Event-driven architecture, also known as EDA, is a technique that uses events and event streams to better communicate between services that are most commonly decoupled. EDA relies on specific event triggers for alerts and notifications to fire correctly but it greatly enhances cross-service dialogue. Event-driven architecture, as a whole, is fairly common in most modern devices built with microservices in mind.
An event itself is any given change in state that a service or system can register. This can include a shopper placing an item into a digital shopping cart, a site update, or even user engagement metrics. For data-rich enterprises, it’s important to be able to track this data and use it to develop actionable insights. To understand the basics of EDA, here’s what you need to know.
Components of EDA
So, what is EDA and how does it work? Event-driven architecture is typically broken down into three separate pieces. These are known as event producers, event routers, and event consumers. These three pieces denote the average lifecycle of any registered event. Given the name, you’ve likely suspected that an event starts with the event producer. In an event-driven architecture, the event producer develops or publishes an event. Again, this event can take many different forms such as clicks, completed web forms, or opt-ins. The event producer then starts the event stream and pushes the published event through the event router.
The job of the event router is to filter through these different events. In many complex systems that handle advanced analytics, an event won’t simply go to a designated endpoint or end-user. Many event-driven systems have myriad pathways that they rely on. The event router interprets the event and filters it through to the correct event consumer. Unless you’re working with a simple system that only requires an event to move from Point A to Point B, the event router is a critical component of your overall system architecture.
Then, the event is received by the event consumer. You may be wondering why event producers and consumers aren’t more closely tied together. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, event production and consumption systems and services don’t need to have direct access to one another. In fact, the services that rely upon your event-driven architecture are best left decoupled. One service shouldn’t have any overall knowledge of another service. By using this tactic, your system is providing for independent scaling and deployment. When you’re only working with one service at a time, you can scale it much more rapidly than you could an interconnected service web.
Event-driven architecture offers a variety of benefits to enterprises and organizations across numerous markets. As mentioned, EDA allows for independent scaling. When services scale independently, they can also fail independently. If you rely on interconnected services, it’s almost like a strand of lights. When one bulb burns out, it impacts the entire strand. However, when you approach your services independently, one service’s failure won’t condemn your entire system.
EDA also offers cost-savings and financial benefits. Due to the push-based nature of event-driven architecture, you’re experiencing events on-demand as they pass through the event router. This provides less bandwidth consumption, fewer required CPU resources, and less idle fleet capacity, all of which can impact your bottom line in a significant way.
This technique also makes auditing that much easier. Your event router is essentially your centralized audit system and allows you to define policies more effectively.
If you’re working in an industry that handles large swaths of events on a daily basis, it’s likely time to invest in event-driven architecture. From the economical benefits to the greater insights into your data, it’s a worthy upgrade for any brand.