This article showcases several concrete use-cases for companies that are investigating or already using Kafka, in particular, Kafka Connect.
With ever-increasing demands from other business units, IT departments have to be constantly looking for service improvements and cost-saving opportunities. This article showcases several concrete use-cases for companies that are investigating or already using Kafka, in particular, Kafka Connect.
Kafka Connect is an enterprise-grade solution for integrating a plethora of applications, ranging from traditional databases to business applications like Salesforce and SAP. Possible integration scenarios range from continuously streaming events and data between applications to large-scale, configurable batch jobs that can be used to replace manual data transfers.
Apache Kafka started as an in-house project at LinkedIn intended to replace the various queuing and message-passing systems that had evolved over the years. The goal was to create a horizontally scalable system, able to reliably store and handle many millions of messages per second. Today, the Kafka community provides a whole ecosystem of tools and features ranging from simple log-message passing to performing basic on-the-fly ETL jobs to complex data-pipeline processing. Its versatility and robustness in addition to its scalability makes Kafka a great choice for the enterprise.
The power of Kafka comes at a price: While it’s easy to use Kafka from a client perspective, the setup and operation of Kafka is a difficult task. Setting up a reliable Kafka cluster is a challenge that requires experience. If your company does not have the experience, it can take weeks, even months to set up and fine-tune a production-ready cluster. That’s where Kafka on Heroku shines: Setting up a private Kafka cluster literally takes minutes, which makes it feasible for IT departments to focus on the services they want to provide instead of operating a Kafka cluster.
Adding Kafka Connect is the logical next step, once you are using Kafka. But Kafka Connect on Heroku is a huge time-saver, even if you are not planning to use Kafka directly from your application. With little operational overhead, Kafka Connect provides an integration point for any number of applications. Instead of running and maintaining different solutions for recurring data transfer, on-demand data transfer, and continuous updates between systems, Kafka Connect provides a unified solution to those problems.
In the next section you will learn about some typical use cases, and also find out which applications Kafka Connect is able to integrate.
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