incubator-general mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Joe Witt <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] NiFi for Incubation
Date Thu, 20 Nov 2014 02:02:23 GMT

I would like to propose NiFi as an Apache Incubator Project.

In addition to the copy provided below the Wiki version of the
proposal can be found here:



= NiFi Proposal =

== Abstract ==
NiFi is a dataflow system based on the concepts of flow-based programming.

== Proposal ==
NiFi supports powerful and scalable directed graphs of data routing,
transformation, and system mediation logic.  Some of the high-level
capabilities and objectives of NiFi include:
  * Web-based user interface for seamless experience between design,
control, feedback, and monitoring of data flows
  * Highly configurable along several dimensions of quality of service
such as loss tolerant versus guaranteed delivery, low latency versus
high throughput, and priority based queuing
  * Fine-grained data provenance for all data received, forked,
joined, cloned, modified, sent, and ultimately dropped as data reaches
its configured end-state
  * Component-based extension model along well defined interfaces
enabling rapid development and effective testing

== Background ==
Reliable and effective dataflow between systems can be difficult
whether you're running scripts on a laptop or have a massive
distributed computing system operated by numerous teams and
organizations.  As the volume and rate of data grows and as the number
of systems, protocols, and formats increase and evolve so too does the
complexity and need for greater insight and agility.  These are the
dataflow challenges that NiFi was built to tackle.

NiFi is designed in a manner consistent with the core concepts
described in flow-based programming as originally documented by J.
Paul Morrison in the 1970s.  This model lends itself well to visual
diagramming, concurrency, componentization, testing, and reuse.  In
addition to staying close to the fundamentals of flow-based
programming, NiFi provides integration system specific features such
as: guaranteed delivery; back pressure; ability to gracefully handle
backlogs and data surges; and an operator interface that enables
on-the-fly data flow generation, modification, and observation.

== Rationale ==
NiFi provides a reliable, scalable, manageable and accountable
platform for developers and technical staff to create and evolve
powerful data flows.  Such a system is useful in many contexts
including large-scale enterprise integration, interaction with cloud
services and frameworks, business to business, intra-departmental, and
inter-departmental flows.  NiFi fits well within the Apache Software
Foundation (ASF) family as it depends on numerous ASF projects and
integrates with several others.  We also anticipate developing
extensions for several other ASF projects such as Cassandra, Kafka,
and Storm in the near future.

== Initial Goals ==
  * Ensure all dependencies are compliant with Apache License version
2.0 and all that all code and documentation artifacts have the correct
Apache licensing markings and notice.
  * Establish a formal release process and schedule, allowing for
dependable release cycles in a manner consistent with the Apache
development process.
  * Determine and establish a mechanism, possibly including a
sub-project construct, that allows for extensions to the core
application to occur at a pace that differs from the core application

== Current Status ==
=== Meritocracy ===
An integration platform is only as good as its ability to integrate
systems in a reliable, timely, and repeatable manner.  The same can be
said of its ability to attract talent and a variety of perspectives as
integration systems by their nature are always evolving.  We will
actively seek help and encourage promotion of influence in the project
through meritocracy.

=== Community ===
Over the past several years, NiFi has developed a strong community of
both developers and operators within the U.S. government.  We look
forward to helping grow this to a broader base of industries.

=== Core Developers ===
The initial core developers are employed by the National Security
Agency and defense contractors.  We will work to grow the community
among a more diverse set of developers and industries.

=== Alignment ===
>From its inception, NiFi was developed with an open source philosophy
in mind and with the hopes of eventually being truly open sourced.
The Apache way is consistent with the approach we have taken to date.
The ASF clearly provides a mature and effective environment for
successful development as is evident across the spectrum of well-known
projects.  Further, NiFi depends on numerous ASF libraries and
projects including; ActiveMQ, Ant, Commons, Lucene, Hadoop,
HttpClient, Jakarta and Maven.  We also anticipate extensions and
dependencies with several more ASF projects, including Accumulo, Avro,
Casandra, HBase, JClouds, Storm, Kafka, Thrift, Tika, and others.
This existing alignment with Apache and the desired community makes
the Apache Incubator a good fit for NiFi.

== Known Risks ==
=== Orphaned Products ===
Risk of orphaning is minimal.  The project user and developer base is
substantial, growing, and there is already extensive operational use
of NiFi.

=== Inexperience with Open Source ===
The initial committers to NiFi have limited experience with true open
source software development.  However, despite the project origins
being from closed source development we have modelled our behavior and
community development on The Apache Way to the greatest extent
possible.  This environment includes widely accessible source code
repositories, published artifacts, ticket tracking, and extensive
documentation. We also encourage contributions and frequent debate and
hold regular, collaborative discussions through e-mail, chat rooms,
and in-person meet-ups.  We are committed to the ideals of open source
software and will eagerly seek out mentors and sponsors who can help
us quickly come up to speed.

=== Homogenous Developers ===
The initial committers of NiFi come from a limited set of entities
though we are committed to recruiting and developing additional
committers from a broad spectrum of industries and backgrounds.

=== Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
We expect NiFi development to continue on salaried time and through
volunteer time.  The initial committers are paid by their employers to
contribute to this project.  We are committed to developing and
recruiting participation from developers both salaried and

=== Relationship with other Apache Projects ===
As described in the alignment section, NiFi is already heavily
dependent on other ASF projects and we anticipate further dependence
and integration with new and emerging projects in the Apache family.

=== An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===
We respect the laudable Apache brand and that is certainly a factor in
the decision to propose NiFi for the Apache Incubator.  We intend to
provide a great deal of energy and capability to the ASF through this
project.  We will be sensitive to and respectful of any overuse of the
Apache brand and ensure our focus remains on how we benefit the Apache

=== Documentation ===
At this time there is no NiFi documentation on the web.  However, we
have extensive documentation included within the application that
details usage of the many functions.  We will be rapidly expanding the
available documentation to cover things like installation, developer
guide, frequently asked questions, best practices, and more.  This
documentation will be posted to the NiFi wiki at

== Initial Source ==
NiFi has been in active development since late 2006 with contributions
from dozens of developers and feedback from hundreds of users and
developers.  The core codebase is written in Java and includes
detailed Javadocs and feature documentation.

== Source and Intellectual Property Submission ==
Previously referred to as Niagarafiles, the NiFi code and
documentation materials will be submitted by the National Security
Agency.  NiFi has been developed by a mix of government employees and
private companies under government contract.  Material developed by
the government employees is in the public domain and no U.S. copyright
exists in works of the federal government.  For the contractor
developed material in the initial submission, the U.S. Government has
sufficient authority to open source per DFARS 252.227-7014.  NSA has
submitted the Software Grant Agreement and Corporate Contributor
License Agreement to the Apache Software Foundation.

== External Dependencies ==
We have at least one dependency on an LGPL library which we will
promptly address.  Otherwise, we believe all current dependencies are
compatible with the ASF guidelines.  Our dependency licenses come from
the following license styles:  Apache v 2.0, BSD, Public Domain,
Eclipse Public v1, MIT, CDDL v1.

== Cryptography ==
Consistent with we believe
NiFi is classified as ECCN 5D002.  NiFi doesn't implement any
cryptographic algorithms but is designed to use algorithms provided by
Oracle Java Cryptographic Extensions, BouncyCastle, and JCraft, Inc.
These cryptographic algorithm providers are used to support SSL,
SSH/SFTP, and the encryption and decryption of sensitive properties.
In the event that it becomes necessary we will engage with appropriate
Apache members to ensure we file any necessary paperwork or clarified
any cryptographic export license concerns.

== Required Resources ==
=== Mailing Lists ===

=== Source Control ===
NiFi requests use of Git for source control
(git://  We request a writeable Git repo for
NiFi with mirroring to be setup to Github through INFRA.  We request
sponsor Benson Margulies (bimargulies) to assist with creating the
INFRA ticket for this.

=== Issue Tracking ===

=== Initial Committers ===
  * Brandon Devries <brandon.devries at gmail dot com>
  * Matt Gilman <matt.c.gilman at gmail dot com>
  * Tony Kurc <trkurc at gmail dot com>
  * Mark Payne <markap14 at hotmail dot com>
  * Adam Taft <adam at adamtaft dot com>
  * Joseph Witt <joewitt at gmail dot com>

=== Affiliations ===
  * Brandon Devries (Requitest, Inc.)
  * Matt Gilman (Raytheon)
  * Tony Kurc (National Security Agency)
  * Mark Payne (Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc.)
  * Adam Taft (Requitest, Inc.)
  * Joseph Witt (National Security Agency)

== Sponsors ==
=== Champion ===
  * Benson Margulies (Basis Technology) <bimargulies at apache dot org>

=== Nominated Mentors ===
  * Drew Farris (Booz Allen Hamilton) <drew at apache dot org>
  * Brock Noland (Cloudera) <brock at apache dot org>
  * Billie Rinaldi (Hortonworks) <billie at apache dot org>

=== Sponsoring Entity ===
We request the Apache Incubator to sponsor this project.

  • Unnamed multipart/alternative (inline, None, 0 bytes)
View raw message