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Decoding the Data Integration Matrix? - Connectors in Kafka Connect and Flink

« Kafka Summit London 2024

Kafka Connect and Apache Flink are popular frameworks for data integration and processing. Both frameworks provide for external connectivity through a connector SDK. Kafka connect mainly focuses on moving data in and out of Kafka, whereas connectors in Flink primarily move data from/to external sources /sinks for use in processing directly. While Kafka Connect has a robust and widely covered connector ecosystem and a popular SDK, connector interfaces in Flink are relatively new and still evolving.

How different are the two connector ecosystems? Should you write a Kafka Connector or a Flink Connector ?

This talk would cover the main connector interfaces in Flink, we will do a high level overview of 2 main FLIPs and briefly touch upon some high level Flink components which enable connectors to work. We will compare and contrast this to connector interfaces in Kafka while touching upon state management, validation models etc, and then briefly dive into some practical use-cases enabled through connectors across the two frameworks.

Attendees will learn how to develop a simple source connector in Flink through a sample Datadog connector

Existing Kafka Connector developers will be able to appreciate the key differences and features of the Flink connector SDK.

This session would also help understand some key considerations involved in writing connectors across these two frameworks along with some best practices.

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