Data science is one of the fastest-growing industries, and the number of data scientists in the US is expected to grow by 35% between 2022 and 2032. This is significantly faster growth than most other industries, and it's due to the importance of data in today's world.

All kinds of companies make use of big data to gain better insights and make business decisions. Combining data science with stream processing can provide organizations with valuable information. This allows them to improve services and operations.

Keep reading to get a better understanding of stream processing and what it's used for.

What Is Stream Processing?

Stream processing involves acting on a particular data set at the time it's created. In the past, data practitioners would use the term "real-time processing" to describe data that was processed as often as required for a particular application. Modern technologies allow for stream processing, which is more specific and typically more useful.

The incoming data is known as the data stream, and with stream processing, various tasks are typically performed on it. This may happen in sequence, parallel, or both.

The workflow is known as the stream processing pipeline. This covers everything, including the data stream generation, data processing, and data delivery to its final location.

Some of the tasks that stream processing comprises of include:

  • Aggregations (including various calculations such as standard deviation, mean, and sum)
  • Transformations (e.g., converting numbers into currency format)
  • Analytics (e.g., predicting future events through pattern observation)
  • Ingestion (e.g., data entry)
  • Enrichment (e.g., combining data points and data sources for further information)

With Stream processing, an application can respond to new data events immediately.

Stream Processing vs. Batch Processing

Before data streaming, data practitioners would process data in batches. These would be based on a predefined threshold or schedule. With time, the pace and volume of data have increased, and batch processing is often insufficient.

Stream processing is now the go-to solution for modern applications. Technology that can respond to data in real time is far more efficient and now has multiple use cases.

Apps can respond to new data events instantaneously with stream processing. Batch processing groups data and collects it at a predetermined interval. Stream processing collects and processes data as soon as it's generated, so there's no wait time.

How Does Stream Processing Work?

Most of the time, stream processing is the chosen process for data that's generated as a series of events. This typically comes from things like payment processing systems, IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, and server and application logs.

A source (or publisher) generates events that are delivered to a streaming database. At this point, the data may be augmented, tested against fraud detection algorithms, or transformed in some other way. The application then sends the results to a sink (or subscriber).

Stream Processing Architecture

Stream processing relies on a streamlined architecture to ensure the whole process is fast and seamless. This helps solve multiple challenges that batch processing faces.

The steps are as follows:

  1. An event happens
  2. Insight is derived
  3. Action is taken

Stream processing ensures there's no lag time between these steps. It can also handle incredibly large data volumes, so high-demand systems aren't an issue.

Another advantage over batch processing is that stream processing can model most data in a far more usable way. This makes it easier to understand and act on.

Example Use Cases

Stream processing is most suitable for use when generated data requires immediate action. There are various use cases for this practice.

Real-Time Fraud and Anomaly Detection

Fraud is a major issue in today's world. With the increased use of electronic and online payment systems, fraudsters are capable of stealing huge amounts of funds. Stream processing has proven to be an effective method of combatting this.

Before solutions like stream processing, credit card providers would use batch processing for fraud detection processes. This was seen as inefficient and could often leave people waiting.

Credit card payment delays are inconvenient for both customers and vendors. Being able to handle all credit card processing as fast as possible is ideal.

Stream processing allows credit card providers to process data as soon as you swipe your card. The system will run the data through algorithms to recognize any signs of fraudulent behavior. It can then automatically block fraudulent charges and initiate alerts for any payments that merit investigation without making users wait.

Internet of Things Analytics

IoT devices are becoming increasingly popular in homes as well as in commercial and industrial applications. Companies in a range of industries use such devices to improve systems and business operations.

One example of this is anomaly detection in manufacturing. This can help indicate problems that are negatively affecting operations and productivity.

Real-time stream processing can show a manufacturer if there are a high number of anomalies on a production line quickly. Batch processing may only highlight this at the end of the day, resulting in a significant drop in productivity. The faster a manufacturer can identify such an issue, the quicker they can deal with it, reducing waste and maintaining efficiency.

Real-Time Personalization, Marketing, and Advertising

Marketing has come a long way in recent years, and the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can have a huge impact on the success of a business. Real-time stream processing makes it easier for brands to produce and deliver personalized marketing content. Providing custom, contextual experiences can help boost engagement from users significantly.

An example of this would be to analyze data in a customer's shopping cart. If they add an item but don't purchase it, a brand could then create marketing content offering a discount on this item, helping to drive more sales.

Using Stream Processing

Stream processing offers several advantages over other methods that your organization could benefit from. Being able to process data instantaneously will help you streamline operations and make better-informed business decisions.

RisingWave is an efficient stream processing solution that offers a fully managed service. You can try it now to get an idea of how much it can help your organization.


This article provides a comprehensive foundational introduction to stream processing, including what stream processing is, the architecture and basic principles of stream processing, its differences from batch processing, and more. Additionally, it briefly introduces the role of stream processing in scenarios such as real-time fraud detection, Internet of Things analytics, and personalized marketing.

Apache Flink is a powerful and popular open-source stream processing framework that has gained significant traction in the world of big data analytics and real-time data processing. It provides a scalable, fault-tolerant, and highly efficient platform for processing data streams. However, like any other technology, it's essential to explore alternatives to ensure you're making the right choice for your specific use case. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the top seven Apache Flink alternatives, each offering its unique strengths and capabilities.

1. Spark Structured Streaming

Spark Structured Streaming is a scalable and fault-tolerant stream processing engine built on top of the Apache Spark framework. It allows you to process and analyze real-time data streams using the same APIs and programming constructs as batch processing in Spark. Structured Streaming provides a high-level, declarative API for processing data streams, making it easier for developers to work with streaming data.

With the vast growth of Spark Structured Streaming, Databricks, the tech unicorn behind Apache Spark and Spark Structured Streaming, announced Project LightSpeed in 2022. Project Lightspeed is an umbrella project aimed at improving a couple of key aspects of Spark Streaming:

  • Performance improvements. Including offset management, log purging, microbatch pipelining, state rebalancing, adaptive query execution, and many more.
  • Enhanced functionalities. Some new functionalities include: multiple stateful operators, stateful processing in Python, dropping duplicates within watermark, and native support over Protobuf serialization.
  • Improved observability. It is important to have metrics and tools for monitoring, debugging and alerting over streaming jobs. Project Lightspeed introduces Python query listener in PySpark to send streaming metrics to external systems.
  • Expanding ecosystem. Project Lightspeed adds new connectors such as Amazon Kenesis and Google Pub/Sub to expand the ecosystem of Spark structured streaming.

Project Lightspeed is a significant undertaking, but it has the potential to make Spark Structured Streaming a more powerful and versatile stream processing engine. I am excited to see how it develops in the future.

2. KsqlDB

KsqlDB is a stream processing engine built on top of Apache Kafka and Kafka Streams. It combines powerful stream processing with a relational database model using SQL syntax. This makes it a powerful tool for building real-time applications that need to process and analyze streaming data. Some of the key features of ksqlDB include:

  • SQL interface: ksqlDB uses a SQL interface, which makes it familiar to most developers.
  • Stream processing: ksqlDB can be used to process streaming data in real time.
  • Relational database model: ksqlDB uses a relational database model, which makes it easy to store and query data.
  • Scalability: ksqlDB is scalable and can be deployed on a variety of platforms.
  • Reliability: ksqlDB is reliable and can handle high volumes of data.

KsqlDB can be deployed on a variety of platforms, including Confluent Cloud. When ksqlDB is deployed on Confluent Cloud, it is managed by Confluent and is automatically provisioned, scaled, and updated. This makes it easy to get started with ksqlDB and to focus on building applications rather than managing infrastructure.

3. RisingWave

RisingWave is an open-source distributed SQL streaming database designed for the cloud. It is designed to reduce the complexity and cost of building real-time applications. RisingWave consumes streaming data, performs incremental computations when new data comes in, and updates results dynamically. As a database system, RisingWave maintains results in its own storage so that users can access data efficiently.

Some of the key features of RisingWave:

  • Distributed architecture: RisingWave is a distributed database that can be scaled horizontally to handle large amounts of data.
  • SQL interface: RisingWave provides a SQL interface that allows users to query streaming data in a familiar way.
  • Incremental computations: RisingWave performs incremental computations when new data comes in, which reduces the processing time and allows for low latency queries.
  • Materialized views: RisingWave supports materialized views, which allow users to define the data they need and have it pre-computed for efficient querying.
  • Cloud-native architecture: RisingWave is designed to be deployed and managed in the cloud, which makes it easy to scale and manage.

RisingWave is fully open-sourced so that you can easily deploy.

4. Arroyo

Arroyo is an open source distributed stream processing engine written in Rust. It is designed to efficiently perform stateful computations on streams of data. Arroyo lets you ask complex questions of high-volume real-time data with sub-second results.

The Arroyo project was started by a team of engineers from YC W23. They are passionate about making real-time data processing more accessible and affordable. They believe that Arroyo can help organizations of all sizes to take advantage of the power of real-time data.

The Arroyo project is still under development, but it has already been used by a number of organizations, including Plaid, Affirm, and Stitch Fix. The project is open source, so anyone can contribute to its development.

Here are some of the features of the Arroyo project:

  • SQL and Rust pipelines
  • Scales up to millions of events per second
  • Stateful operations like windows and joins
  • State checkpointing for fault-tolerance and recovery of pipelines
  • Timely stream processing via the Dataflow model

Arroyo can be self-hosted, or used via the Arroyo Cloud service managed by Arroyo Systems. If you are looking for a powerful and efficient stream processing engine, then Arroyo is a good option to consider. It is still under development, but it has a lot of potential.

5. Materialize

Materialize is a streaming database that allows you to process data at speeds and scales not possible in traditional databases, but without the cost, complexity, or development time of most streaming engines. It is a good fit for applications that need to process data in real time, such as fraud detection, anomaly detection, and real-time analytics.

Materialize combines the accessibility of SQL databases with a streaming engine that is horizontally scalable, highly available, and strongly consistent. In particular, it is strong in the following aspects:

  • Incremental updates. Materialize supports incrementally updated materialized views that are always fresh, even when using complex SQL statements, like multi-way joins with aggregations. Its engine is built on Timely and Differential Dataflow — data processing frameworks backed by many years of research and optimized for this exact purpose.
  • Standard SQL support. Materialize follows the SQL standard (SQL-92) implementation, so you interact with it like any relational database: using SQL. You can build complex analytical workloads using any type of join (including non-windowed joins and joins on arbitrary conditions), but you can also leverage exciting new SQL patterns enabled by streaming like Change Data Capture (CDC)temporal filters, and subscriptions.
  • PostgreSQL wire-compatibility. Materialize uses the PostgreSQL wire protocol, which allows it to integrate out-of-the-box with many SQL clients and other tools in the data ecosystem that support PostgreSQL — like dbt.
  • Strong consistency guarantee. Materialize provides the highest level of transaction isolation: strict serializability. This means that it presents as if it were a single process, despite spanning a large number of threads, processes, and machines. Strict serializability avoids common pitfalls like eventual consistency and dual writes, which affect the correctness of your results.

Materialize is a new kind of data warehouse built for operational workloads: the instant your data changes, Materialize reacts.

6. Quix

Quix Platform is a complete system that enables you to develop, debug, and deploy real-time streaming data applications. Quix provides an online IDE and an open-source stream processing library called Quix Streams. Quix Streams is a client library that can be used in Python or C# code to develop custom elements of a processing pipeline.

Quix Platform was built on top of a message broker, specifically Kafka, rather than on top of a database, as databases introduce latency that can result in problems in real-time applications, and can also present scaling issues. Quix Platform helps abstract these issues, providing you with a scaleable and cost-effective solution.

From the top-down, the Quix stack provides the following:

7. Bytewax

Bytewax is an open source Python framework for building highly scalable dataflows in a streaming or batch context. It is based on the Timely Dataflow library, which is a dataflow processing library written in Rust. Bytewax provides a number of features that make it a powerful tool for building stream processing applications, including:

  • Dataflow programming: Bytewax uses a dataflow programming model, which means that program execution is conceptualized as data flowing through a series of operations or transformations. This makes it easy to build complex applications that process data in real time.
  • Stateful processing: Bytewax supports stateful processing, which means that some operations can remember information across multiple events. This is useful for applications that need to track the state of the world, such as fraud detection or anomaly detection.
  • Windowing: Bytewax supports windowing, which allows you to aggregate data over a period of time. This is useful for applications that need to track trends or patterns in data.
  • Connectors: Bytewax provides connectors to a variety of data sources, such as Kafka, Spark, and Redis. This makes it easy to connect your applications to the data that you need to process.

Bytewax is a relatively new framework, but it has a lot of potential. It is a good choice for organizations that are looking for a powerful and flexible stream processing framework that is written in Python.


There are many factors to consider when comparing stream processing frameworks, especially making decisions for adapting to the production. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Latest version: This is to understand if the software is under regular maintenance. An active project is usually backed by a thriving user community.
  2. Open source license: Whether the product is open-sourced. If so, what License is it using? Different open-source licenses post different restrictions on usage.
    • Distributed system: Whether the system is a distributed system, and how it scales with the workload?
  3. Ease of use: How easy is it to develop applications on the framework? This is important for organizations that don't have a lot of in-house expertise in stream processing. More precisely, ease of use is closely related to the user interface.
  4. Stream processing capability. What streaming queries can the system support? Is the supported interface expressive enough to support various applications? In particular, we focus on three aspects:
    • Supported join types. Joining a stream with either another stream or a static data table could be sophisticated. It involves stateful stream processing which leads to complex state management mechanisms.
    • Supported time windows. How the stream can be transformed in a timely manner.
    • Watermark support. Out-of-order data may occur due to various reasons. Does the framework support watermarks to handle the out-of-order data and guarantee the result's correctness?
  5. Ecosystem: How versatile is it to be integrated into existing software ecosystems? This is especially crucial for stream processing frameworks, as they must connect to various data sources and sinks.
  6. Deployment model. What deployment models does the framework natively support? What about deployment models from cloud providers? Is Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) supported?
Featured A detailed comparison of the top 8 stream processing frameworks.


Apache Flink is undoubtedly a strong and powerful stream processing framework, but it’s essential to explore alternatives to determine the best fit for your specific use case. The seven alternatives discussed in this article offer a range of features and integrations, making them valuable contenders for various real-time data processing needs. When choosing an alternative to Apache Flink, consider factors such as your existing technology stack, scalability requirements, and the complexity of your stream processing tasks. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your organization’s unique circumstances and goals.

In today's fast-paced data landscape, the demand for real-time data processing and analytics has grown exponentially. This has led to the emergence and widespread adoption of streaming databases. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the concept of streaming databases, their benefits, use cases, and how they have transformed the way we handle and analyze data.

Introduction: Understanding Streaming Databases

A streaming database is a specialized type of database designed to handle data that is generated and processed in real-time. Unlike traditional databases that are optimized for storing and querying static data, streaming databases excel in managing data that flows in continuously, often in high volumes and at high velocities. These databases play a crucial role in various industries where instant data insights are essential.

How Streaming Databases Work

Streaming databases operate on a fundamentally different principle than traditional databases. They are built to capture and process data as it is generated, without the need for data to be pre-processed and stored before analysis. This is achieved through a process known as event sourcing, where each piece of data is treated as an individual event. These events are then organized and indexed in a way that allows for efficient querying and analysis.

Benefits of Streaming Databases

Streaming databases bring forth many benefits that are transforming how organizations handle and leverage their data. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Rapid Data Processing and Analysis

Streaming databases enable organizations to process and analyze incoming data as it is generated. This real-time processing eliminates the need to wait for batch processing, providing instant insights that are crucial for swift decision-making.

2. Real-Time Insights for Better Decision-Making

The real-time nature of streaming databases empowers businesses with up-to-the-minute insights. This capability is especially valuable in industries like finance and e-commerce, where timely decisions can significantly impact the bottom line.

3. Enhanced Scalability

Traditional databases often struggle to handle massive influxes of data. On the other hand, streaming databases are designed to scale horizontally, allowing organizations to effortlessly manage increasing data volumes without compromising performance.

4. Seamless Integration with Existing Systems

Integrating new technologies into existing systems can be a daunting task. However, streaming databases are built to seamlessly integrate with various data processing frameworks and tools, making adoption smoother and more efficient.

5. Improved Customer Experiences

Streaming databases enable businesses to offer personalized experiences to their customers in real time. Whether it's delivering targeted recommendations or resolving customer issues promptly, real-time data processing enhances overall customer satisfaction.

6. Early Detection of Anomalies

Identifying anomalies and potential issues in real time is critical across industries. Streaming databases excel at detecting anomalies as they occur, enabling proactive measures to mitigate risks and maintain operational integrity.

7. Optimized Operational Efficiency

By providing real-time insights into operational processes, streaming databases enable organizations to optimize their workflows. This leads to improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and enhanced resource allocation.

8. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Security and compliance are paramount in today's digital landscape. Streaming databases can be configured to monitor and flag any unusual activities in real time, helping organizations stay ahead of potential security breaches.

9. Predictive Analytics

The ability to analyze data as it arrives allows businesses to implement predictive analytics models. This empowers them to forecast trends, identify opportunities, and proactively address challenges.

Use Cases of Streaming Databases

Streaming databases find applications across diverse industries:

1. Real-Time Analytics

Streaming databases enable businesses to extract valuable insights from data as it is generated. This is particularly beneficial for real-time analytics, where organizations can monitor and analyze data streams to make informed decisions promptly. Whether it's tracking user behavior on an e-commerce website or monitoring social media sentiment during a marketing campaign, streaming databases provide the means to process and analyze data in motion.

2. Fraud Detection and Prevention

Fraud detection requires rapid analysis of incoming data to identify anomalies and potentially fraudulent activities. Streaming databases allow financial institutions to analyze transactions in real time, comparing them against historical data and established patterns. By identifying unusual patterns as they occur, these databases contribute to more effective fraud prevention and minimization of financial losses.

3. Internet of Things (IoT) Applications

The Internet of Things relies heavily on collecting and processing data from various interconnected devices. Streaming databases play a pivotal role in IoT applications by ingesting and analyzing data from sensors, devices, and machines. This enables real-time monitoring of equipment performance, predictive maintenance, and data-driven optimization of processes.

4. Supply Chain and Inventory Management

Efficient supply chain and inventory management require up-to-the-minute data on product movement, demand, and availability. Streaming databases offer a way to monitor inventory levels, track shipments, and manage logistics in real time. This ensures that businesses can respond promptly to changes in demand, avoid stockouts, and streamline their overall supply chain operations.

5. Healthcare and Patient Monitoring

In the healthcare sector, patient well-being depends on accurate and timely data. Streaming databases facilitate continuous patient monitoring by collecting and analyzing data from medical devices, wearables, and electronic health records. This enables healthcare professionals to detect anomalies, monitor patient conditions, and provide timely interventions, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

6. Gaming and User Engagement

The gaming industry thrives on user engagement and interaction. Streaming databases enhance the gaming experience by tracking player actions and behaviors in real time. Game developers can use this data to adjust gameplay elements, offer personalized experiences, and identify areas for improvement, resulting in more captivating and enjoyable games.

7. Media and Content Delivery

Streaming databases are instrumental in media and content delivery, ensuring seamless streaming experiences for users. Whether it's video streaming, live broadcasting, or content recommendation engines, these databases manage the real-time distribution of content, adapting to network conditions and user preferences for uninterrupted streaming.

8. Energy and Utilities Management

For energy and utility companies, real-time data is crucial for efficient energy distribution and resource management. Streaming databases assist in monitoring energy consumption, predicting demand fluctuations, and optimizing distribution networks. This leads to better energy management, reduced waste, and improved sustainability.

9. Transportation and Fleet Management

In the transportation industry, timely information is vital for effective fleet management. Streaming databases enable tracking of vehicle locations, monitoring driver behavior, and optimizing routes in real time. This enhances operational efficiency, reduces fuel consumption, and enhances overall fleet safety.

10. Market Research and Trend Analysis

Understanding market trends and consumer preferences requires the analysis of vast amounts of data. Streaming databases allow market researchers to gather and process real-time data from social media, online platforms, and other sources. This empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, launch targeted marketing campaigns, and stay ahead of market trends.

Key Features to Look for in a Streaming Database

When considering a streaming database solution, several key features should be taken into account:

1. Low Latency

The database should offer low-latency processing to ensure real-time data analysis and timely decision-making.

2. Scalability

The ability to scale horizontally is crucial to accommodate increasing data volumes without performance degradation.

3. Fault Tolerance

A reliable streaming database should provide mechanisms to handle failures and ensure data integrity.

4. Event Processing

Look for databases that analyze complex events in real time.

5. Ease of Use

Opt for user-friendly databases with intuitive interfaces.

6. Integration

Choose databases that integrate well with your existing tools.

7. Security and Compliance

Ensure the database is secure and compliant with regulations.

8. Support and Documentation

Select databases with good support and comprehensive documentation.

9. Real-time Analytics

Pick databases that offer real-time data analytics.

10. Cost Consideration

Compare pricing models for cost-effectiveness.

Challenges and Considerations

1. Data Complexity

While streaming databases excel at handling vast amounts of data, the complexity of data formats can pose challenges. Data streaming from various sources may be structured differently, requiring thorough preprocessing to ensure accurate analysis.

2. Data Quality

Maintaining data quality is crucial for obtaining reliable insights. In a streaming environment, ensuring data accuracy can be tricky, as there's limited time for data validation. Implementing data quality checks within the streaming pipeline is essential.

3. Latency

Though streaming databases offer real-time processing, latency can still be a concern. The time it takes for data to travel from source to database to analysis can impact the freshness of insights. Minimizing latency through optimized architecture is essential.

4. Integration Complexity

Integrating streaming databases with existing systems can be complex. Compatibility issues, data synchronization, and ensuring minimal disruption during implementation require careful planning.

Best Practices for Successful Implementation

1. Clear Objective

Define your goals for implementing a streaming database. Whether it's real-time analytics or immediate notifications, having a clear objective will guide your implementation strategy.

2. Latency Optimization

Design your architecture with latency in mind. Minimize the number of processing steps and prioritize efficient data movement for quicker insights.

3. Continuous Monitoring

Regularly monitor the health and performance of your streaming database. Proactively address any issues to prevent disruptions to your data processing flow.

FAQs About Streaming Databases

Q1: What is the main difference between streaming and traditional databases?

A streaming database processes data in real-time as it arrives, while a traditional database focuses on storing and querying static data.

Q2: Can a streaming database handle large-scale data?

Yes, streaming databases are designed to handle high volumes of data and can be scaled horizontally to accommodate growth.

Q3: What industries can benefit from streaming databases?

Streaming databases have applications in various industries, including e-commerce, finance, healthcare, and IoT.

Q4: Are streaming databases cloud-compatible?

Yes, many streaming databases can be deployed in cloud environments, offering flexibility and ease of management.

Q5: What challenges should I consider when implementing a streaming database?

Complex infrastructure setup, data consistency, and processing order are key challenges to keep in mind when implementing a streaming database.

Q6: What are the top 9 open source and cloud systems for stream processing?


In conclusion, streaming databases have revolutionized the way we process, analyze, and derive insights from real-time data streams. Their ability to provide instant data insights, scalability, and flexibility has made them indispensable in numerous industries. As technology continues to evolve, streaming databases will undoubtedly play an increasingly vital role in shaping the future of data-driven decision-making.

RisingWave is an open-source cloud-native streaming database used to support real-time applications. Sign up for our monthly newsletter if you’d like to keep up to date on all the happenings with RisingWave. Follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, and join our Slack community to talk to our engineers and hundreds of streaming enthusiasts worldwide.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data management, the term "data lake" has emerged as a fundamental concept. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of what a data lake is, its significance, its benefits, and how it plays a pivotal role in modern data-driven enterprises.


In today's information-driven world, organizations face an ever-expanding volume of data. Making sense of this data is crucial for informed decision-making, and this is where the concept of a data lake comes into play.

Defining Data Lake

A data lake is a centralized repository that allows organizations to store vast amounts of raw data, both structured and unstructured, at any scale. Unlike traditional databases, which impose a predefined structure, data lakes provide a more flexible environment, enabling businesses to ingest, process, and analyze data from various sources without extensive data transformation.

How Data Lakes Differ from Data Warehouses

Data lakes and data warehouses are both integral components of modern data architecture, but they serve different purposes.

Data lakes are expansive repositories that can store vast amounts of raw and unstructured data. They are designed to accommodate data in their native format, making them highly versatile for various data types such as text, images, videos, and more. Data lakes offer a centralized storage solution that enables organizations to store data without the need for extensive preprocessing, which can be particularly advantageous for big data and analytics applications.

Data warehouses, on the other hand, are optimized for processing and querying structured data. They store data in a structured manner, often following a schema-on-write approach. Data warehouses are designed for high-speed querying and analysis, making them suitable for business intelligence, reporting, and decision-making processes.

Key Differences and When to Use Which

Data Structure: Data lakes store raw and unstructured data, while data warehouses store structured data.

Processing: Data lakes favor schema-on-read, allowing flexibility but potentially leading to data quality issues. Data warehouses use schema-on-write, ensuring data integrity.

Use Case: Choose data lakes for storing vast amounts of diverse, raw data. Opt for data warehouses when structured data needs to be quickly analyzed for business insights.

Components of a Data Lake

A data lake comprises several key components:

·      Storage Layer: This is where data is stored in its raw form, often leveraging distributed file systems or cloud-based storage solutions.

·      Ingestion Mechanism: Data can be ingested from a variety of sources, including IoT devices, applications, social media, and more.

·      Processing Framework: Data processing tools and frameworks, such as Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark, enable the transformation and analysis of data within the data lake.

·      Analytics and Visualization Tools: These tools help derive insights from the data stored in the lake, turning it into actionable information.

Structured vs. Unstructured Data

One of the defining features of data lakes is their ability to accommodate both structured and unstructured data. Structured data, such as databases, follows a clear format, while unstructured data, like text, images, and videos, lacks a predefined structure. Data lakes provide a unified platform for storing and analyzing these diverse data types.

Benefits of Data Lakes

Data lakes offer numerous advantages, including:

1. Scalability and Flexibility

Data lakes are designed to handle the massive influx of data that modern organizations deal with. Unlike traditional relational databases, data lakes do not impose rigid schema requirements. This means that as your data grows, you can easily scale up the storage infrastructure without worrying about altering the existing structure. This scalability ensures that your business can adapt to changing data demands without disruptions.

2. Data Variety and Integration

Modern businesses deal with diverse data types, including text, images, videos, and more. Data lakes excel in handling this data variety. By storing all types of data in their raw format, organizations can later process and transform it according to their needs. This seamless integration of various data sources encourages cross-functional collaboration and enables holistic insights.

3. Cost Efficiency

Traditional relational databases often involve substantial upfront costs for hardware and software licenses. Data lakes, on the other hand, can be built using cost-effective storage solutions, including cloud-based services. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go model offered by many cloud providers ensures that you only pay for the resources you actually use, making data lakes a budget-friendly option.

4. Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning

Data lakes provide a fertile ground for advanced analytics and machine learning initiatives. By centralizing diverse data sources, data scientists can access a comprehensive dataset for training and testing their models. This leads to more accurate predictions and actionable insights, enabling businesses to make informed decisions that drive growth.

5. Real-time Data Processing

In today's fast-paced business environment, real-time data processing is crucial. Data lakes can accommodate real-time data streaming and processing, allowing organizations to extract value from data as it's generated. This capability is particularly valuable for finance, e-commerce, and IoT industries, where timely insights drive competitive advantage.

6. Schema-on-Read Architecture

Unlike traditional databases that use schema-on-write, data lakes employ a schema-on-read architecture. This means that data can be ingested into the lake without the need for immediate structuring. This flexibility accelerates the data ingestion process, and the structuring can be applied later based on the specific analytical requirements.

7. Data Governance and Security

Data lakes provide robust security features that enable organizations to control access to their data. Fine-grained access controls, encryption, and authentication mechanisms safeguard sensitive information. Moreover, data lakes facilitate compliance with data regulations by maintaining a detailed record of data lineage and transformations.

8. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Data lakes break down data silos within organizations. Teams from different departments can access the same centralized repository, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. This democratization of data access empowers employees at all levels to make data-driven decisions, promoting innovation and efficiency.

9. Agility in Data Exploration

The schema-on-read nature of data lakes empowers business analysts and data scientists to explore data without constraints. They can quickly prototype queries and experiments, gaining insights without waiting for predefined structures. This agility accelerates the time-to-insight and encourages experimentation.

10. Future-Proofing Your Data Strategy

Investing in a data lake is an investment in the future. As technology evolves and new data sources emerge, your data lake can readily adapt to incorporate these changes. This future-proofing ensures that your organization remains competitive and prepared to harness the potential of emerging data trends.

Implementing a Data Lake Strategy

To harness the full potential of a data lake, organizations should:

·      Define Goals: Clearly outline the objectives you want to achieve with the data lake.

·      Choose the Right Tools: Select appropriate storage, processing, and analytics tools based on your needs.

·      Data Governance: Implement robust data governance practices to ensure data quality, security, and compliance.

Data Governance and Security

While data lakes offer flexibility, proper data governance is essential to prevent chaos. Establishing access controls, encryption, and monitoring mechanisms is crucial to maintain data integrity and protect sensitive information.

Future Trends in Data Lake Technology

As technology advances, data lakes are likely to evolve further. We can expect improvements in real-time data processing, automated data cataloging, and enhanced integration with cloud services.


In conclusion, a data lake is a dynamic and powerful tool that enables organizations to unlock insights from their data, regardless of its structure or source. Data lakes empower businesses to make data-driven decisions and stay competitive in today’s data-centric world by providing a scalable, cost-effective, and flexible environment. As data lake technology advances, embracing its capabilities can pave the way for innovative solutions and a deeper understanding of the ever-changing business landscape.

Data has emerged as the new currency in today's fast-paced digital landscape, driving decision-making, insights, and innovations across industries. With the exponential growth of data, traditional data warehousing and processing methods have started showing limitations. This is where the concept of a streaming lakehouse comes into play, revolutionizing the way organizations handle and leverage their data. In this article, we'll delve into the world of streaming lakehouses, understand what they are, and explore their significance in the realm of data management.

Understanding the Streaming Lakehouse

streaming lakehouse is an advanced data architecture that merges the capabilities of a data lake and a data warehouse, creating a unified platform for storing, processing, and analyzing data. It combines the scalability and flexibility of a data lake with the structured querying and real-time capabilities of a data warehouse. The term "lakehouse" was popularized by Databricks, referring to a data repository that offers the best of both worlds.

Key Features and Components

  1. Unified Storage: One of the defining features of a streaming lakehouse is its unified storage system. Data from various sources, whether structured or unstructured, can be stored without the need for extensive preprocessing. This saves time and resources while ensuring that data is readily available for analysis.
  2. Schema Evolution: Unlike traditional data warehouses, a streaming lakehouse allows for schema-on-read, meaning that the data's structure can be interpreted when it's queried rather than at the time of ingestion. This flexibility accommodates changes in data formats over time.
  3. Real-time Processing: Streaming lakehouses empower organizations to process and analyze data in real time. This is crucial for time-sensitive applications such as fraud detection, IoT monitoring, and personalized customer experiences.
  4. Scalability: With the power of distributed computing, a streaming lakehouse can effortlessly scale its resources to handle massive workloads. This ensures consistent performance as data volumes increase.
  5. Advanced Analytics: By leveraging SQL engines and machine learning frameworks, a streaming lakehouse supports advanced analytics, enabling organizations to derive deeper insights and make data-driven decisions.

The Significance in Modern Data Management

In the era of big data, traditional data warehousing solutions have faced cost, scalability, and agility limitations. Streaming lakehouses address these challenges and offer several advantages:

  • Cost-Efficiency: Storing data in its raw form reduces the need for extensive preprocessing, ultimately leading to cost savings. Moreover, the scalability of cloud-based lakehouses eliminates the need for large upfront investments.
  • Faster Decision-Making: With real-time data processing, organizations can make informed decisions at the speed of business. This is especially critical in industries such as finance and e-commerce.
  • Enhanced Flexibility: The schema-on-read approach provides the flexibility to work with diverse and evolving data sources, accommodating changes without disrupting the entire data pipeline.
  • Unified Platform: A streaming lakehouse simplifies the architecture by consolidating data storage and analytics, reducing complexity, and enhancing collaboration among data engineers, analysts, and data scientists.

Best Practices for Implementing a Streaming Lakehouse

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Identify the specific business objectives you aim to achieve with the streaming lakehouse, whether real-time analytics, predictive modeling, or data exploration.
  2. Choose the Right Tools: Select technologies that align with your organization's needs and goals. Consider factors such as compatibility, scalability, and ease of integration.
  3. Data Governance: Establish robust data governance practices to ensure data quality, security, and compliance throughout its lifecycle.
  4. Implement Robust Security Measures: Security is paramount. Employ encryption, access controls, and authentication mechanisms to safeguard sensitive data from breaches.
  5. Plan for Scalability: Design your streaming lakehouse to scale horizontally to accommodate growing data volumes and user demands.
  6. Prioritize Monitoring and Performance Optimization: Regularly monitor the performance of your streaming lakehouse and optimize queries and processes for efficiency.
  7. Foster Collaboration Between Teams: Encourage collaboration between data engineering, data science, and business teams to derive meaningful insights from the data.
  8. Provide Continuous Training: Keep your teams updated with training on the latest technologies and best practices in streaming data management.
  9. Regularly Review and Update the Strategy: The technology landscape evolves rapidly. Regularly review and update your streaming lakehouse strategy to align with industry trends.
  10. Start with a Proof of Concept: Conduct a proof of concept before full implementation to validate the chosen technologies and processes.


The concept of a streaming lakehouse represents a paradigm shift in data management, offering a versatile and efficient solution for handling the complexities of modern data. By combining the strengths of data lakes and data warehouses, organizations can unlock the true value of their data assets, driving innovation and competitive advantage in a data-driven world. Embracing the streaming lakehouse is not just a technological decision; it’s a strategic move toward harnessing the power of data to its fullest potential.

When it comes to data analysis and business intelligence, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) engines play a pivotal role. They empower organizations to swiftly process and analyze large volumes of data, aiding in making informed decisions. However, choosing the right one can be daunting with several OLAP engines available in the market. In this guide, we'll explore the key factors to consider when comparing different OLAP engines, ensuring you make the best choice for your analytical needs.

Understanding OLAP Engines

OLAP engines are software components designed to facilitate complex queries and rapid data analysis. They allow users to interactively explore multidimensional data, making identifying trends, patterns, and insights easier. OLAP engines can be categorized into two main types: MOLAP (Multidimensional OLAP) and ROLAP (Relational OLAP). Each type comes with its own set of advantages and limitations.

Key Factors for Comparison

  • Performance and Speed

One of the foremost factors to consider when comparing OLAP engines is their performance and speed. The responsiveness of an OLAP engine significantly impacts the user experience. Engines that swiftly process queries, even on extensive datasets, enhance productivity and decision-making. Evaluating benchmarks and performance tests is essential to gauge how an engine handles various query complexities.

  • Data Model and Flexibility

    The underlying data model of an OLAP engine influences its flexibility in accommodating different types of data and analytical requirements. Some engines use a multidimensional model, while others opt for a tabular model. The choice depends on your specific use case. Tabular models are often preferred for simpler data structures, while multidimensional models excel in complex analytical scenarios. Assess the compatibility of each engine's data model with your organization's data architecture.

    • Scalability

    As your business grows, so does the volume of data you need to analyze. A scalable OLAP engine can seamlessly handle increased workloads without compromising performance. When comparing engines, investigate their ability to scale horizontally or vertically. Horizontal scalability involves distributing data across multiple servers, while vertical scalability entails enhancing the power of a single server. Choose an engine that aligns with your growth projections.

    • Integration Capabilities

    An effective OLAP engine integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack. It should support various data sources and formats, ensuring a smooth data flow from different databases and applications. Prioritize engines that offer connectors for popular data sources and provide APIs for custom integrations. This level of compatibility streamlines the data preparation process and optimizes analysis.

    • Security Features

    Data security is paramount in today's digital landscape. When comparing OLAP engines, pay close attention to the security features they offer. Role-based access control, data encryption, and compliance with industry standards are crucial aspects. Whether your data is on-premises or in the cloud, the engine should provide robust security measures to safeguard sensitive information.

    • Community and Support

    Engaging with a thriving community can expedite problem-solving and knowledge sharing. Evaluate the community support around each OLAP engine. Robust documentation, active forums, and responsive customer support can greatly aid in overcoming challenges and maximizing the engine's potential. Consider engines with a vibrant user community that actively contributes to discussions and troubleshooting.

    • Cost Considerations

    While evaluating OLAP engines, it's essential to consider the total cost of ownership. This includes not only the licensing fees but also factors such as implementation, maintenance, and training costs. Some engines offer open-source versions with limited features, while others come with subscription models. Carefully assess the costs in relation to the features and benefits each engine provides.

    • User-Friendly Interface

    A user-friendly interface enhances the usability of an OLAP engine. The learning curve for users should be minimal, enabling them to create and customize reports and dashboards intuitively. Interfaces with drag-and-drop functionality and interactive visualization capabilities empower non-technical users to explore data independently.

    • Vendor Reputation and Future Roadmap

    Choosing an established vendor with a positive reputation in the industry can mitigate risks and ensure long-term support. Research the vendor's track record, customer reviews, and market presence. Additionally, explore the vendor's future roadmap to understand how they plan to enhance and innovate the OLAP engine over time.


    Q1: What is the main difference between MOLAP and ROLAP engines?

    A1: MOLAP engines store data in multidimensional cubes for faster query performance. ROLAP engines, on the other hand, leverage relational databases, offering greater flexibility in handling complex data models.

    Q2: Are there open-source OLAP options available?

    A2: Yes, several open-source OLAP engines like Mondrian and Kylin provide cost-effective solutions for businesses with budget constraints.


    Choosing the right OLAP engine for your organization requires a careful analysis of your data needs, performance expectations, and long-term goals. By considering factors like performance, data model, query language, integration capabilities, and advanced features, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your analytical requirements. Keep in mind that the technology landscape is ever-evolving, so periodically revisiting your choice is essential to ensure it continues to meet your needs effectively.

    Want to learn more about OLAP? Read our blog on how OLAP is different from stream processing.

    In the realm of modern data management, two pivotal database paradigms have emerged: streaming databases and real-time Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) databases. These technologies are frequently mentioned and sometimes intertwined with each other when it comes to real-time data analytics. This article explores the distinctions between streaming and real-time OLAP databases, offering insights to aid in your decision-making process and determine which solution suits your data processing and analytics requirements.

    What is a streaming database

    A streaming database, also known as a real-time or event streaming database, is a type of database that is designed to handle and process high volumes of data in real time as it is generated or ingested. Unlike traditional databases, which are typically used for storing and querying static data, streaming databases are optimized for managing and analyzing data that is continuously changing and arriving at a rapid pace.

    Key characteristics of streaming databases include:

    1. Real-time Data Processing: Streaming databases are capable of processing and analyzing data as it is generated, allowing organizations to make immediate decisions based on real-time insights. This is crucial in applications like financial trading, monitoring IoT devices, or analyzing social media trends.
    2. Event-Driven Architecture: Data in streaming databases is often organized as a series of events or messages. These events can be anything from sensor readings, log entries, user interactions, or any other type of data change. The database can react to these events and trigger actions or notifications in response.
    3. Low Latency: Streaming databases are designed for low-latency data processing, ensuring that data is processed and made available for analysis or action as quickly as possible. This is essential for applications where delay can have a significant impact, such as fraud detection or real-time analytics.
    4. Integration with Streaming Platforms: Streaming databases are often used in conjunction with streaming data platforms, such as Apache Kafka or Apache Pulsar, to efficiently ingest and distribute data streams. These platforms help manage the flow of data to and from the database.
    5. Complex Event Processing (CEP): Many streaming databases include capabilities for complex event processing, which allows users to define custom rules and queries to identify patterns, correlations, or anomalies in the streaming data.
    6. Durability and Fault Tolerance: Streaming databases often provide mechanisms for ensuring data durability, replication, and fault tolerance to prevent data loss and ensure high availability.

    Streaming databases are widely used in applications such as real-time analytics, fraud detection, monitoring, and alerting systems, recommendation engines, and more, where timely insights from continuously changing data are critical.

    Popular streaming databases include RisingWave, Materialize, ksqlDB, Timeplus, DeltaStream, etc. Also, there are various cloud offerings designed for managing the service directly in the cloud.

    What is a real-time OLAP database

    A Real-time OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) database is a type of database system that combines the features of OLAP and real-time data processing. OLAP databases are designed for complex data analysis and reporting, allowing users to query and analyze data from multiple perspectives and dimensions. Real-time OLAP databases, as the name suggests, provide this analytical capability with a focus on real-time or near-real-time data updates and queries.

    Here are some key characteristics and features of a Real-time OLAP database:

    1. Real-time Data Updates: Real-time OLAP databases are designed to handle data that is constantly changing or streaming in real-time. This could include data from sensors, IoT devices, transactional systems, or other sources that generate data continuously.
    2. Low Latency: These databases aim to minimize latency between data ingestion and availability for analysis. Data is often processed and made available for querying in near real-time or with minimal delay.
    3. Analytical Capabilities: Like traditional OLAP databases, Real-time OLAP databases support complex analytical queries. Users can perform multidimensional analysis, drill down into data, and create various reports and dashboards.
    4. Multidimensional Data Model: Real-time OLAP databases typically use a multidimensional data model, where data is organized into cubes or multi-dimensional structures that enable efficient slicing and dicing of data.
    5. Aggregation and Summarization: They allow for data aggregation and summarization to provide users with high-level insights and detailed analysis of data.
    6. Integration with Streaming Data Sources: Real-time OLAP databases are often integrated with streaming data platforms or event processing systems to capture and process data as it arrives.

    It's important to note that building and maintaining a Real-time OLAP database can be a complex task due to the need for low-latency data processing and analytical capabilities. Various technologies and database management systems (DBMS) can be used to implement Real-time OLAP solutions, including in-memory databases, columnar databases, and specialized OLAP platforms with real-time data processing features.

    Common use cases for real-time OLAP databases include real-time analytics in areas such as finance, e-commerce, monitoring and alerting, supply chain management, and more.

    There are numerous popular real-time OLAP databases in the market, including Apache Druid, Apache Pinot, Clickhouse, Snowflake, and many more.

    What is the difference

    A streaming database and a real-time OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) database serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics, though they both deal with data in real-time or near-real-time scenarios. Here are the key differences between the two:

    1. Data Processing and Purpose:
      • Streaming Database: A streaming database is designed primarily for ingesting, processing, and analyzing high-velocity, time-sensitive data streams. It is optimized for handling continuous, real-time data streams from various sources, such as IoT devices, sensors, social media, or log data. Streaming databases are used for applications like real-time monitoring, fraud detection, and recommendation systems.
      • Real-time OLAP Database: A real-time OLAP database is tailored for complex analytical queries and reporting on large datasets in real time. It's used to support ad-hoc querying, data exploration, and decision-making by providing low-latency access to aggregated, multidimensional data. Real-time OLAP databases are used in scenarios like business intelligence, financial analysis, and operational reporting.
    2. Data Structure:
      • Streaming Database: Typically, streaming databases store and process data in a time-series fashion. They often use event-driven models and maintain a sliding window of data, allowing for quick access to recent data points.
      • Real-time OLAP Database: These databases use multidimensional data models, with a focus on pre-aggregating and indexing data to support complex analytical queries efficiently. Data is organized hierarchically, often with dimensions and measures.
    3. Query Complexity:
      • Streaming Database: Queries on streaming databases tend to be simpler and focused on real-time filtering, transformation, and basic aggregation of incoming data streams. The emphasis is on speed and responsiveness.
      • Real-time OLAP Database: Real-time OLAP databases are built to handle complex analytical queries that involve multiple dimensions, filtering, grouping, and aggregations. Users can perform ad-hoc queries to gain insights into historical and real-time data.
    4. Latency Requirements:
      • Streaming Database: Low-latency processing is critical for streaming databases to provide real-time insights and actions. They typically aim for sub-second to milliseconds response times.
      • Real-time OLAP Database: While real-time OLAP databases are expected to provide fast query responses, their latency requirements may be slightly more forgiving than streaming databases, often in the range of seconds to sub-seconds.
    5. Use Cases:
      • Streaming Database: Common use cases include real-time monitoring, anomaly detection, recommendation engines, and event-driven applications.
      • Real-time OLAP Database: Typical use cases involve business intelligence, interactive reporting, dashboards, and data exploration for decision support.


    In summary, streaming databases are designed for handling high-velocity data streams in real time, while real-time OLAP databases are geared towards complex analytical queries on large datasets with a focus on multidimensional analysis. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements and goals of your data processing and analysis needs. In some cases, organizations may use both types of databases in tandem to cover a wide range of real-time data use cases.

    Data mesh: What is it all about?

    A data mesh is a data architecture and organizational approach designed to handle the challenges of processing and managing large volumes of streaming data in a scalable, efficient, and reliable manner. It was originally introduced by Zhamak Dehghani in 2019 to address the complexities of managing data in modern, decentralized, and scalable systems.

    A data mesh approach emphasizes the following key principles:

    1. Domain-Oriented Ownership: Data is owned and managed by domain-specific teams, often referred to as "data product teams," who have a deep understanding of the data's context and business value. These teams are responsible for the quality, reliability, and accessibility of their data products.
    2. Self-Service Platforms: Streaming data platforms and tools are provided as self-service platforms that empower data product teams to manage their data pipelines, data processing, and data delivery. These platforms typically include components for data ingestion, transformation, enrichment, and consumption.
    3. Data as a Product: Streaming data is treated as a product, and data product teams are responsible for defining clear contracts (e.g., schemas, APIs) for how data is produced and consumed. This enables a clear understanding of data dependencies and promotes data discoverability.
    4. Decentralized Architecture: A streaming data mesh architecture avoids centralizing all data processing tasks in a single, monolithic system. Instead, it encourages a distributed and decentralized approach to data processing to achieve scalability, fault tolerance, and performance.

    A Data Mesh helps you easily handle data flowing in and out of complex systems involving many organizations. It makes it easier to access data without relying too much on others, so your organization can respond quickly and make smarter business decisions.

    Data Mesh is closely related to data governance. Both approaches are managing and ensuring the quality of data within an organization. While Data Mesh focuses on decentralized data organization and domain-oriented ownership, data governance establishes rules and policies for data quality, security, and compliance. These two concepts can complement each other to create a robust data management framework.

    Streaming data mesh: What’s new

    Streaming Data Mesh and Data Mesh are related concepts, but they focus on different aspects of managing and processing data. Here are the key differences between the two:

    1. Data Type:
      • Data Mesh: Data Mesh is a broader concept that encompasses all types of data, including batch data, streaming data, and even static data. It is a data organizational and architectural approach that aims to address data management challenges across the entire data landscape.
      • Streaming Data Mesh: Streaming Data Mesh is a specific subset of Data Mesh that focuses exclusively on streaming data. It deals specifically with the challenges of handling real-time data streams.
    2. Scope:
      • Data Mesh: Data Mesh addresses the organization, ownership, and governance of data across various domains and types, aiming to break down data silos and improve data collaboration across the organization.
      • Streaming Data Mesh: Streaming Data Mesh narrows its focus to the management and processing of streaming data, emphasizing the need for decentralized, domain-oriented teams to handle real-time data.
    3. Data Processing:
      • Data Mesh: Data Mesh encompasses both batch and streaming data processing, emphasizing the need for domain-specific data teams to manage both types of data effectively.
      • Streaming Data Mesh: Streaming Data Mesh primarily deals with the challenges specific to streaming data processing, such as low latency, real-time analytics, and event-driven architectures.
    4. Latency:
      • Data Mesh: Data Mesh doesn't inherently prioritize low-latency processing since it covers various data types, including batch data, which can tolerate higher latency.
      • Streaming Data Mesh: Streaming Data Mesh places a strong emphasis on low-latency processing, as streaming data typically requires real-time or near-real-time analysis and action.
    5. Tools and Technologies:
      • Data Mesh: Data Mesh principles can be applied using a wide range of data tools and technologies, including data lakes, data warehouses, ETL pipelines, and more.
      • Streaming Data Mesh: Streaming Data Mesh often involves specific streaming data platforms and technologies, such as Apache Kafka, Apache Flink, and other stream processing frameworks.

    Streaming data mesh with RisingWave

    Although this is not on purpose, we find that surprisingly, RisingWave is the perfect solution for you to get on board with streaming data mesh. We will examine how RisingWave fits the data mesh principles:

    1. Domain-Oriented Ownership. With compatibility with PostgreSQL and its ecosystem, RisingWave naturally inherent powerful data isolation and access control capability. RisingWave treats all data streams as a parallel concept with data tables, which is the basic building block of databases. You can define a new database and manage your data streams, then assign an owner to the data stream directly using your PostgreSQL skill set and experience.
    2. Self-Service Platforms. RisingWave is built to democratize stream processing in the cloud era. The RisingWave Cloud offers a fully managed stream processing platform to free users from managing their infrastructure. Users can build and manage their streaming pipelines easily with a few lines of SQL. Data ingestion, data transformation, data enrichment, and data consumption are all well supported by SQL standards, which is a common practice in data engineering. All data engineers can carry their experience and manage decentralized streaming data directly using SQL in RisingWave Cloud.
    3. Data as a Product. The core design principle behind RisingWave interface designing is to simplify the development and management of data streams. Being abstracted as a database concept, a data stream can be managed smoothly within database administration tools and fit into the existing data mesh toolkits directly. Data ownership and data contracts can be defined easily and clearly.
    4. Decentralized Architecture. RisingWave was built to encompass the modern data stack from day one. As a streaming database, RisingWave is able to connect to more than 10 data sources and support 10+ data sinks. Its nature is to bridge the decentralized data architecture and make use of the data in motion.


    By adopting a streaming data mesh approach, organizations can effectively harness the power of real-time data streams while avoiding common pitfalls, such as data silos, centralization bottlenecks, and data ownership issues. It promotes a more agile and collaborative data ecosystem, enabling organizations to respond to changing business needs and data requirements more effectively.

    RisingWave is the perfect solution for you to get started with your streaming data mesh journey. Want to know more about RisingWave, visit our website, join our community, and start your free trial on our cloud service.

    In the realm of data processing and distributed systems, two popular approaches for handling data flow are messaging queues and streaming. Although they can sometimes serve similar purposes, they cater to different use cases and have different designs. In this blog, we'll delve into their individual characteristics, exploring the differences between the two.


    • Messaging Queues: Messaging queues are a form of middleware that handle messages (data packets) between applications. They ensure that messages sent from a producer service are properly received by a consumer service, even if the consumer is not ready to process them immediately.
    • Streaming: Streaming is the continuous transfer of data where data can be processed as it comes in. Streaming platforms allow for real-time data processing, allowing immediate insights and actions based on the incoming data.

    Purpose & Use Cases

    Messaging Queues:

    • Used to decouple producing and consuming applications.
    • Suited for scenarios where guaranteed message delivery is vital.
    • Often leveraged for load leveling and balancing between producers and consumers.


    • Designed for real-time data processing and analytics.
    • Perfect for scenarios where time-sensitive actions are necessary, like real-time fraud detection or live dashboarding.
    • Often used for processing large amounts of fast-moving data.

    Representative Systems

    Example of Messaging Queues

    Scenario: E-commerce Order Processing

    Imagine you run an e-commerce website. When a user places an order, several steps are involved:

    1. Order validation.
    2. Payment processing.
    3. Inventory check.
    4. Shipment initiation.

    Given the discrete nature of these tasks, you can use a messaging queue like NATS. Here's how:

    1. When an order is placed, it's sent as a message into the queue.
    2. The payment service picks up the order message, processes the payment, and sends a confirmation message back into the queue.
    3. The inventory service listens to the queue, picks up the payment confirmation message, checks the inventory, and then sends a shipment initiation message.
    4. The shipping service then picks up the shipment initiation message and starts the shipping process.


    • Each service operates independently and at its own pace. If the inventory service goes down temporarily, messages (like order confirmations) will still be in the queue, waiting to be processed when the service is back online.
    • Ensures no orders are missed even during high traffic.

    Example of Streaming

    Scenario: Real-time Analytics Dashboard for Social Media Mentions

    Suppose you're monitoring mentions of a brand on social media to gauge its popularity and respond to any PR crises in real-time.

    1. Every tweet, post, or comment mentioning the brand is captured by an ingestion service.
    2. This data is streamed into Kafka topics in real-time.
    3. Multiple services consume this stream simultaneously:
      • A sentiment analysis service processes the mentions to determine if they're positive, negative, or neutral.
      • A real-time dashboard service updates live visuals with the volume and nature of mentions.
      • An alerting service monitors for sudden spikes in negative sentiments and sends alerts to PR teams.


    • The ability to process vast amounts of data in real-time.
    • Multiple consumers can read and analyze data concurrently, allowing for diverse applications from a single data source.

    Data Persistence

    • Messaging Queues: Messages remain in the queue until they are consumed or until they expire based on some policy.
    • Streaming: Data in streaming platforms is often persisted for a specified period, allowing consumers to replay the data if required.

    Data Ordering & Delivery

    • Messaging Queues:
      • Typically ensure that messages are delivered in the order they are received.
      • Messages are often consumed once and only once by a single consumer.
    • Streaming:
      • Maintains data order across multiple partitions.
      • Allows multiple consumers to read the same data simultaneously, facilitating a publish-subscribe model.

    Volume & Throughput

    • Messaging Queues: Well-suited for scenarios with fluctuating data rates, accommodating spikes in data inflow without overloading consumers.
    • Streaming: Built for high-throughput and can handle massive volumes of data flowing into the system continuously.


    • Messaging Queues: Typically scaled by increasing the number of consumer instances or by partitioning messages.
    • Streaming: Designed for horizontal scalability, allowing addition of more nodes to handle larger data loads and more consumers.

    Complexity & Features

    • Messaging Queues: Generally straightforward with the primary focus on ensuring message delivery without data loss.
    • Streaming: Often come with a wider range of features, like data windowing, event-time processing, and complex event processing, making them more intricate.

    Related Technologies

    While the focus is on messaging queues and streaming platforms, it's essential to acknowledge related technologies that augment these systems:

    • Stream Processing Systems: Apache Flink and RisingWave are examples of systems designed to process and analyze data streams in real-time. They often partner with streaming platforms like Kafka to provide a holistic data streaming solution. Specifically, RisingWave can consume data from both messaging queues and streaming platforms, offering users a simple way to manage, process and analyze data.


    While messaging queues and streaming might seem to have overlapping functions, they cater to different aspects of data handling and processing. Messaging queues are ideal for ensuring data is reliably transmitted between decoupled systems, while streaming platforms shine in scenarios where real-time processing of vast data volumes is essential. The right choice depends on the specifics of your application and its data processing requirements.

    Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) databases have become central pillars in today's data-driven environment, enabling organizations to process complex analytical queries with unparalleled speed. The emergence of real-time OLAP databases further accentuates this paradigm, offering businesses the ability to harness actionable insights instantaneously. Let's embark on a journey through these powerful databases, exploring the top eight that are reshaping the industry landscape.

    1. ClickHouse

    Born from the innovation labs of Yandex, ClickHouse stands out as a premier open-source columnar database. Designed to cater to vast data processing needs, this database has been widely adopted for its stellar performance and efficiency.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • MPP Design: The Massively Parallel Processing architecture ensures concurrent task processing across multiple cores.
    • SQL Compatibility: A familiar realm for many, making ClickHouse accessible to a broad user base.
    • Distributed Scalability: Decentralized design ensures the system scales seamlessly with data growth.
    • Storage Prowess: Superior data compression techniques optimize storage usage and costs.
    Featured ClickHouse supports all the data sources you need to power your apps and use cases that require exceptional performance.

    2. Apache Pinot

    Conceived within LinkedIn's technologically advanced ecosystem, Apache Pinot was birthed to address the challenges of delivering real-time analytics at a massive scale. It stands as a testament to what a marriage between performance and scalability should look like in the modern data era.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Adaptive Indexing: Tailor performance using different indexing strategies based on query patterns.
    • Hybrid Data Ingestion: Flexibility in data sourcing through both real-time streams and batch data.
    • JSON Native Handling: A nod to modern semi-structured data requirements.
    • Multi-Tenancy: Caters to varied use-cases across different organizational divisions.
    Featured Realtime distributed OLAP datastore, designed to answer OLAP queries with low latency

    3. Apache Druid

    Beginning as an experimental project to address business intelligence requirements, Apache Druid has metamorphosed into a sought-after real-time analytics engine. Its unique architectural philosophy and ability to process vast data streams rapidly have positioned it as a frontrunner in the OLAP arena.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Efficient Tiered Storage: Assigning data to different storage tiers optimizes performance and cost.
    • Elastic Scalability: Accommodating vast event data streams is a breeze thanks to its distributed design.
    • Resilient & Robust: Auto-recovery features ensure constant data availability.
    • Diverse Data Integrations: Smooth integrations with platforms like Kafka and Kinesis.
    Featured Druid is a high performance, real-time analytics database that delivers sub-second queries on streaming and batch data at scale and under load.

    4. Apache Doris

    Initially named 'Palo', Apache Doris represents the intersection of traditional database characteristics and the big data capabilities of Hadoop. Its design caters to those seeking a comprehensive analytical platform, providing a bridge between real-time and historical data.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Unified Analytics Platform: Analyze both real-time and historical data seamlessly.
    • Optimized Query Execution: Vectorized query engine ensures rapid processing.
    • Concurrency Excellence: Built to manage heavy user traffic without performance drops.
    Featured Apache Doris is a new-generation open-source real-time data warehouse based on MPP architecture, with easier use and higher performance for big data analytics.

    5. StarRocks

    Evolving from Apache Doris, StarRocks has charted its own course. With enhancements and optimizations tailored specifically for real-time analytics, it has quickly become a preferred choice for businesses aiming for analytical precision and speed.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Smart Query Processing: Dynamic adjustments based on various factors ensure peak performance.
    • Unified Data Handling: Adept at managing both row and column data formats.
    • Partitioning Brilliance: Dynamic partition pruning maximizes query efficiency.
    Featured StarRocks provides superior performance. It is also a unified OLAP covering most data analytics scenarios.

    6. Firebolt

    In the realm of cloud-native OLAP databases, Firebolt shines brilliantly. Designed from the ground up to harness the cloud's strengths, Firebolt offers a unique blend of performance, scalability, and flexibility, redefining how OLAP solutions should operate in the cloud era.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Elastic Resources: The power of the cloud is harnessed to dynamically allocate resources.
    • Advanced Indexing: Hybrid techniques ensure rapid queries without resource overutilization.
    • Modern Data Compatibility: Natively processes both structured and semi-structured data.
    Featured Firebolt: a modern cloud data warehouse

    7. Rockset

    Engineered by former tech experts, Rockset embodies the future of real-time SQL analytics. Designed to operate directly on raw data, it eliminates the conventional boundaries of data structures, offering a fluid, dynamic, and powerful analytical environment.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Schema-less Ingestion: Embrace flexibility with data ingestion that doesn't rely on predefined schemas.
    • Dynamic Joins: Seamlessly perform SQL-style joins on raw datasets.
    • Performance-centric Design: Features like real-time upserts and aggregations optimize the analytical process.
    Featured Real-time indexing. Full-featured SQL. Compute-compute separation. The cloud-native alternative to Elasticsearch.

    8. DuckDB

    DuckDB, an analytical data management powerhouse, is distinctive in its embedded nature. By integrating directly within applications, it provides a streamlined pathway for real-time analytical processing, offering a solution that's both powerful and efficient.

    Key Features & Strengths:

    • Columnar Excellence: Prioritizing swift analytical processing through columnar storage and execution.
    • Vectorized Processing: Chunk-based data processing ensures quick query results.
    • Advanced Relational Analytics: A robust suite of tools supports intricate relational data analysis.
    Featured DuckDB is an in-process SQL OLAP database management system


    The burgeoning landscape of real-time OLAP databases is rich, diverse, and dynamic. Each of these formidable solutions offers a unique blend of features, catering to varied business needs and challenges. As the data-driven decision-making wave continues to surge, these OLAP titans are poised to lead, offering businesses the tools they need to succeed in the modern age.

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