Microsoft open sources Trill, a streaming engine that employs algorithms to process “a trillion events per day”

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Yesterday, Microsoft open sourced Trill, previously an internal project used for processing “a trillion events per day”. It was the first streaming engine to incorporate algorithms that process events in small batches of data based on latency on the user side. It powers services like Financial Fabric, Bing ads, Azure stream analytics, Halo, etc.

With the increasing flow of data, the ability to process huge amounts of data each millisecond is a necessity. Microsoft has open sourced Trill for processing a trillion events per day to ‘address this growing trend’.

Microsoft Trill features

Trill is a single-node engine library and any .NET application, service, or platform can readily use Trill to start processing queries. It has a temporal query language which allows users to use complex queries over real-time and offline data sets. Trill has high performance which allows users to get results with great speed and low latency.

How did Trill start?

Trill was a research project at Microsoft Research in 2012. It has been described in various research papers like VLDB and the IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin. Trill is based on a former Microsoft service called StreamInsight—a platform that allowed developers to develop and deploy event processing applications. Both of these systems are based on an extended query and data model which extends the relational model with a component for time.


Systems before Trill could only achieve a part of the benefits. All these advantages come in one package with Trill. Trill was the very first streaming engine that incorporated algorithms to process events in data batches based on the latency tolerated by users.

It was also the first engine that organized data batches in a columnar format. This enabled queries to execute with much higher efficiency. Using Trill is similar to working with any .NET library.

Trill has the same performance for real-time and offline datasets. Trill allows users to perform advanced time-oriented analytics and also look for complex patterns over streaming datasets.

Open-sourcing Trill

Microsoft believes there Trill is the best available tool in this domain in the developer community. By open sourcing it, they want to offer the features of IStreamable abstraction to all customers.

There are opportunities for community involvement for future development of Trill. It allows users to write custom aggregates. There are also research projects built on Trill where the code is present but is not yet ready to use.

For more details on Trill, visit the Microsoft website.

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