What is de difference between producing and consuming applications? People often wonder about these differences. First, looking at the two terms, a producer makes what the consumer takes in. It is as simple as that. Now, let’s get into technical details regarding Kafka consumer and Kafka producer.

A Kafka producer is a program that produces messages and pushes them to the topic. The program that consumes the messages published by the producer is the Kafka consumer. So as you can see they are two complementary components,

A Consumer is used for optimal consumption of Kafka data. The primary role of a Kafka consumer is to take Kafka connection and consumer properties to read records from the appropriate Kafka broker. Complexities of concurrent application consumption, offset management, delivery semantics, and a lot more are taken care of by Consumer APIs.

Kafka Consumer: The Consuming Applications

Kafka consuming applications can work in different ways, as explained below:

Multi-app consumption: Here, multiple applications consume records and data from the same Kafka topic. Also, each application that consumes data from Kafka will have its copy and can read its speed.

Consumer Group and Consumer: In this category, each application that consumes data from Kafka is considered as a consumer group. For instance, if two apps consume data from the same topic, Kafka will create two consumer groups, one for each application. Meanwhile, each consumer group can have more consumer(s).

Advantage: Kafka consumer is simple and as it works with consumer groups, it allows parallel consumption of topics. It is also effective to any stateless kind of workload.

Kafka Producer: The Producing Applications

The Kafka producing applications serialise, compress, partition and load balance data across the brokers based on partitions. A producer record is a message written to Kafka and it contains the name of the topic it is written to and the record’s value.

To implement a Kafka producer, there are three crucial classes. They include:

  • Producerconfig: This is used to establish a connection between the Kafka broker and client.
  • Producer: This class is used to send messages and the messages are sent in the form on KeyedMessage (explained below).
  • KeyedMessage: This class can be used to define a topic. Also, the producer makes use of this class to send messages to Kafka broker.

Advantage: The Kafka producing applications are also simple to use. They send data and are asynchronous as you will get a callback.

Moving Forward

In this article, you have learnt about the Kafka producers and Kafka consumers as well as the key difference between them. This piece is one of many articles we have published on Axual blog to help businesses and organisations learn more about data science. This is our core expertise at Axual and our team of professionals are ready to help you on any issue you have relating to data management and data streaming in real-time. Talk to us and we will make data work for you and the growth of your business.


Download our whitepaper

Want to know how we have built a platform based on Apache Kafka, including the learnings? Fill in the form below and we send you our whitepaper.

How does the hybrid cloud architecture work

How Kafka ensures scalability of IoT applications