Building Data Flows In Apache NiFi With Kevin Doran and Andy LoPresto - Episode 39


Data integration and routing is a constantly evolving problem and one that is fraught with edge cases and complicated requirements. The Apache NiFi project models this problem as a collection of data flows that are created through a self-service graphical interface. This framework provides a flexible platform for building a wide variety of integrations that can be managed and scaled easily to fit your particular needs. In this episode project members Kevin Doran and Andy LoPresto discuss the ways that NiFi can be used, how to start using it in your environment, and plans for future development. They also explained how it fits in the broad landscape of data tools, the interesting and challenging aspects of the project, and how to build new extensions.

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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Kevin Doran and Andy LoPresto about Apache NiFi


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by explaining what NiFi is?
  • What is the motivation for building a GUI as the primary interface for the tool when the current trend is to represent everything as code?
  • How did you get involved with the project?
    • Where does it sit in the broader landscape of data tools?
  • Does the data that is processed by NiFi flow through the servers that it is running on (á la Spark/Flink/Kafka), or does it orchestrate actions on other systems (á la Airflow/Oozie)?
    • How do you manage versioning and backup of data flows, as well as promoting them between environments?
  • One of the advertised features is tracking provenance for data flows that are managed by NiFi. How is that data collected and managed?
    • What types of reporting are available across this information?
  • What are some of the use cases or requirements that lend themselves well to being solved by NiFi?
    • When is NiFi the wrong choice?
  • What is involved in deploying and scaling a NiFi installation?
    • What are some of the system/network parameters that should be considered?
    • What are the scaling limitations?
  • What have you found to be some of the most interesting, unexpected, and/or challenging aspects of building and maintaining the NiFi project and community?
  • What do you have planned for the future of NiFi?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?


The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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