Apache Beam

What is Apache Beam?

Apache Beam is an open source, unified programming model for defining and executing parallel data processing pipelines. It is designed to be portable and efficient across different programming languages and execution platforms.

Features of Apache Beam

Apache Beam has several features, including:

  • A unified programming model for batch and streaming data processing
  • Language independent, which means that pipelines can be written in Java, Python, and Go
  • Support for multiple runners, including Apache Flink, Apache Spark, Google Cloud Dataflow, and others
  • Auto-scaling, which means that pipelines can dynamically adjust to changing workloads
  • Effective fault tolerance through intelligent handling of errors and retries

Architecture of Apache Beam

Apache Beam has a layered architecture that separates the user-facing API from the underlying execution engine.

How Does Apache Beam Work?

Apache Beam pipelines are divided into two main parts: the pipeline definition and the pipeline runner.

  • The pipeline definition, which is a series of operations to be applied to the data, is written using the Apache Beam SDK.
  • The pipeline runner is responsible for translating the pipeline definition into a form that can be executed on a specific execution engine, such as Apache Flink or Google Cloud Dataflow.

Benefits of Using Apache Beam

Apache Beam offers several benefits, including:

  • Portability: Apache Beam is designed to work across multiple platforms, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
  • Scalability: Apache Beam can handle processing pipelines of any size, from small prototypes to large-scale, enterprise-level applications.
  • Flexibility: Apache Beam allows you to use the programming language of your choice, and offers several pre-built connectors and transformations.
  • Cost Efficiency: Apache Beam can autoscale to meet demand, which means you only pay for the resources you actually use.


Apache Beam has a growing ecosystem of connectors, libraries, and tools that extend its functionality:

  • Apache Beam SQL: A library that allows you to execute SQL queries on streaming and batch data sources.
  • Apache Beam IO: A collection of pre-built connectors to popular data sources, such as Kafka, BigQuery, and Amazon S3.
  • Apache Beam Portability Framework: An open-source, portable implementation of the Beam SDKs that can be used on different execution engines.


Apache Beam is a powerful tool for building data processing pipelines that can run on different platforms and in different programming languages. It offers several benefits, including portability, scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency.

Dremio Users and Apache Beam

For Dremio users, Apache Beam offers a way to build custom data pipelines that can be executed on Dremio's query engine. The language independence of Beam makes it easy for Dremio users to use their preferred programming language to build pipelines that can be executed on Dremio. Additionally, the Apache Beam SQL library can be used to execute SQL queries on streaming and batch data sources, which can be accessed by Dremio.

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