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Exactly Once Processing

by C. Ross Jam on July 28, 2017

I promised to revisit the topic of Kafka’s new “exactly once processing.” A while ago, Tyler Treat generated a relatively popular post entitled “You Cannot Have Exactly Once Delivery”. Treat came back and recontextualized the original argument in the face of Confluent’s recent work.

First, let me say what Confluent has accomplished with Kafka is an impressive achievement and one worth celebrating. They made a monumental effort to implement these semantics, and it paid off. The intention of this post is not to minimize any of that work but to try to clarify a few key points and hopefully cut down on some of the misinformation and noise.

The gist is that the Kafka Streams approach is a fairly closed framework that works with the messaging system to ensure a particular semantics correctly with reasonable performance. That’s a good thing. Definitely worth a read if you’re a messaging junkie.

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