While formally there's only one kind of vertex in Jet, in practice there is an important distinction between the following:

  • A source is a vertex with no inbound edges. It injects data from the environment into the Jet job.
  • A sink is a vertex with no outbound edges. It drains the output of the Jet job into the environment.
  • A computational vertex has both kinds of edges. It accepts some data from upstream vertices, performs some computation, and emits the results to downstream vertices. Typically it doesn't interact with the environment.

The com.hazelcast.jet.processor package contains static utility classes with factory methods that return suppliers of processors, as required by the dag.newVertex(name, procSupplier) calls. There is a convention in Jet that every module containing vertex implementations contributes a utility class to the same package. Inspecting the contents of this package in your IDE should allow you to discover all vertex implementations available on the projet's classpath. For example, there are modules that connect to 3rd party resources like Kafka and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Each such module declares a class in the same package, com.hazelcast.jet.processor, exposing the module's source and sink definitions.

The main factory class for the source vertices provided by the Jet core module is Sources. It contains sources that ingest data from Hazelcast IMDG structures like IMap, ICache, IList, etc., as well as some simple sources that get data from files and TCP sockets (readFiles, streamSocket and some more).

Paralleling the sources there's Sinks for the sink vertices, supporting the same range of resources (IMDG, files, sockets). There's also a general writeBuffered method that takes some boilerplate out of writing custom sinks. The user must implement a few primitives: create a new buffer, add an item to it, flush the buffer. The provided code takes care of integrating these primitives into the Processor API (draining the inbox into the buffer and handling the general lifecycle).

Finally, the computational vertices are where the main action takes place. The main class with factories for built-in computational vertices is Processors.