Getting Started

What is StreamSets Data Collector?

StreamSets Data CollectorTM is a lightweight, powerful design and execution engine that streams data in real time. Use Data Collector to route and process data in your data streams.

To define the flow of data, you design a pipeline in Data Collector. A pipeline consists of stages that represent the origin and destination of the pipeline, and any additional processing that you want to perform. After you design the pipeline, you click Start and Data Collector goes to work.

Data Collector processes data when it arrives at the origin and waits quietly when not needed. You can view real-time statistics about your data, inspect data as it passes through the pipeline, or take a close look at a snapshot of data.

How should I use Data Collector?

Use StreamSets Data Collector like a pipe for a data stream. Throughout your enterprise data topology, you have streams of data that you need to move, collect, and process on the way to their destinations. Data Collector provides the crucial connection between hops in the stream.

To solve your ingest needs, you can use a single Data Collector to run one or more pipelines. Or you might install a series of Data Collectors to stream data across your enterprise data topology.

How does this really work?

Let's walk through it...

After you install and launch Data Collector, you use the Data Collector UI to log in and create your first pipeline.

What do you want it to do? Let's say you want to read XML files from a directory and remove the newline characters before moving it into HDFS. To do this, you start with a Directory origin stage and configure it to point to the source file directory. (You can also have the stage archive processed files and write files that were not fully processed to a separate directory for review.)

To remove the newline characters, connect Directory to an Expression Evaluator processor and configure it to remove the newline character from the last field in the record.

To make the data available to HDFS, you connect the Expression Evaluator to a Hadoop FS destination stage. You configure the stage to write the data as a JSON object (though you can use other data formats as well).

You preview data to see how source data moves through the pipeline and notice that some fields have missing data. So you add a Field Replacer to replace null values in those fields.

Now that the data flow is done, you configure the pipeline error record handling to write error records to a file, you create a data drift alert to let you know when field names change, and you configure an email alert to let you know when the pipeline generates more than 100 error records. Then, you start the pipeline and Data Collector goes to work.

The Data Collector goes into Monitor mode and displays summary and error statistics immediately. To get a closer look at the activity, you take a snapshot of the pipeline so you can examine how a set of data passed through the pipeline. You see some unexpected data in the pipeline, so you create a data rule for a link between two stages to gather information about similar data and set an alert to notify you when the numbers get too high.

And what about those error records being written to file? They're saved with error details, so you can create an error pipeline to reprocess that data. Et voila!

StreamSets Data Collector is a powerful tool, but we're making it as simple as possible to use. So give it a try, click the Help icon for information, and contact StreamSets if you need a hand.

What is StreamSets Data Collector Edge?

StreamSets Data Collector EdgeTM (SDC Edge) is a lightweight execution agent without a UI that runs pipelines on edge devices. Use SDC Edge to read data from an edge device or to receive data from another pipeline and then act on that data to control an edge device.

You design edge pipelines in Data Collector. An edge pipeline is a pipeline that runs in edge execution mode on SDC Edge.

SDC Edge is installed separately from Data Collector. You must install SDC Edge on each edge device where you want to run edge pipelines.

For more information about using SDC Edge, see Meet StreamSets Data Collector Edge.

What is StreamSets Control Hub?

StreamSets Control HubTM is a central point of control for all of your dataflow pipelines. Use Control Hub to allow your teams to build and execute large numbers of complex dataflows at scale.

Teams of data engineers use the shared repository provided with Control Hub to collaboratively build pipelines. Control Hub provides full lifecycle management of the pipelines, allowing you to track the version history and giving you full control of the evolving development process.

Control Hub lets you deploy and execute dataflows at scale on manually administered or automatically provisioned Data Collectors or on edge devices using Data Collector Edge.

You can map multiple dataflows in a single visual topology and can view real-time statistics to measure dataflow performance across each topology, from end-to-end or point-to-point. You can also monitor alerts to ensure that incoming data meets business requirements for availability and accuracy.

To use Control Hub, you need a user account within an organization. If you already have an organization defined for your enterprise, ask the organization administrator for a user account. If you don’t have access to an organization, contact StreamSets with a request for a new organization.

For more information about using Control Hub, see Meet StreamSets Control Hub.

Register with StreamSets Accounts

Users without an enterprise account must register with StreamSets Accounts to enable downloading and logging into Data Collector or Transformer.

You can use an existing Google or Microsoft account to register with StreamSets Accounts. Or, you can enter an email address and password, then check your email to confirm your registration. After registering, you can download the latest Data Collector or Transformer tarball or access Docker for the latest Data Collector or Transformer image.

After you install Data Collector, you link it to StreamSets Accounts. StreamSets Accounts then provides single sign on authentication for Data Collector.

Note: Users with an enterprise account should not use StreamSets Accounts. Also, users who installed Data Collector through a cloud service provider marketplace do not need to use StreamSets Accounts.

To register or log into StreamSets Accounts, go to https://accounts.streamsets.com.

For more information about StreamSets Accounts, see StreamSets Accounts.

Logging In and Creating a Pipeline in Data Collector

After you start Data Collector, you can log in to Data Collector and create your first pipeline.

You can customize the address and login that you use to access Data Collector. This procedure uses the default settings.

  1. To access Data Collector using the UI, enter the following URL in the address bar of your browser:
    http://<hostname>:18630/

    If you changed the default Data Collector port number in the Data Collector configuration file, $SDC_CONF/sdc.properties, use that number instead.

  2. The log in method depends on the authentication method that you are using:
    • When using single sign on through StreamSets Accounts, you may need to log in to StreamSets Accounts.
    • When using Control Hub authentication, you may need to log into your Control Hub organization.
    • When using LDAP authentication, you may need to log into your LDAP server.
    • When using file-based authentication, you can use the following credentials to log in: admin / admin.

      If you created a custom login, feel free to use it. You can also use any of the other users provided with Data Collector.

  3. On the Get Started page, click Create New Pipeline.
  4. In the New Pipeline window, enter a name for the pipeline, optionally enter a description, and click Save.
    The pipeline canvas appears. The Properties panel displays pipeline properties. For a description of the icons and areas, see Data Collector UI - Edit Mode.

For more information about pipelines, see What is a Pipeline?

For the steps to configure a pipeline, continue with step 3 in Configuring a Pipeline.

Data Collector User Interface

Data Collector provides a web-based user interface (UI) to configure pipelines, preview data, monitor pipelines, and review snapshots of data.

The Data Collector UI includes the following general areas and icons:

Area/Icon Name Description
1 Pipeline canvas Canvas for configuring, previewing, or monitoring a pipeline.
2 Properties panel / Preview panel / Monitor panel When you configure a pipeline, the Properties panel displays the properties of the pipeline or selected stage. You can resize, minimize and maximize the panel.

When you preview data, the Preview panel displays the data that enters and exits the selected stage or group of stages. It can also display stage properties and preview configuration.

When you monitor a running pipeline, the Monitor panel displays real-time metrics and statistics.

Note: Some icons and options might not display. The items that display are based on the task that you are performing and roles assigned to your user account.
StreamSets Control Hub icon Provides information about StreamSets Control Hub and lets you register this Data Collector with Control Hub.
Home icon Displays a home page with a list of pipelines and their statuses, allowing you to perform pipeline maintenance and navigate to individual pipelines.
Package Manager icon Displays the Package Manager which allows you to install additional stage libraries for a core or common Data Collector installation.
Notifications icon Displays notifications.
Administration icon Provides access to Data Collector configuration properties, directories, and log. Also allows you to shut down Data Collector.
User icon Displays the active user and the roles assigned to the user. Also allows you to log out of Data Collector.
Help icon Provides context-sensitive help based on the information in the panel. Allows you to configure display settings and to specify whether to use a local or hosted version of the help.

Provides access to the REST API and the Data Collector version.

Link to a pipeline list Link to a pipeline list on the Home page. Use to view a list of available pipelines, perform pipeline maintenance like starting or sharing a pipeline, and navigate to individual pipelines.
More icon

Provides additional actions for the pipeline.

For information about configuring pipelines, see Data Collector UI - Edit Mode.

For information about data preview options, see Data Collector UI - Preview Mode.

For information about pipeline monitoring options, see Data Collector UI - Monitor Mode.

Configuring the Display

You can configure how information in the Data Collector UI displays, such as the online help version, information density in the panel, and the pipeline creation help bar.

  1. In the top right corner of the Data Collector UI, click Help > Settings.
  2. In the Settings dialog box, you can configure the following options:
    Display Setting Description
    Timezone Display time zone. Used to display dates and times in the Data Collector UI, such as datetime data in data preview or snapshot data.
    You can choose between the following options:
    • UTC
    • The browser time zone, which usually uses the operating system time zone.
    • When the Data Collector runs on a different machine, the operating system time zone of the Data Collector machine.
    Display Density Defines the density of the information that displays in the panel.
    Help Defines the help project that Data Collector uses:
    • Local help - Uses the help project installed with Data Collector.
    • Hosted help - Uses a help project hosted on the StreamSets website. Hosted help contains the latest available documentation. Requires an internet connection.

    Default is hosted help. When internet access is not available, Data Collector uses local help.

    Both help projects provide context-sensitive help.

    Hide Missing Stage Libraries in Stage Library Panel Hides Data Collector stages that are not installed in the stage library panel.

    When cleared, the stage library panel displays all Data Collector stages, instead of only the installed stages. Stages that are not installed appear disabled, or greyed out.

    Hide Pipeline Creation Help Bar Hides the pipeline configuration help bar that displays by default when a pipeline is incomplete.
    Hide REST Response Menu Hides the REST Response menu so you cannot request REST API response information.
    Run preview in background to display available fields Runs preview in the background to display lists of available fields and the Select Fields with Preview Data option as you configure pipeline and stage properties.

    Running preview in the background can freeze the browser if the preview results in a large record. To resolve this issue, clear the property.

    Wrap long lines in properties Wraps long lines of text that you enter in properties. For example, you might enter a long line of text when you configure the preconditions for a stage.

    When cleared, displays long lines of text with a scroll bar.

Data Collector UI - Pipelines on the Home Page

Data Collector displays a list of all available pipelines and related information on the Home page. You can select a category of pipelines, such as Running Pipelines, to view a subset of all available pipelines.

Pipelines display on the Home page when you or your user group has read permission on the pipeline or when you created the pipeline.

View pipelines on the Home page to perform pipeline maintenance, such as copying or sharing a pipeline. You can access the Home page when you click the Home icon () in the top-level set of icons on the page. You can also access the Home page by clicking the Pipelines link in the pipeline path when you are configuring or monitoring a pipeline.

The following image shows the Data Collector Home page:

Area/Icon Name Description
1 Pipeline library Library of pipelines associated with this Data Collector.
The library lists:
  • Pipeline categories - Select a pipeline category to filter pipelines in the list by category. For example, you can filter by all running pipelines or by all edge pipelines.
  • Pipeline labels - Select a pipeline label to filter pipelines in the list by label.
2 Pipeline list Allows you to select one or more pipelines and then perform an action on the pipelines, such as starting, stopping, or exporting the pipelines.
3 Filter field Allows you to filter for pipelines by name.
4 Show Details Displays details about error messages and alert texts for each pipeline in the list.
StreamSets Control Hub icon Provides information about StreamSets Control Hub and lets you register this Data Collector with Control Hub.
Home icon Displays a home page with a list of pipelines and their statuses, allowing you to perform pipeline maintenance and navigate to individual pipelines.
Package Manager icon Displays the Package Manager which allows you to install additional stage libraries for a core or common Data Collector installation.
Notifications icon Displays notifications.
Administration icon Provides access to Data Collector configuration properties, directories, and log. Also allows you to shut down Data Collector.
User icon Displays the active user and the roles assigned to the user. Also allows you to log out of Data Collector.
Help icon Provides context-sensitive help based on the information in the panel. Allows you to configure display settings and to specify whether to use a local or hosted version of the help.

Provides access to the REST API and the Data Collector version.

Toggle Library Pane icon Icon to show or hide the pipeline library.
More icon

Provides additional actions for pipelines. Use to reset origins for pipelines, add labels to pipelines, export pipelines, and display pipeline IDs.

Refresh icon Refreshes the pipeline list.
Delete icon Deletes the selected pipelines.
Duplicate icon Duplicates the selected pipelines.
Share icon Shares the pipeline with users and groups. Use to configure pipeline permissions.
Start icon Starts the selected pipelines.
Stop icon Stops the selected pipelines.
List View icon Displays the pipelines in a list.
Grid View icon Displays the pipelines in a grid.
Error icon Indicates that the pipeline has errors.
Actions icon Allows you to import, export, duplicate, or delete a single pipeline.

For information about configuring pipelines, see Data Collector UI - Edit Mode.

For information about data preview options, see Data Collector UI - Preview Mode.

For information about pipeline monitoring options, see Data Collector UI - Monitor Mode.

Tutorials and Sample Pipelines

StreamSets provides multiple tutorials and sample pipelines to help you learn about using Data Collector.

This documentation includes basic and advanced tutorials in the Tutorials chapter. StreamSets provides additional tutorials on Github. You can also find a terrific set of short how-to's on the StreamSets YouTube channel.

Data Collector includes several sample pipelines. You can use these pipelines to walk through tutorials or as a basis for new development.