Kafka Connect Elastic

A Connector and Sink to write events from Kafka to Elastic Search using Elastic4s client. The connector converts the value from the Kafka Connect SinkRecords to Json and uses Elastic4s’s JSON insert functionality to index.

The Sink creates an Index and Type corresponding to the topic name and uses the JSON insert functionality from Elastic4s.

The Sink supports:

  1. Auto index creation at start up.
  2. The KCQL routing querying - Topic to index mapping and Field selection.
  3. Auto mapping of the Kafka topic schema to the index.
  4. Tagging indexes with a document type.
  5. Adding index name suffixes with a data pattern.
  6. Upsert and insert records.


  • Confluent 3.3
  • Elastic Search 2.2
  • Java 1.8
  • Scala 2.11


Confluent Setup

Follow the instructions here.

Elastic Setup

Download and start Elastic search.

curl -L -O https://download.elastic.co/elasticsearch/release/org/elasticsearch/distribution/tar/elasticsearch/2.2.0/elasticsearch-2.2.0.tar.gz
tar -xvf elasticsearch-2.2.0.tar.gz
cd elasticsearch-2.2.0/bin
./elasticsearch --cluster.name elasticsearch

Sink Connector QuickStart

We you start the Confluent Platform, Kafka Connect is started in distributed mode (confluent start). In this mode a Rest Endpoint on port 8083 is exposed to accept connector configurations. We developed Command Line Interface to make interacting with the Connect Rest API easier. The CLI can be found in the Stream Reactor download under the bin folder. Alternatively the Jar can be pulled from our GitHub releases page.

Starting the Connector (Distributed)

Download, unpack and install the Stream Reactor and Confluent. Follow the instructions here if you haven’t already done so. All paths in the quickstart are based in the location you installed the Stream Reactor.

Once the Connect has started we can now use the kafka-connect-tools cli to post in our distributed properties file for Elastic. If you are using the dockers you will have to set the following environment variable to for the CLI to connect to the Rest API of Kafka Connect of your container.

export KAFKA_CONNECT_REST="http://myserver:myport"
➜  bin/connect-cli create elastic-sink < conf/elastic-sink.properties

#Connector name=`elastic-sink`
connect.elastic.kcql=INSERT INTO index_1 SELECT * FROM orders-topic
#task ids: 0

The elastic-sink.properties file defines:

  1. The name of the connector.
  2. The class containing the connector.
  3. The name of the cluster on the Elastic Search server to connect to.
  4. The max number of task allowed for this connector.
  5. The Source topic to get records from.
  6. The KCQL routing querying.

Use the Confluent CLI to view Connects logs.

# Get the logs from Connect
confluent log connect

# Follow logs from Connect
confluent log connect -f

We can use the CLI to check if the connector is up but you should be able to see this in logs as-well.

#check for running connectors with the CLI
➜ bin/connect-cli ps
[2016-05-08 20:56:52,241] INFO

    ____        __        __  ___                  __        _
   / __ \____ _/ /_____ _/  |/  /___  __  ______  / /_____ _(_)___  ___  ___  _____
  / / / / __ `/ __/ __ `/ /|_/ / __ \/ / / / __ \/ __/ __ `/ / __ \/ _ \/ _ \/ ___/
 / /_/ / /_/ / /_/ /_/ / /  / / /_/ / /_/ / / / / /_/ /_/ / / / / /  __/  __/ /
/_____/\__,_/\__/\__,_/_/  /_/\____/\__,_/_/ /_/\__/\__,_/_/_/ /_/\___/\___/_/
       ________           __  _      _____ _       __
      / ____/ /___ ______/ /_(_)____/ ___/(_)___  / /__
     / __/ / / __ `/ ___/ __/ / ___/\__ \/ / __ \/ //_/
    / /___/ / /_/ (__  ) /_/ / /__ ___/ / / / / / ,<
   /_____/_/\__,_/____/\__/_/\___//____/_/_/ /_/_/|_|

by Andrew Stevenson

[2016-05-08 20:56:52,327] INFO [Hebe] loaded [], sites [] (org.elasticsearch.plugins:149)
[2016-05-08 20:56:52,765] INFO Initialising Elastic Json writer (com.datamountaineer.streamreactor.connect.elastic.ElasticJsonWriter:31)
[2016-05-08 20:56:52,777] INFO Assigned List(test_table) topics. (com.datamountaineer.streamreactor.connect.elastic.ElasticJsonWriter:33)
[2016-05-08 20:56:52,836] INFO Sink task org.apache.kafka.connect.runtime.WorkerSinkTask@69b6b39 finished initialization and start (org.apache.kafka.connect.runtime.WorkerSinkTask:155)

Test Records

Now we need to put some records it to the test_table topics. We can use the kafka-avro-console-producer to do this.

Start the producer and pass in a schema to register in the Schema Registry. The schema has a id field of type int and a random_field of type string.

${CONFLUENT_HOME}/bin/kafka-avro-console-producer \
 --broker-list localhost:9092 --topic orders-topic \
 --property value.schema='{"type":"record","name":"myrecord","fields":[{"name":"id","type":"int"},
{"name":"random_field", "type": "string"}]}'

Now the producer is waiting for input. Paste in the following:

{"id": 999, "random_field": "foo"}
{"id": 888, "random_field": "bar"}


  1. Auto index creation at start up.
  2. Topic to index mapping.
  3. Auto mapping of the Kafka topic schema to the index.
  4. Field selection

Kafka Connect Query Language

K afka C onnect Q uery L anguage found here GitHub repo allows for routing and mapping using a SQL like syntax, consolidating typically features in to one configuration option.

The Elastic Sink supports insert/upsert, setting the document type and setting suffixes on the index with a data format:

INSERT INTO <index> SELECT <fields> FROM <source topic>
[PK field]

UPSERT INTO <index> SELECT <fields> FROM <source topic> [PK field]

WITHDOCTYPE allows you to associate a document type to the document inserted. WITHINDEXSUFFIX allows you to specify a suffix to your index and we support date format. All you have to say is ‘_suffix_{YYYY-MM-dd}’


#Insert mode, select all fields from topicA and write to indexA

#Insert mode, select 3 fields and rename from topicB and write to indexB
INSERT INTO indexB SELECT x AS a, y AS b and z AS c FROM topicB PK y

UPSERT INTO indexC SELECT id, string_field FROM topicC PK id

This is set in the connect.elastic.kcql option.

Auto Index Creation

The Sink will automatically create missing indexes at startup. The Sink use elastic4s, more details can be found here



Url of the Elastic cluster.

  • Data Type : string
  • Importance: high
  • Optional : no


Kafka connect query language expression. Allows for expressive table to topic routing, field selection and renaming.


  • Data type : string
  • Importance: high
  • Optional : no


Specifies the wait time for pushing the records to ES.

  • Data type : long
  • Importance: low
  • Optional : yes
  • Default : 300000 (5mins)


Throws the exception on write failure. Default is ‘true’

  • Data type : long
  • Importance: low
  • Optional : yes
  • Default: : true


Enables the output for how many records have been processed.

  • Type: boolean
  • Importance: medium
  • Optional: yes
  • Default : false


connect.elastic.kcql=INSERT INTO INDEX_1 SELECT field1, field2 FROM TOPIC1

Schema Evolution

Upstream changes to schemas are handled by Schema registry which will validate the addition and removal or fields, data type changes and if defaults are set. The Schema Registry enforces Avro schema evolution rules. More information can be found here.

Elastic Search is very flexible about what is inserted. All documents in Elasticsearch are stored in an index. We do not need to tell Elasticsearch in advance what an index will look like (eg what fields it will contain) as Elasticsearch will adapt the index dynamically as more documents are added, but we must at least create the index first. The Sink connector automatically creates the index at start up if it doesn’t exist.

The Elastic Search Sink will automatically index if new fields are added to the Source topic, if fields are removed the Kafka Connect framework will return the default value for this field, dependent of the compatibility settings of the Schema registry.

Deployment Guidelines

Distributed Mode

Connect, in production should be run in distributed mode.

  1. Install the Confluent Platform on each server that will form your Connect Cluster.
  2. Create a folder on the server called plugins/streamreactor/libs.
  3. Copy into the folder created in step 2 the required connector jars from the stream reactor download.
  4. Edit connect-avro-distributed.properties in the etc/schema-registry folder where you installed Confluent and uncomment the plugin.path option. Set it to the path you deployed the stream reactor connector jars in step 2.
  5. Start Connect, bin/connect-distributed etc/schema-registry/connect-avro-distributed.properties

Connect Workers are long running processes so set an init.d or systemctl service accordingly.

Connector configurations can then be push to any of the workers in the Cluster via the CLI or curl, if using the CLI remember to set the location of the Connect worker you are pushing to as it defaults to localhost.

export KAFKA_CONNECT_REST="http://myserver:myport"


Helm Charts are provided at our repo, add the repo to your Helm instance and install. We recommend using the Landscaper to manage Helm Values since typically each Connector instance has it’s own deployment.

Add the Helm charts to your Helm instance:

helm repo add datamountaineer https://datamountaineer.github.io/helm-charts/


Please review the FAQs and join our slack channel.