Traditionally, when computers and software programs needed to communicate over a network, they would use the request/response system. With this message exchange pattern, the first computer sends a request for data over the network, and the receiving computer responds to the request by either delivering the data or denying access. This architecture served fine for simple events, but the fact that a computer waits for every step in the process means that request/response is no longer suited for modern computing involving big data and complex event streams.
Organizations today are much better served by using event based architecture (also known as event driven architecture or EDA) since this pattern is able to react to multiple event notifications at once and respond to them in near real-time. This is incredibly useful in an ever-connected world, especially with the rise of the Internet of Things, thanks to Wi-Fi and higher speeds. These days, it isn’t necessarily a human that’s sending requests for data.
Automated systems need to be able to communicate rapidly, sensors can transmit temperature or safety information instantly, and microservices are allowing businesses to combine all their services in one loosely connected package (like an application or website). Here are just a few of the biggest ways that EDA changes digital service.
Reduced Operation Costs
EDA gives you the ability to push a series of events toward services as soon as the events appear, meaning that fewer individual event calls need to be made within your applications. This helps you scale back your bandwidth usage for each type of event, and you’ll save on CPU usage for event stream processing as well.
Additionally, if your applications rely on third-party APIs, you can save on costs for each call within an event channel. This may not add up to much for a smaller company, but for a large enterprise that handles tens of thousands of event streams per day with practically unlimited data, it can make a significant difference.
Improved User Experiences
It’s always harder to bring in new customers compared to retaining your existing ones, so ensuring customer satisfaction with the best services is crucial. Mobile devices and high-speed internet have caused customers to expect instant responsiveness.
An event stream broker, such as Apache Kafka, not only helps connect event consumers with event producers in near real-time in your own applications, but it also makes it easier to connect customers with third-party services. With compatible application programming interfaces (APIs), you can also provide instant visualizations for services and quote prices accurately.
For example, if you’re an ISP offering unlimited broadband plans, you need to provide a way for potential customers to quickly browse your plans and find the one that works for them based on factors like Mbps, upload and download speeds, and subscription costs and additional fees.
Thanks to rapid stream processing, customers can conveniently browse visualizations of your plans for select areas and even pose queries regarding internet service to agents through event messages. This level of convenience can make a world of difference for both your business and your customers. EDA also simplifies complex events, such as sending orders and shipping updates to customers, so everyone is always kept up to date.
Scalability and Resilience
One of the most important aspects of any digital transformation is scalability. Software solutions need to evolve with your needs and an event driven architecture pattern allows for the efficient development of new software and services that can fit into your business at any stage. Since all events are now traveling through a centralized message broker, it’s easy to connect new services and build upon them. This saves you from having to make manual point-to-point integrations for all of your solutions.
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EDA also means that individual services within the event stream don’t have to depend on each other. While one service going down will almost certainly create delays in the event channels, the entire stream won’t be crippled because of one error. This means your other services will still be able to continue, largely unaffected, so you can keep your business on track, and consumers can still engage with your services.