Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

ECA Rules

  • Mikael BerndtssonEmail author
  • Jonas Mellin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_504


Event-condition-action rules; Reactive rules; Triggers


An ECA rule has three parts: an event, a condition, and an action. The semantics of an ECA rule are when the event has been detected, evaluate the condition, and if the condition is satisfied, execute the action.

Historical Background

ECA rules are used within active databases for supporting reactive behavior and were first proposed in the HiPAC project [2].


The semantics of an ECA rule is straightforward: when an event is detected, evaluate the condition, and if the condition is true, then execute the action. There are a number of reasons why the reactive behavior is abstracted to three different parts [1]:

First of all, events, conditions, and actions have different roles. An event specifies when to trigger a rule, a condition specifies what to check, and an action specifies what to execute in response to the event. Thus, the semantics of an ECA rule is clean and avoids ad hoc mixing of events,...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Dayal U. Ten years of activity in active database systems: what have we accomplished? In: Active and Real-Time Database Systems, Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Active and Real-Time Database Systems; 1995. p. 3–22.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dayal U, Blaustein B, Buchmann A, et al. S.C. HiPAC: a research project in active, time-constrained database management. Technical report. CCA-88-02. Cambridge, MA: Xerox Advanced Information Technology; 1988.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Skövde, The Informatics Research CentreSkövdeSweden
  2. 2.University of Skövde, School of InformaticsSkövdeSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • M. Tamer Özsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada