Apache Kafka + Kafka Connect: How to build a connector for getting data out of Mixpanel’s APl

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories who is widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature.


Apache Kafka is an open-source message broker project developed by the Apache Software Foundation written in Scala. The project aims to provide a unified, high-throughput, low-latency platform for handling real-time data feeds. The design is heavily influenced by transaction logs.

Every byte of data has a story to tell. The faster and easier we move it around, the more we can focus on the core business. Data pipelines are the epicenter of data-driven companies, and Apache Kafka is becoming the heart of it.

What is Kafka?

Kafka is a distributed publish-subscribe messaging system that is designed to be fast, scalable, and durable.

  • Kafka maintains feeds of messages in categories called topics.
  • Producers write data to topics
  • Consumers read from topics
  • Kafka is run as a cluster comprised of one or more servers each of which is called a broker.

What is Kafka Connect?

The recent post from my co-founder Kostas Pardalis does a great job explaining it.

Kafka Connect was introduced recently as a feature of Apache Kafka 0.9+ with the narrow (although very important) scope of copying streaming data from and to a Kafka cluster.


Kafka Connect is about interacting with other data systems and move data between them and a Kafka Cluster. Many of the connectors that are available are focusing to systems that are managed by the owner of the Kafka Cluster, e.g. RDBMS systems that hold transactional data, trying to turn these systems into a stream of data.

So if you are exploring Kafka, check his detailed post, about a:

Cool intro to Kafka Connect

How he implemented a connector for getting data out of Mixpanel’s APl

and the actual source code.

Happy reading…

How to easily setup a beautiful blog with Ghost

WordPress has saved me a lot of times. I have used it in many projects and I am still getting surprised with its flexibility. So when we decided to launch our blog for Blendo it was a no brainer.

How to easily setup a beautiful blog with Ghost

At that time I remembered that I had heard for the Ghost blog platform so I decided to give it a try.

Ghost is a new blogging platform. It focuses more on content creation and presentation. It has a clean interface and can produce great results.

There are many ways to set up Ghost. You may host it at Ghost.org or host it on your own in one of the various cloud services out there. As Blendo runs on Rackspace, I decided to run it there. I also run a Windows 10 PC so I decided to write a quick and dirty guide.

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How to extract data from Mailchimp API

How to extract data from Mailchimp API

Our favorite email marketing monkey. Mailchimp is the heart of our marketing campaigns. But it generates data and sometimes these data are important to be together with data from services like billing or social. How can you get them and then load them to a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift for further analysis?

About Mailchimp

Mailchimp helps businesses observe their subscribers’ activities, send automated emails to them based on their behavior and preferences, optimize and target the appropriate audience for each campaign using specific tools, and monitor sales and website activity with revenue reports. Companies can add content and collaborate on campaigns that fit their brand using MailChimp’s Email Designer; edit campaigns, collaborate with their teams using MailChimp Editor; send one-to-one messages using Mandrill; collect signups from their tablet using Chimpadeedoo; and access all the services via mobiles using MailChimp Mobile.

About Mailchimp API

[update 18/2] Mailchimp updated its API to v3, for more information visit MailChimp API v3.0 documentation.

mailchimp api

MailChimp was always a promoter of APIs and encouraged integration with other systems. It has a rich API that exposes a large number of endpoints for interacting with the resources of the applications.

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Extract data from Mixpanel API


mixpanel-postAthough I love Mixpanel, there are cases that you would like to extract data from it. Then load your data to a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift for further analysis. This post is a small overview off Mixpanel’s API and how to access and extract data from it. purpose of this guide is to help you define a process or pipeline .

About Mixpanel

For those that do not know Mixpanel, it helps you make your product better by measuring actions, instead of page views. Mixpanel gives you the ability to measure what people are doing in your app on iOS, Android, and web.

Extract data from Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an analytics as-a-service application. We usually think of it as place to see my data and not a place where I would get data from. Why? I may need to perform analysis that involves data from other sources.

Mixpanel collects data related to how your customers use your product. In case you need to have more sources you may:

  1. Enrich Mixpanel with data coming from other sources.
  2. Extract the data Mixpanel holds for you and load it on a data warehousing repository. This is what we are going to review here.

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What I have to say about self-organizing teams

Great post about self-organizing teams from @tisquirrel. I like the bullets at the end of it, but I think somebody has to read the whole post from the beginning.



Remember Agile manifesto? ‘The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams’. But why self-organizing teams? How to build them? How do they emerge?

When I say “self-organizing teams” top managers usually think ‘teams which need no management’, ‘magic teams which work twice as much’. They behave as if we can just hire 10 nice people, put them in one room and tell them “And now you have to self-organize.’ We talk a lot about such teams, but rarely can we assemble one. Some of my colleagues even say that it is a luxury to have such teams and we just can’t afford them.

I tried to collect all my thoughts on the self-organizing teams in this post.

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