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The Data Dictionary

A glossary dedicated to all of today's data technologies and concepts related to data streaming, data pipelines, IT architecture, and event-driven systems from Confluent, the original creators of Apache Kafka.



Batch vs Real-Time Streams

Batch Processing

Batch processing is when the processing and analysis happens on a set of data that have already been stored over a period of time. An example is payroll and billing systems that have to be processed weekly or monthly. Learn how batch processing differs from stream processing, and the best toosl to get started.

Introduction to CEP

Complex Event Processing (CEP)

Similar to event stream processing, complex event processing (CEP) is a technology for aggregating, processing, and analyzing massive streams of data in order to gain real-time insights from events as they occur.

Real-Time Data Streaming

Data in Motion

Also known as data in transit or data in flight, data in motion is a process in which digital information is transported between locations either within or between computer systems. The term can also be used to describe data within a computer's RAM that is ready to be read, accessed, updated or processed. Data in motion is one of the three different states of data; the others are data at rest and data in use.

Streaming Data Integration

Data Integration

Data integration works by unifying data across disparate sources for a complete view of your business. Learn how data integration works with benefits, examples, and use cases.

Streaming Data Pipelines

Data Pipeline

A data pipeline is a set of data processing actions to move data from source to destination. From ingestion and ETL, to streaming data pipelines, learn how it works with examples.

What is Data Streaming?

Data Streaming

Streaming Data is the continuous, simultaneous flow of data generated by various sources, which are typically fed into a data streaming platform for real-time processing, event-driven applications, and analytics.

Data Storage and Analytics

Databases, Data Lakes, and Data Warehouses Explained

Learn the most common types of data stores: the database, data lake, relational database, and data warehouse. You'll also learn the difference, commonalities, and which to choose.


Distributed System

Also known as distributed computing, a distributed system is a collection of independent components on different machines that aim to operate as a single system.

Event Stream Processing

Event Streaming

Event streaming (similar to event sourcing, stream processing, and data streaming) allows for events to be processed, stored, and acted upon as they happen in real-time.

ETL vs ELT vs Streaming ETL

Extract Transform Load (ETL)

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) is a three-step process used to consolidate data from multiple sources. Learn how it works, and how it differs from ELT and Streaming ETL.



real-time data

Real-Time Data & Analytics

Real-time data (RTD) refers to data that is processed, consumed, and/or acted upon immediately after it's generated. While data processing is not new, real-time data streaming is a newer paradigm that changes how businesses run.


What is Pub/Sub?

Pub/sub is a messaging framework commonly used for inter-service communication and data integration pipelines. Learn how it works, with examples, benefits, and use cases.


Streaming vs Batch Processing

Stream Processing

Stream processing allows for data to be ingested, processed, and managed in real-time, as it's generated. Learn how streaming differs from batch processing, how it works, and the best technologies to get started.