Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

The primary purpose of Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is real-time situational awareness about your business. BAM helps to improve the speed and effectiveness of business operations by providing access to real-time KPIs and raising awareness about important issues earlier.

BAM delivers real-time visibility into business health to ensure that service-level agreements, business commitments, and customer expectations are being met. According to the Gartner Hype Cycle for Application Integration and Platform Middleware, 2006, Business activity monitoring is the only technology… rated as high impact – enables new ways of performing vertical applications that will result in significantly increased revenue or cost savings for an enterprise.

SL's RTView is considered one of the most comprehensive and flexible BAM platforms available. Philip Howard of Bloor Research concludes in his product review, RTView is arguably the most versatile product that we have seen in the BAM/Operational BI space, as well as the most extensive. It is not only comprehensive in terms of its platform, but it is also extremely flexible and easy-to-use both for the developer and the end-user. As the product becomes more widely known, we expect it to represent the benchmark against which other such products are measured.

What Does SL's BAM Solution Provide?

RTView provides:

  • Monitoring and updating of business and operational metrics/KPIs, enabling users to evaluate conditions in real time
  • Real-time aggregation and analytics of data and events from virtually any source
  • Real-time vs. historical analysis for business context.
  • Visibility
  • Meaningful, customizable dashboards that present information in exactly the way each business analyst team
    needs to see it
  • Drill-down capabilities to solve problems before they become critical
  • Customizable alerts and reports in a wide variety of formats, notifying the right people more quickly
  • Integration with existing infrastructure software to further speed problem-solving
  • Pre-defined corrective actions

How It Works

BAM requirements can span a spectrum of complexity, ranging from simple data streams to complex event analysis. For applications where complex event processing and correlation are not required, RTView can access data directly, apply real-time in-memory analytics, and provide customized visualization. For more complex applications, RTView can be used in conjunction with a number of partner CEP and middleware solutions and will provide a high performance, interactive visualization layer with flexible client-side analytic capability.

BAM vs. APM

For SL, the delineation between BAM and APM (Application Performance Management) is becoming increasingly blurred. BAM, in its purest definition, monitors and provides visibility into business metrics such as KPIs or SLAs, whereas APM monitors the performance of applications and services that support the business. However, for many companies, application performance is so critical to their business, IT SLAs are business SLAs. And increasingly, business analysts are as concerned about application performance as they are with their KPIs. As such, while many see these as separate categories, we at SL believe that BAM is often the logical extension of a well-architected APM solution.

BAM vs. CEP

At SL, we believe the marriage between CEP and BAM approaches the holy grail of real-time visibility. However, we do see BAM (and BSM, for that matter) as a separate platform that consumes and further analyzes the output of CEP engines, along with other information across the enterprise. There is an advantage to being able to iterate or overhaul your visibility layer without touching anything in the event or process layer. And there is a further advantage in that BAM introduces a human element to CEP which otherwise is highly automated and non-interpreted. We're honored to be embedded and serve as the real-time visibility platform for almost every major CEP engine provider.

Summary of RTView BAM Capabilities

  • Real-time in-memory analytics provide support for more than 60 functions and aggregations
  • Interface to build custom analytics and functions
  • Pre-built monitoring applications for TIBCO and JMS Messaging Oriented Middleware (MOM), JMX, and Oracle Coherence Data Grid Monitoring
  • A Data Historian which enables the persistence of real-time data and events to any relational database. This supports the presentation of real-time information with historical context.
  • Complementary fit with CEP applications, providing interactive visualization and user-parameterized analytics
  • Delivery of actionable information in the form of real-time dashboards, reports, and alerts
  • Integration with a number of enterprise datasources including:
    • XML streams and files
    • Complex Event Processing (CEP) and Event Stream Processing (ESP) engines
    • Messaging Oriented Middleware (MOM)
    • JMX
    • Relational databases
    • Log files
    • RRD
    • Splunk
    • Oracle Coherence
    • Radware InFlight
    • Custom Datasources via a Custom Data Source API
    • JMS
    • OLAP
    • Excel