Key Benefits of Event-Driven Architecture for Your Business

Key Benefits of Event-Driven Architecture for Your Business

Wojciech Gębiś - November 10, 2022

Do you want to make your business more efficient and scalable? If so, you should consider event-driven architecture. This approach has many benefits that can help your business grow. In this article, we will discuss the key advantages of event-driven architecture and how it can benefit your business. We’ll also provide some examples of businesses that have successfully implemented this approach. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your digital transformation and improve your IT infrastructure, event-driven architecture is definitely worth considering!

The Geometric Complexity of the Standard Request-Response Model

As modern IT systems grow, with new applications and services added to the infrastructure, the request-response model can become quite complex. First, if you want to ensure all parts are connected, you need to define a request and a response for each interaction. For example, if Service A needs data from Service B, it will send a request to Service B asking for the data. Once Service B has processed the request and retrieved the data, it will send a response back to Service A with the requested data.

As the number of services within your infrastructure grows, you need also to support all the possible connections that grow geometrically in comparison to the number of services supported.

This process works well when there are only a few services involved, but it can quickly become unmanageable as the number of services grows. In addition, each service needs to be able to handle requests from other services in the system, which makes it challenging to add new services or update existing ones without affecting the entire system.

Event-driven architecture (EDA) is an alternative approach that can help simplify the complexity of modern IT systems.

What Is Event-Driven Architecture?

Event-driven architecture is a software design pattern that allows for event-driven communication. This means that instead of the traditional request-response model, the event-driven architecture uses an event-based model. In this model, producers generate events, and consumers consume them.

Diagram of an event-driven architecture style

Ok, but What Are Events?

In an event-driven architecture, an event is a record of something that has happened. This can be something like a user clicking on a button, an IoT sensor reading, or an error occurring in a system. New events can also be generated by humans, such as when an employee logs into a system or other business events. A singular event is produced only once but can be consumed by multiple event consumers.

Event driven architecture pattern: event channel based on publisher-subscriber model (pub/sub model)

Event Producers

An event producer is anything that can generate an event. In most cases, event producers are applications or services.

Event Consumers

An event consumer is anything that can consume an event to trigger some kind of action. Event consumers can be either services or applications.

All applications and services can act as event producers and consumers at the same time. The components act independently without knowing anything about each other. It is the event broker that allows event producers and consumers to communicate with each other rather than direct communication.

Event broker enables independent communication and loose coupling between. the components

An event broker is a piece of software that acts as a central message hub for event producers and consumers. It is responsible for routing events to the correct consumers.

To understand how all the components interact with one another, let’s look at an example of event-driven architecture applied in a logistics system that needs to process orders and payments, plan transportation, track shipments, and trigger analytics.

In an event-driven logistics system, event producers can be the following:

  • An order management system that generates an event when a customer places a new order
  • A payment processing service that generates an event when a payment is made
  • A transportation management system (TMS) that generates an event when transportation needs to be scheduled
  • IoT devices placed on trucks that generate events with real-time data on truck parameters (GPS, engine parameters, fuel levels, etc.)
  • A shipment tracking system that generates an event when a shipment arrives
  • A real-time analytics system that generates an event when data needs to be processed

Event consumers can be the following:

  • An order management system that consumes events to update the status of an order
  • A payment processing system that consumes events to update the status of a payment
  • A transportation management system that consumes events to schedule transportation
  • A Track & Trace System that consumes events to update the shipment tracking module

The event broker acts as a central message hub for the logistics company that routes events to the correct consumers. Instead of connecting all the components together via REST APIs, they are all connected and communicating with each other through the event broker.

Example of an event-streaming platform for a logistics company

Apache Kafka is an excellent example of an event-driven, reactive system. It is designed to handle large volumes of data with low latency and high throughput. It is also fault-tolerant and highly available.

If you want to dig deeper into various features of designing data-intensive applications, head over to our recent article: Future According to Designing Data-Intensive Applications.

Key Benefits of Event-Driven Architecture

There are many benefits of event-driven architecture, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular. Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages:

Loose Coupling of Systems and Separating Business Logic

Loose coupling is one of the main benefits of event-driven architecture. In a traditional request-response model, each component is tightly coupled to every other component. If any one component changes, it can break the entire system.

Event-driven applications are naturally loosely coupled because applications communicate with each other via events that flow through a dedicated pipeline. Decoupled applications make it easier to develop, test, and deploy applications independently from each other. You can easily add new components or different microservices without affecting the existing system. And if you need to change or remove a component, it is much easier to do so without affecting the rest of the system.

Asynchronous Communication

In the traditional request-response model, each component has to wait for a response from the other component before it can continue. This can cause bottlenecks and slow down the entire system.

In an event-driven approach, components can communicate asynchronously. This means that one component can send an event and move on without waiting for a response. Benefit? It makes the overall system more responsive and resilient.

REST API vs. Event-driven API

Scalability and Ease of Adding New Consumers

An event-driven application is very scalable because it is easy to deploy and integrate new applications or individual services without affecting the existing services. You just need to write a new event consumer subscribes to the events published by the current system. You can also move consumers without the need to notify other downstream systems, thanks to logical separation.

High Throughput and Low Latency

An event-driven architecture can handle heavy traffic with a large number of events with low latency. Message broker makes it an ideal choice for applications that need to process a large number of messages in real-time, such as financial trading systems, social media applications, and gaming platforms. That’s because the overall system is designed to process events independently from each other by separate event channels.

Fault Tolerance, High Availability, and Resilience

EDA is a very robust architecture because of its decentralized nature. If one event consumer goes down, the other consumers can still continue to work. This makes the system more tolerant of a single point of failure and helps it achieve high availability.

Tools that implement event-driven architectures, like Apache Kafka, are designed to be a highly available and fault-tolerant systems. Kafka, for instance, uses a replicated log data structure that ensures that messages are persisted to disk with an immutable log and, therefore, never lost and that each event is processed at least once.

Apache Kafka has the ability to re-sync nodes that have failed and restore their state from a replica. This function helps decrease the amount of time a system is non-operational in the event of a node failure and guarantees that the data is always able to be accessed.

Improved User Experience

EDA can help improve your customer experience because of a better overall efficiency that enables you to respond quickly to events and take action as things happen. This means that you can provide a more responsive and real-time user interface. As it is more responsive and resilient, users are less likely to experience delays or service downtime due to service failures.

Enabling Push-Based Communication

In this architecture, applications can communicate with each other via push-based communication. That means the event producer doesn’t have to wait for the consumer to request new data. The producer can just push a new event notification as it is generated.

Decreased Costs

Because event-driven architecture is easier to develop, test, and deploy, it can help businesses save money on infrastructure and development costs. And because EDA is more fault-tolerant, you will have fewer downtimes and less need for technical support.

Support for Real-Time Analytics and Big Data Applications

An event-driven architecture can provide a real-time event stream that can be used for data science and data analytics. That event stream can be used to build dashboards, run machine learning algorithms, or do any other type of data analysis.

Solid Pipeline for Machine Learning Models Deployment

Event-driven rendezvous architecture for machine learning models deployment

Business Resilience and Agility

If you have an event-driven architecture in place, your business can be more agile and resilient to changes. That’s because event-driven architecture is designed to be decentralized and scalable. As your business grows, you can easily add new services. As you get more traffic, the message broker can handle higher throughput. As your business processes change, you can seamlessly update necessary components without having to make changes to the underlying infrastructure.

When to Choose Event-Driven Architecture to Improve Your Business?

Event-driven architecture can be a great choice for businesses, but it is not the panacea to every IT infrastructure challenge. If you have a small business with relatively simple IT needs, EDA might be overkill. In that case, more traditional architecture might be a better choice. EDA can also be challenging to implement and manage. So, if you don’t have the internal resources to do so, it might not be the right choice for you.

So, when would it be a good choice?

You Need Real-Time Analytics

Some businesses need to be able to do event processing in real-time to make decisions quickly. For example, you might need to be able to detect fraudulent activity as it is happening within payment systems or do real-time order processing for a dynamic pricing engine. Event-driven architecture can provide you with a real-time event stream that you can process instantly as events occur.

You Want to Improve Communication and Collaboration Between Business Units

Event-driven architecture can help businesses improve communication and collaboration between different business units as it makes data more accessible. That’s because EDA is designed to be decentralized and scalable.

You Want to Apply Novel Technologies Like Artificial Intelligence to Your Business

Event streams are a great, structured data source that can be leveraged by machine learning models and other novel technologies.

You Want to Scale Your Business in an Agile Way

If you need to be able to scale your IT infrastructure quickly and easily, event-driven architecture will be a good choice. That’s because EDA is loosely coupled and is designed to be scalable. As your business grows, you can add new services and components without having to make changes to the underlying infrastructure. Event-driven architectures also handle high throughputs easily, so you don’t have to worry about your message broker becoming overloaded during peak traffic times.

You Are Looking for a Secure and Reliable Way to Manage Business Operations

One of the benefits of using an event-driven architecture is the increased security and reliability it provides.

You Want to Prepare for the Future

EDA is a great architectural approach for companies that are looking to future-proof their IT infrastructure. That’s because event-driven architecture is designed to be flexible and adaptable to system changes.

Examples of Businesses That Have Successfully Implemented Event-Driven Architectures

Most Fortune 500 companies have successfully implemented event-driven architectures at scale. Some examples include online payment processing companies, retailers, and logistics businesses. If you’re looking for brand names, we may list Uber, Tinder, LinkedIn, Netflix, Pinterest, or Zalando.

How to Get Started With Event-Driven Architecture for Your Business

Overall, event-driven architecture can be a great choice for businesses that want to improve their user experience, decrease costs, or support real-time data analytics and big data applications. But it is not the right choice for every business. Before implementing EDA, make sure you understand the pros and cons and whether it is the right fit for your organization.

If you decide event-driven architecture is the right choice for your business, there are a few key steps you need to take to get started:

  1. Define the events that will trigger a response from the system.
  2. Select the event processing engine that will power your event-driven architecture.
  3. Set up the event streams so they can be easily processed by the event processing engine.
  4. Develop event-based applications that respond to events in the event stream.
  5. Monitor and manage your event-driven architecture over time to ensure it is running smoothly.

To learn more about event-driven architectures and how they can benefit your business, contact us today. As experts in software engineering, we would be happy to answer any questions you have, and we will navigate you through the event-driven architecture landscape.

About the author

Wojciech Gębiś

Wojciech Gębiś

Project Lead & DevOps Engineer

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Wojciech is a seasoned engineer with experience in development and management. He has worked on many projects and in different industries, making him very knowledgeable about what it takes to succeed in the workplace by applying Agile methodologies. Wojciech has deep knowledge about DevOps principles and Machine Learning. His practices guarantee that you can reliably build and operate a scalable AI solution.
You can find Wojciech working on open source projects or reading up on new technologies that he may want to explore more deeply.

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