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From Jean-Baptiste Onofré>
Subject [VOTE] Accept Beam into the Apache Incubator
Date Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:28:04 GMT

the Beam proposal (initially Dataflow) was proposed last week.

The complete discussion thread is available here:

As reminder the BeamProposal is here:

Regarding all the great feedbacks we received on the mailing list, we 
think it's time to call a vote to accept Beam into the Incubator.

Please cast your vote to:
[] +1 - accept Apache Beam as a new incubating project
[]  0 - not sure
[] -1 - do not accept the Apache Beam project (because: ...)

## page was renamed from DataflowProposal
= Apache Beam =

== Abstract ==

Apache Beam is an open source, unified model and set of 
language-specific SDKs for defining and executing data processing 
workflows, and also data ingestion and integration flows, supporting 
Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIPs) and Domain Specific Languages 
(DSLs). Dataflow pipelines simplify the mechanics of large-scale batch 
and streaming data processing and can run on a number of runtimes like 
Apache Flink, Apache Spark, and Google Cloud Dataflow (a cloud service). 
Beam also brings DSL in different languages, allowing users to easily 
implement their data integration processes.

== Proposal ==

Beam is a simple, flexible, and powerful system for distributed data 
processing at any scale. Beam provides a unified programming model, a 
software development kit to define and construct data processing 
pipelines, and runners to execute Beam pipelines in several runtime 
engines, like Apache Spark, Apache Flink, or Google Cloud Dataflow. Beam 
can be used for a variety of streaming or batch data processing goals 
including ETL, stream analysis, and aggregate computation. The 
underlying programming model for Beam provides MapReduce-like 
parallelism, combined with support for powerful data windowing, and 
fine-grained correctness control.

== Background ==

Beam started as a set of Google projects (Google Cloud Dataflow) focused 
on making data processing easier, faster, and less costly. The Beam 
model is a successor to MapReduce, FlumeJava, and Millwheel inside 
Google and is focused on providing a unified solution for batch and 
stream processing. These projects on which Beam is based have been 
published in several papers made available to the public:

  * MapReduce -
  * Dataflow model  -
  * FlumeJava -
  * MillWheel -

Beam was designed from the start to provide a portable programming 
layer. When you define a data processing pipeline with the Beam model, 
you are creating a job which is capable of being processed by any number 
of Beam processing engines. Several engines have been developed to run 
Beam pipelines in other open source runtimes, including a Beam runner 
for Apache Flink and Apache Spark. There is also a “direct runner”, for 
execution on the developer machine (mainly for dev/debug purposes). 
Another runner allows a Beam program to run on a managed service, Google 
Cloud Dataflow, in Google Cloud Platform. The Dataflow Java SDK is 
already available on GitHub, and independent from the Google Cloud 
Dataflow service. Another Python SDK is currently in active development.

In this proposal, the Beam SDKs, model, and a set of runners will be 
submitted as an OSS project under the ASF. The runners which are a part 
of this proposal include those for Spark (from Cloudera), Flink (from 
data Artisans), and local development (from Google); the Google Cloud 
Dataflow service runner is not included in this proposal. Further 
references to Beam will refer to the Dataflow model, SDKs, and runners 
which are a part of this proposal (Apache Beam) only. The initial 
submission will contain the already-released Java SDK; Google intends to 
submit the Python SDK later in the incubation process. The Google Cloud 
Dataflow service will continue to be one of many runners for Beam, built 
on Google Cloud Platform, to run Beam pipelines. Necessarily, Cloud 
Dataflow will develop against the Apache project additions, updates, and 
changes. Google Cloud Dataflow will become one user of Apache Beam and 
will participate in the project openly and publicly.

The Beam programming model has been designed with simplicity, 
scalability, and speed as key tenants. In the Beam model, you only need 
to think about four top-level concepts when constructing your data 
processing job:

  * Pipelines - The data processing job made of a series of computations 
including input, processing, and output
  * PCollections - Bounded (or unbounded) datasets which represent the 
input, intermediate and output data in pipelines
  * PTransforms - A data processing step in a pipeline in which one or 
more PCollections are an input and output
  * I/O Sources and Sinks - APIs for reading and writing data which are 
the roots and endpoints of the pipeline

== Rationale ==

With Google Dataflow, Google intended to develop a framework which 
allowed developers to be maximally productive in defining the 
processing, and then be able to execute the program at various levels of 
latency/cost/completeness without re-architecting or re-writing it. This 
goal was informed by Google’s past experience  developing several 
models, frameworks, and tools useful for large-scale and distributed 
data processing. While Google has previously published papers describing 
some of its technologies, Google decided to take a different approach 
with Dataflow. Google open-sourced the SDK and model alongside 
commercialization of the idea and ahead of publishing papers on the 
topic. As a result, a number of open source runtimes exist for Dataflow, 
such as the Apache Flink and Apache Spark runners.

We believe that submitting Beam as an Apache project will provide an 
immediate, worthwhile, and substantial contribution to the open source 
community. As an incubating project, we believe Dataflow will have a 
better opportunity to provide a meaningful contribution to OSS and also 
integrate with other Apache projects.

In the long term, we believe Beam can be a powerful abstraction layer 
for data processing. By providing an abstraction layer for data 
pipelines and processing, data workflows can be increasingly portable, 
resilient to breaking changes in tooling, and compatible across many 
execution engines, runtimes, and open source projects.

== Initial Goals ==

We are breaking our initial goals into immediate (< 2 months), 
short-term (2-4 months), and intermediate-term (> 4 months).

Our immediate goals include the following:

  * Plan for reconciling the Dataflow Java SDK and various runners into 
one project
  * Plan for refactoring the existing Java SDK for better extensibility 
by SDK and runner writers
  * Validating all dependencies are ASL 2.0 or compatible
  * Understanding and adapting to the Apache development process

Our short-term goals include:

  * Moving the newly-merged lists, and build utilities to Apache
  * Start refactoring codebase and move code to Apache Git repo
  * Continue development of new features, functions, and fixes in the 
Dataflow Java SDK, and Dataflow runners
  * Cleaning up the Dataflow SDK sources and crafting a roadmap and plan 
for how to include new major ideas, modules, and runtimes
  * Establishment of easy and clear build/test framework for Dataflow 
and associated runtimes; creation of testing, rollback, and validation 
  * Analysis and design for work needed to make Beam a better data 
processing abstraction layer for multiple open source frameworks and 

Finally, we have a number of intermediate-term goals:

  * Roadmapping, planning, and execution of integrations with other OSS 
and non-OSS projects/products
  * Inclusion of additional SDK for Python, which is under active 

== Current Status ==

=== Meritocracy ===

Dataflow was initially developed based on ideas from many employees 
within Google. As an ASL OSS project on GitHub, the Dataflow SDK has 
received contributions from data Artisans, Cloudera Labs, and other 
individual developers. As a project under incubation, we are committed 
to expanding our effort to build an environment which supports a 
meritocracy. We are focused on engaging the community and other related 
projects for support and contributions. Moreover, we are committed to 
ensure contributors and committers to Dataflow come from a broad mix of 
organizations through a merit-based decision process during incubation. 
We believe strongly in the Beam model and are committed to growing an 
inclusive community of Beam contributors.

=== Community ===

The core of the Dataflow Java SDK has been developed by Google for use 
with Google Cloud Dataflow. Google has active community engagement in 
the SDK GitHub repository 
(, on Stack 
( and 
has had contributions from a number of organizations and indivuduals.

Everyday, Cloud Dataflow is actively used by a number of organizations 
and institutions for batch and stream processing of data. We believe 
acceptance will allow us to consolidate existing Dataflow-related work, 
grow the Dataflow community, and deepen connections between Dataflow and 
other open source projects.

=== Core Developers ===

The core developers for Dataflow and the Dataflow runners are:

  * Frances Perry
  * Tyler Akidau
  * Davor Bonaci
  * Luke Cwik
  * Ben Chambers
  * Kenn Knowles
  * Dan Halperin
  * Daniel Mills
  * Mark Shields
  * Craig Chambers
  * Maximilian Michels
  * Tom White
  * Josh Wills
  * Robert Bradshaw

=== Alignment ===

The Beam SDK can be used to create Beam pipelines which can be executed 
on Apache Spark or Apache Flink. Beam is also related to other Apache 
projects, such as Apache Crunch. We plan on expanding functionality for 
Beam runners, support for additional domain specific languages, and 
increased portability so Beam is a powerful abstraction layer for data 

== Known Risks ==

=== Orphaned Products ===

The Dataflow SDK is presently used by several organizations, from small 
startups to Fortune 100 companies, to construct production pipelines 
which are executed in Google Cloud Dataflow. Google has a long-term 
commitment to advance the Dataflow SDK; moreover, Dataflow is seeing 
increasing interest, development, and adoption from organizations 
outside of Google.

=== Inexperience with Open Source ===

Google believes strongly in open source and the exchange of information 
to advance new ideas and work. Examples of this commitment are active 
OSS projects such as Chromium ( and Kubernetes 
( With Dataflow, we have tried to be increasingly 
open and forward-looking; we have published a paper in the VLDB 
conference describing the Dataflow model 
( and were quick to 
release the Dataflow SDK as open source software with the launch of 
Cloud Dataflow. Our submission to the Apache Software Foundation is a 
logical extension of our commitment to open source software.

=== Homogeneous Developers ===

The majority of committers in this proposal belong to Google due to the 
fact that Dataflow has emerged from several internal Google projects. 
This proposal also includes committers outside of Google who are 
actively involved with other Apache projects, such as Hadoop, Flink, and 
Spark.  We expect our entry into incubation will allow us to expand the 
number of individuals and organizations participating in Dataflow 
development. Additionally, separation of the Dataflow SDK from Google 
Cloud Dataflow allows us to focus on the open source SDK and model and 
do what is best for this project.

=== Reliance on Salaried Developers ===

The Dataflow SDK and Dataflow runners have been developed primarily by 
salaried developers supporting the Google Cloud Dataflow project. While 
the Dataflow SDK and Cloud Dataflow have been developed by different 
teams (and this proposal would reinforce that separation) we expect our 
initial set of developers will still primarily be salaried. Contribution 
has not been exclusively from salaried developers, however. For example, 
the contrib directory of the Dataflow SDK 
contains items from free-time contributors. Moreover, seperate projects, 
such as ScalaFlow ( have been 
created around the Dataflow model and SDK. We expect our reliance on 
salaried developers will decrease over time during incubation.

=== Relationship with other Apache products ===

Dataflow directly interoperates with or utilizes several existing Apache 

  * Build
   * Apache Maven
  * Data I/O, Libraries
   * Apache Avro
   * Apache Commons
  * Dataflow runners
   * Apache Flink
   * Apache Spark

Beam when used in batch mode shares similarities with Apache Crunch; 
however, Beam is focused on a model, SDK, and abstraction layer beyond 
Spark and Hadoop (MapReduce.) One key goal of Beam is to provide an 
intermediate abstraction layer which can easily be implemented and 
utilized across several different processing frameworks.

=== An excessive fascination with the Apache brand ===

With this proposal we are not seeking attention or publicity. Rather, we 
firmly believe in the Beam model, SDK, and the ability to make Beam a 
powerful yet simple framework for data processing. While the Dataflow 
SDK and model have been open source, we believe putting code on GitHub 
can only go so far. We see the Apache community, processes, and mission 
as critical for ensuring the Beam SDK and model are truly 
community-driven, positively impactful, and innovative open source 
software. While Google has taken a number of steps to advance its 
various open source projects, we believe Beam is a great fit for the 
Apache Software Foundation due to its focus on data processing and its 
relationships to existing ASF projects.

== Documentation ==

The following documentation is relevant to this proposal. Relevant 
portion of the documentation will be contributed to the Apache Beam project.

  * Dataflow website:
  * Dataflow programming model:
  * Codebases
   * Dataflow Java SDK:
   * Flink Dataflow runner:
   * Spark Dataflow runner:
  * Dataflow Java SDK issue tracker:
  * google-cloud-dataflow tag on Stack Overflow:

== Initial Source ==

The initial source for Beam which we will submit to the Apache 
Foundation will include several related projects which are currently 
hosted on the GitHub repositories:

  * Dataflow Java SDK 
  * Flink Dataflow runner (
  * Spark Dataflow runner (

These projects have always been Apache 2.0 licensed. We intend to bundle 
all of these repositories since they are all complimentary and should be 
maintained in one project. Prior to our submission, we will combine all 
of these projects into a new git repository.

== Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan ==

The source for the Dataflow SDK and the three runners (Spark, Flink, 
Google Cloud Dataflow) are already licensed under an Apache 2 license.

  * Dataflow SDK -
  * Flink runner -
  * Spark runner -

Contributors to the Dataflow SDK have also signed the Google Individual 
Contributor License Agreement 
( in order to 
contribute to the project.

With respect to trademark rights, Google does not hold a trademark on 
the phrase “Dataflow.” Based on feedback and guidance we receive during 
the incubation process, we are open to renaming the project if necessary 
for trademark or other concerns.

== External Dependencies ==

All external dependencies are licensed under an Apache 2.0 or 
Apache-compatible license. As we grow the Beam community we will 
configure our build process to require and validate all contributions 
and dependencies are licensed under the Apache 2.0 license or are under 
an Apache-compatible license.

== Required Resources ==

=== Mailing Lists ===

We currently use a mix of mailing lists. We will migrate our existing 
mailing lists to the following:


=== Source Control ===

The Dataflow team currently uses Git and would like to continue to do 
so. We request a Git repository for Beam with mirroring to GitHub enabled.


=== Issue Tracking ===

We request the creation of an Apache-hosted JIRA. The Dataflow project 
is currently using both a public GitHub issue tracker and internal 
Google issue tracking. We will migrate and combine from these two 
sources to the Apache JIRA.

  * Jira ID: BEAM

== Initial Committers ==

  * Aljoscha Krettek        []
  * Amit Sela               []
  * Ben Chambers            []
  * Craig Chambers          []
  * Dan Halperin            []
  * Davor Bonaci            []
  * Frances Perry           []
  * James Malone            []
  * Jean-Baptiste Onofré    []
  * Josh Wills              []
  * Kostas Tzoumas          []
  * Kenneth Knowles         []
  * Luke Cwik               []
  * Maximilian Michels      []
  * Stephan Ewen            []
  * Tom White               []
  * Tyler Akidau            []
  * Robert Bradshaw         []

== Additional Interested Contributors ==

  * Debo Dutta              []
  * Henry Saputra           []
  * Taylor Goetz            []
  * James Carman            []
  * Joe Witt                []
  * Vaibhav Gumashta        []
  * Prasanth Jayachandran   []
  * Johan Edstrom           []
  * Hugo Louro              []
  * Krzysztof Sobkowiak     []
  * Jeff Genender           []
  * Edward J. Yoon          []
  * Hao Chen                []
  * Byung-Gon Chun          []
  * Charitha Elvitigala     []
  * Alexander Bezzubov      []
  * Tsuyoshi Ozawa          []
  * Mayank Bansal           []
  * Supun Kamburugamuve     []
  * Matthias Wessendorf     []
  * Felix Cheung            []
  * Ajay Yadava             []
  * Liang Chen              []
  * Renaud Richardet        [renaud (at) apache (dot) org]
  * Bakey Pan               []
  * Andreas Neumann         []
  * Suresh Marru            []
  * Hadrian Zbarcea         []

== Affiliations ==

The initial committers are from six organizations. Google developed 
Dataflow and the Dataflow SDK, data Artisans developed the Flink runner, 
and Cloudera (Labs) developed the Spark runner.

  * Cloudera
   * Tom White
  * Data Artisans
   * Aljoscha Krettek
   * Kostas Tzoumas
   * Maximilian Michels
   * Stephan Ewen
  * Google
   * Ben Chambers
   * Dan Halperin
   * Davor Bonaci
   * Frances Perry
   * James Malone
   * Kenneth Knowles
   * Luke Cwik
   * Tyler Akidau
   * Robert Bradshaw
  * PayPal
   * Amit Sela
  * Slack
   * Josh Wills
  * Talend
   * Jean-Baptiste Onofré

== Sponsors ==

=== Champion ===

  * Jean-Baptiste Onofre         []

=== Nominated Mentors ===

  * Jean-Baptiste Onofre       []
  * Jim Jagielski              []
  * Venkatesh Seetharam        []
  * Bertrand Delacretaz        []
  * Ted Dunning                []

=== Sponsoring Entity ===

The Apache Incubator

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