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Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems

4.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,255 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Want to know how the best software engineers and architects structure their applications to make them scalable, reliable, and maintainable in the long term? This book examines the key principles, algorithms, and trade-offs of data systems, using the internals of various popular software packages and frameworks as examples.

Tools at your disposal are evolving and demands on
Paperback, 616 pages
Published April 2nd 2017 by O'Reilly Media (first published April 25th 2015)
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Average rating 4.72  · 
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Emre Sevinç
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I consider this book a mini-encyclopedia of modern data engineering. Like a specialized encyclopedia, it covers a broad field in considerable detail. But it is not a practice or a cookbook for a particular Big Data, NoSQL or newSQL product. What the author does is to lay down the principles of current distributed big data systems, and he does a very fine job of it.

If you are after the obscure details of a particular product, or some tutorials and "how-to"s, go elsewhere. But if you want to unde
Yevgeniy Brikman
A must-read for every programmer. This is the best overview of data storage and distributed systems—two key concepts for building almost any piece of software today—that I've seen anywhere. Martin does a wonderful job of taking a massive body of research and distilling complicated concepts and difficult trade-offs down to a level where anyone can understand it.

I learned a lot about replication, partitioning, linearizability, locking, write skew, phantoms, transactions, event logs, and more. I'm
Sebastian Gebski
Honestly, this one took me much more time than I've expected.
Plus, it's definitely one of the best technical books I've read in years - but still, it doesn't mean you should run straight away to your bookshop - read up to the end of the review first.

I'll risk the statement that this book's content will not be 100% directly applicable to your work, BUT it will make you a better engineer in general. It's like with reading books about Haskell - most likely you'll never use this language for any pra
(5.0) excellent summary/foundation/recommendations for distributed systems development, covers a lot of the use cases for data-intensive (vs compute-intensive) apps/services. I recommend to anyone doing service development.

Recommendations are well-reasoned, citations are helpful and are leading me to do a lot more reading.

Thank you for finding and sharing this one, @Chet. I think this will be a book we assign as a primer for working at Goodreads going forward. At least some of the (later) chapte
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some quite valuable content diluted with less useful content. I think I’d much prefer to read this author’s focused articles or blogs than recommend that someone slog through this.

I’m still not quite sure who the intended audience of this book is, but it’s definitely not me. The intro chapter discusses the example of Twitter’s fan-out writes and how they balanced typical users with celebrities who have millions of followers. Because of that intro, I expected a series of architecture patterns and
David Bjelland
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cs-software
Like you'd expect of a technical book with such a broad scope, there are sections that most readers in the target audience will probably find either too foundational or too esoteric to justify writing about at this kind of length, but still - at its best, I shudder to think of the time wasted groping in the dark for an ad hoc understanding of concepts it explains holistically in just a few unfussy, lucid pages and a diagram or two.

Definitely a book I see myself reaching for as a reference or me
Szymon Kulec
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perception of this depends on how much do you know already.

If you know a lot about serialization: JSON, Avro, Google Protocol Buffers, MessagePack, you name it; db data structures: WAL, B+Tree, LSM, you name it; distributed systems: consensus (Paxos, Raft), messaging (at-least-once, at-most, idempotence), partitioning, you won't gain a lot.

If you read tens of whitepapers, read _internals_ books, you won't gain a lot.

If you run Jepsen tests on your own product, you won't gain a lot.

But if yo
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently used Spark to count all the data stores mentioned throughout the book.

There's a total of 72 products, where Apache ZooKeeper, PostgreSQL and MySQL are the ones most mentioned, with 46, 44 and 42 citations.

The complete list is available at
Mark Seemann
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: software
At the beginning of reading this, I vacillated between a three-star and a four-star rating. The book is organised into three parts. The first part is about data storage on a single machine. Whenever it would cover material I already knew, I'd be mildly bored. Whenever it covered material that was unfamiliar to me, I found the explanations lucid and fascinating. I venture that I would have been as pleased with the topics I already knew about, had I not already known about them.

In part II, the boo
Ye Lin Kyaw
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There should be a 6-star rating for this book.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My full notes:

IMHO this book is a modern classic, a must read for every software engineer and developer. I’m certain that it will be reread it from time.
Sameer Rahmani
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a really great book. The author is well known in the field and the author of Apache Samza. In this book he explains even smallest challenges in creating a distributed data intensive system.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just did a nuanced review on my tech blog, here: ...more
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for anyone who wants to work in the distributed systems space.
Ahmad hosseini
This book changed my view to designing application!
What is the meaning of Data-Intensive?
We call an application data-intensive if data is its primary challenge- the quality of data, the complexity of data, or the speed at which it is changing.

Who should read this book?
I think that all developers must read this book. If you develop applications that have some kind of server/ backend for storing or processing data, and your application use the internet, then this book is for you.

Why should you, as
Ieva Gr
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
Was it easy to read: It may have been the hardest thing I’ve ever read. The writing style is actually nice and quite colloquial for a technical book. But there is so much information in it! It took me ages (half a year) to get through it by taking notes when reading.

What I liked about it: The amount of information and the wast contexts that it covers: important concepts likes response time percentiles, linearisability, serializability and etc. explained; deep dive into database theory, different
Naing Lin
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Often, We learn our skills by acquaintance and usually miss to cultivate the underlying knowledge of particular subject. Therefore we compensate it by another type of learning; by experience. But it's not always accurate and mostly based on hindsight which is why we need another layer knowledge to justify ours. These foundation of knowledge help us to giving better landscape to see the problem correspondingly. Hence, it could eventually make better decision (or trade off) for creators.

Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best written technical book I ever read. Martin Kleppman is vastly knowledgeable about all types and classes of databases and principles of data processing, but also uncannily talented in teaching others with clarity and a pinch of subtle humour. He covers the entire map of the territory that are data processing principles and systems with great detail (and delightfully toys with the map metaphor at the beginning of each new chapter), yet never gets bogged down. The book finishes of ...more
Mohamed Elsherif
Fantastic book, it took me almost 9 months to finish, but I am glad that I did, I think this book is a very important read to anyone building any application/system that use data in any way, shape or form.
Highly recommended.
Bodo Tasche
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
This book is an amazing must have for every backend developer. Highly recommended.
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-tech
This book is monumental. It explains many aspects of designing data applications in a very approachable way. It has everything; from high level differences between SQL and NoSQL to low level details of how databases work. The explanations are clear and accompanied by code samples, diagrams and examples of data engines that work that way.

Part I of the book covers the fundamentals (e.g. how to handle data on a single machine). Part II covers Distributed data: how to handle it and issues you'll fa
Oleksii Zuiev
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book gives comprehensive overview of design aspects for systems working with data. For each of them it goes deep enough to describe needed concepts and principles and implementation options. And if you want to go deeper, after each chapter there are big lists of references to relevant research papers, specific implementations etc. The book ends with a chapter where the author gives his subjective view on where the industry is moving. Which is distinct to the rest of the book but still is an ...more
Emanuele Blanco
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A clear and detailed overview of the challenges modern applications have to face while dealing with data and the current state-of-the-art. From SSTables to event sourcing, Martin Kleppman gives great insights on what every engineer/architect should know when designing systems that deal with any kind of data. Highly recommended.
I wish I had this book 5 years go. A complete text on distributed systems that are extremely valuable for hands on experience. You have to read this book multiple times to get a good grasp on concepts on distributed computing. I do feel the title is little misleading for a solid texts on distributed systems. Highly recommended.
Andrzej Hołowko
Great book. Every software developer should definitely read it. It covers many topics, hard to remember everything, but it gives you a notion of systems/databases/tools/techniques used nowadays. You should be aware of trade-offs in every solution, before you use it and this book is a good start point.
Bhashit Parikh
Encyclopedic and fun. Not only is this book packed with info about modern database systems, and related systems, it's very engaging and provides enough references to keep you busy for a long time. My bookmarks list is surely going to take a long time to work through. The book is a geek treasure if you are not intimately familiar with the various topics covered.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book contains all the information I want to read about building distributed systems. I am amazed at how much research went into the book and how dense the information is. Highly recommended to everybody who builds applications for production.
Ali Izadi
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for data engineers, data scientist and machine learning engineers who live in data world. This book answers lots of your questions about designing data-intensive applications from data models and distributed data to batch and stream data processing. It completely explains many problems in different applications with detailed solutions to them which help you understand a big data system better and decide what technologies and tools you need for your problem.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-science
pretty awesome. My favorite programming / cs book so far. Seemed to be at the right level of abstraction for system design. One of those books where the author is a super-export and rather than writing a textbook, it's more something like an "expertise dump".
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cs
Just an excellent reference. Footnotes, a gold mine.
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