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From Henri Heiskanen <henri.heiska...@gmail.com>
Subject Flink streaming questions
Date Mon, 02 Jan 2017 09:25:35 GMT

I have few questions related to Flink streaming. I am on 1.2-SNAPSHOT and
what I would like to accomplish is to have a stream that reads data from
multiple kafka topics, identifies user sessions, uses an external user user
profile to enrich the data, evaluates an script to produce session
aggregates and then create updated profiles from session aggregates. I am
working with high volume data and user sessions may be long, so using
generic window apply might not work. Below is the simplification of the

stream = createKafkaStreams(...);
                .fold(new SessionData(), new SessionFold(), new

The questions:

1. Initially when I used event time windowing I could not get any of my
windows to close. The reason seemed to be that I had 6 partitions in my
test kafka setup and only 4 of them generated traffic. If I used
parallelism above 4, then no windows were closed. Is this by design or a
defect? We use flink-connector-kafka-0.10 because earlier versions did not
commit the offsets correctly.

2. Rich fold functions are not supported. However I would like execute a
piece of custom script in the fold function that requires initialisation
part. I would have used the open and close lifecycle methods of rich
functions but they are not available now in fold. What would be the
preferred way to run some initialisation routines (and closing the
gracefully) when using fold?

3. Kind of related to above. I would also like to fetch a user profile from
external source in the beginning of the session. What would be a best
practice for that kind of operation? If I would be using the generic window
apply I could fetch in in the beginning of the apply method. I was thinking
of introducing a mapper that fetches this profiler periodically and caches
it to flink state. However, with this setup I would not be able to tie this
to user sessions identified for windows.

4. I also may have an additional requirement of writing out each event
enriched with current session and profile data. I basically could do this
again with generic window function and write out each event with collector
when iterating, but would there be a better pattern to use? Maybe sharing
state with functions or something.

Henri H

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