Data integration is a crucial aspect of modern data engineering, and there are various patterns for moving and processing data. Among these patterns, three key approaches stand out: Batch processing, Micro-Batching, and Streaming. Each has its own strengths and is suited for different use cases. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll dive into these data integration patterns, explore their characteristics, and provide examples to help you make informed decisions for your data integration needs.

Batch Processing:

Batch processing is a well-established and widely used data integration pattern. It involves processing data in chunks at scheduled intervals. In a batch processing system, data is collected over a period of time and processed in predefined batches. This pattern is suitable for use cases where low latency is not a critical requirement.

Example of Batch Processing:

# Python code using Apache Spark
from pyspark import SparkContext
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession

# Initialize a Spark session
spark = SparkSession.builder.appName("BatchProcessingExample").getOrCreate()

# Load data from a batch data source
batch_data ="csv").load("data/batch_data.csv")

# Apply transformations and process the data in batches
result = batch_data.groupBy("category").sum("value")

# Save the processed result to an output data store

Pros of Batch Processing

  • Simplicity: Batch processing is relatively easy to implement and understand.
  • Scalability: Batch processing systems can be easily scaled horizontally.
  • Fault Tolerance: It is resilient to failures since the system can reprocess failed batches.

Cons of Batch Processing

  • Latency: Batch processing has higher latency due to the predefined processing intervals.
  • Limited Real-Time Insights: It may not be suitable for use cases requiring real-time insights.


Micro-batching is a compromise between batch processing and real-time streaming. In micro-batching, data is processed in small, fixed-size time windows. It aims to provide more frequent processing intervals compared to traditional batch processing, making it suitable for scenarios that require near-real-time capabilities.

Example of Micro-Batching:

# Python code using Apache Spark Structured Streaming
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession

# Initialize a Spark session
spark = SparkSession.builder.appName("MicroBatchingExample").getOrCreate()

# Read data from a streaming source in micro-batches
stream_data = spark.readStream.format("kafka").option("subscribe", "topic").load()

# Apply transformations and aggregate data in micro-batches
result = stream_data.groupBy("category").sum("value")

# Write the micro-batch result to an output data store
result.writeStream.format("parquet").outputMode("append").option("path", "data/microbatch_result").start().awaitTermination()

Pros of Micro-Batching

  • Lower Latency: Micro-batching offers lower latency compared to traditional batch processing.
  • Simplicity: It maintains the simplicity of batch processing while providing near-real-time capabilities.
  • Fault Tolerance: Like batch processing, it is resilient to failures.

Cons of Micro-Batching

  • Limited Real-Time: It may not achieve true real-time processing but is better suited for near-real-time use cases.


Streaming data integration patterns process data as it arrives, providing the lowest possible latency. In streaming, data is processed record by record or in small chunks in real-time. It is ideal for use cases that require immediate insights, like monitoring, fraud detection, and real-time analytics.

Example of Streaming:

# Python code using Apache Kafka and Apache Flink
from pyflink.datastream import StreamExecutionEnvironment
from pyflink.table import StreamTableEnvironment

# Initialize the Flink execution environment
env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.get_execution_environment()
t_env = StreamTableEnvironment.create(env)

# Read data from a streaming source
stream_data = t_env.from_path("source_stream")

# Apply transformations and process the data in real-time
result = stream_data.group_by("category").select("category, sum(value) as total")

# Write the streaming result to an output data store

# Execute the Flink job

Pros of Streaming

  • Real-Time Insights: Streaming provides immediate insights and is suitable for applications requiring real-time processing.
  • Low Latency: It offers the lowest possible latency for data processing.
  • Scalability: Streaming systems can be horizontally scaled to handle high volumes of data.

Cons of Streaming

  • Complexity: Streaming systems can be complex to design and maintain.
  • Data Consistency: Ensuring data consistency and handling late-arriving data can be challenging.

Choosing the Right Pattern

Selecting the right data integration pattern depends on your specific use case and requirements. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

  • Use Batch Processing if you have no real-time processing requirements and can tolerate higher latencies.
  • Opt for Micro-Batching if you need near-real-time capabilities without the complexity of a full streaming system.
  • Consider Streaming for applications that require immediate insights and low latency, even if it comes with increased complexity.

In conclusion, data integration patterns play a crucial role in shaping the data processing capabilities of your system. Carefully evaluate your project’s requirements and constraints to choose the pattern that best suits your needs, ensuring your data integration is efficient and effective.

By Abhishek K.

Author is a Architect by profession. This blog is to share his experience and give back to the community what he learned throughout his career.