Kafka Relations

The Kafak relation is provided via the flowman-kafka plugin. It allows you to access Kafka topics both in batch and in stream processing, both as sources and as sinks


This relation type is provided as part of the flowman-kafka plugin, which needs to be enabled in your namespace.yml file. See namespace documentation for more information for configuring plugins.


    kind: kafka
      - kafka-01
      - kafka-02
      - topic_a
      - topic_b_.*
    startOffset: earliest
    endOffset: latest


  • kind (mandatory) (type: string): kafka
  • options (optional) (map:string) (default: empty): All options are passed directly to the reader/writer backend and are specific to each supported format.
  • schema (optional) (type: schema) (default: empty): Explicitly specifies the schema of the JDBC source. Alternatively Flowman will automatically try to infer the schema.
  • description (optional) (type: string) (default: empty): A description of the relation. This is purely for informational purpose.
  • hosts (required) (type: list) (default: empty): List of Kafka bootstrap servers to contact. This list does not need to be exhaustive, Flowman will automatically find all other Kafka brokers of the Kafka cluster
  • topics (required) (type: list) (default: empty): List of Kafka topics. When reading, a topic may be specified as a regular expression for subscribing to multiple topics. Writing only supports a single topic, and this may also not be a regular expression.
  • startOffset (optional) (type: string) (default: earliest): Flowman will only process messages starting from this offset. When you want to process all data available in Kafka, you need to set this value to earliest (which is also the default).
  • endOffset (optional) (type: string) (default: latest): When reading from Kafka using batch processing, you can specify the latest offset to process. Per default this is set to latest which means that messages including the latest one will be processed

Output Modes

Batch Writing

The kafa relation supports the following output modes in a relation target:

Output Mode Supported Comments
errorIfExists yes Throw an error if the Kafka topic already exists
ignoreIfExists yes Do nothing if the Kafka topic already exists
overwrite no -
overwrite_dynamic no -
append yes Append new records to the existing Kafka topic
update no -

Stream Writing

In addition to batch writing, the Kafka relation also supports stream writing via the stream target with the following semantics:

Output Mode Supported Comments
append yes Append new records from the streaming process once they don't change any more
update yes Append records every time they are updated
complete no -