Kafka Vs Axon: Can we compare?

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This is a commonly asked question what is the exact difference between the working of Axon and Kafka, at what place we are good to use Kafka, and at what place we are good to use the Axon framework, and how their combination works efficiently.
This blog will wrap up most of the misunderstood points on these topics.
Since we know very well from our previous blogs that Axon mainly supports event sourcing, this blog will revolve around event sourcing concepts only and by the end of the blog, you would be able to differentiate well between axon and Kafka in terms of event sourcing.

Event Sourcing

It mainly originates from Domain Driven Design patterns, It helps in designing the applications with the help of a series of events and instead of a series of states.
Here, the databases are not used for the particular state rather the changing events are kept in mind for designing purposes.

Usage of Event sourcing

  • Temporal Reporting
  • Data Analytics
  • Flexibility in designing

Event sourcing makes use of CQRS for their implementations, CQRS mainly works with 2 categories, the initial category is a command, and 2nd is a query, CQRS makes use of both these mentioned aspects to make a productive working model, command changes the particular state of the function and query helps to fetch out the details of the particular function.

So basically event sourcing makes usage of the command model from the CQRS building pattern

Kafka- Event Sourcing OR Event Streaming?

So, since we are good with the concepts of event sourcing from the above discussions, therefore now we can proceed to decide whether Kafka is basically using event sourcing concepts or event streaming concepts.
Let’s start!

Kafka works on event streaming patterns which mainly focus on 3 main concepts:

  • Publish
  • Store
  • Process

Kafka event streaming revolves around these three major values. Although if we want to make use of event sourcing with Kafka then we would require some special add-on with the process.
Therefore from this, we can say that Kafka can’t do event sourcing on its own fully, it must be combined with other platforms to make use of it, in some cases, this is efficient to work but in most cases, the reading from the topics becomes extremely slow as well.
So, usage of Kafka only for event sourcing does not make much impact.
Kafka is one of the message brokers which integrates with Axon well.

Axon- Event Sourcing

Since we have already learned much about Axon from our previous blogs. Therefore we already know that axon basically works with 2 major values:

  • Axon Server -> Storage of events are made and used for event sourcing, as per the requirement they are delivered for event streaming purposes.
  • Axon Framework -> It mainly focuses on the non-functional needs of architecture.

Conclusion – Difference between Axon and Kafka

  • Kafka can’t make event sourcing design on its own, requires other patterns to be combined to work efficiently, it integrates with Axon and then can perform event sourcing well.
  • Kafka is basically an event streaming design instead of event sourcing.
  • Axon can work with event sourcing and much more in addition to that.