammer. With enough force it can be done, though with a lot of extra effort and mess which seems a shame given both tools were right there in the toolbox.

So it goes with enterprise messaging and event streaming. Both technologies cater for a wide range of asynchronous communication patterns but are specialised for different use
cases. Those less familiar with the two technologies have tended to declare one way or the other as the future; however, the two together enable IT teams to serve all modern application needs as well as expand to new use cases where the two technologies complement one another.

Enterprise messaging gives you an ideal approach for applications to request and coordinate processing tasks. Conversational messaging enables those applications to communicate over a task, typically using a request/response pattern, though request only (fire and forget) is also available. There is a focus on targeted reliable delivery between the parties, including once-and-once-only assured delivery and transaction coordination for mission critical activities. The messages themselves are only stored until the task is complete, which makes messaging extremely lightweight and inexpensive in terms of system resources.

Event streaming gives you the ability to capture a continuous stream of events representing business dynamics across your environment and make them persistently available for retrieval. This shared event store enables scalable consumption for tens of thousands of applications with minimal performance impact. The ability to replay over events suits applications that are not looking to request processing, but rather spot those events, or patterns of events, representing important business situations that need to be acted on in the moment. These “event triggers” can then be used to drive automation, such as business processes, digital assistants or decisioning.

Often, the processing being handled by enterprise messaging represents exactly the type of business dynamic that is interesting from an event perspective. We want enterprise
messaging to process that order, update inventory levels or modify a customer’s details. We also want event streaming to capture that occurrence so we can factor it into our decision making, identifying an opportunity or a threat and taking the next best action. Tapping into messaging networks to source events is a popular pattern, and one which is being increasingly supported by connectors that translate between messages and events as well as dedicated integration capabilities, such as the ability to source events from messaging interactions without disrupting or reconfiguring existing applications.

There you have it enterprise messaging and event streaming are the perfect connectivity partners. Now let’s build that shed the right way!