Event Driven Integration
Event-Driven Integration or Event-Driven Architecture is the core of the design principles of RoboMQ Integration platforms, including Connect iPaaS. The event-centric view treats events as first-class citizens, which are the cause of triggering a set of activities. A workflow is essentially a set of responses and actions are executed in response to the trigger.
Event-Centric vs. Data-Centric View¶
Event-Centric view treats events central to any workflow. The Data-Centric view on the other hand revolves around the data. Traditional data warehousing is an example of a Data-Centric view. With the event of the APIs and Event-Driven Architecture (EDA), the application design as well as the integration is moving to the Event-Centric view.
Events are the triggers or the cause that start an activity or a set of activities collectively called a workflow.
- Events are the reason why things happen.
- Data is the attribute or the characteristic of the event that defines it.
- Events have cascading effects in the workflow that are called actions or the responses in reaction to the events.
The real natural world around us is essentially event-driven. We wake up when the day breaks. We change our driving routes when there is congestion ahead. We eat when we are hungry. Similarly, in the business workflows, events drive the actions, for example:
- When an order is created in the order management system, a fulfillment process is triggered in the supply chain.
- When the goods are shipped, an invoice is generated and sent to the customer.
- When a lead downloads a whitepaper, she or he is enrolled in a lead nurturing workflow in the marketing automation platform.
In each of these cases, there is an event, which will trigger a set of actions and these collectively define a workflow.
The data about the events as well as actions is important however, the key distinction in Event-Driven Integration is that the data is the characteristic of the event describing it and therefore, the event takes priority or is central to the workflow.
Events, Actions, and Workflow¶
Events, actions, and the workflow are the key concepts for an event-driven integration platform. These concepts are central to how the business workflows are designed and modeled on Connect iPaaS.
We will take a simple business use case from the supply chain to describe the above concepts.
Let's take an example of an organization that uses Salesforce for order management. The e-commerce application, say is hosted on Magento to create an order which generates the same order in Salesforce. One of the components of the order is a service component. This particular service component is fulfilled by an external vendor that uses ServiceNow for field service management. Additionally, the remaining items of the order are fulfilled by a warehouse that uses a warehouse management platform provided by NetSuite.
What is an event?
In the example above, the primary event that triggers the sequence of activities is the buyer placing an order via Magento, an e-commerce platform. This event triggers the placement of an order in Salesforce, which may be done by an API call or an integration.
The creation of the order in Salesforce can also be treated as an event if we look to order creation in Salesforce as the starting point of the remainder of the workflow or the sequence of activities.
What is an action?
An action is a response to what is triggered when an event happens. In the above example, the creation of order in Salesforce can be treated as an action in response to order placement in the Magento e-commerce platform by the buyer.
Similarly, the creation of an incident in ServiceNow field service management to fulfill the service component of an order is an action. Other actions in this example are the creation of fulfillment requests to one or more of the warehouses to ship the part of the order.
What is Workflow?
A workflow is the collection of events and actions where the actions are the responses to the trigger event. This group of activities is what accomplishes as a business process is called a workflow.
In the above example, the complete scenario or a section of it can be called a workflow. If you start from the order placement in Magento to be considered as an event, the whole scenario is a workflow. However, if you consider order creation in Salesforce as an event, then the subsequent part of the activities in the above scenario will be considered a workflow.