Book cover of Designing Data-Intensive Applications

Don’t just hack it together

NoSQL… Big Data… Scalability… CAP Theorem… Eventual Consistency… Sharding…

Nice buzzwords, but how does the stuff actually work?

As software engineers, we need to build applications that are reliable, scalable and maintainable in the long run. We need to understand the range of available tools and their trade-offs. For that, we have to dig deeper than buzzwords.

This book will help you navigate the diverse and fast-changing landscape of technologies for storing and processing data. We compare a broad variety of tools and approaches, so that you can see the strengths and weaknesses of each, and decide what’s best for your application.

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How this book is different

Compare several designs

This book compares the fundamental ideas behind a broad variety of systems. It doesn’t go into the details of how to configure and use one particular tool. But it does explain the trade-offs and fundamental limitations that systems face, so that you can make informed decisions.

Both theory and practice

We discuss many good ideas from academic research, but we always tie them back to reality. Just because it looks good on a whiteboard doesn’t mean it actually works in practice. We care about ideas that have been proven under intensive workloads, at big companies and at startups.

Deeper understanding

We go under the hood of the systems you already use, teasing apart how they work internally. The aim is to help you think about data systems in new ways — not just how they work, but why they were designed that way. Your own software will be better as a result.

What people are saying

Jay Kreps

This book is awesome. It bridges the huge gap between distributed systems theory and practical engineering. I wish it had existed a decade ago, so I could have read it then and saved myself all the mistakes along the way.

Kevin Scott

This book should be required reading for software engineers. The explosion of data and its increased importance to the applications we build has created a new set of complex challenges. Designing Data-Intensive Applications is a rare resource that bridges theory and practice to help developers make smart decisions as they design and implement data infrastructure and systems.

Veena Basavaraj

The essence of building reliable and scalable distributed data systems and efficiently using them to solve real world problems is in mastering the tradeoffs associated with the design choices. Designing Data Intensive applications explores them like none other and provides a unbiased view of how distributed systems have made these choices over time.

Kevin Scott

A joy to read! This is one of the best technical books I've read. It offers very helpful context, historical and current, to understanding the key issues in the text.

Current status

Designing Data-Intensive Applications is still being written. An early release of the first several chapters is available from O’Reilly. This is your opportunity to shape the book to your needs: please email any thoughts you have to

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Martin Kleppmann

About the author

Martin Kleppmann enjoys figuring stuff out and making it accessible. He believes that by thinking about software development in the right way, we could make it vastly better than it is today.

Martin has co-founded and sold two startups, including Rapportive (acquired by LinkedIn). He is active in data-related open source projects including Samza, and regularly speaks at conferences.

You can find him as @martinkl on Twitter.