Chapter 4. EPL Reference: Clauses

4.1. EPL Introduction

The Event Processing Language (EPL) is a SQL-like language with SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING and ORDER BY clauses. Streams replace tables as the source of data with events replacing rows as the basic unit of data. Since events are composed of data, the SQL concepts of correlation through joins, filtering and aggregation through grouping can be effectively leveraged.

The INSERT INTO clause is recast as a means of forwarding events to other streams for further downstream processing. External data accessible through JDBC may be queried and joined with the stream data. Additional clauses such as the PATTERN and OUTPUT clauses are also available to provide the missing SQL language constructs specific to event processing.

The purpose of the UPDATE clause is to update event properties. Update takes place before an event applies to any selecting statements or pattern statements.

EPL statements are used to derive and aggregate information from one or more streams of events, and to join or merge event streams. This section outlines EPL syntax. It also outlines the built-in views, which are the building blocks for deriving and aggregating information from event streams.

EPL statements contain definitions of one or more views. Similar to tables in a SQL statement, views define the data available for querying and filtering. Some views represent windows over a stream of events. Other views derive statistics from event properties, group events or handle unique event property values. Views can be staggered onto each other to build a chain of views. The Esper engine makes sure that views are reused among EPL statements for efficiency.

The built-in set of views is:

  1. Data window views: win:length, win:length_batch, win:time, win:time_batch, win:time_length_batch, win:time_accum, win:ext_timed, ext:sort_window, ext:time_order, std:unique, std:groupwin, std:lastevent, std:firstevent, std:firstunique, win:firstlength, win:firsttime.

  2. Views that derive statistics: std:size, stat:uni, stat:linest, stat:correl, stat:weighted_avg.

EPL provides the concept of named window. Named windows are data windows that can be inserted-into and deleted-from by one or more statements, and that can queried by one or more statements. Named windows have a global character, being visible and shared across an engine instance beyond a single statement. Use the CREATE WINDOW clause to create named windows. Use the ON MERGE clause to atomically merge events into named window state, the INSERT INTO clause to insert data into a named window, the ON DELETE clause to remove events from a named window, the ON UPDATE clause to update events held by a named window and the ON SELECT clause to perform a query triggered by a pattern or arriving event on a named window. Finally, the name of the named window can occur in a statement's FROM clause to query a named window or include the named window in a join or subquery.

EPL allows execution of on-demand (fire-and-forget, non-continuous, triggered by API) queries against named windows through the runtime API. The query engine automatically indexes named window data for fast access by ON SELECT/UPDATE/INSERT/DELETE without the need to create an index explicitly. For fast on-demand query execution via runtime API use the CREATE INDEX syntax to create an explicit index.

Use CREATE SCHEMA to declare an event type.

Variables can come in handy to parameterize statements and change parameters on-the-fly and in response to events. Variables can be used in an expression anywhere in a statement as well as in the output clause for dynamic control of output rates.

Esper can be extended by plugging-in custom developed views and aggregation functions.

4.2. EPL Syntax

EPL queries are created and stored in the engine, and publish results to listeners as events are received by the engine or timer events occur that match the criteria specified in the query. Events can also be obtained from running EPL queries via the safeIterator and iterator methods that provide a pull-data API.

The select clause in an EPL query specifies the event properties or events to retrieve. The from clause in an EPL query specifies the event stream definitions and stream names to use. The where clause in an EPL query specifies search conditions that specify which event or event combination to search for. For example, the following statement returns the average price for IBM stock ticks in the last 30 seconds.

select avg(price) from StockTick.win:time(30 sec) where symbol='IBM'

EPL queries follow the below syntax. EPL queries can be simple queries or more complex queries. A simple select contains only a select clause and a single stream definition. Complex EPL queries can be build that feature a more elaborate select list utilizing expressions, may join multiple streams, may contain a where clause with search conditions and so on.

[annotations]
[expression_declarations]
[insert into insert_into_def]
select select_list
from stream_def [as name] [, stream_def [as name]] [,...]
[where search_conditions]
[group by grouping_expression_list]
[having grouping_search_conditions]
[output output_specification]
[order by order_by_expression_list]
[limit num_rows]

4.2.1. Specifying Time Periods

Time-based windows as well as pattern observers and guards take a time period as a parameter. Time periods follow the syntax below.

time-period : [year-part] [month-part] [week-part] [day-part] [hour-part] 
      [minute-part] [seconds-part] [milliseconds-part]

year-part : (number|variable_name) ("years" | "year")
month-part : (number|variable_name) ("months" | "month")
week-part : (number|variable_name) ("weeks" | "week")
day-part : (number|variable_name) ("days" | "day")
hour-part : (number|variable_name) ("hours" | "hour")
minute-part : (number|variable_name) ("minutes" | "minute" | "min")
seconds-part : (number|variable_name) ("seconds" | "second" | "sec")
milliseconds-part : (number|variable_name) ("milliseconds" | "millisecond" | "msec")

Some examples of time periods are:

10 seconds
10 minutes 30 seconds
20 sec 100 msec
1 day 2 hours 20 minutes 15 seconds 110 milliseconds
0.5 minutes
1 year
1 year 1 month

Variable names and substitution parameters '?' for prepared statements are also allowed as part of a time period expression.

A unit in the month part is equivalent to 30 days.

4.2.2. Using Comments

Comments can appear anywhere in the EPL or pattern statement text where whitespace is allowed. Comments can be written in two ways: slash-slash (// ...) comments and slash-star (/* ... */) comments.

Slash-slash comments extend to the end of the line:

// This comment extends to the end of the line.
// Two forward slashes with no whitespace between them begin such comments.

select * from MyEvent  // this is a slash-slash comment

// All of this text together is a valid statement.

Slash-star comments can span multiple lines:

/* This comment is a "slash-star" comment that spans multiple lines.
 * It begins with the slash-star sequence with no space between the '/' and '*' characters.
 * By convention, subsequent lines can begin with a star and are aligned, but this is 
 * not required.
 */		
select * from MyEvent  /* this also works */

Comments styles can also be mixed:

select field1, // first comment
  /* second comment*/  field2
  from MyEvent

4.2.3. Reserved Keywords

Certain words such as select, delete or set are reserved and may not be used as identifiers. Please consult Appendix B, Reserved Keywords for the list of reserved keywords and permitted keywords.

Names of built-in functions and certain auxiliary keywords are permitted as event property names and in the rename syntax of the select clause. For example, count is acceptable.

Consider the example below, which assumes that 'last' is an event property of MyEvent:

// valid
select last, count(*) as count from MyEvent

This example shows an incorrect use of a reserved keyword:

// invalid
select insert from MyEvent

EPL offers an escape syntax for reserved keywords: Event properties as well as event or stream names may be escaped via the backwards apostrophe ` (ASCII 96) character.

The next example queries an event type by name Order (a reserved keyword) that provides a property by name insert (a reserved keyword):

// valid
select `insert` from `Order`

4.2.4. Escaping Strings

You may surround string values by either double-quotes (") or single-quotes ('). When your string constant in an EPL statement itself contains double quotes or single quotes, you must escape the quotes.

Double and single quotes may be escaped by the backslash (\) character or by unicode notation. Unicode 0027 is a single quote (') and 0022 is a double quote (").

The sample EPL below escapes the single quote in the string constant John's, and filters out order events where the name value matches:

select * from OrderEvent(name='John\'s')
// ...equivalent to...
select * from OrderEvent(name='John\u0027s')

The next EPL escapes the string constant Quote "Hello":

select * from OrderEvent(description like "Quote \"Hello\"")
// is equivalent to
select * from OrderEvent(description like "Quote \u0022Hello\u0022")

When building an escape string via the API, escape the backslash, as shown in below code snippet:

epService.getEPAdministrator().createEPL("select * from OrderEvent(name='John\\'s')");
// ... and for double quotes...
epService.getEPAdministrator().createEPL("select * from OrderEvent(
  description like \"Quote \\\"Hello\\\"\")");

4.2.5. Data Types

EPL honors all Java built-in primitive and boxed types, including java.math.BigInteger and java.math.BigDecimal.

EPL also follows Java standards in terms of widening, performing widening automatically in cases where widening type conversion is allowed without loss of precision, for both boxed and primitive types and including BigInteger and BigDecimal:

  1. byte to short, int, long, float, double, BigInteger or BigDecimal

  2. short to int, long, float, or double, BigInteger or BigDecimal

  3. char to int, long, float, or double, BigInteger or BigDecimal

  4. int to long, float, or double, BigInteger or BigDecimal

  5. long to float or double, BigInteger or BigDecimal

  6. float to double or BigDecimal

  7. double to BigDecimal

In cases where loss of precision is possible because of narrowing requirements, EPL compilation outputs a compilation error.

EPL supports casting via the cast function.

EPL returns double-type values for division regardless of operand type. EPL can also be configured to follow Java rules for integer arithmetic instead as described in Section 13.4.18, “Engine Settings related to Expression Evaluation”.

Division by zero returns positive or negative infinity. Division by zero can be configured to return null instead.

4.2.5.1. Data Type of Constants

An EPL constant is a number or a character string that indicates a fixed value. Constants can be used as expressions in many EPL statements, including variable assignment and case-when statements. They can also be used as parameter values for many built-in objects and clauses. Constants are also called literals.

EPL supports the standard SQL constant notation as well as Java data type literals.

The following are types of EPL constants:

Table 4.1. Types of EPL constants

TypeDescriptionExamples
stringA single character to an unlimited number of characters. Valid delimiters are the single quote (') or double quote (").
select 'volume' as field1,
   "sleep" as field2, 
  "\u0041" as unicodeA
booleanA boolean value.
select true as field1, 
  false as field2
integerAn integer value (4 byte).
select 1 as field1, 
  -1 as field2, 
  1e2 as field3
longA long value (8 byte). Use the "L" or "l" (lowercase L) suffix.
select 1L as field1, 
  1l as field2
doubleA double-precision 64-bit IEEE 754 floating point.
select 1.67 as field1, 
  167e-2 as field2, 
  1.67d as field3
floatA single-precision 32-bit IEEE 754 floating point. Use the "f" suffix.
select 1.2f as field1, 
  1.2F as field2
byteA 8-bit signed two's complement integer.
select 0x10 as field1

EPL does not have a single-byte character data type for its literals. Single character literals are treated as string.

Internal byte representation and boundary values of constants follow the Java standard.

4.2.5.2. BigInteger and BigDecimal

EPL automatically performs widening of numbers to BigInteger and BigDecimal as required, and employs the respective equals, compareTo and arithmetic methods provided by BigInteger and BigDecimal.

To explicitly create BigInteger and BigDecimal constants in EPL, please use the cast syntax : cast(value, BigInteger).

Note that since BigDecimal.valueOf(1.0) is not the same as BigDecimal.valueOf(1) (in terms of equality through equals), care should be taken towards the consistent use of scale.

When using aggregation functions for BigInteger and BigDecimal values, please note these limitations:

  1. The median, stddev and avedev aggregation functions operate on the double value of the object and return a double value.

  2. All other aggregation functions return BigDecimal or BigInteger values (except count).

4.2.6. Annotation

An annotation is an addition made to information in a statement. Esper provides certain built-in annotations for defining statement name, adding a statement description or for tagging statements such as for managing statements or directing statement output. Other then the built-in annotations, applications can provide their own annotation classes that the EPL compiler can populate.

An annotation is part of the statement text and precedes the EPL select or pattern statement. Annotations are therefore part of the EPL grammar. The syntax for annotations follows the host language (Java, .NET) annotation syntax:

@annotation_name [(annotation_parameters)]

An annotation consists of the annotation name and optional annotation parameters. The annotation_name is the simple class name or fully-qualified class name of the annotation class. The optional annotation_parameters are a list of key-value pairs following the syntax:

@annotation_name (attribute_name = attribute_value, [name=value, ...])

The attribute_name is an identifier that must match the attributes defined by the annotation class. An attribute_value is a constant of any of the primitive types or string, an array, an enumeration value or another (nested) annotation. Null values are not allowed as annotation attribute values. Enumeration values are supported in EPL statements and not support in statements created via the createPattern method.

Use the getAnnotations method of EPStatement to obtain annotations provided via statement text.

4.2.6.1. Application-Provided Annotations

Your application may provide its own annotation classes. The engine detects and populates annotation instances for application annotation classes.

To enable the engine to recognize application annotation classes, your annotation name must include the package name (i.e. be fully-qualified) or your engine configuration must import the annotation class or package via the configuration API.

For example, assume that your application defines an annotation in its application code as follows:

public @interface ProcessMonitor {
  String processName();
  boolean isLongRunning default false;
  int[] subProcessIds;
}

Shown next is an EPL statement text that utilizes the annotation class defined earlier:

@ProcessMonitor(processName='CreditApproval',
  isLongRunning=true, subProcessIds = {1, 2, 3} )
  
select count(*) from ProcessEvent(processId in (1, 2, 3).win:time(30)

Above example assumes the ProcessMonitor annotation class is imported via configuration XML or API. Here is an example API call to import annotations provided by a package com.mycompany.myannotations:

epService.getEPAdministrator().getConfiguration().addImport("com.mycompany.myannotations.*");

4.2.6.2. Built-In Annotations

The list of built-in EPL annotations is:

Table 4.2. Built-In EPL Annotations

NamePurpose and AttributesExample
Name

Provides a statement name. Attributes are:

value : Statement name.

@Name("MyStatementName")
Description

Provides a statement textual description. Attributes are:

value : Statement description.

@Description("A statement description 
is placed here.")
Tag

For tagging a statement with additional information. Attributes are:

name : Tag name.

value : Tag value.

@Tag(name="MyTagName", 
 value="MyTagValue")
Priority

Applicable when an event (or schedule) matches filter criteria for multiple statements: Defines the order of statement processing (requires an engine-level setting).

Attributes are:

value : priority value.

@Priority(10)
Drop

Applicable when an event (or schedule) matches filter criteria for multiple statements, drops the event after processing the statement (requires an engine-level setting).

No attributes.

@Drop
Hint

For providing one or more hints towards how the engine should execute a statement. Attributes are:

value : A comma-separated list of one or more case-insensitive keywords.

@Hint('ITERATE_ONLY')
Hook

Use this annotation to register one or more statement-specific hooks providing a hook type for each individual hook, such as for SQL parameter, column or row conversion.

Attributes are the hook type and the hook itself (usually a import or class name):

@Hook(type=HookType.SQLCOL, hook='MyDBTypeConvertor')
Audit

Causes the engine to output detailed processing information for a statement.

optional value : A comma-separated list of one or more case-insensitive keywords.

@Audit

The following example statement text specifies some of the built-in annotations in combination:

@Name("RevenuePerCustomer")
@Description("Outputs revenue per customer considering all events encountered so far.")
@Tag(name="grouping", value="customer")

select customerId, sum(revenue) from CustomerRevenueEvent

4.2.6.3. @Name

Use the @Name EPL annotation to specify a statement name within the EPL statement itself, as an alternative to specifying the statement name via API.

If your application is also providing a statement name through the API, the statement name provided through the API overrides the annotation-provided statement name.

Example:

@Name("SecurityFilter1") select * from SecurityFilter(ip="127.0.0.1")

4.2.6.4. @Description

Use the @Description EPL annotation to add a statement textual description.

Example:

@Description('This statement filters localhost.') select * from SecurityFilter(ip="127.0.0.1")

4.2.6.5. @Tag

Use the @Tag EPL annotation to tag statements with name-value pairs, effectively adding a property to the statement. The attributes name and value are of type string.

Example:

@Tag(name='ip_sensitive', value='Y') 
@Tag(name='author', value='Jim')
select * from SecurityFilter(ip="127.0.0.1")

4.2.6.6. @Priority

This annotation only takes effect if the engine-level setting for prioritized execution is set via configuration, as described in Section 13.4.19, “Engine Settings related to Execution of Statements”.

Use the @Priority EPL annotation to tag statements with a priority value. The default priority value is zero (0) for all statements. When an event (or single timer execution) requires processing the event for multiple statements, processing begins with the highest priority statement and ends with the lowest-priority statement.

Example:

@Priority(10) select * from SecurityFilter(ip="127.0.0.1")

4.2.6.7. @Drop

This annotation only takes effect if the engine-level setting for prioritized execution is set via configuration, as described in Section 13.4.19, “Engine Settings related to Execution of Statements”.

Use the @Drop EPL annotation to tag statements that preempt all other same or lower-priority statements. When an event (or single timer execution) requires processing the event for multiple statements, processing begins with the highest priority statement and ends with the first statement marked with @Drop, which becomes the last statement to process that event.

Unless a different priority is specified, the statement with the @Drop EPL annotation executes at priority 1. Thereby @Drop alone is an effective means to remove events from a stream.

Example:

@Drop select * from SecurityFilter(ip="127.0.0.1")

4.2.6.8. @Hint

A hint can be used to provide tips for the engine to affect statement execution. Hints change performance or memory-use of a statement but generally do not change its output.

The string value of a Hint annotation contains a keyword or a comma-separated list of multiple keywords. Hint keywords are case-insensitive. A list of hints is available in Section 17.2.22, “Consider using Hints”.

Example:

@Hint('disable_reclaim_group') 
select ipaddress, count(*) from SecurityFilter.win:time(60 sec) group by ipaddress

4.2.6.9. @Hook

A hook is for attaching a callback to a statement.

The type value of a Hook annotation defines the type of hook and the hook value is an imported or fully-qualified class name providing the callback implementation.

4.2.6.10. @Audit

Causes the engine to output detailed information about the statements processing. Described in more detail at Section 14.3.1, “@Audit Annotation”.

4.2.7. Expression Declaration

An EPL statement can contain expression declarations. Expressions that are common to multiple places in an EPL statement can be moved to a named expression declaration and reused within the statement without duplicating the expression itself.

An expression declaration follows the lambda-style expression syntax. This syntax was chosen as it typically allows for a shorter and more concise expression body that can be easier to read then most procedural code.

The syntax for an expression declaration is:

expression expression_name { expression_body }

An expression declaration consists of the expression name and an expression body. The expression_name is any identifier. The expression_body contains optional parameters and the expression. The parameter types and the return type of the expression is determined by the engine and do not need to be specified.

Please note the following limitation: Parameters to a declared expression can only be a stream name. For limitations as to the type of expression that can be used in the expression body please see below.

In the expression body the => lambda operator reads as "goes to". The left side of the lambda operator specifies the input parameters (if any) and the right side holds the expression. The lambda expression x => x * x is read "x goes to x times x".

In the expression body, if your expression takes no parameters, you may simply specify the expression and do not need the => lambda operator.

If your expression takes one parameters, specify the input parameter name followed by the => lambda operator and followed by the expression. The synopsis for use with a single input parameter is:

expression_body:   input_param_name => expression 

If your expression takes two or more parameters, specify the input parameter names in parenthesis followed by the => lambda operator followed by the expression. The synopsis for use with a multiple input parameter is:

expression_body:   (input_param [,input_param [,...]]) => expression 

The following example declares an expression that returns two times PI (ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter) and demonstrates its use in a select-clause:

expression twoPI { Math.PI * 2} select twoPI() from SampleEvent

The next example declares an expression that accepts one parameter: a MarketData event. The expression computes a new "mid" price based on the buy and sell price:

expression midPrice { x => x.buy + x.sell / 2 } 
select midPrice(md) from MarketDataEvent as md

A further example that demonstrates two parameters is listed next. The example joins two streams and uses the price value from MarketDataEvent and the sentiment value of NewsEvent to compute a weighted sentiment:

expression weightedSentiment { (x, y) => x.price * y.sentiment } 
select weightedSentiment(md, news) 
from MarketDataEvent.std:lastevent() as md, NewsEvent.std:lastevent() news

Any expression can be used in the expression body including aggregations, variables, subqueries or further declared expressions. Sub-queries, when used without in or exists, must be placed within parenthesis.

An example subquery within a declared expression is shown next:

expression newsSubq(md) { 
    (select sentiment from NewsEvent.std:unique(symbol) where symbol = md.symbol) 
} 
select newsSubq(mdstream)
from MarketDataEvent mdstream

When using declared expressions please note these limitations:

  1. Parameters to a declared expression can currently only be a stream name.

The following scope rules apply for declared expressions:

  1. The scope of the expression body of a declared expression only includes the parameters explicitly listed.

4.3. Choosing Event Properties And Events: the Select Clause

The select clause is required in all EPL statements. The select clause can be used to select all properties via the wildcard *, or to specify a list of event properties and expressions. The select clause defines the event type (event property names and types) of the resulting events published by the statement, or pulled from the statement via the iterator methods.

The select clause also offers optional istream, irstream and rstream keywords to control whether input stream, remove stream or input and remove stream events are posted to UpdateListener instances and observers to a statement. By default, the engine provides only the insert stream to listener and observers. See Section 13.4.14, “Engine Settings related to Stream Selection” on how to change the default.

The syntax for the select clause is summarized below.

select [istream | irstream | rstream] [distinct] * | expression_list ... 

The istream keyword is the default, and indicates that the engine only delivers insert stream events to listeners and observers. The irstream keyword indicates that the engine delivers both insert and remove stream. Finally, the rstream keyword tells the engine to deliver only the remove stream.

The distinct keyword outputs only unique rows depending on the column list you have specified after it. It must occur after the select and after the optional stream keywords, as described in more detail below.

4.3.1. Choosing all event properties: select *

The syntax for selecting all event properties in a stream is:

select * from stream_def

The following statement selects StockTick events for the last 30 seconds of IBM stock ticks.

select * from StockTick(symbol='IBM').win:time(30 sec)

You may well be asking: Why does the statement specify a time window here? First, the statement is meant to demonstrate the use of * wildcard. When the engine pushes statement results to your listener and as the statement does not select remove stream events via rstream keyword, the listener receives only new events and the time window could be left off. By adding the time window the pull API (iterator API or JDBC driver) returns the last 30 seconds of events.

The * wildcard and expressions can also be combined in a select clause. The combination selects all event properties and in addition the computed values as specified by any additional expressions that are part of the select clause. Here is an example that selects all properties of stock tick events plus a computed product of price and volume that the statement names 'pricevolume':

select *, price * volume as pricevolume from StockTick

When using wildcard (*), Esper does not actually copy your event properties out of your event or events. It simply wraps your native type in an EventBean interface. Your application has access to the underlying event object through the getUnderlying method and has access to the property values through the get method.

In a join statement, using the select * syntax selects one event property per stream to hold the event for that stream. The property name is the stream name in the from clause.

4.3.2. Choosing specific event properties

To choose the particular event properties to return:

select event_property [, event_property] [, ...] from stream_def

The following statement simply selects the symbol and price properties of stock ticks, and the total volume for stock tick events in a 60-second time window.

select symbol, price, sum(volume) from StockTick(symbol='IBM').win:time(60 sec)

The following statement declares a further view onto the event stream of stock ticks: the univariate statistics view (stat:uni). The statement selects the properties that this view derives from the stream, for the last 100 events of IBM stock ticks in the length window.

select datapoints, total, average, variance, stddev, stddevpa
from StockTick(symbol='IBM').win:length(100).stat:uni(volume)

4.3.3. Expressions

The select clause can contain one or more expressions.

select expression [, expression] [, ...] from stream_def

The following statement selects the volume multiplied by price for a time batch of the last 30 seconds of stock tick events.

select volume * price from StockTick.win:time_batch(30 sec)

4.3.4. Renaming event properties

Event properties and expressions can be renamed using below syntax.

select [event_property | expression] as identifier [, ...]

The following statement selects volume multiplied by price and specifies the name volPrice for the resulting column.

select volume * price as volPrice from StockTick

Identifiers cannot contain the "." (dot) character, i.e. "vol.price" is not a valid identifier for the rename syntax.

4.3.5. Choosing event properties and events in a join

If your statement is joining multiple streams, your may specify property names that are unique among the joined streams, or use wildcard (*) as explained earlier.

In case the property name in your select or other clauses is not unique considering all joined streams, you will need to use the name of the stream as a prefix to the property.

This example is a join between the two streams StockTick and News, respectively named as 'tick' and 'news'. The example selects from the StockTick event the symbol value using the 'tick' stream name as a prefix:

select tick.symbol from StockTick.win:time(10) as tick, News.win:time(10) as news
where news.symbol = tick.symbol

Use the wildcard (*) selector in a join to generate a property for each stream, with the property value being the event itself. The output events of the statement below have two properties: the 'tick' property holds the StockTick event and the 'news' property holds the News event:

select * from StockTick.win:time(10) as tick, News.win:time(10) as news

The following syntax can also be used to specify what stream's properties to select:

select stream_name.* [as name] from ...

The selection of tick.* selects the StockTick stream events only:

select tick.* from StockTick.win:time(10) as tick, News.win:time(10) as news
where tick.symbol = news.symbol

The next example uses the as keyword to name each stream's joined events. This instructs the engine to create a property for each named event:

select tick.* as stocktick, news.* as news 
from StockTick.win:time(10) as tick, News.win:time(10) as news
where stock.symbol = news.symbol

The output events of the above example have two properties 'stocktick' and 'news' that are the StockTick and News events.

The stream name itself, as further described in Section 4.4.5, “Using the Stream Name”, may be used within expressions or alone.

This example passes events to a user-defined function named compute and also shows insert-into to populate an event stream of combined events:

insert into TickNewStream select tick, news, MyLib.compute(news, tick) as result
from StockTick.win:time(10) as tick, News.win:time(10) as news
where tick.symbol = news.symbol
// second statement that uses the TickNewStream stream
select tick.price, news.text, result from TickNewStream

In summary, the stream_name.* streamname wildcard syntax can be used to select a stream as the underlying event or as a property, but cannot appear within an expression. While the stream_name syntax (without wildcard) always selects a property (and not as an underlying event), and can occur anywhere within an expression.

4.3.6. Choosing event properties and events from a pattern

If your statement employs pattern expressions, then your pattern expression tags events with a tag name. Each tag name becomes available for use as a property in the select clause and all other clauses.

For example, here is a very simple pattern that matches on every StockTick event received within 30 seconds after start of the statement. The sample selects the symbol and price properties of the matching events:

select tick.symbol as symbol, tick.price as price
from pattern[every tick=StockTick where timer:within(10 sec)]

The use of the wildcard selector, as shown in the next statement, creates a property for each tagged event in the output. The next statement outputs events that hold a single 'tick' property whose value is the event itself:

select * from pattern[every tick=StockTick where timer:within(10 sec)]

You may also select the matching event itself using the tick.* syntax. The engine outputs the StockTick event itself to listeners:

select tick.* from pattern[every tick=StockTick where timer:within(10 sec)]

A tag name as specified in a pattern is a valid expression itself. This example uses the insert into clause to make available the events matched by a pattern to further statements:

// make a new stream of ticks and news available
insert into StockTickAndNews 
select tick, news from pattern [every tick=StockTick -> news=News(symbol=tick.symbol)]
// second statement to select from the stream of ticks and news
select tick.symbol, tick.price, news.text from StockTickAndNews

4.3.7. Selecting insert and remove stream events

The optional istream, irstream and rstream keywords in the select clause control the event streams posted to listeners and observers to a statement.

If neither keyword is specified, and in the default engine configuration, the engine posts only insert stream events via the newEvents parameter to the update method of UpdateListener instances listening to the statement. The engine does not post remove stream events, by default.

The insert stream consists of the events entering the respective window(s) or stream(s) or aggregations, while the remove stream consists of the events leaving the respective window(s) or the changed aggregation result. See Chapter 3, Processing Model for more information on insert and remove streams.

The engine posts remove stream events to the oldEvents parameter of the update method only if the irstream keyword occurs in the select clause. This behavior can be changed via engine-wide configuration as described in Section 13.4.14, “Engine Settings related to Stream Selection”.

By specifying the istream keyword you can instruct the engine to only post insert stream events via the newEvents parameter to the update method on listeners. The engine will then not post any remove stream events, and the oldEvents parameter is always a null value.

By specifying the irstream keyword you can instruct the engine to post both insert stream and remove stream events.

By specifying the rstream keyword you can instruct the engine to only post remove stream events via the newEvents parameter to the update method on listeners. The engine will then not post any insert stream events, and the oldEvents parameter is also always a null value.

The following statement selects only the events that are leaving the 30 second time window.

select rstream * from StockTick.win:time(30 sec)

The istream and rstream keywords in the select clause are matched by same-name keywords available in the insert into clause. While the keywords in the select clause control the event stream posted to listeners to the statement, the same keywords in the insert into clause specify the event stream that the engine makes available to other statements.

4.3.8. Qualifying property names and stream names

Property or column names can optionally be qualified by a stream name and the provider URI. The syntax is:

[[provider_URI.]stream_name.]property_name

The provider_URI is the URI supplied to the EPServiceProviderManager class, or the string default for the default provider.

This example assumes the provider is the default provider:

select MyEvent.myProperty from MyEvent
// ... equivalent to ...
select default.MyEvent.myProperty from MyEvent

Stream names can also be qualified by the provider URI. The syntax is:

[provider_URI.]stream_name

The next example assumes a provider URI by name of Processor:

select Processor.MyEvent.myProperty from Processor.MyEvent

4.3.9. Select Distinct

The optional distinct keyword removes duplicate output events from output. The keyword must occur after the select keyword and after the optional irstream keyword.

The distinct keyword in your select instructs the engine to consolidate, at time of output, the output event(s) and remove output events with identical property values. Duplicate removal only takes place when two or more events are output together at any one time, therefore distinct is typically used with a batch data window, output rate limiting, on-demand queries, on-select or iterator pull API.

If two or more output event objects have same property values for all properties of the event, the distinct removes all but one duplicated event before outputting events to listeners. Indexed, nested and mapped properties are considered in the comparison, if present in the output event.

The next example outputs sensor ids of temperature sensor events, but only every 10 seconds and only unique sensor id values during the 10 seconds:

select distinct sensorId from TemperatureSensorEvent output every 10 seconds

Use distinct with wildcard (*) to remove duplicate output events considering all properties of an event.

This example statement outputs all distinct events either when 100 events arrive or when 10 seconds passed, whichever occurs first:

select distinct * from TemperatureSensorEvent.win:time_length_batch(10, 100)

When selecting nested, indexed, mapped or dynamic properties in a select clause with distinct, it is relevant to know that the comparison uses hash code and the Java equals semantics.

4.4. Specifying Event Streams: the From Clause

The from clause is required in all EPL statements. It specifies one or more event streams or named windows. Each event stream or named window can optionally be given a name by means of the as keyword.

from stream_def [as name] [unidirectional] [retain-union | retain-intersection] 
    [, stream_def [as stream_name]] [, ...]

The event stream definition stream_def as shown in the syntax above can consists of either a filter-based event stream definition or a pattern-based event stream definition.

For joins and outer joins, specify two or more event streams. Joins between pattern-based and filter-based event streams are also supported. Joins and the unidirectional keyword are described in more detail in Section 4.12, “Joining Event Streams”.

Esper supports joins against relational databases for access to historical or reference data as explained in Section 4.13, “Accessing Relational Data via SQL”. Esper can also join results returned by an arbitrary method invocation, as discussed in Section 4.14, “Accessing Non-Relational Data via Method Invocation”.

The stream_name is an optional identifier assigned to the stream. The stream name can itself occur in any expression and provides access to the event itself from the named stream. Also, a stream name may be combined with a method name to invoke instance methods on events of that stream.

For all streams with the exception of historical sources your query may employ data window views as outlined below. The retain-intersection (the default) and retain-union keywords build a union or intersection of two or more data windows as described in Section 4.4.4, “Multiple Data Window Views”.

4.4.1. Filter-based Event Streams

The stream_def syntax for a filter-based event stream is as below:

event_stream_name [(filter_criteria)] [contained_selection] [.view_spec] [.view_spec] [...]

The event_stream_name is either the name of an event type or name of an event stream populated by an insert into statement or the name of a named window.

The filter_criteria is optional and consists of a list of expressions filtering the events of the event stream, within parenthesis after the event stream name.

The contained_selection is optional and is for use with coarse-grained events that have properties that are themselves one or more events, see Section 4.19, “Contained-Event Selection” for the synopsis and examples.

The view_spec are optional view specifications, which are combinable definitions for retaining events and for deriving information from events.

The following EPL statement shows event type, filter criteria and views combined in one statement. It selects all event properties for the last 100 events of IBM stock ticks for volume. In the example, the event type is the fully qualified Java class name org.esper.example.StockTick. The expression filters for events where the property symbol has a value of "IBM". The optional view specifications for deriving data from the StockTick events are a length window and a view for computing statistics on volume. The name for the event stream is "volumeStats".

select * from 
  org.esper.example.StockTick(symbol='IBM').win:length(100).stat:uni(volume) as volumeStats

Esper filters out events in an event stream as defined by filter criteria before it sends events to subsequent views. Thus, compared to search conditions in a where clause, filter criteria remove unneeded events early. In the above example, events with a symbol other then IBM do not enter the time window.

4.4.1.1. Specifying an Event Type

The simplest form of filter is a filter for events of a given type without any conditions on the event property values. This filter matches any event of that type regardless of the event's properties. The example below is such a filter.

select * from com.mypackage.myevents.RfidEvent

Instead of the fully-qualified Java class name any other event name can be mapped via Configuration to a Java class, making the resulting statement more readable:

select * from RfidEvent

Interfaces and superclasses are also supported as event types. In the below example IRfidReadable is an interface class.

select * from org.myorg.rfid.IRfidReadable

4.4.1.2. Specifying Filter Criteria

The filtering criteria to filter for events with certain event property values are placed within parenthesis after the event type name:

select * from RfidEvent(category="Perishable")

All expressions can be used in filters, including static methods that return a boolean value:

select * from com.mycompany.RfidEvent(MyRFIDLib.isInRange(x, y) or (x < 0 and y < 0))

Filter expressions can be separated via a single comma ','. The comma represents a logical AND between filter expressions:

select * from RfidEvent(zone=1, category=10)
...is equivalent to...
select * from RfidEvent(zone=1 and category=10)

The following operators are highly optimized through indexing and are the preferred means of filtering in high-volume event streams:

  • equals =

  • not equals !=

  • comparison operators < , > , >=, <=

  • ranges

    • use the between keyword for a closed range where both endpoints are included

    • use the in keyword and round () or square brackets [] to control how endpoints are included

    • for inverted ranges use the not keyword and the between or in keywords

  • list-of-values checks using the in keyword or the not in keywords followed by a comma-separated list of values

At compile time as well as at run time, the engine scans new filter expressions for sub-expressions that can be indexed. Indexing filter values to match event properties of incoming events enables the engine to match incoming events faster. The above list of operators represents the set of operators that the engine can best convert into indexes. The use of comma or logical and in filter expressions does not impact optimizations by the engine.

4.4.1.3. Filtering Ranges

Ranges come in the following 4 varieties. The use of round () or square [] bracket dictates whether an endpoint is included or excluded. The low point and the high-point of the range are separated by the colon : character.

  • Open ranges that contain neither endpoint (low:high)

  • Closed ranges that contain both endpoints [low:high]. The equivalent 'between' keyword also defines a closed range.

  • Half-open ranges that contain the low endpoint but not the high endpoint [low:high)

  • Half-closed ranges that contain the high endpoint but not the low endpoint (low:high]

The next statement shows a filter specifying a range for x and y values of RFID events. The range includes both endpoints therefore uses [] hard brackets.

mypackage.RfidEvent(x in [100:200], y in [0:100])

The between keyword is equivalent for closed ranges. The same filter using the between keyword is:

mypackage.RfidEvent(x between 100 and 200, y between 0 and 50)

The not keyword can be used to determine if a value falls outside a given range:

mypackage.RfidEvent(x not in [0:100])

The equivalent statement using the between keyword is:

mypackage.RfidEvent(x not between 0 and 100)

4.4.1.4. Filtering Sets of Values

The in keyword for filter criteria determines if a given value matches any value in a list of values.

In this example we are interested in RFID events where the category matches any of the given values:

mypackage.RfidEvent(category in ('Perishable', 'Container'))

By using the not in keywords we can filter events with a property value that does not match any of the values in a list of values:

mypackage.RfidEvent(category not in ('Household', 'Electrical'))

4.4.1.5. Filter Limitations

The following restrictions apply to filter criteria:

  • Range and comparison operators require the event property to be of a numeric or string type.

  • Aggregation functions are not allowed within filter expressions.

  • The prev previous event function and the prior prior event function cannot be used in filter expressions.

4.4.2. Pattern-based Event Streams

Event pattern expressions can also be used to specify one or more event streams in an EPL statement. For pattern-based event streams, the event stream definition stream_def consists of the keyword pattern and a pattern expression in brackets []. The syntax for an event stream definition using a pattern expression is below. As in filter-based event streams, an optional list of views that derive data from the stream can be supplied.

pattern [pattern_expression] [.view_spec] [.view_spec] [...]

The next statement specifies an event stream that consists of both stock tick events and trade events. The example tags stock tick events with the name "tick" and trade events with the name "trade".

select * from pattern [every tick=StockTickEvent or every trade=TradeEvent]

This statement generates an event every time the engine receives either one of the event types. The generated events resemble a map with "tick" and "trade" keys. For stock tick events, the "tick" key value is the underlying stock tick event, and the "trade" key value is a null value. For trade events, the "trade" key value is the underlying trade event, and the "tick" key value is a null value.

Lets further refine this statement adding a view the gives us the last 30 seconds of either stock tick or trade events. Lets also select prices and a price total.

select tick.price as tickPrice, trade.price as tradePrice, 
       sum(tick.price) + sum(trade.price) as total
  from pattern [every tick=StockTickEvent or every trade=TradeEvent].win:time(30 sec)

Note that in the statement above tickPrice and tradePrice can each be null values depending on the event processed. Therefore, an aggregation function such as sum(tick.price + trade.price)) would always return null values as either of the two price properties are always a null value for any event matching the pattern. Use the coalesce function to handle null values, for example: sum(coalesce(tick.price, 0) + coalesce(trade.price, 0)).

4.4.3. Specifying Views

Views are used to specify an expiry policy for events (data window views) and also to derive data. Views can be staggered onto each other. See the section Chapter 11, EPL Reference: Views on the views available that also outlines the different types of views: Data Window views and Derived-Value views.

Views can optionally take one or more parameters. These parameters are expressions themselves that may consist of any combination of variables, arithmetic, user-defined function or substitution parameters for prepared statements, for example.

The example statement below outputs a count per expressway for car location events (contains information about the location of a car on a highway) of the last 60 seconds:

select expressway, count(*) from CarLocEvent.win:time(60) 
group by expressway

The next example serves to show staggering of views. It uses the std:groupwin view to create a separate length window per car id:

select cardId, expressway, direction, segment, count(*) 
from CarLocEvent.std:groupwin(carId).win:length(4) 
group by carId, expressway, direction, segment

The first view std:groupwin(carId) groups car location events by car id. The second view win:length(4) keeps a length window of the 4 last events, with one separate length window for each car id. The example reports the number of events per car id and per expressway, direction and segment considering the last 4 events for each car id only.

Note that the group by syntax is generally preferable over std:groupwin for grouping information as it is SQL-compliant, easier to read and does not create a separate data window per group. The std:groupwin in above example creates a separate data window (length window in the example) per group, demonstrating staggering views.

When views are staggered onto each other as a chain of views, then the insert and remove stream received by each view is the insert and remove stream made available by the view (or stream) earlier in the chain.

The special keep-all view keeps all events: It does not provide a remove stream, i.e. events are not removed from the keep-all view unless by means of the on-delete syntax or by revision events.

4.4.4. Multiple Data Window Views

Data window views provide an expiry policy that indicates when to remove events from the data window, with the exception of the keep-all data window which has no expiry policy and the std:groupwin grouped-window view for allocating a new data window per group.

EPL allows the freedom to use multiple data window views onto a stream and thus combine expiry policies. Combining data windows into an intersection (the default) or a union can achieve a useful strategy for retaining events and expiring events that are no longer of interest. Named windows and the on-delete syntax provide an additional degree of freedom.

In order to combine two or more data window views there is no keyword required. The retain-intersection keyword is the default and the retain-union keyword may instead be provided for a stream.

The concept of union and intersection come from Set mathematics. In the language of Set mathematics, two sets A and B can be "added" together: The intersection of A and B is the set of all things which are members of both A and B, i.e. the members two sets have "in common". The union of A and B is the set of all things which are members of either A or B.

Use the retain-intersection (the default) keyword to retain an intersection of all events as defined by two or more data windows. All events removed from any of the intersected data windows are entered into the remove stream. This is the default behavior if neither retain keyword is specified.

Use the retain-union keyword to retain a union of all events as defined by two or more data windows. Only events removed from all data windows are entered into the remove stream.

As you can see, it is the remove stream that the combined multiple data windows provide which differs when retaining an intersection and retaining a union, the insert stream is the same to all data windows and their staggered views. Therefore, when combining batching data windows with further data windows, the insert stream still remains the insert stream of the set overall (not batched). Consider using output snapshot to obtain regular updates instead of combining batch and other data windows.

The next example statement totals the price of OrderEvent events in a union of the last 30 seconds and unique by product name:

select sum(price) from OrderEvent.win:time(30 sec).std:unique(productName) retain-union

In the above statement, all OrderEvent events that are either less then 30 seconds old or that are the last event for the product name are considered.

Here is an example statement totals the price of OrderEvent events in an intersection of the last 30 seconds and unique by product name:

select sum(price) from OrderEvent.win:time(30 sec).std:unique(productName) retain-intersection

In the above statement, only those OrderEvent events that are both less then 30 seconds old and are the last event for the product name are considered.

For advanced users and for backward compatibility, it is possible to configure Esper to allow multiple data window views without either of the retain keywords, as described in Section 13.4.11.2, “Configuring Multi-Expiry Policy Defaults”.

4.4.5. Using the Stream Name

Your from clause may assign a name to each stream. This assigned stream name can serve any of the following purposes.

First, the stream name can be used to disambiguate property names. The stream_name.property_name syntax uniquely identifies which property to select if property names overlap between streams. Here is an example:

select prod.productId, ord.productId from ProductEvent as prod, OrderEvent as ord

Second, the stream name can be used with a wildcard (*) character to select events in a join, or assign new names to the streams in a join:

// Select ProductEvent only
select prod.* from ProductEvent as prod, OrderEvent
// Assign column names 'product' and 'order' to each event
select prod.* as product, ord.* as order from ProductEvent as prod, OrderEvent as ord

Further, the stream name by itself can occur in any expression: The engine passes the event itself to that expression. For example, the engine passes the ProductEvent and the OrderEvent to the user-defined function 'checkOrder':

select prod.productId, MyFunc.checkOrder(prod, ord) 
from ProductEvent as prod, OrderEvent as ord

Last, you may invoke an instance method on each event of a stream, and pass parameters to the instance method as well. Instance method calls are allowed anywhere in an expression.

The next statement demonstrates this capability by invoking a method 'computeTotal' on OrderEvent events and a method 'getMultiplier' on ProductEvent events:

select ord.computeTotal(prod.getMultiplier()) from ProductEvent as prod, OrderEvent as ord

Instance methods may also be chained: Your EPL may invoke a method on the result returned by a method invocation.

Assume that your product event exposes a method getZone which returns a zone object. Assume that the Zone class declares a method checkZone. This example statement invokes a method chain:

select prod.getZone().checkZone("zone 1") from ProductEvent as prod

4.5. Specifying Search Conditions: the Where Clause

The where clause is an optional clause in EPL statements. Via the where clause event streams can be joined and events can be filtered.

Comparison operators =, < , > , >=, <=, !=, <>, is null, is not null and logical combinations via and and or are supported in the where clause. The where clause can also introduce join conditions as outlined in Section 4.12, “Joining Event Streams”. where clauses can also contain expressions. Some examples are listed below.

...where fraud.severity = 5 and amount > 500
...where (orderItem.orderId is null) or (orderItem.class != 10)		 
...where (orderItem.orderId = null) or (orderItem.class <> 10)		 
...where itemCount / packageCount > 10		 

4.6. Aggregates and grouping: the Group-by Clause and the Having Clause

4.6.1. Using aggregate functions

The aggregate functions are sum, avg, count, max, min, median, stddev, avedev. You can use aggregate functions to calculate and summarize data from event properties. For example, to find out the total price for all stock tick events in the last 30 seconds, type:

select sum(price) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec)

Here is the syntax for aggregate functions:

aggregate_function( [all | distinct] expression)

You can apply aggregate functions to all events in an event stream window or other view, or to one or more groups of events. From each set of events to which an aggregate function is applied, Esper generates a single value.

Expression is usually an event property name. However it can also be a constant, function, or any combination of event property names, constants, and functions connected by arithmetic operators.

For example, to find out the average price for all stock tick events in the last 30 seconds if the price was doubled:

select avg(price * 2) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 seconds)

You can use the optional keyword distinct with all aggregate functions to eliminate duplicate values before the aggregate function is applied. The optional keyword all which performs the operation on all events is the default.

You can use aggregation functions in a select clause and in a having clause. You cannot use aggregate functions in a where clause, but you can use the where clause to restrict the events to which the aggregate is applied. The next query computes the average and sum of the price of stock tick events for the symbol IBM only, for the last 10 stock tick events regardless of their symbol.

select 'IBM stats' as title, avg(price) as avgPrice, sum(price) as sumPrice
from StockTickEvent.win:length(10)
where symbol='IBM'

In the above example the length window of 10 elements is not affected by the where clause, i.e. all events enter and leave the length window regardless of their symbol. If we only care about the last 10 IBM events, we need to add filter criteria as below.

select 'IBM stats' as title, avg(price) as avgPrice, sum(price) as sumPrice
from StockTickEvent(symbol='IBM').win:length(10)
where symbol='IBM'

You can use aggregate functions with any type of event property or expression, with the following exceptions:

  1. You can use sum, avg, median, stddev, avedev with numeric event properties only

Esper ignores any null values returned by the event property or expression on which the aggregate function is operating, except for the count(*) function, which counts null values as well. All aggregate functions return null if the data set contains no events, or if all events in the data set contain only null values for the aggregated expression.

4.6.2. Organizing statement results into groups: the Group-by clause

The group by clause is optional in all EPL statements. The group by clause divides the output of an EPL statement into groups. You can group by one or more event property names, or by the result of computed expressions. When used with aggregate functions, group by retrieves the calculations in each subgroup. You can use group by without aggregate functions, but generally that can produce confusing results.

For example, the below statement returns the total price per symbol for all stock tick events in the last 30 seconds:

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) group by symbol

The syntax of the group by clause is:

group by aggregate_free_expression [, aggregate_free_expression] [, ...]

Esper places the following restrictions on expressions in the group by clause:

  1. Expressions in the group by cannot contain aggregate functions

  2. Event properties that are used within aggregate functions in the select clause cannot also be used in a group by expression

  3. When grouping an unbound stream, i.e. no data window is specified onto the stream providing groups, or when using output rate limiting with the ALL keyword, you should ensure your group-by expression does not return an unlimited number of values. If, for example, your group-by expression is a fine-grained timestamp, group state that accumulates for an unlimited number of groups potentially reduces available memory significantly. Use a @Hint as described below to instruct the engine when to discard group state.

You can list more then one expression in the group by clause to nest groups. Once the sets are established with group by the aggregation functions are applied. This statement posts the median volume for all stock tick events in the last 30 seconds per symbol and tick data feed. Esper posts one event for each group to statement listeners:

select symbol, tickDataFeed, median(volume) 
from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
group by symbol, tickDataFeed

In the statement above the event properties in the select list (symbol, tickDataFeed) are also listed in the group by clause. The statement thus follows the SQL standard which prescribes that non-aggregated event properties in the select list must match the group by columns.

Esper also supports statements in which one or more event properties in the select list are not listed in the group by clause. The statement below demonstrates this case. It calculates the standard deviation for the last 30 seconds of stock ticks aggregating by symbol and posting for each event the symbol, tickDataFeed and the standard deviation on price.

select symbol, tickDataFeed, stddev(price) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) group by symbol

The above example still aggregates the price event property based on the symbol, but produces one event per incoming event, not one event per group.

Additionally, Esper supports statements in which one or more event properties in the group by clause are not listed in the select list. This is an example that calculates the mean deviation per symbol and tickDataFeed and posts one event per group with symbol and mean deviation of price in the generated events. Since tickDataFeed is not in the posted results, this can potentially be confusing.

select symbol, avedev(price) 
from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
group by symbol, tickDataFeed

Expressions are also allowed in the group by list:

select symbol * price, count(*) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) group by symbol * price

If the group by expression resulted in a null value, the null value becomes its own group. All null values are aggregated into the same group. If you are using the count(expression) aggregate function which does not count null values, the count returns zero if only null values are encountered.

You can use a where clause in a statement with group by. Events that do not satisfy the conditions in the where clause are eliminated before any grouping is done. For example, the statement below posts the number of stock ticks in the last 30 seconds with a volume larger then 100, posting one event per group (symbol).

select symbol, count(*) from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) where volume > 100 group by symbol
4.6.2.1. Hints Pertaining to Group-By

The Esper engine reclaims aggregation state agressively when it determines that a group has no data points, based on the data in the data windows. When your application data creates a large number of groups with a small or zero number of data points then performance may suffer as state is reclaimed and created anew. Esper provides the @Hint('disable_reclaim_group') hint that you can specify as part of an EPL statement text to avoid group reclaim.

When aggregating values over an unbound stream (i.e. no data window is specified onto the stream) and when your group-by expression returns an unlimited number of values, for example when a timestamp expression is used, then please note the next hint.

A sample statement that aggregates stock tick events by timestamp, assuming the event type offers a property by name timestamp that, reflects time in high resolution, for example arrival or system time:

// Note the below statement could lead to an out-of-memory problem:
select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent group by timestamp

As the engine has no means of detecting when aggregation state (sums per symbol) can be discarded, you may use the following hints to control aggregation state lifetime.

The @Hint("reclaim_group_aged=age_in_seconds") hint instructs the engine to discard aggregation state that has not been updated for age_in_seconds seconds.

The optional @Hint("reclaim_group_freq=sweep_frequency_in_seconds") can be used in addition to control the frequency at which the engine sweeps aggregation state to determine aggregation state age and remove state that is older then age_in_seconds seconds. If the hint is not specified, the frequency defaults to the same value as age_in_seconds.

The updated sample statement with both hints:

// Instruct engine to remove state older then 10 seconds and sweep every 5 seconds
@Hint('reclaim_group_aged=10,reclaim_group_freq=5')
select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent group by timestamp

Variables may also be used to provide values for age_in_seconds and sweep_frequency_in_seconds.

This example statement uses a variable named varAge to control how long aggregation state remains in memory, and the engine defaults the sweep frequency to the same value as the variable provides:

@Hint('reclaim_group_aged=varAge')
select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent group by timestamp

4.6.3. Selecting groups of events: the Having clause

Use the having clause to pass or reject events defined by the group-by clause. The having clause sets conditions for the group by clause in the same way where sets conditions for the select clause, except where cannot include aggregate functions, while having often does.

This statement is an example of a having clause with an aggregate function. It posts the total price per symbol for the last 30 seconds of stock tick events for only those symbols in which the total price exceeds 1000. The having clause eliminates all symbols where the total price is equal or less then 1000.

select symbol, sum(price) 
from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
group by symbol 
having sum(price) > 1000

To include more then one condition in the having clause combine the conditions with and, or or not. This is shown in the statement below which selects only groups with a total price greater then 1000 and an average volume less then 500.

select symbol, sum(price), avg(volume)
from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
group by symbol 
having sum(price) > 1000 and avg(volume) < 500

A statement with the having clause should also have a group by clause. If you omit group-by, all the events not excluded by the where clause return as a single group. In that case having acts like a where except that having can have aggregate functions.

The having clause can also be used without group by clause as the below example shows. The example below posts events where the price is less then the current running average price of all stock tick events in the last 30 seconds.

select symbol, price, avg(price) 
from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
having price < avg(price)

4.6.4. How the stream filter, Where, Group By and Having clauses interact

When you include filters, the where condition, the group by clause and the having condition in an EPL statement the sequence in which each clause affects events determines the final result:

  1. The event stream's filter condition, if present, dictates which events enter a window (if one is used). The filter discards any events not meeting filter criteria.

  2. The where clause excludes events that do not meet its search condition.

  3. Aggregate functions in the select list calculate summary values for each group.

  4. The having clause excludes events from the final results that do not meet its search condition.

The following query illustrates the use of filter, where, group by and having clauses in one statement with a select clause containing an aggregate function.

select tickDataFeed, stddev(price)
from StockTickEvent(symbol='IBM').win:length(10) 
where volume > 1000
group by tickDataFeed 
having stddev(price) > 0.8

Esper filters events using the filter criteria for the event stream StockTickEvent. In the example above only events with symbol IBM enter the length window over the last 10 events, all other events are simply discarded. The where clause removes any events posted by the length window (events entering the window and event leaving the window) that do not match the condition of volume greater then 1000. Remaining events are applied to the stddev standard deviation aggregate function for each tick data feed as specified in the group by clause. Each tickDataFeed value generates one event. Esper applies the having clause and only lets events pass for tickDataFeed groups with a standard deviation of price greater then 0.8.

4.6.5. Comparing the Group By clause and the std:groupwin view

The group by clause as well as the built-in std:groupwin view are similar in their ability to group events. This section explains the key differences in their behavior and use.

The group by clause works together with aggregation functions in your statement to produce an aggregation result per group. In greater detail, this means that when a new event arrives, the engine applies the expressions in the group by clause to determine a grouping key. If the engine has not encountered that grouping key before (a new group), the engine creates a set of new aggregation results for that grouping key and performs the aggregation changing that new set of aggregation results. If the grouping key points to an existing set of prior aggregation results (an existing group), the engine performs the aggregation changing the prior set of aggregation results for that group.

The std:groupwin view is a built-in view that also groups events. The view is described in greater detail in Section 11.2.2, “Grouped Data Window (std:groupwin)”. Its primary use is to create a separate data window per group, or more generally to create separate instances of all its sub-views for each grouping key encountered.

The next example shows two queries that produce equivalent results. The query using the group by clause is generally preferable as is easier to read. The second form introduces the stat:uni view which computes univariate statistics for a given property:

select symbol, avg(price) from StockTickEvent group by symbol
// ... is equivalent to ...
select symbol, average from StockTickEvent.std:groupwin(symbol).stat:uni(price)

The next example shows two queries that are NOT equivalent as the length window is ungrouped in the first query, and grouped in the second query:

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent.win:length(10) group by symbol
// ... NOT equivalent to ...
select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent.std:groupwin(symbol).win:length(10)

The key difference between the two statements is that in the first statement the length window is ungrouped and applies to all events regardless of group. While in the second query each group gets its own instance of a length window. For example, in the second query events arriving for symbol "ABC" get a length window of 10 events, and events arriving for symbol "DEF" get their own length window of 10 events.

4.7. Stabilizing and Controlling Output: the Output Clause

4.7.1. Output Clause Options

The output clause is optional in Esper and is used to control or stabilize the rate at which events are output and to suppress output events. The EPL language provides for several different ways to control output rate.

Here is the syntax for the output clause that specifies a rate in time interval or number of events:

output [after suppression_def] 
  [[all | first | last | snapshot] every output_rate [seconds | events]]

An alternate syntax specifies the time period between output as outlined in Section 4.2.1, “Specifying Time Periods” :

output [after suppression_def] 
  [[all | first | last | snapshot] every time_period]

A crontab-like schedule can also be specified. The schedule parameters follow the pattern observer parameters and are further described in Section 5.6.2.2, “timer:at” :

output [after suppression_def] 
  [[all | first | last | snapshot] at 
   (minutes, hours, days of month, months, days of week [, seconds])]

Last, output can be controlled by an expression that may contain variables, user-defined functions and information about the number of collected events. Output that is controlled by an expression is discussed in detail below.

The after keyword and suppression_def can appear alone or together with further output conditions and suppresses output events.

For example, the following statement outputs, every 60 seconds, the total price for all orders in the 30-minute time window:

select sum(price) from OrderEvent.win:time(30 min) output snapshot every 60 seconds

The all keyword is the default and specifies that all events in a batch should be output, each incoming row in the batch producing an output row. Note that for statements that group via the group by clause, the all keyword provides special behavior as below.

The first keyword specifies that only the first event in an output batch is to be output. Using the first keyword instructs the engine to output the first matching event as soon as it arrives, and then ignores matching events for the time interval or number of events specified. After the time interval elapsed, or the number of matching events has been reached, the next first matching event is output again and the following interval the engine again ignores matching events. For statements that group via the group by clause, the first keywords provides special behavior as below.

The last keyword specifies to only output the last event at the end of the given time interval or after the given number of matching events have been accumulated. Again, for statements that group via the group by clause the last keyword provides special behavior as below.

The snapshot keyword indicates that the engine output current computation results considering all events as per views specified and/or current aggregation results. While the other keywords control how a batch of events between output intervals is being considered, the snapshot keyword outputs all current state of a statement independent of the last batch. Its output is equivalent to the iterator method provided by a statement. The snapshot keyword requires a data window declaration if not used within a join and outputs only the last event if used without a data window.

The output_rate is the frequency at which the engine outputs events. It can be specified in terms of time or number of events. The value can be a number to denote a fixed output rate, or the name of a variable whose value is the output rate. By means of a variable the output rate can be controlled externally and changed dynamically at runtime.

Please consult the Appendix A, Output Reference and Samples for detailed information on insert and remove stream output for the various output clause keywords.

The time interval can also be specified in terms of minutes; the following statement is identical to the first one.

select * from StockTickEvent.win:length(5) output every 1.5 minutes

A second way that output can be stabilized is by batching events until a certain number of events have been collected. The next statement only outputs when either 5 (or more) new or 5 (or more) old events have been batched.

select * from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) output every 5 events

Additionally, event output can be further modified by the optional last keyword, which causes output of only the last event to arrive into an output batch.

select * from StockTickEvent.win:time(30 sec) output last every 5 events

Using the first keyword you can be notified at the start of the interval. The allows to watch for situations such as a rate falling below a threshold and only be informed every now and again after the specified output interval, but be informed the moment it first happens.

select * from TickRate.win:time(30 seconds) where rate<100 output first every 60 seconds

A sample statement using the Unix "crontab"-command schedule is shown next. See Section 5.6.2.2, “timer:at” for details on schedule syntax. Here, output occurs every 15 minutes from 8am to 5:45pm (hours 8 to 17 at 0, 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour):

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent group by symbol output at (*/15, 8:17, *, *, *)

4.7.1.1. Controlling Output Using an Expression

Output can also be controlled by an expression that may check variable values, use user-defined functions and query built-in properties that provide additional information. The synopsis is as follows:

output [after suppression_def] 
  [[all | first | last | snapshot] when trigger_expression 
    [then set variable_name = assign_expression [, variable_name = assign_expression [,...]]]

The when keyword must be followed by a trigger expression returning a boolean value of true or false, indicating whether to output. Use the optional then keyword to change variable values after the trigger expression evaluates to true. An assignment expression assigns a new value to variable(s).

Lets consider an example. The next statement assumes that your application has defined a variable by name OutputTriggerVar of boolean type. The statement outputs rows only when the OutputTriggerVar variable has a boolean value of true:

select sum(price) from StockTickEvent output when OutputTriggerVar = true

The engine evaluates the trigger expression when streams and data views post one or more insert or remove stream events after considering the where clause, if present. It also evaluates the trigger expression when any of the variables used in the trigger expression, if any, changes value. Thus output occurs as follows:

  1. When there are insert or remove stream events and the when trigger expression evaluates to true, the engine outputs the resulting rows.

  2. When any of the variables in the when trigger expression changes value, the engine evaluates the expression and outputs results. Result output occurs within the minimum time interval of timer resolution (100 milliseconds).

By adding a then part to the EPL, we can reset any variables after the trigger expression evaluated to true:

select sum(price) from StockTickEvent 
  output when OutputTriggerVar = true  
  then set OutputTriggerVar = false

Expressions in the when and then may, for example, use variables, user defined functions or any of the built-in named properties that are described in the below list.

The following built-in properties are available for use:

Table 4.3. Built-In Properties for Use with Output When

Built-In Property NameDescription
last_output_timestampTimestamp when the last output occurred for the statement; Initially set to time of statement creation
count_insertNumber of insert stream events
count_removeNumber of remove stream events

The values provided by count_insert and count_remove are non-continues: The number returned for these properties may 'jump' up rather then count up by 1. The counts reset to zero upon output.

The following restrictions apply to expressions used in the output rate clause:

  • Event property names cannot be used in the output clause.

  • Aggregation functions cannot be used in the output clause.

  • The prev previous event function and the prior prior event function cannot be used in the output clause.

4.7.1.2. Suppressing Output With After

The after keyword and its time period or number of events parameters is optional and can occur after the output keyword, either alone or with output conditions as listed above.

The synopsis of after is as follows:

output after time_period | number events [...]

When using after either alone or together with further output conditions, the engine discards all output events until the time period passed as measured from the start of the statement, or until the number of output events are reached. The discarded events are not output and do not count towards any further output conditions if any are specified.

For example, the following statement outputs every minute the total price for all orders in the 30-minute time window but only after 30 minutes have passed:

select sum(price) from OrderEvent.win:time(30 min) output after 30 min snapshot every 1 min

An example in which after occur alone is below, in a statement that outputs total price for all orders in the last minute but only after 1 minute passed, each time an event arrives or leaves the data window:

select sum(price) from OrderEvent.win:time(1 min) output after 1 min

To demonstrate after when used with an event count, this statement find pairs of orders with the same id but suppresses output for the first 5 pairs:

select * from pattern[every o=OrderEvent->p=OrderEvent(id=o.id)] output after 5 events

4.7.2. Aggregation, Group By, Having and Output clause interaction

Remove stream events can also be useful in conjunction with aggregation and the output clause: When the engine posts remove stream events for fully-aggregated queries, it presents the aggregation state before the expiring event leaves the data window. Your application can thus easily obtain a delta between the new aggregation value and the prior aggregation value.

The engine evaluates the having-clause at the granularity of the data posted by views. That is, if you utilize a time window and output every 10 events, the having clause applies to each individual event or events entering and leaving the time window (and not once per batch of 10 events).

The output clause interacts in two ways with the group by and having clauses. First, in the output every n events case, the number n refers to the number of events arriving into the group by clause. That is, if the group by clause outputs only 1 event per group, or if the arriving events don't satisfy the having clause, then the actual number of events output by the statement could be fewer than n.

Second, the last, all and first keywords have special meanings when used in a statement with aggregate functions and the group by clause:

  • When no keyword is specified, the engine produces an output row for each row in the batch or when using group-by then an output per group only for those groups present in the batch, following Section 3.7.2, “Output for Aggregation and Group-By”.

  • The all keyword (the default) specifies that the most recent data for all groups seen so far should be output, whether or not these groups' aggregate values have just been updated

  • The last keyword specifies that only groups whose aggregate values have been updated with the most recent batch of events should be output.

  • The first keyword specifies that only groups whose aggregate values have been updated with the most recent batch of events should be output following the defined frequency, keeping frequency state for each group.

Please consult the Appendix A, Output Reference and Samples for detailed information on insert and remove stream output for aggregation and group-by.

By adding an output rate limiting clause to a statement that contains a group by clause we can control output of groups to obtain one row for each group, generating an event per group at the given output frequency.

The next statement outputs total price per symbol cumulatively (no data window was used here). As it specifies the all keyword, the statement outputs the current value for all groups seen so far, regardless of whether the group was updated in the last interval. Output occurs after an interval of 5 seconds passed and at the end of each subsequent interval:

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent group by symbol output all every 5 seconds

The below statement outputs total price per symbol considering events in the last 3 minutes. When events leave the 3-minute data window output also occurs as new aggregation values are computed. The last keyword instructs the engine to output only those groups that had changes. Output occurs after an interval of 10 seconds passed and at the end of each subsequent interval:

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent.win:time(3 min)
group by symbol output last every 10 seconds

This statement also outputs total price per symbol considering events in the last 3 minutes. The first keyword instructs the engine to output as soon as there is a new value for a group. After output for a given group the engine suppresses output for the same group for 10 seconds and does not suppress output for other groups. Output occurs again for that group after the interval when the group has new value(s):

select symbol, sum(price) from StockTickEvent.win:time(3 min)
group by symbol output first every 10 seconds

4.7.3. Runtime Considerations

Output rate limiting provides output events to your application in regular intervals. Between intervals, the engine uses a buffer to hold events until the output condition is reached. If your application has high-volume streams, you may need to be mindful of the memory needs for output rates.

The output clause with the snapshot keyword does not require a buffer, all other output keywords do consume memory until the output condition is reached.

4.8. Sorting Output: the Order By Clause

The order by clause is optional. It is used for ordering output events by their properties, or by expressions involving those properties. .

For example, the following statement outputs batches of 5 or more stock tick events that are sorted first by price ascending and then by volume ascending:

select symbol from StockTickEvent.win:time(60 sec) 
output every 5 events 
order by price, volume

Here is the syntax for the order by clause:

order by expression [asc | desc] [, expression [asc | desc]] [, ...]

If the order by clause is absent then the engine still makes certain guarantees about the ordering of output:

  • If the statement is not a join, does not group via group by clause and does not declare grouped data windows via std:groupwin view, the order in which events are delivered to listeners and through the iterator pull API is the order of event arrival.

  • If the statement is a join or outer join, or groups, then the order in which events are delivered to listeners and through the iterator pull API is not well-defined. Use the order by clause if your application requires events to be delivered in a well-defined order.

Esper places the following restrictions on the expressions in the order by clause:

  1. All aggregate functions that appear in the order by clause must also appear in the select expression.

Otherwise, any kind of expression that can appear in the select clause, as well as any name defined in the select clause, is also valid in the order by clause.

By default all sort operations on string values are performed via the compare method and are thus not locale dependent. To account for differences in language or locale, see Section 13.4.17, “Engine Settings related to Language and Locale” to change this setting.

4.9. Limiting Row Count: the Limit Clause

The limit clause is typically used together with the order by and output clause to limit your query results to those that fall within a specified range. You can use it to receive the first given number of result rows, or to receive a range of result rows.

There are two syntaxes for the limit clause, each can be parameterized by integer constants or by variable names. The first syntax is shown below:

limit row_count [offset offset_count]

The required row_count parameter specifies the number of rows to output. The row_count can be an integer constant and can also be the name of the integer-type variable to evaluate at runtime.

The optional offset_count parameter specifies the number of rows that should be skipped (offset) at the beginning of the result set. A variable can also be used for this parameter.

The next sample EPL query outputs the top 10 counts per property 'uri' every 1 minute.

select uri, count(*) from WebEvent 
group by uri 
output snapshot every 1 minute
order by count(*) desc 
limit 10

The next statement demonstrates the use of the offset keyword. It outputs ranks 3 to 10 per property 'uri' every 1 minute:

select uri, count(*) from WebEvent 
group by uri 
output snapshot every 1 minute
order by count(*) desc 
limit 8 offset 2

The second syntax for the limit clause is for SQL standard compatibility and specifies the offset first, followed by the row count:

limit offset_count[, row_count]

The following are equivalent:

limit 8 offset 2
// ...equivalent to
limit 2, 8

A negative value for row_count returns an unlimited number or rows, and a zero value returns no rows. If variables are used, then the current variable value at the time of output dictates the row count and offset. A variable returning a null value for row_count also returns an unlimited number or rows.

A negative value for offset is not allowed. If your variable returns a negative or null value for offset then the value is assumed to be zero (i.e. no offset).

The iterator pull API also honors the limit clause, if present.

4.10. Merging Streams and Continuous Insertion: the Insert Into Clause

The insert into clause is optional in Esper. The clause can be specified to make the results of a statement available as an event stream for use in further statements, or to insert events into a named window. The clause can also be used to merge multiple event streams to form a single stream of events.

The syntax for the insert into clause is as follows:

insert [istream | rstream] into event_stream_name  [ (property_name [, property_name] ) ]

The istream (default) and rstream keywords are optional. If no keyword or the istream keyword is specified, the engine supplies the insert stream events generated by the statement. The insert stream consists of the events entering the respective window(s) or stream(s). If the rstream keyword is specified, the engine supplies the remove stream events generated by the statement. The remove stream consists of the events leaving the respective window(s).

The event_stream_name is an identifier that names the event stream (and also implicitly names the types of events in the stream) generated by the engine. The identifier can be used in further statements to filter and process events of that event stream. The insert into clause can consist of just an event stream name, or an event stream name and one or more property names.

The engine also allows listeners to be attached to a statement that contain an insert into clause. Listeners receive all events posted to the event stream.

To merge event streams, simply use the same event_stream_name identifier in all EPL statements that merge their result event streams. Make sure to use the same number and names of event properties and event property types match up.

Esper places the following restrictions on the insert into clause:

  1. The number of elements in the select clause must match the number of elements in the insert into clause if the clause specifies a list of event property names

  2. If the event stream name has already been defined by a prior statement or configuration, and the event property names and/or event types do not match, an exception is thrown at statement creation time.

The following sample inserts into an event stream by name CombinedEvent:

insert into CombinedEvent
select A.customerId as custId, A.timestamp - B.timestamp as latency
  from EventA.win:time(30 min) A, EventB.win:time(30 min) B
 where A.txnId = B.txnId

Each event in the CombinedEvent event stream has two event properties named "custId" and "latency". The events generated by the above statement can be used in further statements, such as shown in the next statement:

select custId, sum(latency)
  from CombinedEvent.win:time(30 min)
 group by custId

The example statement below shows the alternative form of the insert into clause that explicitly defines the property names to use.

insert into CombinedEvent (custId, latency)
select A.customerId, A.timestamp - B.timestamp 
...

The rstream keyword can be useful to indicate to the engine to generate only remove stream events. This can be useful if we want to trigger actions when events leave a window rather then when events enter a window. The statement below generates CombinedEvent events when EventA and EventB leave the window after 30 minutes.

insert rstream into CombinedEvent
select A.customerId as custId, A.timestamp - B.timestamp as latency
  from EventA.win:time(30 min) A, EventB.win:time(30 min) B
 where A.txnId = B.txnId

The insert into clause can be used in connection with patterns to provide pattern results to further statements for analysis:

insert into ReUpEvent
select linkUp.ip as ip 
from pattern [every linkDown=LinkDownEvent -> linkUp=LinkUpEvent(ip=linkDown.ip)]

4.10.1. Transposing a Property To a Stream

Sometimes your events may carry properties that are themselves event objects. Therefore EPL offers a special syntax to insert the value of a property itself as an event into a stream:

insert into stream_name select property_name.* from ...

This feature is only supported for JavaBean events and is not supported for Map or XML events. Nested property names are also not supported.

In this example, the class Summary with properties bid and ask that are of type Quote is:

public class Summary {
  private Quote bid;
  private Quote ask;
  ...

The statement to populate a stream of Quote events is thus:

insert into MyBidStream select bid.* from Summary

4.10.2. Merging Streams By Event Type

The insert into clause allows to merge multiple event streams into a event single stream. The clause names an event stream to insert into by specifing an event_stream_name. The first statement that inserts into the named stream defines the stream's event types. Further statements that insert into the same event stream must match the type of events inserted into the stream as declared by the first statement.

One approach to merging event streams specifies individual colum names either in the select clause or in the insert into clause of the statement. This approach has been shown in earlier examples.

Another approach to merging event streams specifies the wildcard (*) in the select clause (or the stream wildcard) to select the underlying event. The events in the event stream must then have the same event type as generated by the from clause.

Assume a statement creates an event stream named MergedStream by selecting OrderEvent events:

insert into MergedStream select * from OrderEvent

A statement can use the stream wildcard selector to select only OrderEvent events in a join:

insert into MergedStream select ord.* from ItemScanEvent, OrderEvent as ord

And a statement may also use an application-supplied user-defined function to convert events to OrderEvent instances:

insert into MergedStream select MyLib.convert(item) from ItemScanEvent as item

Esper specifically recognizes a conversion function: A conversion function must be the only selected column, and it must return either a Java object or java.util.Map.

4.10.3. Merging Disparate Types of Events: Variant Streams

A variant stream is a predefined stream into which events of multiple disparate event types can be inserted.

A variant stream name may appear anywhere in a pattern or from clause. In a pattern, a filter against a variant stream matches any events of any of the event types inserted into the variant stream. In a from clause including for named windows, views declared onto a variant stream may hold events of any of the event types inserted into the variant stream.

A variant stream is thus useful in problems that require different types of event to be treated the same.

Variant streams can be declared by means of create variant schema or can be predefined via runtime or initialization-time configuration as described in Section 13.4.23, “Variant Stream”. Your application may declare or predefine variant streams to carry events of a limited set of event types, or you may choose the variant stream to carry any and all types of events. This choice affects what event properties are available for consuming statements or patterns of the variant stream.

Assume that an application predefined a variant stream named OrderStream to carry only ServiceOrder and ProductOrder events. An insert into clause inserts events into the variant stream:

insert into OrderStream select * from ServiceOrder
insert into OrderStream select * from ProductOrder

Here is a sample statement that consumes the variant stream and outputs a total price per customer id for the last 30 seconds of ServiceOrder and ProductOrder events:

select customerId, sum(price) from OrderStream.win:time(30 sec) group by customerId

If your application predefines the variant stream to hold specific type of events, as the sample above did, then all event properties that are common to all specified types are visible on the variant stream, including nested, indexed and mapped properties. For access to properties that are only available on one of the types, the dynamic property syntax must be used. In the example above, the customerId and price were properties common to both ServiceOrder and ProductOrder events.

For example, here is a consuming statement that selects a service duraction property that only ServiceOrder events have, and that must therefore be casted to double and null values removed in order to aggregate:

select customerId, sum(coalesce(cast(serviceDuraction?, double), 0)) 
from OrderStream.win:time(30 sec) group by customerId

If your application predefines a variant stream to hold any type of events (the any type variance), then all event properties of the variant stream are effectively dynamic properties.

For example, an application may define an OutgoingEvents variant stream to hold any type of event. The next statement is a sample consumer of the OutgoingEvents variant stream that looks for the destination property and fires for each event in which the property exists with a value of 'email':

select * from OutgoingEvents(destination = 'email')

4.10.4. Decorated Events

Your select clause may use the '*' wildcard together with further expressions to populate a stream of events. A sample statement is:

insert into OrderStream select *, price*units as linePrice from PurchaseOrder

When using wildcard and selecting additional expression results, the engine produces what is called decorating events for the resulting stream. Decorating events add additional property values to an underlying event.

In the above example the resulting OrderStream consists of underlying PurchaseOrder events decorated by a linePrice property that is a result of the price*units expression.

In order to use insert into to insert into an existing stream of decorated events, your underlying event type must match, and all additional decorating property names and types of the select clause must also match.

4.10.5. Event as a Property

Your select clause may use the stream name to populate a stream of events in which each event has properties that are itself an event. A sample statement is:

insert into CompositeStream select order, service, order.price+service.price as totalPrice 
from PurchaseOrder.std:lastevent() as order, ServiceEvent:std:lastevent() as service

When using the stream name (or tag in patterns) in the select clause, the engine produces composite events: One or more of the properties of the composite event are events themselves.

In the above example the resulting CompositeStream consists of 3 columns: the PurchaseOrder event, the ServiceEvent event and the totalPrice property that is a result of the order.price+service.price expression.

In order to use insert into to insert into an existing stream of events in which properties are themselves events, each event column's event type must match, and all additional property names and types of the select clause must also match.

4.10.6. Populating an Underlying Event Object

Your insert into clause may also directly instantiate and populate application underlying event objects or Map event objects. This is described in greater detail in Section 2.11, “Event Objects Populated by Insert Into”.

4.11. Subqueries

A subquery is a select within another statement. Esper supports subqueries in the select clause, in the where clause and in stream and pattern filter expressions. Subqueries provide an alternative way to perform operations that would otherwise require complex joins. Subqueries can also make statements more readable then complex joins.

Esper supports both simple subqueries as well as correlated subqueries. In a simple subquery, the inner query is not correlated to the outer query. Here is an example simple subquery within a select clause:

select assetId, (select zone from ZoneClosed.std:lastevent()) as lastClosed from RFIDEvent

If the inner query is dependent on the outer query, we will have a correlated subquery. An example of a correlated subquery is shown below. Notice the where clause in the inner query, where the condition involves a stream from the outer query:

select * from RfidEvent as RFID where 'Dock 1' = 
  (select name from Zones.std:unique(zoneId) where zoneId = RFID.zoneId)

The example above shows a subquery in the where clause. The statement selects RFID events in which the zone name matches a string constant based on zone id. The statement uses the view std:unique to guarantee that only the last event per zone id is held from processing by the subquery.

The next example is a correlated subquery within a select clause. In this statement the select clause retrieves the zone name by means of a subquery against the Zones set of events correlated by zone id:

select zoneId, (select name from Zones.std:unique(zoneId) 
  where zoneId = RFID.zoneId) as name from RFIDEvent

Note that when a simple or correlated subquery returns multiple rows, the engine returns a null value as the subquery result. To limit the number of events returned by a subquery consider using one of the views std:lastevent, std:unique and std:groupwin or aggregation functions or the multi-row and multi-column selects as described below.

The select clause of a subquery also allows wildcard selects, which return as an event property the underlying event object of the event type as defined in the from clause. An example:

select (select * from MarketData.std:lastevent()) as md 
  from pattern [every timer:interval(10 sec)]

The output events to the statement above contain the underlying MarketData event in a property named "md". The statement populates the last MarketData event into a property named "md" every 10 seconds following the pattern definition, or populates a null value if no MarketData event has been encountered so far.

When your subquery returns multiple rows, you must use an aggregation function in the select clause of the subselect, as a subquery can only return a single row and single value object. To return multiple values from a subquery, consider writing a custom aggregation function that returns an array or collection of values.

Aggregation functions may be used in the select clause of the subselect as this example outlines:

select * from MarketData
where price > (select max(price) from MarketData(symbol='GOOG').std:lastevent())

As the sub-select expression is evaluated first (by default), the query above actually never fires for the GOOG symbol, only for other symbols that have a price higher then the current maximum for GOOG. As a sidenote, the insert into clause can also be handy to compute aggregation results for use in multiple subqueries.

When using aggregation functions in a correlated subselect the engine computes the aggregation based on data window or named window contents matching the where-clause.

The following example compares the quantity value provided by the current order event against the total quantity of all order events in the last 1 hour for the same client.

select * from OrderEvent oe
where qty > 
  (select sum(qty) from OrderEvent.win:time(1 hour) pd 
  where pd.client = oe.client)

Filter expressions in a pattern or stream may also employ subqueries. Subqueries can be uncorrelated or can be correlated to properties of the stream or to properties of tagged events in a pattern. Subqueries may reference named windows as well.

The following example filters BarData events that have a close price less then the last moving average (field movAgv) as provided by stream SMA20Stream (an uncorrelated subquery):

select * from BarData(ticker='MSFT', closePrice < 
    (select movAgv from SMA20Stream(ticker='MSFT').std:lastevent()))

A few generic examples follow to demonstrate the point. The examples use short event and property names so they are easy to read. Assume A and B are streams and DNamedWindow is a named window, and properties a_id, b_id, d_id, a_val, b_val, d_val respectively:

// Sample correlated subquery as part of stream filter criteria
select * from A(a_val in 
  (select b_val from B.std:unique(b_val) as b where a.a_id = b.b_id)) as a
// Sample correlated subquery against a named window
select * from A(a_val in 
  (select b_val from DNamedWindow as d where a.a_id = d.d_id)) as a
// Sample correlated subquery in the filter criteria as part of a pattern, querying a named window
select * from pattern [
  a=A -> b=B(bvalue = 
    (select d_val from DNamedWindow as d where d.d_id = b.b_id and d.d_id = a.a_id))
]

Subquery state starts to accumulate as soon as a statement starts (and not only when a pattern-subexpression activates).

The following restrictions apply to subqueries:

  1. The subquery stream definition must define a data window or other view to limit subquery results, reducing the number of events held for subquery execution

  2. Subqueries can only consist of a select clause, a from clause and a where clause. The group by and having clauses, as well as joins, outer-joins and output rate limiting are not permitted within subqueries.

  3. If using aggregation functions in a subquery, note these limitations:

    1. None of the properties of the correlated stream(s) can be used within aggregation functions.

    2. The properties of the subselect stream must all be within aggregation functions.

The order of evaluation of subqueries relative to the containing statement is guaranteed: If the containing statement and its subqueries are reacting to the same type of event, the subquery will receive the event first before the containing statement's clauses are evaluated. This behavior can be changed via configuration. The order of evaluation of subqueries is not guaranteed between subqueries.

Performance of your statement containing one or more subqueries principally depends on two parameters. First, if your subquery correlates one or more columns in the subquery stream with the enclosing statement's streams, the engine automatically builds the appropriate indexes for fast row retrieval based on the key values correlated (joined). The second parameter is the number of rows found in the subquery stream and the complexity of the filter criteria (where clause), as each row in the subquery stream must evaluate against the where clause filter.

4.11.1. The 'exists' Keyword

The exists condition is considered "to be met" if the subquery returns at least one row. The not exists condition is considered true if the subquery returns no rows.

The synopsis for the exists keyword is as follows:

exists (subquery)

Let's take a look at a simple example. The following is an EPL statement that uses the exists condition:

select assetId from RFIDEvent as RFID 
  where exists (select * from Asset.std:unique(assetId) where assetId = RFID.assetId)

This select statement will return all RFID events where there is at least one event in Assets unique by asset id with the same asset id.

4.11.2. The 'in' and 'not in' Keywords

The in subquery condition is true if the value of an expression matches one or more of the values returned by the subquery. Consequently, the not in condition is true if the value of an expression matches none of the values returned by the subquery.

The synopsis for the in keyword is as follows:

expression in (subquery)

The right-hand side subquery must return exactly one column.

The next statement demonstrates the use of the in subquery condition:

select assetId from RFIDEvent
  where zone in (select zone from ZoneUpdate(status = 'closed').win:time(10 min))

The above statement demonstrated the in subquery to select RFID events for which the zone status is in a closed state.

Note that if the left-hand expression yields null, or if there are no equal right-hand values and at least one right-hand row yields null, the result of the in construct will be null, not false (or true for not-in). This is in accordance with SQL's normal rules for Boolean combinations of null values.

4.11.3. The 'any' and 'some' Keywords

The any subquery condition is true if the expression returns true for one or more of the values returned by the subquery.

The synopsis for the any keyword is as follows:

expression operator any (subquery)
expression operator some (subquery)

The left-hand expression is evaluated and compared to each row of the subquery result using the given operator, which must yield a Boolean result. The result of any is "true" if any true result is obtained. The result is "false" if no true result is found (including the special case where the subquery returns no rows).

The operator can be any of the following values: =, !=, <>, <, <=, >, >=.

The some keyword is a synonym for any. The in construct is equivalent to = any.

The right-hand side subquery must return exactly one column.

The next statement demonstrates the use of the any subquery condition:

select * from ProductOrder as ord
  where quantity < any
    (select minimumQuantity from MinimumQuantity.win:keepall())

The above query compares ProductOrder event's quantity value with all rows from the MinimumQuantity stream of events and returns only those ProductOrder events that have a quantity that is less then any of the minimum quantity values of the MinimumQuantity events.

Note that if there are no successes and at least one right-hand row yields null for the operator's result, the result of the any construct will be null, not false. This is in accordance with SQL's normal rules for Boolean combinations of null values.

4.11.4. The 'all' Keyword

The all subquery condition is true if the expression returns true for all of the values returned by the subquery.

The synopsis for the all keyword is as follows:

expression operator all (subquery)

The left-hand expression is evaluated and compared to each row of the subquery result using the given operator, which must yield a Boolean result. The result of all is "true" if all rows yield true (including the special case where the subquery returns no rows). The result is "false" if any false result is found. The result is null if the comparison does not return false for any row, and it returns null for at least one row.

The operator can be any of the following values: =, !=, <>, <, <=, >, >=.

The not in construct is equivalent to != all.

The right-hand side subquery must return exactly one column.

The next statement demonstrates the use of the all subquery condition:

select * from ProductOrder as ord
  where quantity < all
    (select minimumQuantity from MinimumQuantity.win:keepall())

The above query compares ProductOrder event's quantity value with all rows from the MinimumQuantity stream of events and returns only those ProductOrder events that have a quantity that is less then all of the minimum quantity values of the MinimumQuantity events.

4.11.5. Multi-Column Selection

Your subquery may select multiple columns in the select clause including multiple aggregated values from a data window or named window.

The following example is a correlated subquery that selects wildcard and in addition selects the bid and offer properties of the last MarketData event for the same symbol as the arriving OrderEvent:

select *,
  (select bid, offer from MarketData.std:unique(symbol) as md 
   where md.symbol = oe.symbol) as bidoffer
from OrderEvent oe

Output events for the above query contain all properties of the original OrderEvent event. In addition each output event contains a bidoffer nested property that itself contains the bid and offer properties. You may retrieve the bid and offer from output events directly via the bidoffer.bid property name syntax for nested properties.

The next example is similar to the above query but instead selects aggregations and selects from a named window by name OrderNamedWindow (creation not shown here). For each arriving OrderEvent it selects the total quantity and count of all order events for the same client, as currently held by the named window:

select *,
  (select sum(qty) as sumPrice, count(*) as countRows 
   from OrderNamedWindow as onw
   where onw.client = oe.client) as pastOrderTotals
from OrderEvent as oe

Output events for the above query contain all properties of the original OrderEvent event. In addition each output event contains a pastOrderTotals nested property that itself contains the sumPrice and countRows properties.

4.11.6. Multi-Row Selection

While a subquery cannot change the cardinality of the selected stream, a subquery can return multiple values from the selected data window or named window. This section shows examples of the window aggregation function in subselects.

Consider using an inner join, outer join or unidirectional join instead to achieve a 1-to-many cardinality in the number of output events.

The next example is an uncorrelated subquery that selects all current ZoneEvent events considering the last ZoneEvent per zone for each arriving RFIDEvent.

select assetId,
 (select window(z.*) as winzones from ZoneEvent.std:unique(zone) as z) as zones
 from RFIDEvent

Output events for the above query contain two properties: the assetId property and the zones property. The latter property is a nested property that contains the winzones property. You may retrieve the zones from output events directly via the zones.winzones property name syntax for nested properties.

In this example for a correlated subquery against a named window we assume that the OrderNamedWindow has been created and contains order events. The query returns for each MarketData event the list of order ids for orders with the same symbol:

select price,
 (select window(orderId) as winorders 
  from OrderNamedWindow onw 
  where onw.symbol = md.symbol) as orderIds
 from MarketData md

Output events for the above query contain two properties: the price property and the orderIds property. The latter property is a nested property that contains the winorders property of type array.

4.11.7. Hints Related to Subqueries

The following hints are available to tune performance and memory use of subqueries.

Use the @Hint('set_noindex') hint for a statement that utilizes one or more subqueries. It instructs the engine to always perform a full table scan. The engine does not build an implicit index or use an explicitly-created index when this hint is provided. Use of the hint may result in reduced memory use but poor statement performance.

The following hints are available to tune performance and memory use of subqueries that select from named windows.

Named windows are globally-visible data windows. As such an application may create explicit indexes as discussed in Section 4.15.10, “Explicitly Indexing Named Windows”. The engine may also elect to create implicit indexes (no create-index EPL required) for index-based lookup of rows when executing on-select, on-merge, on-update and on-delete statements and for statements that subquery a named window.

By default and without specifying a hint, each statement that subqueries a named window also maintains its own index for looking up events held by the named window. The engine maintains the index by consuming the named window insert and remove stream. When the statement is destroyed it releases that index.

Specify the @Hint('enable_window_subquery_indexshare') hint to enable subquery index sharing for named windows. When using this hint, indexes for subqueries are maintained by the named window itself (and not each statement), are shared between one or more statements and may also utilize explicit indexes. Specify the hint once as part of the create window statement.

This sample EPL statement creates a named window with subquery index sharing enabled:

@Hint('enable_window_subquery_indexshare')
create window AllOrdersNamedWindow.win:keepall() as OrderMapEventType

When subquery index sharing is enabled, performance may increase as named window stream consumption is no longer needed. You may also expect reduced memory use especially if a large number of EPL statements perform similar subqueries against a named window. Subquery index sharing may require additional short-lived object creation and may slightly increase lock held time for named windows.

The following statement performs a correlated subquery against the named window above. When a settlement event arrives it select the order detail for the same order id as provided by the settlement event:

select 
  (select * from AllOrdersNamedWindow as onw 
    where onw.orderId = se.orderId) as orderDetail
  from SettlementEvent as se

With subquery index sharing enabled the engine maintains an index of order events by order id for the named window, and shares that index between additional statements until the time all utilizing statements are destroyed.

You may disable subquery index sharing for a specific statement by specifying the @Hint('disable_window_subquery_indexshare') hint, as this example shows, causing the statement to maintain its own index:

@Hint('disable_window_subquery_indexshare')
select 
  (select * from AllOrdersNamedWindow as onw 
    where onw.orderId = se.orderId) as orderDetail
  from SettlementEvent as se

4.12. Joining Event Streams

4.12.1. Introducing Joins

Two or more event streams can be part of the from-clause and thus both (all) streams determine the resulting events. This section summarizes the important concepts. The sections that follow present more detail on each topic.

The default join is an inner join which produces output events only when there is at least one match in all streams.

Consider the sample statement shown next:

select * from TickEvent.std:lastevent(), NewsEvent.std:lastevent()

The above statement outputs the last TickEvent and the last NewsEvent in one output event when either a TickEvent or a NewsEvent arrives. If no TickEvent was received before a NewsEvent arrives, no output occurs. Similarly when no NewsEvent was received before a TickEvent arrives, no output occurs.

The where-clause lists the join conditions that Esper uses to relate events in the two or more streams.

The next example statement retains the last TickEvent and last NewsEvent per symbol, and joins the two streams based on their symbol value:

select * from TickEvent.std:unique(symbol) as t, NewsEvent.std:unique(symbol) as n
where t.symbol = n.symbol

As before, when a TickEvent arrives for a symbol that has no matching NewsEvent then there is no output event.

An outer join does not require each event in either stream to have a matching event. The full outer join is useful when output is desired when no match is found. The different outer join types (full, left, right) are explained in more detail below.

This example statement is an outer-join and also returns the last TickEvent and last NewsEvent per symbol:

select * from TickEvent.std:unique(symbol) as t
full outer join NewsEvent.std:unique(symbol) as n on t.symbol = n.symbol

In the sample statement above, when a TickEvent arrives for a symbol that has no matching NewsEvent, or when a NewsEvent arrives for a symbol that has no matching TickEvent, the statement still produces an output event with a null column value for the missing event.

Note that each of the sample queries above defines a data window. The sample queries above use the last-event data window (std:lastevent) or the unique data window (std:unique). A data window serves to indicate the subset of events to join from each stream and may be required depending on the join.

In above queries, when either a TickEvent arrives or when a NewsEvent arrives then the query evaluates and there is output. The same holds true if additional streams are added to the from-clause: Each of the streams in the from-clause trigger the join to evaluate.

The unidirectional keyword instructs the engine to evaluate the join only when an event arrives from the single stream that was marked with the unidirectional keyword. In this case no data window should be specified for the stream marked as unidirectional since the keyword implies that the current event of that stream triggers the join.

Here is the sample statement above with unidirectional keyword, so that output occurs only when a TickEvent arrives and not when a NewsEvent arrives:

select * from TickEvent as t unidirectional, NewsEvent.std:unique(symbol) as n 
where t.symbol = n.symbol

It is oftentimes the case that an aggregation (count, sum, average) only needs to be calculated in the context of an arriving event or timer. Consider using the unidirectional keyword when aggregating over joined streams.

An EPL pattern is a normal citizen also providing a stream of data consisting of pattern matches. A time pattern, for example, can be useful to evaluate a join and produce output upon each interval.

This sample statement includes a pattern that fires every 5 seconds and thus triggers the join to evaluate and produce output, computing an aggregated total quantity per symbol every 5 seconds:

select symbol, sum(qty) from pattern[every timer:interval(5 sec)] unidirectional, 
  TickEvent.std:unique(symbol) t, NewsEvent.std:unique(symbol) as n 
where t.symbol = n.symbol group by symbol

Named windows as well as reference and historical data such as stored in your relational database, and data returned by a method invocation, can also be included in joins as discussed in Section 4.13, “Accessing Relational Data via SQL” and Section 4.14, “Accessing Non-Relational Data via Method Invocation”.

Related to joins are subqueries: A subquery is a select within another statement, see Section 4.11, “Subqueries”

The engine performs extensive query analysis and planning, building internal indexes and strategies as required to allow fast evaluation of many types of queries.

4.12.2. Inner (Default) Joins

Each point in time that an event arrives to one of the event streams, the two event streams are joined and output events are produced according to the where clause when matching events are found for all joined streams.

This example joins 2 event streams. The first event stream consists of fraud warning events for which we keep the last 30 minutes. The second stream is withdrawal events for which we consider the last 30 seconds. The streams are joined on account number.

select fraud.accountNumber as accntNum, fraud.warning as warn, withdraw.amount as amount,
       max(fraud.timestamp, withdraw.timestamp) as timestamp, 'withdrawlFraud' as desc
  from com.espertech.esper.example.atm.FraudWarningEvent.win:time(30 min) as fraud,
       com.espertech.esper.example.atm.WithdrawalEvent.win:time(30 sec) as withdraw
 where fraud.accountNumber = withdraw.accountNumber

Joins can also include one or more pattern statements as the next example shows:

select * from FraudWarningEvent.win:time(30 min) as fraud,
    pattern [every w=WithdrawalEvent -> PINChangeEvent(acct=w.acct)].std:lastevent() as withdraw
 where fraud.accountNumber = withdraw.w.accountNumber

The statement above joins the last 30 minutes of fraud warnings with a pattern. The pattern consists of every withdrawal event that is followed by a PIN change event for the same account number. It joins the two event streams on account number. The last-event view instucts the join to only consider the last pattern match.

In a join and outer join, your statement must declare a data window view or other view onto each stream. Streams that are marked as unidirectional and named windows as well as database or methods in a join are an exception and do not require a view to be specified. If you are joining an event to itself via contained-event selection, views also do not need to be specified.

The next example joins all FraudWarningEvent events that arrived since the statement was started, with the last 20 seconds of PINChangeEvent events:

select * from FraudWarningEvent.win:keepall() as fraud, PINChangeEvent.win:time(20 sec) as pin
 where fraud.accountNumber = pin.accountNumber

The above example employed the special keep-all view that retains all events.

4.12.3. Outer, Left and Right Joins

Esper supports left outer joins, right outer joins, full outer joins and inner joins in any combination between an unlimited number of event streams. Outer and inner joins can also join reference and historical data as explained in Section 4.13, “Accessing Relational Data via SQL”, as well as join data returned by a method invocation as outlined in Section 4.14, “Accessing Non-Relational Data via Method Invocation”.

The keywords left, right, full and inner control the type of the join between two streams. The on clause specifies one or more properties that join each stream. The synopsis is as follows:

...from stream_def [as name] 
  ((left|right|full outer) | inner) join stream_def 
  on property = property [and property = property ...]
  [ ((left|right|full outer) | inner) join stream_def on ...]...

If the outer join is a left outer join, there will be an output event for each event of the stream on the left-hand side of the clause. For example, in the left outer join shown below we will get output for each event in the stream RfidEvent, even if the event does not match any event in the event stream OrderList.

select * from RfidEvent.win:time(30 sec) as rfid
       left outer join
       OrderList.win:length(10000) as orderlist
     on rfid.itemId = orderList.itemId

Similarly, if the join is a Right Outer Join, then there will be an output event for each event of the stream on the right-hand side of the clause. For example, in the right outer join shown below we will get output for each event in the stream OrderList, even if the event does not match any event in the event stream RfidEvent.

select * from RfidEvent.win:time(30 sec) as rfid
       right outer join
       OrderList.win:length(10000) as orderlist
       on rfid.itemId = orderList.itemId

For all types of outer joins, if the join condition is not met, the select list is computed with the event properties of the arrived event while all other event properties are considered to be null.

The next type of outer join is a full outer join. In a full outer join, each point in time that an event arrives to one of the event streams, one or more output events are produced. In the example below, when either an RfidEvent or an OrderList event arrive, one or more output event is produced. The next example shows a full outer join that joins on multiple properties:

select * from RfidEvent.win:time(30 sec) as rfid
       full outer join
       OrderList.win:length(10000) as orderlist
       on rfid.itemId = orderList.itemId and rfid.assetId = orderList.assetId

The last type of join is an inner join. In an inner join, the engine produces an output event for each event of the stream on the left-hand side that matches at least one event on the right hand side considering the join properties. For example, in the inner join shown below we will get output for each event in the RfidEvent stream that matches one or more events in the OrderList data window:

select * from RfidEvent.win:time(30 sec) as rfid
       inner join
       OrderList.win:length(10000) as orderlist
       on rfid.itemId = orderList.itemId and rfid.assetId = orderList.assetId

Patterns as streams in a join follow this rule: If no data window view is declared for the pattern then the pattern stream retains the last match. Thus a pattern must have matched at least once for the last row to become available in a join. Multiple rows from a pattern stream may be retained by declaring a data window view onto a pattern using the pattern [...].view_specification syntax.

Finally, this example outer joins multiple streams. Here the RfidEvent stream is outer joined to both ProductName and LocationDescription via left outer join:

select * from RfidEvent.win:time(30 sec) as rfid
      left outer join ProductName.win:keepall() as refprod
        on rfid.productId = refprod.prodId
      left outer join LocationDescription.win:keepall() as refdesc
        on rfid.location = refdesc.locId

The on clause may only employ the = equals operator and property names. Any other operators must be placed in the where-clause.

4.12.4. Unidirectional Joins

In a join or outer join your statement lists multiple event streams, views and/or patterns in the from clause. As events arrive into the engine, each of the streams (views, patterns) provides insert and remove stream events. The engine evaluates each insert and remove stream event provided by each stream, and joins or outer joins each event against data window contents of each stream, and thus generates insert and remove stream join results.

The direction of the join execution depends on which stream or streams are currently providing an insert or remove stream event for executing the join. A join is thus multidirectional, or bidirectional when only two streams are joined. A join can be made unidirectional if your application does not want new results when events arrive on a given stream or streams.

The unidirectional keyword can be used in the from clause to identify a single stream that provides the events to execute the join. If the keyword is present for a stream, all other streams in the from clause become passive streams. When events arrive or leave a data window of a passive stream then the join does not generate join results.

For example, consider a use case that requires us to join stock tick events (TickEvent) and news events (NewsEvent). The unidirectional keyword allows to generate results only when TickEvent events arrive, and not when NewsEvent arrive or leave the 10-second time window:

select * from TickEvent unidirectional, NewsEvent.win:time(10 sec) 
where tick.symbol = news.symbol

Aggregation functions in a unidirectional join aggregate within the context of each unidirectional event evaluation and are not cumulative. Thereby aggregation functions when used with unidirectional may evaluate faster as they do not need to consider a remove stream (data removed from data windows or named windows).

The count function in the next query returns, for each TickEvent, the number of matching NewEvent events:

select count(*) from TickEvent unidirectional, NewsEvent.win:time(10 sec) 
where tick.symbol = news.symbol

The following restrictions apply to unidirectional joins:

  1. The unidirectional keyword can only be specified for a single stream in the from clause.

  2. Receiving data from a unidirectional join via the pull API (iterator method) is not allowed. This is because the engine holds no state for the single stream that provides the events to execute the join.

  3. The stream that declares the unidirectional keyword cannot declare a data window view or other view for that stream, since remove stream events are not processed for the single stream.

4.12.5. Hints Related to Joins

When joining 3 or more streams (including any relational or non-relational sources as below) it can sometimes help to provide the query planner instructions how to best execute the join. The engine compiles a query plan for the EPL statement at statement creation time. You can output the query plan to logging (see configuration).

An outer join that specifies only inner keywords for all streams is equivalent to an default (inner) join. The following two statements are equivalent:

select * from TickEvent.std:lastevent(), 
    NewsEvent.std:lastevent() where tick.symbol = news.symbol

Equivalent to:

select * from TickEvent.std:lastevent() 
	inner join NewsEvent.std:lastevent() on tick.symbol = news.symbol

For all types of joins, the query planner determines a query graph: The term is used here for all the information regarding what properties or expressions are used to join the streams. The query graph thus includes the where-clause expressions as well as outer-join on-clauses if this statement is an outer join. The query planner also computes a dependency graph which includes information about all historical data streams (relational and non-relational as below) and their input needs.

For default (inner) joins the query planner first attempts to find a path of execution as a nested iteration. For each stream the query planner selects the best order of streams available for the nested iteration considering the query graph and dependency graph. If the full depth of the join is achievable via nested iteration for all streams without full table scan then the query planner uses that nested iteration plan. If not, then the query planner re-plans considering a merge join (Cartesian) approach instead.

Specify the @Hint('PREFER_MERGE_JOIN') to instruct the query planner to prefer a merge join plan instead of a nested iteration plan. Specify the @Hint('FORCE_NESTED_ITER') to instruct the query planner to always use a nested iteration plan.

For example, consider the below statement. Depending on the number of matching rows in OrderBookOne and OrderBookTwo (named windows in this example, and assumed to be defined elsewhere) the performance of the join may be better using the merge join plan.

@Hint('PREFER_MERGE_JOIN') 
select * from TickEvent.std:lastevent() t, 
	OrderBookOne ob1, OrderBookOne ob2
where ob1.symbol = t.symbol and ob2.symbol = t.symbol 
and ob1.price between t.buy and t.sell and ob2.price between t.buy and t.sell

For outer joins the query planner considers nested iteration and merge join (Cartesian) equally and above hints don't apply.

4.13. Accessing Relational Data via SQL

This chapter outlines how reference data and historical data that are stored in a relational database can be queried via SQL within EPL statements.

Esper can access via join and outer join as well as via iterator (poll) API all types of event streams to stored data. In order for such data sources to become accessible to Esper, some configuration is required. The Section 13.4.8, “Relational Database Access” explains the required configuration for database access in greater detail, and includes information on configuring a query result cache.

Esper does not parse or otherwise inspect your SQL query. Therefore your SQL can make use of any database-specific SQL language extensions or features that your database provides.

If you have enabled query result caching in your Esper database configuration, Esper retains SQL query results in cache following the configured cache eviction policy.

Also if you have enabled query result caching in your Esper database configuration and provide EPL where clause and/or on clause (outer join) expressions, then Esper builds indexes on the SQL query results to enable fast lookup. This is especially useful if your queries return a large number of rows. For building the proper indexes, Esper inspects the expression found in your EPL query where clause, if present. For outer joins, Esper also inspects your EPL query on clause. Esper analyzes the EPL on clause and where clause expressions, if present, looking for property comparison with or without logical AND-relationships between properties. When a SQL query returns rows for caching, Esper builds and caches the appropriate index and lookup strategies for fast row matching against indexes.

Joins or outer joins in which only SQL statements or method invocations are listed in the from clause and no other event streams are termed passive joins. A passive join does not produce an insert or remove stream and therefore does not invoke statement listeners with results. A passive join can be iterated on (polled) using a statement's safeIterator and iterator methods.

There are no restrictions to the number of SQL statements or types of streams joined. The following restrictions currently apply:

  • Sub-views on an SQL query are not allowed; That is, one cannot create a time or length window on an SQL query. However one can use the insert into syntax to make join results available to a further statement.

  • Your database software must support JDBC prepared statements that provide statement meta data at compilation time. Most major databases provide this function. A workaround is available for databases that do not provide this function.

  • JDBC drivers must support the getMetadata feature. A workaround is available as below for JDBC drivers that don't support getting metadata.

The next sections assume basic knowledge of SQL (Structured Query Language).

4.13.1. Joining SQL Query Results

To join an event stream against stored data, specify the sql keyword followed by the name of the database and a parameterized SQL query. The syntax to use in the from clause of an EPL statement is:

sql:database_name [" parameterized_sql_query "]

The engine uses the database_name identifier to obtain configuration information in order to establish a database connection, as well as settings that control connection creation and removal. Please see Section 13.4.8, “Relational Database Access” to configure an engine for database access.

Following the database name is the SQL query to execute. The SQL query can contain one or more substitution parameters. The SQL query string is placed in single brackets [ and ]. The SQL query can be placed in either single quotes (') or double quotes ("). The SQL query grammer is passed to your database software unchanged, allowing you to write any SQL query syntax that your database understands, including stored procedure calls.

Substitution parameters in the SQL query string take the form ${expression}. The engine resolves expression at statement execution time to the actual expression result by evaluating the events in the joined event stream or current variable values, if any event property references or variables occur in the expression. An expression may not contain EPL substitution parameters.

The engine determines the type of the SQL query output columns by means of the result set metadata that your database software returns for the statement. The actual query results are obtained via the getObject on java.sql.ResultSet.

The sample EPL statement below joins an event stream consisting of CustomerCallEvent events with the results of an SQL query against the database named MyCustomerDB and table Customer:

select custId, cust_name from CustomerCallEvent,
  sql:MyCustomerDB [' select cust_name from Customer where cust_id = ${custId} ']

The example above assumes that CustomerCallEvent supplies an event property named custId. The SQL query selects the customer name from the Customer table. The where clause in the SQL matches the Customer table column cust_id with the value of custId in each CustomerCallEvent event. The engine executes the SQL query for each new CustomerCallEvent encountered.

If the SQL query returns no rows for a given customer id, the engine generates no output event. Else the engine generates one output event for each row returned by the SQL query. An outer join as described in the next section can be used to control whether the engine should generate output events even when the SQL query returns no rows.

The next example adds a time window of 30 seconds to the event stream CustomerCallEvent. It also renames the selected properties to customerName and customerId to demonstrate how the naming of columns in an SQL query can be used in the select clause in the EPL query. And the example uses explicit stream names via the as keyword.

select customerId, customerName from
  CustomerCallEvent.win:time(30 sec) as cce,
  sql:MyCustomerDB ["select cust_id as customerId, cust_name as customerName from Customer 
                  where cust_id = ${cce.custId}"] as cq

Any window, such as the time window, generates insert stream (istream) events as events enter the window, and remove stream (rstream) events as events leave the window. The engine executes the given SQL query for each CustomerCallEvent in both the insert stream and the remove stream. As a performance optimization, the istream or rstream keywords in the select clause can be used to instruct the engine to only join insert stream or remove stream events, reducing the number of SQL query executions.

Since any expression may be placed within the ${...} syntax, you may use variables or user-defined functions as well.

The next example assumes that a variable by name varLowerLimit is defined and that a user-defined function getLimit exists on the MyLib imported class that takes a LimitEvent as a parameter:

select * from LimitEvent le, 
  sql:MyCustomerDB [' select cust_name from Customer where 
      amount > ${max(varLowerLimit, MyLib.getLimit(le))} ']

The example above takes the higher of the current variable value or the value returned by the user-defined function to return only those customer names where the amount exceeds the computed limit.

4.13.2. SQL Query and the EPL Where Clause

Consider using the EPL where clause to join the SQL query result to your event stream. Similar to EPL joins and outer-joins that join event streams or patterns, the EPL where clause provides join criteria between the SQL query results and the event stream (as a side note, an SQL where clause is a filter of rows executed by your database on your database server before returning SQL query results).

Esper analyzes the expression in the EPL where clause and outer-join on clause, if present, and builds the appropriate indexes from that information at runtime, to ensure fast matching of event stream events to SQL query results, even if your SQL query returns a large number of rows. Your applications must ensure to configure a cache for your database using Esper configuration, as such indexes are held with regular data in a cache. If you application does not enable caching of SQL query results, the engine does not build indexes on cached data.

The sample EPL statement below joins an event stream consisting of OrderEvent events with the results of an SQL query against the database named MyRefDB and table SymbolReference:

select symbol, symbolDesc from OrderEvent as orders,
  sql:MyRefDB ['select symbolDesc from SymbolReference'] as reference
  where reference.symbol = orders.symbol

Notice how the EPL where clause joins the OrderEvent stream to the SymbolReference table. In this example, the SQL query itself does not have a SQL where clause and therefore returns all rows from table SymbolReference.

If your application enables caching, the SQL query fires only at the arrival of the first OrderEvent event. When the second OrderEvent arrives, the join execution uses the cached query result. If the caching policy that you specified in the Esper database configuration evicts the SQL query result from cache, then the engine fires the SQL query again to obtain a new result and places the result in cache.

If SQL result caching is enabled and your EPL where clause, as show in the above example, provides the properties to join, then the engine indexes the SQL query results in cache and retains the index together with the query result in cache. Thus your application can benefit from high performance index-based lookups as long as the SQL query results are found in cache.

The SQL result caches operate on the level of all result rows for a given parameter set. For example, if your query returns 10 rows for a certain set of parameter values then the cache treats all 10 rows as a single entry keyed by the parameter values, and the expiry policy applies to all 10 rows and not to each individual row.

It is also possible to join multiple autonomous database systems in a single query, for example:

select symbol, symbolDesc from OrderEvent as orders,
  sql:My_Oracle_DB ['select symbolDesc from SymbolReference'] as reference,
  sql:My_MySQL_DB ['select orderList from orderHistory'] as history
  where reference.symbol = orders.symbol
  and history.symbol = orders.symbol 

4.13.3. Outer Joins With SQL Queries

You can use outer joins to join data obtained from an SQL query and control when an event is produced. Use a left outer join, such as in the next statement, if you need an output event for each event regardless of whether or not the SQL query returns rows. If the SQL query returns no rows, the join result populates null values into the selected properties.

select custId, custName from
  CustomerCallEvent as cce
  left outer join 
  sql:MyCustomerDB ["select cust_id, cust_name as custName 
                     from Customer where cust_id = ${cce.custId}"] as cq
  on cce.custId = cq.cust_id

The statement above always generates at least one output event for each CustomerCallEvent, containing all columns selected by the SQL query, even if the SQL query does not return any rows. Note the on expression that is required for outer joins. The on acts as an additional filter to rows returned by the SQL query.

4.13.4. Using Patterns to Request (Poll) Data

Pattern statements and SQL queries can also be applied together in useful ways. One such use is to poll or request data from a database at regular intervals or following the schedule of the crontab-like timer:at.

The next statement is an example that shows a pattern that fires every 5 seconds to query the NewOrder table for new orders:

insert into NewOrders
select orderId, orderAmount from
  pattern [every timer:interval(5 sec)],
  sql:MyCustomerDB ['select orderId, orderAmount from NewOrders']

4.13.5. Polling SQL Queries via Iterator

Usually your SQL query will take part in a join and thus be triggered by an event or pattern occurrence. Instead, your application may need to poll a SQL query and thus use Esper query execution and caching facilities and obtain event data and metadata.

Your EPL statement can specify an SQL statement without a join. Such a stand-alone SQL statement does not post new events, and may only be queried via the iterator poll API. Your EPL and SQL statement may still use variables.

The next statement assumes that a price_var variable has been declared. It selects from the relational database table named NewOrder all rows in which the price column is greater then the current value of the price_var EPL variable:

select * from sql:MyCustomerDB ['select * from NewOrder where ${price_var} > price']

Use the iterator and safeIterator methods on EPStatement to obtain results. The statement does not post events to listeners, it is strictly passive in that sense.

4.13.6. JDBC Implementation Overview

The engine translates SQL queries into JDBC java.sql.PreparedStatement statements by replacing ${name} parameters with '?' placeholders. It obtains name and type of result columns from the compiled PreparedStatement meta data when the EPL statement is created.

The engine supplies parameters to the compiled statement via the setObject method on PreparedStatement. The engine uses the getObject method on the compiled statement PreparedStatement to obtain column values.

4.13.7. Oracle Drivers and No-Metadata Workaround

Certain JDBC database drivers are known to not return metadata for precompiled prepared SQL statements. This can be a problem as metadata is required by Esper. Esper obtains SQL result set metadata to validate an EPL statement and to provide column types for output events. JDBC drivers that do not provide metadata for precompiled SQL statements require a workaround. Such drivers do generally provide metadata for executed SQL statements, however do not provide the metadata for precompiled SQL statements.

Please consult the Chapter 13, Configuration for the configuration options available in relation to metadata retrieval.

To obtain metadata for an SQL statement, Esper can alternatively fire a SQL statement which returns the same column names and types as the actual SQL statement but without returning any rows. This kind of SQL statement is referred to as a sample statement in below workaround description. The engine can then use the sample SQL statement to retrieve metadata for the column names and types returned by the actual SQL statement.

Applications can provide a sample SQL statement to retrieve metadata via the metadatasql keyword:

sql:database_name ["parameterized_sql_query" metadatasql "sql_meta_query"] 

The sql_meta_query must be an SQL statement that returns the same number of columns, the same type of columns and the same column names as the parameterized_sql_query, and does not return any rows.

Alternatively, applications can choose not to provide an explicit sample SQL statement. If the EPL statement does not use the metadatasql syntax, the engine applies lexical analysis to the SQL statement. From the lexical analysis Esper generates a sample SQL statement adding a restrictive clause "where 1=0" to the SQL statement.

Alternatively, you can add the following tag to the SQL statement: ${$ESPER-SAMPLE-WHERE}. If the tag exists in the SQL statement, the engine does not perform lexical analysis and simply replaces the tag with the SQL where clause "where 1=0". Therefore this workaround is applicable to SQL statements that cannot be correctly lexically analyzed. The SQL text after the placeholder is not part of the sample query. For example:

select mycol from sql:myDB [
  'select mycol from mytesttable ${$ESPER-SAMPLE-WHERE} where ....'], ...

If your parameterized_sql_query SQL query contains vendor-specific SQL syntax, generation of the metadata query may fail to produce a valid SQL statement. If you experience an SQL error while fetching metadata, use any of the above workarounds with the Oracle JDBC driver.

4.13.8. SQL Input Parameter and Column Output Conversion

As part of database access configuration you may optionally specify SQL type mappings. These mappings apply to all queries against the same database identified by name.

If your application must perform SQL-query-specific or EPL-statement-specific mapping or conversion between types, the facility to register a conversion callback exists as follows.

Use the @Hook instruction and HookType.SQLCOL as part of your EPL statement text to register a statement SQL parameter or column conversion hook. Implement the interface com.espertech.esper.client.hook.SQLColumnTypeConversion to perform the input parameter or column value conversion.

A sample statement with annotation is shown:

@Hook(type=HookType.SQLCOL, hook='MyDBTypeConvertor')
select * from sql:MyDB ['select * from MyEventTable]

The engine expects MyDBTypeConvertor to resolve to a class (considering engine imports) and instantiates one instance of MyDBTypeConvertor for each statement.

4.13.9. SQL Row POJO Conversion

Your application may also directly convert a SQL result row into a Java class which is an opportunity for your application to interrogate and transform the SQL row result data freely before packing the data into a Java class. Your application can additionally indicate to skip SQL result rows.

Use the @Hook instruction and HookType.SQLROW as part of your EPL statement text to register a statement SQL output row conversion hook. Implement the interface com.espertech.esper.client.hook.SQLOutputRowConversion to perform the output row conversion.

A sample statement with annotation is shown:

@Hook(type=HookType.SQLROW, hook='MyDBRowConvertor')
select * from sql:MyDB ['select * from MyEventTable]

The engine expects MyDBRowConvertor to resolve to a class (considering engine imports) and instantiates one MyDBRowConvertor instance for each statement.

4.14. Accessing Non-Relational Data via Method Invocation

Your application may need to join data that originates from a web service, a distributed cache, an object-oriented database or simply data held in memory by your application. Esper accommodates this need by allowing a method invocation (or procedure call or function) in the from clause of a statement.

The results of such a method invocation in the from clause plays the same role as a relational database table in an inner and outer join in SQL. The role is thus dissimilar to the role of a user-defined function, which may occur in any expression such as in the select clause or the where clause. Both are backed by one or more static methods provided by your class library.

Esper can join and outer join an unlimited number and all types of event streams to the data returned by your method invocation. In addition, Esper can be configured to cache the data returned by your method invocations.

Joins or outer joins in which only SQL statements or method invocations are listed in the from clause and no other event streams are termed passive joins. A passive join does not produce an insert or remove stream and therefore does not invoke statement listeners with results. A passive join can be iterated on (polled) using a statement's safeIterator and iterator methods.

The following restrictions currently apply:

  • Sub-views on a method invocations are not allowed; That is, one cannot create a time or length window on a method invocation. However one can use the insert into syntax to make join results available to a further statement.

4.14.1. Joining Method Invocation Results

The syntax for a method invocation in the from clause of an EPL statement is:

method:class_name.method_name[(parameter_expressions)]

The method keyword denotes a method invocation. It is followed by a class name and a method name separated by a dot (.) character. If you have parameters to your method invocation, these are placed in round brackets after the method name. Any expression is allowed as a parameter, and individual parameter expressions are separated by a comma. Expressions may also use event properties of the joined stream.

In the sample join statement shown next, the method 'lookupAsset' provided by class 'MyLookupLib' returns one or more rows based on the asset id (a property of the AssetMoveEvent) that is passed to the method:

select * from AssetMoveEvent, method:MyLookupLib.lookupAsset(assetId)

The following statement demonstrates the use of the where clause to join events to the rows returned by a method invocation, which in this example does not take parameters:

select assetId, assetDesc from AssetMoveEvent as asset, 
       method:MyLookupLib.getAssetDescriptions() as desc 
where asset.assetid = desc.assetid

Your method invocation may return zero, one or many rows for each method invocation. If you have caching enabled through configuration, then Esper can avoid the method invocation and instead use cached results. Similar to SQL joins, Esper also indexes cached result rows such that join operations based on the where clause or outer-join on clause can be very efficient, especially if your method invocation returns a large number of rows.

If the time taken by method invocations is critical to your application, you may configure local caches as Section 13.4.6, “Cache Settings for From-Clause Method Invocations” describes.

Esper analyzes the expression in the EPL where clause and outer-join on clause, if present, and builds the appropriate indexes from that information at runtime, to ensure fast matching of event stream events to method invocation results, even if your method invocation returns a large number of rows. Your applications must ensure to configure a cache for your method invocation using Esper configuration, as such indexes are held with regular data in a cache. If you application does not enable caching of method invocation results, the engine does not build indexes on cached data.

4.14.2. Polling Method Invocation Results via Iterator

Usually your method invocation will take part in a join and thus be triggered by an event or pattern occurrence. Instead, your application may need to poll a method invocation and thus use Esper query execution and caching facilities and obtain event data and metadata.

Your EPL statement can specify a method invocation in the from clause without a join. Such a stand-alone method invocation does not post new events, and may only be queried via the iterator poll API. Your EPL statement may still use variables.

The next statement assumes that a category_var variable has been declared. It polls the getAssetDescriptions method passing the current value of the category_var EPL variable:

select * from method:MyLookupLib.getAssetDescriptions(category_var)]

Use the iterator and safeIterator methods on EPStatement to obtain results. The statement does not post events to listeners, it is strictly passive in that sense.

4.14.3. Providing the Method

Your application must provide a Java class that exposes a public static method. The method must accept the same number and type of parameters as listed in the parameter expression list.

If your method invocation returns either no row or only one row, then the return type of the method can be a Java class or a java.util.Map. If your method invocation can return more then one row, then the return type of the method must be an array of Java class or an array of Map.

If you are using a Java class or an array of Java class as the return type, then the class must adhere to JavaBean conventions: it must expose properties through getter methods.

If you are using java.util.Map as the return type or an array of Map, then the map should have String-type keys and object values (Map<String, Object>). When using Map as the return type, your application must provide a second method that returns property metadata, as the next section outlines.

Your application method must return either of the following:

  1. A null value or an empty array to indicate an empty result (no rows).

  2. A Java object or Map to indicate a one-row result, or an array that consists of a single Java object or Map.

  3. An array of Java objects or Map instances to return multiple result rows.

As an example, consider the method 'getAssetDescriptions' provided by class 'MyLookupLib' as discussed earlier:

select assetId, assetDesc from AssetMoveEvent as asset,
       method:com.mypackage.MyLookupLib.getAssetDescriptions() as desc 
  where asset.assetid = desc.assetid

The 'getAssetDescriptions' method may return multiple rows and is therefore declared to return an array of the class 'AssetDesc'. The class AssetDesc is a POJO class (not shown here):

public class MyLookupLib {
  ...
  public static AssetDesc[] getAssetDescriptions() {
    ...
    return new AssetDesc[] {...};
  }

The example above specifies the full Java class name of the class 'MyLookupLib' class in the EPL statement. The package name does not need to be part of the EPL if your application imports the package using the auto-import configuration through the API or XML, as outlined in Section 13.4.5, “Class and package imports”.

4.14.4. Using a Map Return Type

Your application may return java.util.Map or an array of Map from method invocations. If doing so, your application must provide metadata about each row: it must declare the property name and property type of each Map entry of a row. This information allows the engine to perform type checking of expressions used within the statement.

You declare the property names and types of each row by providing a method that returns property metadata. The metadata method must follow these conventions:

  1. The method name providing the property metadata must have same method name appended by the literal Metadata.

  2. The method must have an empty parameter list and must be declared public and static.

  3. The method providing the metadata must return a Map of String property name keys and java.lang.Class property name types (Map<String, Class>).

In the following example, a class 'MyLookupLib' provides a method to return historical data based on asset id and asset code:

select assetId, location, x_coord, y_coord from AssetMoveEvent as asset,
       method:com.mypackage.MyLookupLib.getAssetHistory(assetId, assetCode) as history

A sample implementation of the class 'MyLookupLib' is shown below.

public class MyLookupLib {
  ...
  // For each column in a row, provide the property name and type
  //
  public static Map<String, Class> getAssetHistoryMetadata() {
    Map<String, Class> propertyNames = new HashMap<String, Class>();
    propertyNames.put("location", String.class);
    propertyNames.put("x_coord", Integer.class);
    propertyNames.put("y_coord", Integer.class);
    return propertyNames;
  }
... 
  // Lookup rows based on assetId and assetCode
  // 
  public static Map<String, Object>[] getAssetHistory(String assetId, String assetCode) {
    Map rows = new Map[2];	// this sample returns 2 rows
    for (int i = 0; i < 2; i++) {
      rows[i] = new HashMap();
      rows[i].put("location", "somevalue");
      rows[i].put("x_coord", 100);
      // ... set more values for each row
    }
    return rows;
  }

In the example above, the 'getAssetHistoryMetadata' method provides the property metadata: the names and types of properties in each row. The engine calls this method once per statement to determine event typing information.

The 'getAssetHistory' method returns an array of Map objects that are two rows. The implementation shown above is a simple example. The parameters to the method are the assetId and assetCode properties of the AssetMoveEvent joined to the method. The engine calls this method for each insert and remove stream event in AssetMoveEvent.

To indicate that no rows are found in a join, your application method may return either a null value or an array of size zero.

4.15. Creating and Using Named Windows

A named window is a global data window that can take part in many statement queries, and that can be inserted-into and deleted-from by multiple statements. A named window holds events of the same type or supertype, unless used with a variant stream.

The create window clause declares a new named window. The named window starts up empty unless populated from an existing named window at time of creation. Events must be inserted into the named window using the insert into clause. Events can also be deleted from a named window via the on delete clause.

Events enter the named window by means of insert into clause of a select statement. Events leave a named window either because the expiry policy of the declared data window removes events from the named window, or through statements that use the on delete clause to explicitly delete from a named window.

To query a named window, simply use the window name in the from clause of your statement, including statements that contain subqueries, joins and outer-joins.

A named window may also decorate an event to preserve original events as described in Section 4.10.4, “Decorated Events” and Section 4.15.2.1, “Named Windows Holding Decorated Events”. In addition, columns of a named window are allowed to hold events themselves, as further explained in Section 4.10.5, “Event as a Property” and Section 4.15.2.2, “Named Windows Holding Events As Property”.

To tune subquery performance when the subquery selects from a named window, consider the hints discussed in Section 4.11.7, “Hints Related to Subqueries”.

4.15.1. Creating Named Windows: the Create Window clause

The create window statement creates a named window by specifying a window name and one or more data window views, as well as the type of event to hold in the named window.

There are two syntaxes for creating a named window: The first syntax allows to model a named window after an existing event type or an existing named window. The second syntax is similar to the SQL create-table syntax and provides a list of column names and column types.

A new named window starts up empty. It must be explicitly inserted into by one or more statements, as discussed below. A named window can also be populated at time of creation from an existing named window.

If your application stops or destroys the statement that creates the named window, any consuming statements no longer receive insert or remove stream events. The named window can also not be deleted from after it was stopped or destroyed.

The create window statement posts to listeners any events that are inserted into the named window as new data. The statement posts all deleted events or events that expire out of the data window to listeners as the remove stream (old data). The named window contents can also be iterated on via the pull API to obtain the current contents of a named window.

4.15.1.1. Creation by Modelling after an Existing Type

The benefit of modelling a named window after an existing event type is that event properties can be nested, indexed, mapped or other types that your event objects may provide as properties, including the type of the underlying event itself. Also, using the wildcard (*) operator means your EPL does not need to list each individual property explicitly.

The syntax for creating a named window by modelling the named window after an existing event type, is as follows:

create window window_name.view_specifications 
    [as] [select list_of_properties from] event_type_or_windowname
    [insert [where filter_expression]]

The window_name you assign to the named window can be any identifier. The name should not already be in use as an event type or stream name.

The view_specifications are one or more data window views that define the expiry policy for removing events from the data window. Named windows must explicitly declare a data window view. This is required to ensure that the policy for retaining events in the data window is well defined. To keep all events, use the keep-all view: It indicates that the named window should keep all events and only remove events from the named window that are deleted via the on delete clause. The view specification can only list data window views, derived-value views are not allowed since these don't represent an expiry policy. Data window views are listed in Chapter 11, EPL Reference: Views. View parameterization and staggering are described in Section 4.4.3, “Specifying Views”.

The select clause and list_of_properties are optional. If present, they specify the column names and, implicitly by definition of the event type, the column types of events held by the named window. Expressions other then column names are not allowed in the select list of properties. Wildcards (*) and wildcards with additional properties can also be used.

The event_type_or_windowname is required if using the model-after syntax. It provides the name of the event type of events held in the data window, unless column names and types have been explicitly selected via select. The name of an (existing) other named window is also allowed here. Please find more details in Section 4.15.6, “Populating a Named Window from an Existing Named Window”.

Finally, the insert clause and optional filter_expression are used if the new named windows is modelled after an existing named window, and the data of the existing named window is to be populated, upon time of creation of the new window, from the existing named window. The optional filter_expression can be used to exclude events.

The next statement creates a named window 'AllOrdersNamedWindow' for which the expiry policy is simply to keep all events. Assume that the event type 'OrderMapEventType' has been configured. The named window is to hold events of type 'OrderMapEventType':

create window AllOrdersNamedWindow.win:keepall() as OrderMapEventType

The below sample statement demonstrates the select syntax. It defines a named window in which each row has the three properties 'symbol', 'volume' and 'price'. This named window actively removes events from the window that are older then 30 seconds.

create window OrdersTimeWindow.win:time(30 sec) as 
  select symbol, volume, price from OrderEvent

In an alternate form, the as keyword can be used to rename columns, and constants may occur in the select clause as well:

create window OrdersTimeWindow.win:time(30 sec) as 
  select symbol as sym, volume as vol, price, 1 as alertId from OrderEvent

4.15.1.2. Creation By Defining Columns Names and Types

The second syntax for creating a named window is by supplying column names and types:

create window window_name.view_specifications [as] (column_name column_type 
  [,column_name column_type [,...])

The column_name is an identifier providing the event property name. The column_type is also required for each column. Valid column types are listed in Section 4.18.1, “Creating Variables: the Create Variable clause” and are the same as for variable types.

For attributes that are array-type append [] (left and right brackets).

The next statement creates a named window:

create window SecurityEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
    (ipAddress string, userId String, numAttempts int, properties String[])

Named window columns can hold events by declaring the column type as the event type name. Array-type is combination with event-type is also supported.

The next two statements declare an event type and create a named window with a column of the defined event type:

create schema SecurityData (name String, roles String[])
create window SecurityEvent.win:time(30 sec) 
    (ipAddress string, userId String, secData SecurityData, historySecData SecurityData[])

4.15.1.3. Dropping or Removing Named Windows

There is no syntax to drop or remove a named window.

The destroy method on the EPStatement that created the named window removes the named window. However the implicit event type associated with the named window remains active since further statements may continue to use that type. Therefore a named window of the same name can only be created again if the type information matches the prior declaration for a named window.

4.15.2. Inserting Into Named Windows

The insert into clause inserts events into named windows. Your application must ensure that the column names and types match the declared column names and types of the named window to be inserted into.

For inserting into a named window and for simulateously checking if the inserted row already exists in the named window or for atomic update-insert operation on a named window, consider using on-merge as described in Section 4.15.9, “Triggered Upsert using the On-Merge Clause”. On-merge is similar to the SQL merge clause and provides what is known as an "Upsert" operation: Update existing events or if no existing event(s) are found then insert a new event, all in one atomic operation provided by a single EPL statement.

In this example we first create a named window using some of the columns of an OrderEvent event type:

create window OrdersWindow.win:keepall() as select symbol, volume, price from OrderEvent

The insert into the named window selects individual columns to be inserted:

insert into OrdersWindow(symbol, volume, price) select name, count, price from FXOrderEvent

An alternative form is shown next:

insert into OrdersWindow select name as symbol, vol as volume, price from FXOrderEvent

Following above statement, the engine enters every FXOrderEvent arriving into the engine into the named window 'OrdersWindow'.

The following EPL statements create a named window for an event type backed by a Java class and insert into the window any 'OrderEvent' where the symbol value is IBM:

create window OrdersWindow.win:time(30) as com.mycompany.OrderEvent
insert into OrdersWindow select * from com.mycompany.OrderEvent(symbol='IBM')

The last example adds one column named 'derivedPrice' to the 'OrderEvent' type by specifying a wildcard, and uses a user-defined function to populate the column:

create window OrdersWindow.win:time(30) as select *, price as derivedPrice from OrderEvent
insert into OrdersWindow select *, MyFunc.func(price, percent) as derivedPrice from OrderEvent

Event representations based on Java base classes or interfaces, and subclasses or implementing classes, are compatible as these statements show:

// create a named window for the base class
create window OrdersWindow.std:unique(name) as select * from ProductBaseEvent
// The ServiceProductEvent class subclasses the ProductBaseEvent class
insert into OrdersWindow select * from ServiceProductEvent
// The MerchandiseProductEvent class subclasses the ProductBaseEvent class
insert into OrdersWindow select * from MerchandiseProductEvent

To avoid duplicate events inserted in a named window and atomically check if a row already exists, use on-merge as outlined in Section 4.15.9, “Triggered Upsert using the On-Merge Clause”. An example:

on ServiceProductEvent as spe merge OrdersWindow as win
where win.id = spe.id when not matched then insert select *

4.15.2.1. Named Windows Holding Decorated Events

Decorated events hold an underlying event and add additional properties to the underlying event, as described further in Section 4.10.4, “Decorated Events”.

Here we create a named window that decorates OrderEvent events by adding an additional property named priceTotal to each OrderEvent. A matching insert into statement is also part of the sample:

create window OrdersWindow.win:time(30) as select *, price as priceTotal from OrderEvent
insert into OrdersWindow select *, price * unit as priceTotal from ServiceOrderEvent

The property type of the additional priceTotal column is the property type of the existing price property of OrderEvent.

4.15.2.2. Named Windows Holding Events As Property

Columns in a named window may also hold an event itself. More information on the insert into clause providing event columns is in Section 4.10.5, “Event as a Property”.

The next sample creates a named window that specifies two columns: A column that holds an OrderEvent, and a column by name priceTotal. A matching insert into statement is also part of the sample:

create window OrdersWindow.win:time(30) as select this, price as priceTotal from OrderEvent
insert into OrdersWindow select order, price * unit as priceTotal  
from ServiceOrderEvent as order

Note that the this proprerty must exist on the event and must return the event class itself (JavaBean events only). The property type of the additional priceTotal column is the property type of the existing price property.

4.15.3. Selecting From Named Windows

A named window can be referred to by any statement in the from clause of the statement. Filter criteria can also be specified. Additional views may be used onto named windows however such views cannot include data window views.

A statement selecting all events from a named window 'AllOrdersNamedWindow' is shown next. The named window must first be created via the create window clause before use.

select * from AllOrdersNamedWindow

The statement as above simply receives the unfiltered insert stream of the named window and reports that stream to its listeners. The iterator method returns returns all events in the named window, if any.

If your application desires to obtain the events removed from the named window, use the rstream keyword as this statement shows:

select rstream * from AllOrdersNamedWindow

The next statement derives an average price per symbol from all events posted by a named window:

select symbol, avg(price) from AllOrdersNamedWindow group by symbol

Your application may create a consuming statement such as above on an empty named window, or your application may create the above statement on an already filled named window. The engine provides correct results in either case: At the time of statement creation the Esper engine internally initializes the consuming statement from the current named window, also taking your declared filters into consideration. Thus, your statement deriving data from a named window does not start empty if the named window already holds one or more events. A consuming statement also sees the remove stream of an already populated named window, if any.

If you require a subset of the data in the named window, you can specify one or more filter expressions onto the named window as shown here:

select symbol, avg(price) from AllOrdersNamedWindow(sector='energy') group by symbol

By adding a filter to the named window, the aggregation and grouping as well as any views that may be declared onto to the named window receive a filtered insert and remove stream. The above statement thus outputs, continuously, the average price per symbol for all orders in the named window that belong to a certain sector.

A side note on variables in filters filtering events from named windows: The engine initializes consuming statements at statement creation time and changes aggregation state continuously as events arrive. If the filter criteria contain variables and variable values changes, then the engine does not re-evaluate or re-build aggregation state. In such a case you may want to place variables in the having clause which evaluates on already-built aggregation state.

The following example further declares a view into the named window. Such a view can be a plug-in view or one of the built-in views, but cannot be a data window view (with the exception of the std:groupwin grouped-window view which is allowed).

select * from AllOrdersNamedWindow(volume>0, price>0).mycompany:mypluginview()

Data window views cannot be used onto named windows since named windows post insert and remove streams for the events entering and leaving the named window, thus the expiry policy and batch behavior are well defined by the data window declared for the named window. For example, the following is not allowed and fails at time of statement creation:

// not a valid statement
select * from AllOrdersNamedWindow.win:time(30 sec)

4.15.4. Triggered Select on Named Windows: the On Select clause

The on select clause performs a one-time, non-continuous query on a named window every time a triggering event arrives or a triggering pattern matches. The query can consider all events in the named window, or only events that match certain criteria, or events that correlate with an arriving event or a pattern of arriving events.

The syntax for the on select clause is as follows:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
[insert into insert_into_def]
select select_list
from window_name [as stream_name]
[where criteria_expression]
[group by grouping_expression_list]
[having grouping_search_conditions]
[order by order_by_expression_list]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger the query against the named window. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign an stream name. Patterns or named windows can also be specified in the on clause, see the samples in Section 4.15.8.1, “Using Patterns in the On Delete Clause”.

The insert into clause works as described in Section 4.10, “Merging Streams and Continuous Insertion: the Insert Into Clause”. The select clause is described in Section 4.3, “Choosing Event Properties And Events: the Select Clause”. For all clauses the semantics are equivalent to a join operation: The properties of the triggering event or events are available in the select clause and all other clauses.

The window_name in the from clause is the name of the named window to select events from. The as keyword is also available to assign a stream name to the named window. The as keyword is helpful in conjunction with wildcard in the select clause to select named window events via the syntax select streamname.* .

The optional where clause contains a criteria_expression that correlates the arriving (triggering) event to the events to be considered from the named window. The criteria_expression may also simply filter for events in the named window to be considered by the query.

The group by clause, the having clause and the order by clause are all optional and work as described in earlier chapters.

The similarities and differences between an on select clause and a regular or outer join are as follows:

  1. A join is evaluated when any of the streams participating in the join have new events (insert stream) or events leaving data windows (remove stream). A join is therefore bi-directional or multi-directional. However, the on select statement has one triggering event or pattern that causes the query to be evaluated and is thus uni-directional.

  2. The query within the on select statement is not continuous: It executes only when a triggering event or pattern occurs. Aggregation and groups are computed anew considering the contents of the named window at the time the triggering event arrives.

The iterator of the EPStatement object representing the on select clause returns the last batch of selected events in response to the last triggering event, or null if the last triggering event did not select any rows.

For correlated queries that correlate triggering events with events held by a named window, Esper internally creates efficient indexes to enable high performance querying of events. It analyzes the where clause to build one or more indexes for fast lookup in the named window based on the properties of the triggering event.

The next statement demonstrates the concept. Upon arrival of a QueryEvent event the statement selects all events in the 'OrdersNamedWindow' named window:

on QueryEvent select win.* from OrdersNamedWindow as win

The engine executes the query on arrival of a triggering event, in this case a QueryEvent. It posts the query results to any listeners to the statement, in a single invocation, as the new data array. By prefixing the wildcard (*) selector with the stream name, the select clause returns only events of the named window and does not also return triggering events.

The where clause filters and correlates events in the named window with the triggering event, as shown next:

on QueryEvent(volume>0) as query
select query.symbol, query.volume, win.symbol  from OrdersNamedWindow as win
where win.symbol = query.symbol

Upon arrival of a QueryEvent, if that event has a value for the volume property that is greater then zero, the engine executes the query. The query considers all events currently held by the 'OrdersNamedWindow' that match the symbol property value of the triggering QueryEvent event. The engine then posts query results to the statement's listeners.

Aggregation, grouping and ordering of results are possible as this example shows:

on QueryEvent as queryEvent
select symbol, sum(volume) from OrdersNamedWindow as win
group by symbol
having volume > 0
order by symbol

The above statement outputs the total volume per symbol for those groups where the sum of the volume is greater then zero, ordered by symbol ascending. The engine computes and posts the output based on the current contents of the 'OrdersNamedWindow' named window considering all events in the named window, since the query does not have a where clause.

When using wildcard (*) to select from streams in an on-select clause, each stream, that is the the triggering stream and the selected-upon named window, are selected, similar to a join. Therefore your wildcard select returns two columns: the triggering event and the selection result event, for each row.

on QueryEvent as queryEvent
select * from OrdersNamedWindow as win

The query above returns a queryEvent column and a win column for each event. If only a single stream's event is desired in the result, use select win.* instead.

To trigger an on-select when an update to the selected named window occurs or when the triggering event is the same event that is being inserted into the named window, specify the named window name as the event type.

The next query fires the select for every change to the named window OrdersNamedWindow:

on OrdersNamedWindow as trig 
select onw.symbol, sum(onw.volume) 
from OrdersNamedWindow as onw 
where onw.symbol = trig.symbol

4.15.5. Triggered Playback from Named Windows: the On Insert clause

The on insert clause is an on select clause as described in the prior chapter with the addition of an insert into clause.

Similar to the on select clause, the engine executes the query when a triggering event arrives. It then provides the query results as an event stream to further statements. It populates the event stream that is named in the insert into clause.

The statement below provides the query results to any consumers of the MyOrderStream, upon arrival of a QueryEvent event:

on QueryEvent as query
insert into MyOrderStream
select win.* from OrdersNamedWindow as win

Here is a sample consuming statement of the MyOrderStream. The statement further filters the events provided by the on insert statement by user id and reports a total of volume per symbol:

select symbol, sum(volume) from MyOrderStream(userId='user1') group by symbol

4.15.6. Populating a Named Window from an Existing Named Window

Your EPL statement may specify the name of an existing named window when creating a new named window, and may use the insert keyword to indicate that the new named window is to be populated from the events currently held by the existing named window.

For example, and assuming the named window OrdersNamedWindow already exists, this statement creates a new named window ScratchOrders and populates all orders in OrdersNamedWindow into the new named window:

create window ScratchOrders.win:keepall() as OrdersNamedWindow insert

The where keyword is also available to perform filtering, for example:

create window ScratchBuyOrders.win:time(10) as OrdersNamedWindow insert where side = 'buy'

4.15.7. Updating Named Windows: the On Update clause

An on update clause updates events held by a named window. The clause can be used to update all events, or only events that match certain criteria, or events that correlate with an arriving event or a pattern of arriving events.

For updating a named window and for simulateously checking if the updated row exists in the named window or for atomic update-insert operation on a named window, consider using on-merge as described in Section 4.15.9, “Triggered Upsert using the On-Merge Clause”. On-merge is similar to the SQL merge clause and provides what is known as an "Upsert" operation: Update existing events or if no existing event(s) are found then insert a new event, all in one atomic operation provided by a single EPL statement.

The syntax for the on update clause is as follows:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
update window_name [as stream_name]
set property_name = expression [, property_name = expression [,...]]
[where criteria_expression]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger an update of rows in a named window. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign a name for use in expressions and the where clause. Patterns and named windows can also be specified in the on clause.

The window_name is the name of the named window to update events. The as keyword is also available to assign a name to the named window.

The comma-separated list of property names and expressions set the value of one or more properties. Subqueries may by part of expressions however aggregation functions and the prev or prior function may not be used in expressions.

The optional where clause contains a criteria_expression that correlates the arriving (triggering) event to the events to be updated in the named window. The criteria_expression may also simply filter for events in the named window to be updated.

The iterator of the EPStatement object representing the on update clause can also be helpful: It returns the last batch of updated events in response to the last triggering event, in any order, or null if the last triggering event did not update any rows.

Statements that reference the named window receive the new event in the insert stream and the event prior to the update in the remove stream.

Let's look at a couple of examples. In the simplest form, this statement updates all events in the named window 'AllOrdersNamedWindow' when any 'UpdateOrderEvent' event arrives, setting the price property to zero for all events currently held by the named window:

on UpdateOrderEvent update AllOrdersNamedWindow set price = 0

This example adds a where clause to the example above. Upon arrival of a triggering 'ZeroVolumeEvent', the statement updates prices on any orders that have a volume of zero or less:

on ZeroVolumeEvent update AllOrdersNamedWindow set price = 0 where volume <= 0

The next example shows a more complete use of the syntax, and correlates the triggering event with events held by the named window:

on NewOrderEvent(volume>0) as myNewOrders
update AllOrdersNamedWindow as myNamedWindow 
set price = myNewOrders.price
where myNamedWindow.symbol = myNewOrders.symbol

In the above sample statement, only if a 'NewOrderEvent' event with a volume greater then zero arrives does the statement trigger. Upon triggering, all events in the named window that have the same value for the symbol property as the triggering 'NewOrderEvent' event are then updated (their price property is set to that of the arriving event). The statement also showcases the as keyword to assign a name for use in the where expression.

For correlated queries (as above) that correlate triggering events with events held by a named window, Esper internally creates efficient indexes to enable high performance update of events.

Your application can subscribe a listener to your on update statements to determine update events. The statement post any events that are updated to all listeners attached to the statement as new data, and the events prior to the update as old data. Upon iteration, the statement provides the last update event, if any.

The following example shows the use of tags and a pattern. It sets the price value of orders to that of either a 'FlushOrderEvent' or 'OrderUpdateEvent' depending on which arrived:

on pattern [every ord=OrderUpdateEvent(volume>0) or every flush=FlushOrderEvent] 
update AllOrdersNamedWindow as win
set price = case when ord.price is null then flush.price else ord.price end
where ord.id = win.id or flush.id = win.id

The following restrictions apply:

  1. Each property to be updated must be writable.

  2. For underlying event representations that are Java objects, a event object class must implement the java.io.Serializable interface as discussed in Section 4.20.1, “Immutability and Updates” and must provide setter methods for updated properties.

  3. When using an XML underlying event type, event properties in the XML document representation are not available for update.

  4. Nested, indexed and mapped properties are not supported for update. Revision event types and variant streams may also not be updated.

4.15.8. Deleting From Named Windows: the On Delete clause

An on delete clause removes events from a named window. The clause can be used to remove all events, or only events that match certain criteria, or events that correlate with an arriving event or a pattern of arriving events.

The syntax for the on delete clause is as follows:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
delete from window_name [as stream_name]
[where criteria_expression]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger removal from the named window. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign a name for use in the where clause. Patterns and named windows can also be specified in the on clause as described in the next section.

The window_name is the name of the named window to delete events from. The as keyword is also available to assign a name to the named window.

The optional where clause contains a criteria_expression that correlates the arriving (triggering) event to the events to be removed from the named window. The criteria_expression may also simply filter for events in the named window to be removed from the named window.

The iterator of the EPStatement object representing the on delete clause can also be helpful: It returns the last batch of deleted events in response to the last triggering event, in any order, or null if the last triggering event did not remove any rows.

Let's look at a couple of examples. In the simplest form, this statement deletes all events from the named window 'AllOrdersNamedWindow' when any 'FlushOrderEvent' arrives:

on FlushOrderEvent delete from AllOrdersNamedWindow

This example adds a where clause to the example above. Upon arrival of a triggering 'ZeroVolumeEvent', the statement removes from the named window any orders that have a volume of zero or less:

on ZeroVolumeEvent delete from AllOrdersNamedWindow where volume <= 0

The next example shows a more complete use of the syntax, and correlates the triggering event with events held by the named window:

on NewOrderEvent(volume>0) as myNewOrders
delete from AllOrdersNamedWindow as myNamedWindow 
where myNamedWindow.symbol = myNewOrders.symbol

In the above sample statement, only if a 'NewOrderEvent' event with a volume greater then zero arrives does the statement trigger. Upon triggering, all events in the named window that have the same value for the symbol property as the triggering 'NewOrderEvent' event are then removed from the named window. The statement also showcases the as keyword to assign a name for use in the where expression.

For correlated queries (as above) that correlate triggering events with events held by a named window, Esper internally creates efficient indexes to enable high performance removal of events especially from named windows that hold large numbers of events.

Your application can subscribe a listener to your on delete statements to determine removed events. The statement post any events that are deleted from a named window to all listeners attached to the statement as new data. Upon iteration, the statement provides the last deleted event, if any.

4.15.8.1. Using Patterns in the On Delete Clause

By means of patterns the on delete clause and on select clause (described below) can look for more complex conditions to occur, possibly involving multiple events or the passing of time. The syntax for on delete with a pattern expression is show next:

on pattern [pattern_expression] [as stream_name]
delete from window_name [as stream_name]
[where criteria_expression]

The pattern_expression is any pattern that matches zero or more arriving events. Tags can be used to name events in the pattern and can occur in the optional where clause to correlate to events to be removed from a named window.

In the next example the triggering pattern fires every 10 seconds. The effect is that every 10 seconds the statement removes from 'MyNamedWindow' all rows:

on pattern [every timer:interval(10 sec)] delete from MyNamedWindow

The following example shows the use of tags in a pattern:

on pattern [every ord=OrderEvent(volume>0) or every flush=FlushOrderEvent] 
delete from OrderWindow as win
where ord.id = win.id or flush.id = win.id

The pattern above looks for OrderEvent events with a volume value greater then zero and tags such events as 'ord'. The pattern also looks for FlushOrderEvent events and tags such events as 'flush'. The where clause deletes from the 'OrderWindow' named window any events that match in the value of the 'id' property either of the arriving events.

4.15.9. Triggered Upsert using the On-Merge Clause

The on merge clause is similar to the SQL merge clause. It provides what is known as an "Upsert" operation: Update existing events or if no existing event(s) are found then insert a new event, all in an atomic operation provided by a single EPL statement.

The syntax for the on merge clause is as follows:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
merge [into] window_name [as stream_name]
[where criteria_expression]
  when [not] matched [and search_condition]
    then [
      insert [into streamname]
          [ (property_name [, property_name] [,...]) ] 
          select select_expression [, select_expression[,...]]
          [where filter_expression]
      |
      update set property_name = expression [, property_name = expression [,...]]
          [where filter_expression]
      |
      delete
          [where filter_expression]
    ]
    [then [insert|update|delete]] [,then ...]
  [when ...  then ... [...]] 

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger the merge. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign a name for use in the where clause. Patterns and named windows can also be specified in the on clause as described in prior sections.

The window_name is the name of the named window to insert, update or delete events. The as keyword is also available to assign a name to the named window.

The optional where clause contains a criteria_expression that correlates the arriving (triggering) event to the events to be considered of the named window. We recommend specifying a criteria expression that is as specific as possible.

Following the where clause is one or more when matched or when not matched clauses in any order. Each may have an additional search condition associated.

After each when [not] matched follow one or more then clauses that each contain the action to take: Either an insert, update or delete keyword.

After when not matched only insert action(s) are available. After when matched any insert, update and delete action(s) are available.

After insert follows, optionally, the into keyword followed by the stream name or named window to insert-into. If no into and stream name is specified, the insert applies to the current named window. It follows an optional list of columns inserted. It follows the required select keyword and one or more select clause expressions. The wildcard (*) is available in the select clause as well. It follows an optional where-clause that may return Boolean false to indicate that the action should not be applied.

After update follows the set keyword and one or more assignment pairs. It follows an optional where-clause that may return Boolean false to indicate that the action should not be applied.

After delete follows an optional where-clause that may return Boolean false to indicate that the action should not be applied.

When according to the where-clause criteria_expression the engine finds no events in the named window that match the condition, the engine evaluates each when not matched clause. If the optional search condition returns true or no search condition was provided then the engine performs all of the actions listed after each then.

When according to the where-clause criteria_expression the engine finds one or more events in the named window that match the condition, the engine evaluates each when matched clause. If the optional search condition returns true or no search condition was provided the engine performs all of the actions listed after each then.

The engine executes when matched and when not matched in the order specified. If the optional search condition returns true or no search condition was specified then the engine takes the associated action (or multiple actions for multiple then keywords). When the block of actions completed the engine proceeds to the next matching event, if any. After completing all matching events the engine continues to the next triggering event if any.

In the first example we declare a schema that provides a product id and that holds a total price:

create schema ProductTotalRec as (productId string, totalPrice double)

We create a named window that holds a row for each unique product:

create window ProductWindow.std:unique(productId) as ProductTotalRec

The events for this example are order events that hold an order id, product id, price, quantity and deleted-flag declared by the next schema:

create schema OrderEvent as (orderId string, productId string, price double, 
    quantity int, deletedFlag boolean)

The following EPL statement utilizes on-merge to total up the price for each product based on arriving order events:

on OrderEvent oe
  merge ProductWindow pw
  where pw.productId = oe.productId
  when matched
    then update set totalPrice = totalPrice + oe.price
  when not matched 
    then insert select productId, price as totalPrice

In the above example, when an order event arrives, the engine looks up in the product named window the matching row or rows for the same product id as the arriving event. In this example the engine always finds no row or one row as the product named window is declared with a unique data window based on product id. If the engine finds a row in the named window, it performs the update action adding up the price as defined under when matched. If the engine does not find a row in the named window it performs the insert action as defined under when not matched, inserting a new row.

The insert keyword may be followed by a list of columns as shown in this EPL snippet:

// equivalent to the insert shown in the last 2 lines in above EPL
...when not matched 
    then insert(productId, totalPrice) select productId, price

The second example demonstrates the use of a select-clause with wildcard, a search condition and the delete keyword. It creates a named window that holds order events and employs on-merge to insert order events for which no corresponding order id was found, update quantity to the quantity provided by the last arriving event and delete order events that are marked as deleted:

create window OrderWindow.win:keepall() as OrderEvent
on OrderEvent oe
  merge OrderWindow pw
  where pw.orderId = oe.orderId
  when not matched 
    then insert select *
  when matched and oe.deletedFlag=true
    then delete
  when matched
    then update set pw.quantity = oe.quantity, pw.price = oe.price

In the above example the oe.deletedFlag=true search condition instructs the engine to take the delete action only if the deleted-flag is set.

You may specify multiple actions by providing multiple then keywords each followed by an action. Each of the insert, update and delete actions can itself have a where-clause as well. If a where-clause exists for an action, the engine evaluates the where-clause and applies the action only if the where-clause returns Boolean true.

This example specifies two update actions and uses the where-clause to trigger different update behavior depending on whether the order event price is less then zero:

on OrderEvent oe
  merge OrderWindow pw
  where pw.orderId = oe.orderId
  when matched
    then update set pw.quantity = 0, pw.price = 0 where oe.price < 0
    then update set pw.quantity = oe.quantity, pw.price = oe.price where oe.price >= 0

To insert events into another stream and not the named window, use insert into streamname.

In the next example each matched-clause contains two actions, one action to insert a log event and a second action to insert, delete or update:

on OrderEvent oe
  merge OrderWindow pw
  where pw.orderId = oe.orderId
  when not matched 
    then insert into LogEvent select 'this is an insert' as name
    then insert select *
  when matched and oe.deletedFlag=true
    then insert into LogEvent select 'this is a delete' as name
    then delete
  when matched
    then insert into LogEvent select 'this is a update' as name
    then update set pw.quantity = oe.quantity, pw.price = oe.price

While the engine evaluates and executes all actions listed under the same matched-clause in order, you may not rely on updated field values of an earlier action to trigger the where-clause of a later action. Similarly you should avoid simultaneous update and delete actions for the same match: the engine does not guarantee whether the update or the delete take final affect.

For correlated queries (as above) that correlate triggering events with events held by a named window, Esper internally creates efficient indexes to enable high performance update and removal of events especially from named windows that hold large numbers of events.

Your application can subscribe a listener to on merge statements to determine inserted, updated and removed events. Statements post any events that are inserted to, updated or deleted from a named window to all listeners attached to the statement as new data and removed data. Upon iteration, the statement provides the last inserted events, if any.

4.15.10. Explicitly Indexing Named Windows

You may explicitly create an index on a named window. When executing on-demand (fire-and-forget) queries as described in Section 12.4.3, “On-Demand Snapshot Query Execution” using prepared or unprepared queries, an explicit index can help speed query performance.

You do not need to explicitly create an index unless using on-demand (fire-and-forget) queries. Therefore you do not need to explicitly create an index for on-select, on-merge, on-update, on-delete as well as subqueries or consuming statements against named windows. However if the engine finds an explicitly-created index matching the requirements of such on-query or subqueries it uses that index instead.

Please use the following syntax to create an explicit index on a named window:

create index index_name on named_window_name (property [hash|btree] 
    [, property] [hash|btree] [,...] )

The index_name is the name assigned to the index. The name uniquely identifies the index and is used in engine logging.

The named_window_name is the name of an existing named window. If the named window has data already, the engine builds an index for the data in the named window.

The list of property names are the properties of events within the named window to include in the index. Following each property name you may specify the optional hash or btree keyword.

If you specify no keyword or the hash keyword for a property, the index will be a hash-based (unsorted) index in respect to that property. If you specify the btree keyword, the index will be a binary-tree-based sorted index in respect to that property. You may combine hash and btree properties for the same index. Specify btree for a property if you expect to perform numerical or string comparison using relational operators (<, >, >=, <=), the between or the in keyword for ranges and inverted ranges.

We list a few example EPL statements next that create a named window and create a single index:

// create a named window
create window UserProfileWindow.win:time(1 hour) select * from UserProfile
// create an index for the user id property only
create index UserProfileIndex on UserProfileWindow(userId)

Next, execute an on-demand fire-and-forget query as shown below, herein we use the prepared version to demonstrate:

String query = "select * from UserProfileWindow where userId='Joe'";
EPOnDemandPreparedQuery prepared = epRuntime.prepareQuery(query);
// query performance excellent in the face of large number of rows
EPOnDemandQueryResult result = prepared.execute();
// ...later ...
prepared.execute();	// execute a second time

By default, the engine builds a hash code -based index useful for direct comparison via equals (=). Filter expressions that look for ranges or use in, between do not benefit from the hash-based index and should use the btree keyword.

The next example creates a composite index over two fields symbol and buyPrice:

// create a named window
create window TickEventWindow.win:time(1 hour) as (symbol string, buyPrice double)
// create an index 
create index idx1 on TickEventWindow(symbol hash, buyPrice btree)

A sample fire-and-forget query is shown below (this time the API calls are not shown):

// query performance excellent in the face of large number of rows
select * from TickEventWindow where symbol='GE' and buyPrice between 10 and 20

4.15.11. Versioning and Revision Event Type Use with Named Windows

As outlined in Section 2.9, “Updating, Merging and Versioning Events”, revision event types process updates or new versions of events held by a named window.

A revision event type is simply one or more existing pre-configured event types whose events are related, as configured by static configuration, by event properties that provide same key values. The purpose of key values is to indicate that arriving events are related: An event amends, updates or adds properties to an earlier event that shares the same key values. No additional EPL is needed when using revision event types for merging event data.

Revision event types can be useful in these situations:

  1. Some of your events carry only partial information that is related to a prior event and must be merged together.

  2. Events arrive that add additional properties or change existing properties of prior events.

  3. Events may carry properties that have null values or properties that do no exist (for example events backed by Map or XML), and for such properties the earlier value must be used instead.

To better illustrate, consider a revision event type that represents events for creation and updates to user profiles. Lets assume the user profile creation events carry the user id and a full profile. The profile update events indicate only the user id and the individual properties that actually changed. The user id property shall serve as a key value relating profile creation events and update events.

A revision event type must be configured to instruct the engine which event types participate and what their key properties are. Configuration is described in Section 13.4.22, “Revision Event Type” and is not shown here.

Assume that an event type UserProfileRevisions has been configured to hold profile events, i.e. creation and update events related by user id. This statement creates a named window to hold the last 1 hour of current profiles per user id:

create window UserProfileWindow.win:time(1 hour) select * from UserProfileRevisions
insert into UserProfileWindow select * from UserProfileCreation
insert into UserProfileWindow select * from UserProfileUpdate

In revision event types, the term base event is used to describe events that are subject to update. Events that update, amend or add additional properties to base events are termed delta events. In the example, base events are profile creation events and delta events are profile update events.

Base events are expected to arrive before delta events. In the case where a delta event arrives and is not related by key value to a base event or a revision of the base event currently held by the named window the engine ignores the delta event. Thus, considering the example, profile update events for a user id that does not have an existing profile in the named window are not applied.

When a base or delta event arrives, the insert and remove stream output by the named window are the current and the prior version of the event. Let's come back to the example. As creation events arrive that are followed by update events or more creation events for the same user id, the engine posts the current version of the profile as insert stream (new data) and the prior version of the profile as remove stream (old data).

Base events are also implicitly delta events. That is, if multiple base events of the same key property values arrive, then each base event provides a new version. In the example, if multiple profile creation events arrive for the same user id then new versions of the current profile for that user id are output by the engine for each base event, as it does for delta events.

The expiry policy as specified by view definitions applies to each distinct key value, or multiple distinct key values for composite keys. An expiry policy re-evaluates when new versions arrive. In the example, user profile events expire from the time window when no creation or update event for a given user id has been received for 1 hour.

Several strategies are available for merging or overlaying events as the configuration chapter describes in greater detail.

Any of the Map, XML and JavaBean event representations as well as plug-in event representations may participate in a revision event type. For example, profile creation events could be JavaBean events, while profile update events could be java.util.Map events.

Delta events may also add properties to the revision event type. For example, one could add a new event type with security information to the revision event type and such security-related properties become available on the resulting revision event type.

The following restrictions apply to revision event types:

  • Nested properties are only supported for the JavaBean event representation. Nested properties are not individually versioned; they are instead versioned by the containing property.

  • Dynamic, indexed and mapped properties are only supported for nested properties and not as properties of the revision event type itself.

4.16. Declaring an Event Type: Create Schema

EPL allows declaring an event type via the create schema clause and also by means of the static or runtime configuration API addEventType functions. The term schema and event type has the same meaning in EPL.

Your application can declare an event type by providing the property names and types or by providing a class name. Your application may also declare a variant stream schema.

When using the create schema syntax to declare an event type, the engine automatically removes the event type when there are no started statements referencing the event type, including the statement that declared the event type. When using the configuration API, the event type stays cached even if there are no statements that refer to the event type and until explicitly removed via the runtime configuration API.

4.16.1. Declare an Event Type by Providing Names and Types

The synopsis of the create schema syntax providing property names and types is:

create schema schema_name [as] (property_name property_type [,property_name property_type [,...])
  [inherits inherited_event_type[, inherited_event_type] [,...]]

The property_name is an identifier providing the event property name. The property_type is also required for each property. Valid property types are listed in Section 4.18.1, “Creating Variables: the Create Variable clause” and in addition include:

  1. Any Java class name, fully-qualified or the simple class name if imports are configured.

  2. Add left and right square brackets [] to any type to denote an array-type event property.

  3. Use an event type name as a property type.

The optional inherits keywords may be used to provide a list of event types that are supertypes to the declared type.

A few example event type declarations follow:

// Declare type SecurityEvent
create schema SecurityEvent as (ipAddress string, userId String, numAttempts int)
			
// Declare type AuthorizationEvent with the roles property being an array of String 
// and the hostinfo property being a POJO object
create schema AuthorizationEvent(group String, roles String[], hostinfo com.mycompany.HostNameInfo)

// Declare type CompositeEvent in which the innerEvents property is an array of SecurityEvent
create schema CompositeEvent(group String, innerEvents SecurityEvent[])

// Declare type WebPageVisitEvent that inherits all properties from PageHitEvent
create schema WebPageVisitEvent(userId String) inherits PageHitEvent

4.16.2. Declare an Event Type by Providing a Class Name

When using Java classes as the underlying event representation your application may simply provide the class name:

create schema schema_name [as] class_name

The class_name must be a fully-qualified class name (including the package name) if imports are not configured. If you application configures imports then the simple class name suffices without package name.

The next example statements declare an event type based on a class:

// Shows the use of a fully-qualified class name to declare the LoginEvent event type
create schema LoginEvent as com.mycompany.LoginValue

// When the configuration includes imports, the declaration does not need a package name
create schema LogoutEvent as SignoffValue

4.16.3. Declare a Variant Stream

A variant stream is a predefined stream into which events of multiple disparate event types can be inserted. Please see Section 4.10.3, “Merging Disparate Types of Events: Variant Streams” for rules regarding property visibility and additional information.

The synopsis is:

create variant schema schema_name [as] eventtype_name|* [, eventtype_name|*] [,...]

Provide the variant keyword to declare a variant stream.

The '*' wildcard character declares a variant stream that accepts any type of event inserted into the variant stream.

Provide eventtype_name if the variant stream should hold events of the given type only. When using insert into to insert into the variant stream the engine checks to ensure the inserted event type or its supertypes match the required event type.

A few examples are shown below:

// Create a variant stream that accepts only LoginEvent and LogoutEvent event types
create variant schema SecurityVariant as LoginEvent, LogoutEvent

// Create a variant stream that accepts any event type
create variant schema AnyEvent as *

4.17. Splitting and Duplicating Streams

EPL offers a convenient syntax to splitting and duplicating events into multiple streams, and for receiving unmatched events among a set of filter criteria.

You may define a triggering event or pattern in the on-part of the statement followed by multiple insert into, select and where clauses.

The synopsis is:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
insert into insert_into_def select select_list [where condition]
[insert into insert_into_def select select_list [where condition]]
[insert into...]
[output first | all]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger the split stream. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign a stream name. Patterns and named windows can also be specified in the on clause.

Following the on-clause is one or more insert into clauses as described in Section 4.10, “Merging Streams and Continuous Insertion: the Insert Into Clause” and select clauses as described in Section 4.3, “Choosing Event Properties And Events: the Select Clause”.

Each select clause may be followed by a where clause containing a condition. If the condition is true for the event, the engine transforms the event according to the select clause and inserts it into the corresponding stream.

At the end of the statement can be an optional output clause. By default the engine inserts into the first stream for which the where clause condition matches if one was specified, starting from the top. If you specify the output all keywords, then the engine inserts into each stream (not only the first stream) for which the where clause condition matches or that do not have a where clause.

If, for a given event, none of the where clause conditions match, the statement listener receives the unmatched event. The statement listener only receives unmatched events and does not receive any transformed or inserted events. The iterator method to the statement returns no events.

In the below sample statement, the engine inserts each OrderEvent into the LargeOrders stream if the order quantity is 100 or larger, or into the SmallOrders stream if the order quantity is smaller then 100:

on OrderEvent 
  insert into LargeOrders select * where orderQty >= 100
  insert into SmallOrders select *

The next example statement adds a new stream for medium-sized orders. The new stream receives orders that have an order quantity between 20 and 100:

on OrderEvent 
  insert into LargeOrders select orderId, customer where orderQty >= 100
  insert into MediumOrders select orderId, customer where orderQty between 20 and 100
  insert into SmallOrders select orderId, customer where orderQty > 0

As you may have noticed in the above statement, orders that have an order quantity of zero don't match any of the conditions. The engine does not insert such order events into any stream and the listener to the statement receives these unmatched events.

By default the engine inserts into the first insert into stream without a where clause or for which the where clause condition matches. To change the default behavior and insert into all matching streams instead (including those without a where clause), the output all keywords may be added to the statement.

The sample statement below shows the use of the output all keywords. The statement populates both the LargeOrders stream with large orders as well as the VIPCustomerOrders stream with orders for certain customers based on customer id:

on OrderEvent 
  insert into LargeOrders select * where orderQty >= 100
  insert into VIPCustomerOrders select * where customerId in (1001, 1002)
  output all

Since the output all keywords are present, the above statement inserts each order event into either both streams or only one stream or none of the streams, depending on order quantity and customer id of the order event. The statement delivers order events not inserted into any of the streams to the listeners and/or subscriber to the statement.

The following limitations apply to split-stream statements:

  1. Aggregation functions and the prev and prior operators are not available in conditions and the select-clause.

4.18. Variables

A variable is a scalar, object or event value that is available for use in all statements including patterns. Variables can be used in an expression anywhere in a statement as well as in the output clause for output rate limiting.

Variables must first be declared or configured before use, by defining each variable's type and name. Variables can be created via the create variable syntax or declared by runtime or static configuration. Variables can be assigned new values by using the on set syntax or via the setVariableValue methods on EPRuntime. The EPRuntime also provides method to read variable values.

When declaring a class-type or an event type variable you may read or set individual properties within the same variable.

The engine guarantees consistency and atomicity of variable reads and writes on a statement-level (this is a soft guarantee, see below). Variables are optimized for fast read access and are also multithread-safe.

Variables can also be removed, at runtime, by destroying all referencing statements including the statement that created the variable, or by means of the runtime configuration API.

4.18.1. Creating Variables: the Create Variable clause

The create variable syntax creates a new variable by defining the variable type and name. In alternative to the syntax, variables can also be declared in the runtime and engine configuration options.

The synopsis for creating a variable is as follows:

create variable variable_type variable_name [ = assignment_expression ]

The variable_type can be any of the following:

variable_type
	:  string
	|  char 
	|  character
	|  bool 
	|  boolean
	|  byte
	|  short 
	|  int 
	|  integer 
	|  long 
	|  double
	|  float
	|  object
	|  class_name
	|  event_type_name

All variable types accept null values. The object type is for an untyped variable that can be assigned any value. You can provide a fully-qualified class name to declare a variable of that Java class type. You can also supply the name of an event type to declare a variable that holds an event of that type.

The variable_name is an identifier that names the variable. The variable name should not already be in use by another variable.

The assignment_expression is optional. Without an assignment expression the initial value for the variable is null. If present, it supplies the initial value for the variable.

The EPStatement object of the create variable statement provides access to variable values. The pull API methods iterator and safeIterator return the current variable value. Listeners to the create variable statement subscribe to changes in variable value: the engine posts new and old value of the variable to all listeners when the variable value is updated by an on set statement.

The example below creates a variable that provides a threshold value. The name of the variable is var_threshold and its type is long. The variable's initial value is null as no other value has been assigned:

create variable long var_threshold

This statement creates an integer-type variable named var_output_rate and initializes it to the value ten (10):

create variable integer var_output_rate = 10

In addition to creating a variable via the create variable syntax, the runtime and engine configuration API also allows adding variables. The next code snippet illustrates the use of the runtime configuration API to create a string-typed variable:

epService.getEPAdministrator().getConfiguration()
  .addVariable("myVar", String.class, "init value");

The engine removes the variable if the statement that created the variable is destroyed and all statements that reference the variable are also destroyed. The getVariableNameUsedBy and the removeVariable methods, both part of the runtime ConfigurationOperations API, provide use information and can remove a variable. If the variable was added via configuration, it can only be removed via the configuration API.

4.18.2. Setting Variable Values: the On Set clause

The on set statement assigns a new value to one or more variables when a triggering event arrives or a triggering pattern occurs. Use the setVariableValue methods on EPRuntime to assign variable values programmatically.

The synopsis for setting variable values is:

on event_type[(filter_criteria)] [as stream_name]
  set variable_name = expression [, variable_name = expression [,...]]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that trigger the variable assignments. It is optionally followed by filter_criteria which are filter expressions to apply to arriving events. The optional as keyword can be used to assign an stream name. Patterns and named windows can also be specified in the on clause.

The comma-separated list of variable names and expressions set the value of one or more variables. Subqueries may by part of expressions however aggregation functions and the prev or prior function may not be used in expressions.

All new variable values are applied atomically: the changes to variable values by the on set statement become visible to other statements all at the same time. No changes are visible to other processing threads until the on set statement completed processing, and at that time all changes become visible at once.

The EPStatement object provides access to variable values. The pull API methods iterator and safeIterator return the current variable values for each of the variables set by the statement. Listeners to the statement subscribe to changes in variable values: the engine posts new variable values of all variables to any listeners.

In the following example, a variable by name var_output_rate has been declared previously. When a NewOutputRateEvent event arrives, the variable is updated to a new value supplied by the event property 'rate':

on NewOutputRateEvent set var_output_rate = rate

The next example shows two variables that are updated when a ThresholdUpdateEvent arrives:

on ThresholdUpdateEvent as t 
  set var_threshold_lower = t.lower,
      var_threshold_higher = t.higher

The sample statement shown next counts the number of pattern matches using a variable. The pattern looks for OrderEvent events that are followed by CancelEvent events for the same order id within 10 seconds of the OrderEvent:

on pattern[every a=OrderEvent -> (CancelEvent(orderId=a.orderId) where timer:within(10 sec))]
  set var_counter = var_counter + 1

4.18.3. Using Variables

A variable name can be used in any expression and can also occur in an output rate limiting clause. This section presents examples and discusses performance, consistency and atomicity attributes of variables.

The next statement assumes that a variable named 'var_threshold' was created to hold a total price threshold value. The statement outputs an event when the total price for a symbol is greater then the current threshold value:

select symbol, sum(price) from TickEvent 
group by symbol 
having sum(price) > var_threshold

In this example we use a variable to dynamically change the output rate on-the-fly. The variable 'var_output_rate' holds the current rate at which the statement posts a current count to listeners:

select count(*) from TickEvent output every var_output_rate seconds

Variables are optimized towards high read frequency and lower write frequency. Variable reads do not incur locking overhead (99% of the time) while variable writes do incur locking overhead.

The engine softly guarantees consistency and atomicity of variables when your statement executes in response to an event or timer invocation. Variables acquire a stable value (implemented by versioning) when your statement starts executing in response to an event or timer invocation, and variables do not change value during execution. When one or more variable values are updated via on set statements, the changes to all updated variables become visible to statements as one unit and only when the on set statement completes successfully.

The atomicity and consistency guarantee is a soft guarantee. If any of your application statements, in response to an event or timer invocation, execute for a time interval longer then 15 seconds (default interval length), then the engine may use current variable values after 15 seconds passed, rather then then-current variable values at the time the statement started executing in response to an event or timer invocation.

The length of the time interval that variable values are held stable for the duration of execution of a given statement is by default 15 seconds, but can be configured via engine default settings.

4.18.4. Object-Type Variables

A variable of type object (or java.lang.Object via the API) can be assigned any value including null. When using an object-type variable in an expression, your statement may need to cast the value to the desired type.

The following sample EPL creates a variable by name varobj of type object:

create variable object varobj

4.18.5. Class and Event-Type Variables

The create variable syntax and the API accept a fully-qualified class name or alternatively the name of an event type. This is useful when you want a single variable to have multiple property values to read or set.

The next statement assumes that the event type PageHitEvent is declared:

create variable PageHitEvent varPageHitZero

These example statements show two ways of assigning to the variable:

// You may assign the complete event
on PageHitEvent(ip='0.0.0.0') pagehit set varPageHitZero = pagehit
// Or assign individual properties of the event
on PageHitEvent(ip='0.0.0.0') pagehit set varPageHitZero.userId = pagehit.userId

Similarly statements may use properties of class or event-type variables as this example shows:

select * from FirewallEvent(userId=varPageHitZero.userId)

When using class or event-type variables, in order for the engine to assign property values, the underlying event type must allow writing property values. If using JavaBean event classes the class must have setter methods and a default constructor.

4.19. Contained-Event Selection

Contained-event selection is for use when an event contains properties that are themselves events. For example when application events are coarse-grained structures and you need to perform bulk operations on the rows of the property graph in an event.

Use the contained-event selection syntax in a filter expression such as in a pattern, from clause, subselect, on-select and on-delete. This section provides the synopsis and examples.

To review, in the from clause a contained_selection may appear after the event stream name and filter criteria, and before any view specifications.

The synopsis for contained_selection is as follows:

[select select_expressions from] property_expression [as property_alias] [where filter_expression]

The select clause and select_expressions are optional and may be used to select specific properties.

The property_expression is required and must be a valid property name that returns an event fragment, i.e. a property that can itself be represented as an event by the underlying event representation. Simple values such as integer or string are not fragments.

The property_alias can be provided to assign a name to the property expression.

The where clause and filter_expression is optional and may be used to filter out properties.

As an example event, consider a media order. A media order consists of order items as well as product descriptions. A media order event can be represented as an object graph (POJO event representation), or a structure of nested Maps (Map event representation) or a XML document (XML DOM or Axiom event representation) or other custom plug-in event representation.

To illustrate, a sample media order event in XML event representation is shown below. Also, a XML event type can optionally be strongly-typed with an explicit XML XSD schema that we don't show here. Note that Map and POJO representation can be considered equivalent for the purpose of this example.

Let us now assume that we have declared the event type MediaOrder as being represented by the root node <mediaorder> of such XML snip:

<mediaorder>
  <orderId>PO200901</orderId>
  <items>
    <item>
      <itemId>100001</itemId>
      <productId>B001</productId>
      <amount>10</amount>
      <price>11.95</price>
    </item>
  </items>
  <books>
    <book>
      <bookId>B001</bookId>
      <author>Heinlein</author>
      <review>
        <reviewId>1</reviewId>
        <comment>best book ever</comment>
      </review>
    </book>
    <book>
      <bookId>B002</bookId>
      <author>Isaac Asimov</author>
    </book>
  </books>
</mediaorder>

The next query utilizes the contained-event selection syntax to return each book:

select * from MediaOrder[books.book]

The result of the above query is one event per book. Output events contain only the book properties and not any of the mediaorder-level properties.

Note that, when using listeners, the engine delivers multiple results in one invocation of each listener. Therefore listeners to the above statement can expect a single invocation passing all book events within one media order event as an array.

To better illustrate the position of the contained-event selection syntax in a statement, consider the next two queries:

select * from MediaOrder(orderId='PO200901')[books.book]

The above query the returns each book only for media orders with a given order id. This query illustrates a contained-event selection and a view:

select count(*) from MediaOrder[books.book].std:unique(bookId)

The sample above counts each book unique by book id.

Contained-event selection can be staggered. When staggering multiple contained-event selections the staggered contained-event selection is relative to its parent.

This example demonstrates staggering contained-event selections by selecting each review of each book:

select * from MediaOrder[books.book][review]

Listeners to the query above receive a row for each review of each book. Output events contain only the review properties and not the book or media order properties.

The following is not valid:

// not valid
select * from MediaOrder[books.book.review]

The book property in an indexed property (an array or collection) and thereby requires an index in order to determine which book to use. The expression books.book[1].review is valid and means all reviews of the second (index 1) book.

The contained-event selection syntax is part of the filter expression and may therefore occur in patterns and anywhere a filter expression is valid.

A pattern example is below. The example assumes that a Cancel event type has been defined that also has an orderId property:

select * from pattern [c=Cancel -> books=MediaOrder(orderId = c.orderId)[books.book] ]

When used in a pattern, a filter with a contained-event selection returns an array of events, similar to the match-until clause in patterns. The above statement returns, in the books property, an array of book events.

4.19.1. Select Clause in a Contained-Event Selection

The optional select clause provides control over which fields are available in output events. The expressions in the select clause apply only to the properties available underneath the property in the from clause, and the properties of the enclosing event.

When no select is specified, only the properties underneath the selected property are available in output events.

In summary, the select clause may contain:

  1. Any expressions, wherein properties are resolved relative to the property in the from clause.

  2. Use the wildcard (*) to provide all properties that exist under the property in the from clause.

  3. Use the property_alias.* syntax to provide all properties that exist under a property in the from clause.

The next query's select clause selects each review for each book, and the order id as well as the book id of each book:

select * from MediaOrder[select orderId, bookId from books.book][select * from review]
// ... equivalent to ...
select * from MediaOrder[select orderId, bookId from books.book][review]]

Listeners to the statement above receive an event for each review of each book. Each output event has all properties of the review row, and in addition the bookId of each book and the orderId of the order. Thus bookId and orderId are found in each result event, duplicated when there are multiple reviews per book and order.

The above query uses wildcard (*) to select all properties from reviews. As has been discussed as part of the select clause, the wildcard (*) and property_alias.* do not copy properties for performance reasons. The wildcard syntax instead specifies the underlying type, and additional properties are added onto that underlying type if required. Only one wildcard (*) and property_alias.* (unless used with a column rename) may therefore occur in the select clause list of expressions.

All the following queries produce an output event for each review of each book. The next sample queries illustrate the options available to control the fields of output events.

The output events produced by the next query have all properties of each review and no other properties available:

select * from MediaOrder[books.book][review]

The following query is not a valid query, since the order id and book id are not part of the contained-event selection:

// Invalid select clause: orderId and bookId not produced.
select orderId, bookId from MediaOrder[books.book][review]

This query is valid. Note that output events carry only the orderId and bookId properties and no other data:

select orderId, bookId from MediaOrder[books.book][select orderId, bookId from review]
//... equivalent to ...
select * from MediaOrder[select orderId, bookId from books.book][review]

This variation produces output events that have all properties of each book and only reviewId and comment for each review:

select * from MediaOrder[select * from books.book][select reviewId, comment from review]
// ... equivalent to ...
select * from MediaOrder[books.book as book][select book.*, reviewId, comment from review]

The output events of the next EPL have all properties of the order and only bookId and reviewId for each review:

select * from MediaOrder[books.book as book]
    [select mediaOrder.*, bookId, reviewId from review] as mediaOrder

This EPL produces output events with 3 columns: a column named mediaOrder that is the order itself, a column named book for each book and a column named review that holds each review:

insert into ReviewStream select * from MediaOrder[books.book as book]
  [select mo.* as mediaOrder, book.* as book, review.* as review from review as review] as mo
// .. and a sample consumer of ReviewStream...
select mediaOrder.orderId, book.bookId, review.reviewId from ReviewStream

Please note these limitations:

  1. Sub-selects, aggregation functions and the prev and prior operators are not available in contained-event selection.

  2. Expressions in the select and where clause of a contained-event selection can only reference properties relative to the current event and property.

4.19.2. Where Clause in a Contained-Event Selection

The optional where clause may be used to filter out properties at the same level that the where-clause occurs.

The properties in the filter expression must be relative to the property in the from clause or the enclosing event.

This query outputs all books with a given author:

select * from MediaOrder[books.book where author = 'Heinlein']

This query outputs each review of each book where a review comment contains the word 'good':

select * from MediaOrder[books.book][review where comment like 'good']

4.19.3. Contained-Event Selection and Joins

This section discusses contained-event selection in joins.

When joining within the same event it is not required that views are specified. Recall, in a join or outer join there must be views specified that hold the data to be joined. For self-joins, no views are required and the join executes against the data returned by the same event.

This query inner-joins items to books where book id matches the product id:

select book.bookId, item.itemId 
from MediaOrder[books.book] as book, 
      MediaOrder[items.item] as item 
where productId = bookId

Query results for the above query when sending the media order event as shown earlier are:

book.bookIditem.itemId
B001100001

The next example query is a left outer join. It returns all books and their items, and for books without item it returns the book and a null value:

select book.bookId, item.itemId 
from MediaOrder[books.book] as book 
  left outer join 
    MediaOrder[items.item] as item 
  on productId = bookId

Query results for the above query when sending the media order event as shown earlier are:

book.bookIditem.itemId
B001100001
B002null

A full outer join combines the results of both left and right outer joins. The joined table will contain all records from both tables, and fill in null values for missing matches on either side.

This example query is a full outer join, returning all books as well as all items, and filling in null values for book id or item id if no match is found:

select orderId, book.bookId,item.itemId 
from MediaOrder[books.book] as book 
  full outer join 
     MediaOrder[select orderId, * from items.item] as item 
  on productId = bookId 
order by bookId, item.itemId asc

As in all other continuous queries, aggregation results are cumulative from the time the statement was created.

The following query counts the cumulative number of items in which the product id matches a book id:

select count(*) 
from MediaOrder[books.book] as book, 
      MediaOrder[items.item] as item 
where productId = bookId

The unidirectional keyword in a join indicates to the query engine that aggregation state is not cumulative. The next query counts the number of items in which the product id matches a book id for each event:

select count(*) 
from MediaOrder[books.book] as book unidirectional, 
      MediaOrder[items.item] as item 
where productId = bookId

4.20. Updating an Insert Stream: the Update IStream Clause

The update istream statement allows declarative modification of event properties of events entering a stream. Update is a pre-processing step to each new event, modifying an event before the event applies to any statements.

The synopsis of update istream is as follows:

update istream event_type [as stream_name]
  set property_name = set_expression [, property_name = set_expression] [,...]
  [where where_expression]

The event_type is the name of the type of events that the update applies to. The optional as keyword can be used to assign a name to the event type for use with subqueries, for example. Following the set keyword is a comma-separated list of property names and expressions that provide the event properties to change and values to set.

The optional where clause and expression can be used to filter out events to which to apply updates.

Listeners to an update statement receive the updated event in the insert stream (new data) and the event prior to the update in the remove stream (old data). Note that if there are multiple update statements that all apply to the same event then the engine will ensure that the output events delivered to listeners or subscribers are consistent with the then-current updated properties of the event (if necessary making event copies, as described below, in the case that listeners are attached to update statements). Iterating over an update statement returns no events.

As an example, the below statement assumes an AlertEvent event type that has properties named severity and reason:

update istream AlertEvent 
  set severity = 'High'
  where severity = 'Medium' and reason like '%withdrawal limit%'

The statement above changes the value of the severity property to "High" for AlertEvent events that have a medium severity and contain a specific reason text.

Update statements apply the changes to event properties before other statements receive the event(s) for processing, e.g. "select * from AlertEvent" receives the updated AlertEvent. This is true regardless of the order in which your application creates statements.

When multiple update statements apply to the same event, the engine executes updates in the order in which update statements are created. We recommend the @Priority EPL annotation to define a deterministic order of processing updates, especially in the case where update statements get created and destroyed dynamically or multiple update statements update the same fields. The update statement with the highest @Priority value applies last.

The update clause can be used on streams populated via insert into, as this example utilizing a pattern demonstrates:

insert into DoubleWithdrawalStream 
select a.id, b.id, a.account as account, 0 as minimum 
from pattern [a=Withdrawal -> b=Withdrawal(id = a.id)]
update istream DoubleWithdrawalStream set minimum = 1000 where account in (10002, 10003)

When using update with named windows, any changes to event properties apply before an event enters the named window.

Consider the next example (shown here with statement names in @Name EPL annotation, multiple EPL statements):

@Name("CreateWindow") create window MyWindow.win:time(30 sec) as AlertEvent

@Name("UpdateStream") update istream MyWindow set severity = 'Low' where reason = '%out of paper%'

@Name("InsertWindow") insert into MyWindow select * from AlertEvent

@Name("SelectWindow") select * from MyWindow

The UpdateStream statement specifies an update clause that applies to all events entering the named window. Note that update does not apply to events already in the named window at the time an application creates the UpdateStream statement, it only applies to new events entering the named window (after an application created the update statement).

Therefore, in the above example listeners to the SelectWindow statement as well as the CreateWindow statement receive the updated event, while listeners to the InsertWindow statement receive the original AlertEvent event (and not the updated event).

Subqueries can also be used in all expressions including the optional where clause.

This example demonstrates a correlated subquery in an assignment expression and also demonstrates the optional as keyword. It assigns the phone property of an AlertEvent event a new value based on the lookup within all unique PhoneEvent events (according to an empid property) correlating the AlertEvent property reporter with the empid property of PhoneEvent:

update istream AlertEvent as ae
  set phone = 
    (select phone from PhoneEvent.std:unique(empid) where empid = ae.reporter)

When using update, please note these limitations:

  1. Expressions may not use aggregation functions.

  2. The prev and prior functions may not be used.

  3. For underlying event representations that are Java objects, a event object class must implement the java.io.Serializable interface as discussed below.

  4. When using an XML underlying event type, event properties in the XML document representation are not available for update.

  5. Nested, indexed and mapped properties are not supported for update. Revision event types and variant streams may also not be updated.

4.20.1. Immutability and Updates

When updating event objects the engine maintains consistency across statements. The engine ensures that an update to an event does not impact the results of statements that look for or retain the original un-updated event. As a result the engine may need to copy an event object to maintain consistency.

In the case your application utilizes Java objects as the underlying event representation and an update statement updates properties on an object, then in order to maintain consistency across statements it is necessary for the engine to copy the object before changing properties (and thus not change the original object).

For Java application objects, the copy operation is implemented by serialization. Your event object must therefore implement the java.io.Serializable interface to become eligible for update. As an alternative to serialization, you may instead configure a copy method as part of the event type configuration via ConfigurationEventTypeLegacy.

4.21. Controlling Event Delivery : The For Clause

The engine delivers all result events of a given statement to the statement's listeners and subscriber (if any) in a single invocation of each listener and subscriber's update method passing an array of result events. For example, a statement using a time-batch view may provide many result events after a time period passes, a pattern may provide multiple matching events or in a join the join cardinality could be multiple rows.

For statements that typically post multiple result events to listeners the for keyword controls the number of invocations of the engine to listeners and subscribers and the subset of all result events delivered by each invocation. This can be useful when your application listener or subscriber code expects multiple invocations or expects that invocations only receive events that belong together by some additional criteria.

The for keyword is a reserved keyword. It is followed by either the grouped_delivery keyword for grouped delivery or the discrete_delivery keyword for discrete delivery. The for clause is valid after any EPL select statement.

The synopsis for grouped delivery is as follows:

... for grouped_delivery (group_expression [, group_expression] [,...])

The group_expression expression list provides one or more expressions to apply to result events. The engine invokes listeners and subscribers once for each distinct set of values returned by group_expression expressions passing only the events for that group.

The synopsis for discrete delivery is as follows:

... for discrete_delivery

With discrete delivery the engine invokes listeners and subscribers once for each result event passing a single result event in each invocation.

Consider the following example without for-clause. The time batch data view collects RFIDEvent events for 10 seconds and posts an array of result events:

select * from RFIDEvent.win:time_batch(10 sec)

Let's consider an example event sequence as follows:

Table 4.4. Sample Sequence of Events for For Keyword

Event
RFIDEvent(id:1, zone:'A')
RFIDEvent(id:2, zone:'B')
RFIDEvent(id:3, zone:'A')

Without for-clause and after the 10-second time period passes, the engine delivers an array of 3 events in a single invocation to listeners and the subscriber.

The next example specifies the for-clause and grouped delivery by zone:

select * from RFIDEvent.win:time_batch(10 sec) for grouped_delivery (zone)

With grouped delivery and after the 10-second time period passes, the above statement delivers result events in two invocations to listeners and the subscriber: The first invocation delivers an array of two events that contains zone A events with id 1 and 3. The second invocation delivers an array of 1 event that contains a zone B event with id 2.

The next example specifies the for-clause and discrete delivery:

select * from RFIDEvent.win:time_batch(10 sec) for discrete_delivery

With discrete delivery and after the 10-second time period passes, the above statement delivers result events in three invocations to listeners and the subscriber: The first invocation delivers an array of 1 event that contains the event with id 1, the second invocation delivers an array of 1 event that contains the event with id 2 and the third invocation delivers an array of 1 event that contains the event with id 3.

Remove stream events are also delivered in multiple invocations, one for each group, if your statement selects remove stream events explicitly via irstream or rstream keywords.

The insert into for inserting events into a stream is not affected by the for-clause.

The delivery order respects the natural sort order or the explicit sort order as provided by the order by clause, if present.

The following are known limitations:

  1. The engine validates group_expression expressions against the output event type, therefore all properties specified in group_expression expressions must occur in the select clause.


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