What is Airflow? Discover the Pros and Cons

airflow coding

If you run a business, there are many things that you should consider when it comes to the analysis of how to optimize it best.

Having a workflow management system is one of the key ingredients to success. Data engineers or scientists would be responsible for managing this all day. They would most likely use Apache Airflow, a helpful software tool to manage data collation, sorting, and so on.

However, there are many segment alternatives available that can equally help with the outputs of your business—but in a much more attainable and realistic way that prevents human error and can maximize the outputs of operations for a business.

So this is why it is first essential to understand what airflow is, the pros and cons to consider, and then other alternatives to compare it.

Defining Airflow

There are many strengths in analyzing the offerings that airflow can give you as an organization.

Here are the top ones to consider.

The Community of Airflow

First and foremost, one of the largest strengths has always been in their community. Not only are there so many people using Airflow who are willing to share their strengths and expertise, but they would always be there to help you whenever needed.

If you ever need to troubleshoot or problem solves, the airflow community is reliable and there for you all the time.

The Belief in Airflow

Another necessary strength is that the top companies have invested in Airflow, meaning there is financial backing and support to continue furthering the offerings they can provide to you. This includes the likes of Google, Astronomer, Polidea, and GoDataDrivenn. So if the top dogs believe in it, should you.

Makes Coding Easy

Another essential thing to remember is that Airflow makes working in code easier than ever. You can personalize your operational workflows through Python code and make it work logically and effectively as you need it to.

Extensive Operator Options

Another benefit is that a wide range of operators is available in Airflow. This means that you can find the connectors for your external systems and templates to support your data needs. The connectors may be the most crucial benefit.

The Weaknesses of Airflow

While there are so many benefits to Airflow, it does have some weaknesses to consider and note before you invest in it. Don’t get us wrong, it is an excellent product for data engineering. But there are some areas where it may just not be able to help your business in the way you need it to.

No Data Pipeline Versions

Having a version control system for your data is essential, especially when accessing registries. It is a fundamental feature that, surprisingly, Airflow doesn’t offer. If something gets deleted from the code, the metadata will be deleted. Meaning it’s gone forever and can cause real issues.

Not User Friendly

Once you figure out how to use Airflow, it is excellent! But getting to that point is super challenging. It can take a ton of time, energy, and resources to teach your team how to use the offerings Airflow is designed to provide. In addition, if you have data engineers on your team who are not well versed in Airflow, it could provide them with some major headaches. And you will need to factor in their onboarding time for mastering this.

The Set-Up is Hard

Airflow compared to alternative options is complex. You need to do a lot of behind-the-scenes manual work to come together. You will likely need external support hired to set up Airflow for your organization—such as an external consultant. Or you can take a deep breath and be prepared to get frustrated.


Overall, Airflow may work for some organizations, especially if you have team members who are highly proficient in it. But overall, you will want to consider if this is the best option for you, with so many alternatives that are equally going to offer the same data and how you can optimize your meetings.

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