IBM is expanding its broad service-oriented architecture (SOA) portfolio with the acquisition of AptSoft, a maker of business event processing software.

AptSoft's products will sit in IBM's WebSphere line. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also known as complex event processing (CEP), business event processing is seen as a key technology driver for the next generation of SOA. The software analyses vast amounts of system events in real time, searching for trends and anomalies - "complex events" - that may impact the business, and triggers a response process if one is found.

For example, the technology could be used by an online gaming site to spot malfeasance among the torrent of transactions that occur each second, or by a trading firm to track minute changes in stock price activity among various markets, IBM said in a statement.

Other companies in the CEP/BEP market include Tibco and Streanbase.