Problem domain: Analytics

You define jobs in AWS Glue to accomplish the work that’s required to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data from a data source to a data target. You typically perform the following actions:

  • For data store sources, you define a crawler to populate your AWS Glue Data Catalog with metadata table definitions. You point your crawler at a data store, and the crawler creates table definitions in the Data Catalog. For streaming sources, you manually define Data Catalog tables and specify data stream properties.
  • In addition to table definitions, the AWS Glue Data Catalog contains other metadata that is required to define ETL jobs. You use this metadata when you define a job to transform your data.
  • AWS Glue can generate a script to transform your data. Or, you can provide the script in the AWS Glue console or API.
  • You can run your job on demand, or you can set it up to start when a specified trigger occurs. The trigger can be a time-based schedule or an event.
  • When your job runs, a script extracts data from your data source, transforms the data, and loads it to your data target. The script runs in an Apache Spark environment in AWS Glue.

When Should I Use AWS Glue?

You can use AWS Glue to organize, cleanse, validate, and format data for storage in a data warehouse or data lake.

You can transform and move AWS Cloud data into your data store.
You can also load data from disparate static or streaming data sources into your data warehouse or data lake for regular reporting and analysis. By storing data in a data warehouse or data lake, you integrate information from different parts of your business and provide a common source of data for decision making.

AWS Glue simplifies many tasks when you are building a data warehouse or data lake:

  • Discovers and catalogs metadata about your data stores into a central catalog. You can process semi-structured data, such as clickstream or process logs.
  • Populates the AWS Glue Data Catalog with table definitions from scheduled crawler programs. Crawlers call classifier logic to infer the schema, format, and data types of your data. This metadata is stored as tables in the AWS Glue Data Catalog and used in the authoring process of your ETL jobs.
  • Generates ETL scripts to transform, flatten, and enrich your data from source to target.
  • Detects schema changes and adapts based on your preferences.
  • Triggers your ETL jobs based on a schedule or event. You can initiate jobs automatically to move your data into your data warehouse or data lake. Triggers can be used to create a dependency flow between jobs.
  • Gathers runtime metrics to monitor the activities of your data warehouse or data lake.
  • Handles errors and retries automatically.
  • Scales resources, as needed, to run your jobs.

You can use AWS Glue when you run serverless queries against your Amazon S3 data lake. AWS Glue can catalog your Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) data, making it available for querying with Amazon Athena and Amazon Redshift Spectrum. With crawlers, your metadata stays in sync with the underlying data. Athena and Redshift Spectrum can directly query your Amazon S3 data lake using the AWS Glue Data Catalog. With AWS Glue, you access and analyze data through one unified interface without loading it into multiple data silos.

You can create event-driven ETL pipelines with AWS Glue. You can run your ETL jobs as soon as new data becomes available in Amazon S3 by invoking your AWS Glue ETL jobs from an AWS Lambda function. You can also register this new dataset in the AWS Glue Data Catalog as part of your ETL jobs.

You can use AWS Glue to understand your data assets. You can store your data using various AWS services and still maintain a unified view of your data using the AWS Glue Data Catalog. View the Data Catalog to quickly search and discover the datasets that you own, and maintain the relevant metadata in one central repository. The Data Catalog also serves as a drop-in replacement for your external Apache Hive Metastore.

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