Kafka Connect, an open source component of Apache Kafka®, is a framework for connecting Kafka with external systems such as databases, key-value stores, search indexes, and file systems. The information provided here is specific to Kafka Connect for Confluent Platform. For information about Connect on Confluent Cloud, see Connect External Systems to Confluent Cloud.
Confluent Cloud offers pre-built, fully managed, Kafka connectors that make it easy to instantly connect to popular data sources and sinks. With a simple GUI-based configuration and elastic scaling with no infrastructure to manage, Confluent Cloud connectors make moving data in and out of Kafka an effortless task, giving you more time to focus on application development. For information about Confluent Cloud connectors, see Connect External Systems to Confluent Cloud.
The benefits of Kafka Connect for Confluent Platform include:
- Data Centric Pipeline – Connect uses meaningful data abstractions to pull or push data to Kafka.
- Flexibility and Scalability – Connect runs with streaming and batch-oriented systems on a single node (standalone) or scaled to an organization-wide service (distributed).
- Reusability and Extensibility – Connect leverages existing connectors or extends them to tailor to your needs and provides lower time to production.
Kafka Connect is focused on streaming data to and from Kafka, making it simpler for you to write high quality, reliable, and high performance connector plugins. Kafka Connect also enables the framework to make guarantees that are difficult to achieve using other frameworks. Kafka Connect is an integral component of an ETL pipeline, when combined with Kafka and a stream processing framework.
You can deploy Kafka Connect as a standalone process that runs jobs on a single machine (for example, log collection), or as a distributed, scalable, fault-tolerant service supporting an entire organization. Kafka Connect provides a low barrier to entry and low operational overhead. You can start small with a standalone environment for development and testing, and then scale up to a full production environment to support a large organization’s data pipeline.
Kafka Connect includes two types of connectors:
- Source connector – Ingests entire databases and streams table updates to Kafka topics. A source connector can also collect metrics from all your application servers and store these in Kafka topics, making the data available for stream processing with low latency.
- Sink connector – Delivers data from Kafka topics into secondary indexes such as Elasticsearch, or batch systems such as Hadoop for offline analysis.
For a deeper dive into the benefits of using Kafka Connect, listen to Why Kafka Connect? featuring Robin Moffatt.
To deploy Kafka Connect in your environment, see How to use Kafka Connect - Getting Started.