NiFI for Apache - the flow using records and registry


In a previous guide, we’ve setup MiNiFi on Web servers to export Apache access log event to a central NiFi server. Then we saw an example of flow build in this NiFi server to handle this flow. This flow was using standard NiFi processors, manipulating each event as a string. Now, we will start a new flow, achieving the same purpose but using a record oriented approach.
We will then discover the ease of use of the record oriented flow files and how it can speed up the deployment of a flow.

Pieces needed from before

NiFi for Apache - the flow


In the previous guide, you have installed, configured and enabled the MiNiFi agent on each of your web server. Now, it is time to build a flow on your central NiFi server to do something with the information that will be sent to it.


Building up a flow on the NiFi server

We are now back to the workspace of our NiFi server.
If you have followed this guide line by line, you should only have one input port called “RemoteMiNiFi” on it.

NiFi for Syslog

Let’s build with NiFi a flow similar to what we build with Logstash to store syslog messages into an ElasticSearch index.


Receving the messages

We start with the ListenSyslog processor of NiFi that can be configured to listen on any UDP or TCP ports for syslog. When listening on TCP, you must specify the maximum number of concurrent TCP connections. This parameters will be dependant of the number of systems sending syslog message simultaneously to your listener.

NiFi and ElasticSearch

Custom mapping for the index you will update with NiFi flows

Unlike the Logstash output “ElasticSearch”, you cannot associate a customized mapping with the processor. Therefore, if the dynamic mapping of ElasticSearch doesn’t attribute the type you really want to one of your fields, you will have to use a default mapping template (see this chapter in the ElasticSearch section of the site).
If doing that, remember that:

NiFi and JSON

NiFi and JSON

Remark: with the introduction of the records-oriented flow files, managing JSON with NiFi became easier than ever.
The below how-to about JSON manipulation is making an extensive use of message contents and attributes extraction / modification.
You will find later pages about the records usage in NiFi.