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What is imperative?

Last updated Sep 23, 2022 - Edit Source

An imperative pipeline tells how to proceed at each step in a procedural manner. In contrast, a  declarative data pipeline does not tell the order it needs to be executed but instead allows each step/task to find the best time and way to run.

The how should be taken care of by the tool, framework, or platform running on. For example, update an asset when upstream data has changed. Both approaches result in the same output. However, the declarative approach benefits from leveraging compile-time query planners and considering runtime statistics to choose the best way to compute and find patterns to reduce the amount of transformed data.

Read more on Data Orchestration Trends: The Shift From Data Pipelines to Data Products.