Alerting: Event Processing Language (EPL)

Document created by RSA Information Design and Development Employee on Nov 23, 2016Last modified by RSA Information Design and Development Employee on Apr 26, 2017
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This topic describes Event Processing Language (EPL), a declarative language for dealing with high frequency time-based event data. ESA uses Event Processing Language (EPL), a declarative language for dealing with high frequency time-based event data. It is used for express filtering, aggregation, and joins over possibly sliding windows of multiple event streams. EPL also includes pattern semantics to express complex temporal causality among events. It can perform, but is not limited to, the following functions:

  • Filter Event
  • Alert Suppression
  • Compute percentages or rations
  • Average, count, min and max for a given time window
  • Correlate events arriving in multiple stream
  • Correlate events that arrive out of order
  • On-Off Windows
  • Followed-by and Not Followed-by support
  • Regex filter support

Databases require explicit querying to return meaningful data and are not suited to push data as it changes. The developer must implement the temporal and aggregation logic himself. By contrast, the EPL engine provides a higher abstraction and intelligence and can be thought of as a database turned upside-down. Instead of storing the data and running queries against stored data, EPL allows applications to store queries and continuously run the data through. Response from the EPL engine is real-time when conditions occur that match user defined queries.

Advanced ESA rules require correct character case, but in the Investigation view all characters are converted to lowercase. However, the meta may not be lowercase despite appearances in the Investigation view. To ensure you are using the correct case, RSA recommends you use the toLowerCase() function. For example,



/* Statement: Download PDF File */

(filetype.toLowerCase() IN ( 'pdf' ) AND medium IN ( 1 ))


/* Statement: Download EXE File */

(filetype.toLowerCase() IN ( 'windows_executable' , 'x86 pe' , 'windows executable' ) AND medium IN ( 1 ))

).win:time(5 Minutes)



MEASURES E1 as e1_data , E2 as e2_data



E1 as (E1.filetype.toLowerCase() IN ( 'pdf' ) AND E1.medium IN ( 1 )),

E2 as (E2.filetype.toLowerCase() IN ( 'windows_executable' , 'x86 pe' , 'windows executable' ) AND E2.medium IN ( 1 ))

For the purposes of online help, basic statements are used to illustrate how to set up ESA; however, for more information about writing EPL statements, the site provides tutorials and examples. 

Note: ESA supports Esper version 5.1.0.

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