Joseph Torres, et al, explain how continuous processing mode works with Apache Spark 2.3’s structured streaming:
Suppose we want to build a real-time pipeline to flag fraudulent credit card transactions. Ideally, we want to identify and deny a fraudulent transaction as soon as the culprit has swiped his/her credit card. However, we don’t want to delay legitimate transactions as that would annoy customers. This leads to a strict upper bound on the end-to-end processing latency of our pipeline. Given that there are other delays in transit, the pipeline must process each transaction within 10-20 ms.
Let’s try to build this pipeline in Structured Streaming. Assume that we have a user-defined function “isPaymentFlagged” that can identify the fraudulent transactions. To minimize the latency, we’ll use a 0 second processing time trigger indicating that Spark should start each micro batch as fast as it can with no delays.
They also explain how this newer model differs from the prior model of collecting events in microbatches.