Message Browser

From the Messages page, you can view the data being produced to a topic. Browse message data, seek to a specific offset or timestamp by partition, and select messages you want to download.

Prerequisites

There must be data being produced to or already present in a topic. If you don’t already have data flowing through the topic, you can use the built-in CLI quick start guide, the Quick Start for Apache Kafka using Confluent Cloud, or the built-in produce new message to topic feature to populate the Messages window. You can replay old data that was already produced as long as it hasn’t been compacted or deleted yet.

Tip

When you first add a cloud cluster, the CLI page appears. The CLI page contains commands to install the Confluent Cloud CLI and get started using the Confluent Cloud CLI. For more information, see Install the Confluent Cloud CLI.

Inspect a topic

The Topic Inspection feature in Confluent Cloud enables you to inspect topic details and browse live streaming messages.

To browse a live stream of messages and inspect a topic:

  1. If you have more than one environment, select an environment.

  2. Select a cluster from the navigation bar and click the Topics menu. The Topics page appears.

    Topics page Confluent Cloud
  3. In the Topics table, click the topic name link.

  4. Click the Messages tab. The Messages page displays incoming streaming messages for the topic.

  5. To browse the messages pane:

    • Click the horizontal (tabular view) and vertical scrollbars to view all of the available data. The newest data is displayed at the top of the messages pane. As you scroll vertically, or hover in the messages pane, a timeline arrow indicates when the messages were received.
    Browse topic messages in default tabular view

    Browse topic messages in default tabular view

    • To pause scrolling incoming messages so that you can analyze the data, click the pause icon. Messages may still be produced to the topic; however, the message browser does not display newly consumed data while the view is paused. Click the play icon to resume displaying incoming messages. Clicking the cards view expand icon automatically pauses the display of incoming messages.

      pause and play icons

      Note

      Hovering over the messages pane also holds your place for a quick glance at data. Moving the cursor focus outside of the messages pane resumes the incoming flow of messages.

    • To filter the results, enter the criteria in the Filter by keyword box.

      Search topic messages by keyword

      Prefix search for topic messages by keyword of value

      Note

      Only prefix searching is currently supported. You can search for the beginning portion of a keyword. The search keyword must be the first substring in a column item. The filter matches the search string across any of the columns.

    • Seek to a particular message using Jump to offset, Jump to time, or Jump to timestamp.

      Jump menu options in Confluent Cloud topic message browser
    • Click Columns to select which columns you want to toggle on or off in the topic messages table. There must be populated message data for the Columns selector to appear. Narrow the view to focus on the columns of interest without resorting to horizontal scrolling. If you jump to an offset or timestamp, the table resets to show all columns again. The Columns selector is not available in the cards view; it is only applicable to the table view.

      Column selector topic messages view

      Column selector topic messages view

    • Click the cards or table (default) icon for the layout view you prefer:

      cards or table view icons
      Browse topic messages in cards view

      Browse topic messages in cards view

    • Click the expand icon E in the cards view to access the contents of the message. Click the Value, Header, or Key tab. Expanding the card view for a message automatically pauses the display of incoming data. Clicking the play icon collapses any expanded cards and resumes displaying the incoming data.

      Expanded card topic message

      Expanded topic message card

Produce a new message to a topic

You can manually produce a new message to a topic using the built-in produce new message to topic window.

  1. Click the + sign to expand the window.

    Open window for produce a new topic message inline feature
  2. Enter a valid JSON message in the input box.

    Produce a new topic message inline feature
  3. Click Produce. The message is generated and the messages table becomes populated with your entry.

    Produced new topic message inline feature

Jump to an offset

To jump to a message offset, click the Jump to offset menu and enter the offset and partition. Messages are displayed in the message browser pane starting from the desired offset, and continue to feed in at the top of the message browser pane unless the message feed is paused (or you are manually producing messages to a topic).

The record at the offset is highlighted and preselected for download.

Jump to an offset in Confluent Cloud topic message browser

Jump to an offset in Confluent Cloud topic message browser

Jump to a date and time

Seeking to a specified time jumps to the earliest offset where the timestamp was first recorded. Even if there are multiple data points associated with a timestamp, the seek goes to the earliest offset. Messages are displayed in the message browser pane starting from the desired time, and continue to feed in at the top of the message browser pane unless the message feed is paused (or you are manually ).

To jump to a specific date and time:

  1. Click the Jump to time menu.

    Jump to time menu topic message browser
  2. Click the default current date and time box to open a calendar.

    Jump to a human-readable date and time in Confluent Cloud topic message browser
  3. Select a partition.

    Tip

    You must select a partition before trying to adjust the time or apply the new date and time.

    Choose a partition for jump to specific date and time
  4. Click a calendar date. Use the arrows to go forward or back and select a month and day.

  5. Click the time box to adjust the time in hours, minutes, seconds, and AM or PM.

    Jump to custom date/time topic message browser
  6. Click Apply.

Jump to a timestamp

To jump to a message timestamp, click the Jump to timestamp menu and enter the timestamp and partition.

The timestamp is displayed in microseconds. Enter your time of interest in milliseconds into the timestamp box and select a partition.

Tip

Use a timestamp converter to convert the timestamp into a human-readable date and time.

Seeking to a specified time jumps to the earliest offset where the timestamp was first recorded. Even if there are multiple data points associated with a timestamp, the seek goes to the earliest offset. Messages are displayed in the message browser pane starting from the desired time, and continue to feed in at the top of the message browser pane unless the message feed is paused (or you are manually ).

Jump to a timestamp in Confluent Cloud topic message browser

Jump to a timestamp in Control Cloud topic message browser

Download selected topic messages

Download selected rows of messages in a JSON format. When you jump to an offset, date/time, or timestamp, the record at the offset is highlighted and preselected for download.

  1. Select one or more contiguous or non-contiguous rows. The Download button becomes available and shows the number of selected messages.

    Tip

    Press the command key + click to select non-contiguous rows. Press shift + click on a beginning and ending row to select a contiguous range of messages.

    Select contiguous rows to download messages in Confluent Cloud message browser

    Contiguous rows selected for download

    Select non-contiguous rows to download messages in Confluent Cloud message browser

    Non-contiguous rows selected for download

  2. Click the download icon. A file named selected_data_n.json that contains the selected messages in JSON format is downloaded into your downloads directory. The n represents the number of selected messages.

    Example filename: selected_data_1.json

    Example contents:

    [{"topic":"test-topic","partition":2,"offset":7,"timestamp":1570216529854,"timestampType":"CREATE_TIME","headers":[],"key":null,"value":"transaction123"}]