Use this tag for questions about Apache Kafka - a distributed streaming (aka publish and subscribe or pub/sub) platform.
From the Apache Kafka Introduction page:
Apache Kafka® is a distributed streaming platform. What exactly does that mean?
A streaming platform has three key capabilities:
- Publish and subscribe to streams of records, similar to a message queue or enterprise messaging system.
- Store streams of records in a fault-tolerant durable way.
- Process streams of records as they occur.
Kafka is generally used for two broad classes of applications:
- Building real-time streaming data pipelines that reliably get data between systems or applications
- Building real-time streaming applications that transform or react to the streams of data
First a few concepts:
- Kafka is run as a cluster on one or more servers that can span multiple datacenters.
- The Kafka cluster stores streams of records in categories called topics.
- Each record consists of a key, a value, and a timestamp.
Kafka has four core APIs:
- The Producer API allows an application to publish a stream of records to one or more Kafka topics.
- The Consumer API allows an application to subscribe to one or more topics and process the stream of records produced to them.
- The Streams API allows an application to act as a stream processor, consuming an input stream from one or more topics and producing an output stream to one or more output topics, effectively transforming the input streams to output streams.
- The Connector API allows building and running reusable producers or consumers that connect Kafka topics to existing applications or data systems. For example, a connector to a relational database might capture every change to a table.