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Decodable 2024 Predictions: Real-Time Data Stream Processing Grows Up


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual series exclusive.

Real-Time Data Stream Processing Grows Up

By Eric Sammer, CEO, Decodable

Stream processing is in use by more and more businesses, supporting smarter and faster decisions across a spectrum of use cases. It has won supporters for its ability to act on time-sensitive and mission-critical events, performing real-time analytics, and building applications with features delivered to end-users in real time.  

When looking at open source options for stream processing, Apache Flink continues to stand above the rest. With a diverse and active community, Flink is made more robust through the contributions of engineers from different industries. Flink works with a wide array of cloud providers and storage systems, and it has connectors for the most critical and popular data infrastructure options. Flink provides clear data processing semantics, robust state management, and reliable job recovery. Together, these help ensure correctness-properties that take millions of hours of production time to develop and validate. 

In 2023, stream processing gained momentum as the choice for online feature extraction, data cleansing and normalization, enrichment, and anonymization of sensitive data. In 2024, this trend will continue to expand, integrating generative AI models to power real-time, online, user-facing applications. As a result, stream processing will become even more critical in the year ahead.

Additionally, will see a rise in the adoption of integrated platforms for stream processing. This must happen, because stream processing stacks - powered by open source tools like Flink and Debezium - are notably simple at the small scales of testing and limited deployment, but they notoriously become complicated when scaled up for multi-region and multi-cluster applications. Large teams are required to build and maintain these stacks at scale, and that model stands in the way of broad adoption.

When an open source stream processing tool like Flink is paired with a real-time change data capture tool like Debezium, Flink's stream processing power becomes a potent solution for building real-time data processing, analytics, and event-driven applications. Reliability and scalability increase as together these tools enable complex processing and analytics that wouldn't be possible otherwise-at least not without a huge investment of engineering time and effort. Engineers are empowered to react to database changes in real-time, which is essential for applications that require up-to-date information. With connectors for the most popular relational databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and more, Debezium easily integrates with Flink without the need for complex custom development. This makes the potential for stream processing really exciting.

Users are growing tired of barriers to scalability and reliability like insurmountable complexity in stream processing. They're demanding solutions so they can more quickly ship new features and maintain a competitive edge. Integrated platforms are the answer to this demand, and we're going to see them usher in widespread deployment of real-time data stream processing in 2024.



Eric Sammer 

Eric Sammer is a data analytics industry veteran who has started two companies, Rocana (acquired by Splunk in 2017), and Decodable, where he is currently CEO. He is an author, engineer, and leader on a mission to help companies move and transform data to achieve new and useful business results. Eric is a speaker on topics including data engineering, ML/AI, real-time data processing, entrepreneurship, and open source. He has spoken at events including the Apache Pinot conference and Confluent Current, on podcasts with Software Engineering Daily and Sam Ramji, and has appeared in various industry publications. Find Eric on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2023 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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