Guide of Apache Spark Tutorial

This Tutorial series is dedicated to Apache Spark using Scala API, Here you will learn about Spark Basics, RDD API, Dataframe API and other important functionality.

In This Blog you will learn about what is Apache Spark, History, Libraries and Core Components which will provide you basic understanding of apache spark.

What is Apache Spark?

Apache Spark is an open-source, distributed computing system designed for big data processing and analysis. Its innovative architecture, combined with its speed, ease of use, and versatility, make Spark a game-changer in the world of data processing. With its ability to handle large-scale data sets, Spark enables businesses to derive valuable insights and make data-driven decisions in real-time. It supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Scala, Python, and R, making it accessible to a diverse range of developers. Spark’s advanced features, such as in-memory processing and optimized data pipelines, make it a powerful tool for tackling complex data problems.

If you are looing for Python implementation of Apache Spark you can go to PySpark

Brief History

Apache Spark has its roots in the AMPLab project at UC Berkeley, where it was developed as a fast and more user-friendly alternative to the Hadoop MapReduce framework. The first version of Spark was released in 2010, and quickly gained popularity among the big data community for its ability to handle large-scale data processing tasks with ease and efficiency. In 2013, Spark was donated to the Apache Software Foundation and became an Apache top-level project, receiving contributions from a large and growing community of developers from around the world. Over the years, Spark has evolved to become one of the most widely used big data processing frameworks, and its popularity has continued to grow as more and more businesses seek to unlock the value of their data. Today, Apache Spark is a key player in the big data ecosystem, and is widely used in a variety of industries, from finance and healthcare to retail and transportation. Its ability to handle large amounts of data, combined with its speed and versatility, make it a valuable tool for businesses looking to drive growth and innovation through data.


Apache Spark is known for its speed, ease of use, and versatility, and its feature set reflects these qualities. Here are some of the most notable features of Spark

  1. In-Memory Processing: Spark can process data in memory, allowing for fast and efficient data processing. This makes Spark ideal for working with large data sets.

  2. Support for Multiple Languages: Spark supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Scala, Python, and R, making it accessible to a wide range of developers.

  3. Real-time Stream Processing: Spark includes built-in support for real-time stream processing, enabling businesses to process incoming data in real-time and make immediate decisions based on the insights generated.

  4. Advanced Analytics: Spark includes libraries for advanced analytics, including machine learning, graph processing, and SQL. This makes it a powerful tool for data scientists and analysts.

  5. Easy Scalability: Spark is designed to be easily scalable, allowing businesses to add more nodes to their cluster as their data processing needs grow.

  6. Efficient Data Pipelining: Spark includes an optimized data pipeline, making it possible to process and analyze data more efficiently.

  7. Fault-Tolerant: Spark is designed to be fault-tolerant, ensuring that data processing tasks can continue even if one or more nodes in the cluster fail.

Spark Libraries

Following are Libraries which can be used to perform various operations in Data Engineering

Spark Core:- It is the foundation of Spark on which Spark is built. It is responsible for memory management. scheduling, monitoring, distributing, and executing jobs in JVM. Spark Core is written majorly on Scala for faster execution using JVM and multi-paradigm programming language for various developers and integrations. Spark Core can interact with various languages Java, Scala, Python, and R using APIs and providing an abstraction for faster development. Insense Spark Core is responsible for everything in the Spark environment.

Spark SQL:- A Spark module is used for structured data processing. it is an abstract layer built for developers for SQL-like operations on top of data. Users can interact with spark using the ANSI standard or HQL for writing sql queries, which is a huge benefit. Spark SQL queries can be 100x faster than Hadoop map-reduce because of the cost-based optimizer, columnar storage, and optimized auto-code generation.

Dataframe and DataSet APIs are also part of the spark sql ecosystem

Spark Streaming:- Spark Streaming is a spark module for processing streaming data. It processes data in mini-batches using Spark Core; users can do analytics on top of it using nearly the same code, which is written for batch processing. Spark Streaming integrates with several stream processing engines like Kafka, Flume, RabbitMQ, and other major stream processing engines.

MLib:- MLib is a machine learning library for doing machine learning tasks such as Regression, Classification, and so on with distributed computing for doing machine learning tasks on a big scale. with good spark speed provided by spark core, users can do machine learning on batch and streaming using MLib.

GraphX:- It is a distributed Graph Processing engine on top of Spark for graph data structures and their analytics and processing.

Spark Core Components

Let's Have a overview of Spark core components

Apache Spark is a powerful open-source big data processing framework that has been gaining widespread popularity in recent years. Spark Core is the foundation of the Spark ecosystem, providing a high-level API for distributed data processing and a unified execution engine for executing Spark applications. In this blog, we will dive into the Spark Core and explore its various components and features in detail.

Spark Core API: The Spark Core API provides a high-level API for distributed data processing in Scala, Java, Python, and R. It includes functionality for data transformation and manipulation, machine learning algorithms, and graph processing. The Spark Core API also provides an RDD (Resilient Distributed Dataset) API, which is a distributed collection of data that can be processed in parallel across a cluster of nodes.

Spark Context: The Spark Context is the starting point for all Spark applications. It is responsible for coordinating the execution of tasks across the cluster, scheduling tasks to be executed, and managing data in RDDs. The Spark Context is created when a Spark application starts, and it is available throughout the lifetime of the application.

Spark RDD: RDDs are the core data structure of Spark and are used to represent large datasets that are distributed across the cluster. RDDs are immutable and partitioned, which means that they can be processed in parallel across multiple nodes in the cluster. RDDs can be created from data stored in external storage systems, such as Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), or from existing RDDs through transformations.

Spark Executors: Spark Executors are the processes that execute the tasks assigned to them by the Spark Context. Executors run on worker nodes in the cluster and are responsible for executing the tasks assigned to them by the Spark Context. Executors are launched when the Spark application starts and are terminated when the application finishes.

Spark Scheduler: The Spark Scheduler is responsible for scheduling the execution of tasks across the cluster. The scheduler uses a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) scheduler to optimize the execution of tasks based on their dependencies. The Spark Scheduler is integrated with the Spark Context and works in coordination with the Spark Executors to manage the execution of tasks in the cluster.

Spark Basic FAQs

Q1: What is Apache Spark?

A: Apache Spark is an open-source, distributed computing system that is designed for big data processing and analysis. It offers an efficient and unified engine for big data processing and allows for the integration of multiple tools for data analysis and machine learning.

Q2: What are the main features of Spark?

A: The main features of Spark include fast processing, in-memory computing, support for multiple data sources and formats, interactive shell for ad-hoc queries, and the ability to run on a cluster of computers for distributed computing.

Q3: How is Spark different from Hadoop MapReduce?

A: Spark is faster and more flexible than Hadoop MapReduce, as it performs both batch processing and real-time stream processing. Additionally, Spark supports in-memory computing, while Hadoop MapReduce writes intermediate results to disk, leading to slower processing times.

Q4: Can Spark be used for both batch processing and real-time stream processing?

A: Yes, Spark can be used for both batch processing and real-time stream processing. It offers built-in libraries for batch processing, SQL queries, and machine learning, as well as a high-level API for real-time stream processing.

Q5: What programming languages does Spark support?

A: Spark supports programming in Scala, Java, Python, and R.

Q7: Is Spark suitable for small data processing?

A: Spark is designed for big data processing, but it can also be used for small data processing. However, for smaller data sets, other solutions such as Pandas or SQL may be more appropriate.