LinkedIn, Netflix and Uber: they all make use of Apache Kafka, an open-source streaming platform that streamlines countless data streams. But what, exactly, is it? What are the benefits and why should you use it for your applications? And how will it improve the performance of your application? That’s what we’ll explain in this blog.
Kafka as a central hub
Apache Kafka is used to process large streams of data. All the data within your organization is stored within this one streaming platform: it’s the central hub where you collect, store and process information in real time. This is what makes it so easy to integrate applications with one another, because you use only one source of information. Moreover, it’s an open-source platform that falls under the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), making it freely accessible.
You can use Kafka in several ways:
✔️ Add features to your application, such as real-time data processing or analysis.
✔️ Use it as a digital queue, while other applications or services do their thing.
✔️ Use it in combination with other technologies, such as Spark Streaming or Flink.
Application to the next level
When you’re having an application built, reliability and scalability are two of the most important aspects. Because firstly, you don’t want users to experience any downtime or work with incorrect data. Secondly, you want your application to be scalable. Because when your company grows, your application must grow with it. Apache Kafka caters to both essentials, seamlessly.
How does it do that? Well, the streaming platform uses a publish-subscribe model. You won’t have to remember that term, but you should remember what it does. Because this model ensures that information is sent between various components, without them being directly connected to each other. That means that Kafka is always available – even when you’re performing updates or maintenance. And your downtime? That doesn’t exist anymore.
Kafka as ETL
An additional advantage of Kafka is that as a developer, you’re flexible to build new functionalities. That’s because when you integrate Kafka into your system architecture, you don’t write code specifically for one data management system (DMS). Rather, you write a generic API, such as the Java Persistence API (JPA), which gives you access to countless types of systems.
Apart from that, you can also use Kafka as an ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Load). This way, you can convert and aggregate various data, so you can stream it to various databases. That’s how, for example, you get control information from your dashboards.
Today, Apache Kafka is an indispensable part of the application landscape. It’s a reliable and scalable way to streamline the data from your application and transfer it to other databases. Therefore, it’s not surprising at all to see that the world’s largest brands are already using it in their software packages.
Want to know more about Kafka?
Within Scopisto, we use Apache Kafka extensively. Apart from that, we always take the three S’s: scalability, sustainability and security, into account when developing our applications.
Are you curious how Kafka can take your application to the next level? Feel free to contact us, and we’ll explain the process in detail.