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Apache Flink

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Apache Flink vs Kafka Streams: What are the differences?

Apache Flink: Fast and reliable large-scale data processing engine. Apache Flink is an open source system for fast and versatile data analytics in clusters. Flink supports batch and streaming analytics, in one system. Analytical programs can be written in concise and elegant APIs in Java and Scala; Kafka Streams: A client library for building applications and microservices. It is a client library for building applications and microservices, where the input and output data are stored in Kafka clusters. It combines the simplicity of writing and deploying standard Java and Scala applications on the client side with the benefits of Kafka's server-side cluster technology.

Apache Flink belongs to "Big Data Tools" category of the tech stack, while Kafka Streams can be primarily classified under "Stream Processing".

Apache Flink is an open source tool with 9.75K GitHub stars and 5.22K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Apache Flink's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Apache Flink has a broader approval, being mentioned in 29 company stacks & 96 developers stacks; compared to Kafka Streams, which is listed in 7 company stacks and 5 developer stacks.

Advice on Apache Flink and Kafka Streams
Nilesh Akhade
Technical Architect at Self Employed · | 5 upvotes · 252.4K views

We have a Kafka topic having events of type A and type B. We need to perform an inner join on both type of events using some common field (primary-key). The joined events to be inserted in Elasticsearch.

In usual cases, type A and type B events (with same key) observed to be close upto 15 minutes. But in some cases they may be far from each other, lets say 6 hours. Sometimes event of either of the types never come.

In all cases, we should be able to find joined events instantly after they are joined and not-joined events within 15 minutes.

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Replies (2)
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ElasticsearchElasticsearch

The first solution that came to me is to use upsert to update ElasticSearch:

  1. Use the primary-key as ES document id
  2. Upsert the records to ES as soon as you receive them. As you are using upsert, the 2nd record of the same primary-key will not overwrite the 1st one, but will be merged with it.

Cons: The load on ES will be higher, due to upsert.

To use Flink:

  1. Create a KeyedDataStream by the primary-key
  2. In the ProcessFunction, save the first record in a State. At the same time, create a Timer for 15 minutes in the future
  3. When the 2nd record comes, read the 1st record from the State, merge those two, and send out the result, and clear the State and the Timer if it has not fired
  4. When the Timer fires, read the 1st record from the State and send out as the output record.
  5. Have a 2nd Timer of 6 hours (or more) if you are not using Windowing to clean up the State

Pro: if you have already having Flink ingesting this stream. Otherwise, I would just go with the 1st solution.

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Akshaya Rawat
Senior Specialist Platform at Publicis Sapient · | 3 upvotes · 150.5K views
Recommends
Apache SparkApache Spark

Please refer "Structured Streaming" feature of Spark. Refer "Stream - Stream Join" at https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/structured-streaming-programming-guide.html#stream-stream-joins . In short you need to specify "Define watermark delays on both inputs" and "Define a constraint on time across the two inputs"

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Pros of Apache Flink
Pros of Kafka Streams
  • 15
    Unified batch and stream processing
  • 8
    Easy to use streaming apis
  • 8
    Out-of-the box connector to kinesis,s3,hdfs
  • 3
    Open Source
  • 1
    Low latency
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