Posts Tagged ‘kafka’

Connecting App Connect Enterprise to Event Streams

Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Configuring IBM App Connect Enterprise to produce or consume messages from Kafka topics in IBM Event Streams requires careful configuration. In this post, I’ll share the steps I use that help me to avoid missing any required values.

To illustrate this, I’ll create a simple App Connect flow that implements a REST API, where any data I POST to the REST API is sent to a Kafka topic.

The key to getting this to work correctly first time is to make sure that values are accurately copied from Event Streams to App Connect.

To help with this, I use a grid like the one below.

The instructions in this post start with Event Streams, and explain how to populate the grid with the information you need.

Then the instructions will switch to App Connect, and explain how to use the values in the grid to set up your App Connect flow.

What this is Values you will see in my screenshots Your value
A Topic name
B Bootstrap address



C SASL mechanism
D SASL config required;
E Security protocol




F Certificate
G Certificate password
H Username
I Password
J Policy project name
K Policy name
L Security identity name
M Truststore identity name


Event Endpoint Management “demo in a box”

Friday, December 17th, 2021

In this post, I’ll share how you can get your own Event Endpoint Management demo instance with just seven minutes of work.

(Seven minutes of hands-on-keyboard time… there is a lot of waiting-for-stuff-to-run time, but it doesn’t sound so impressive if I include waiting time!)


Taking your first step towards an event-driven architecture

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

In this post, I want to suggest some approaches for introducing event-driven architecture patterns into your existing application environment. I’ll demonstrate how you can incrementally adopt Apache Kafka without needing to immediately build new applications or rebuild your existing applications, and show how this can be delivered in Red Hat OpenShift.


Describing Kafka security in AsyncAPI

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

As part of AsyncAPI Conference this week, I ran a session on how to describe Kafka security in AsyncAPI.

The aim of the session was to quickly show how to describe the security configuration of a Kafka cluster in an AsyncAPI document.

And, in reverse, if you’ve been given an AsyncAPI document, to show how to use that to configure a Kafka client or application to connect to the cluster, using the details in the AsyncAPI spec.

The recording and the slides I used are below.

slides on Slideshare

Processing Apache Avro-serialized Kafka messages with IBM App Connect Enterprise

Monday, October 25th, 2021

IBM App Connect Enterprise (ACE) is a broker for developing and hosting high-throughput, high-scale integrations between a large number of applications and systems, including Apache Kafka.

In this post, I’ll describe how to use App Connect Enterprise to process Kafka messages that were serialized to a stream of bytes using Apache Avro schemas.



Best practice when using Apache Kafka is to define Apache Avro schemas with a definition of the structure of your Kafka messages.

(For more detail about this, see my last post on From bytes to objects: describing Kafka events, or the intro to Avro that I wrote a couple of years ago.)

In this post, I’m assuming that you have embraced Avro, and you have Kafka topics with messages that were serialized using Avro schemas.

Perhaps you used a Java producer with an Avro SerDe that handled the serialization automatically for you.

Or your messages are coming from a Kafka Connect source connector, with an Avro converter that is handling the serialization for you.

Or you are doing the serialization yourself, such as if you’re producing Avro-serialized messages from a Python app.

Now you want to use IBM App Connect Enterprise to develop and host integrations for processing those Kafka messages. But you need App Connect to know how to:

  • retrieve the Avro schemas it needs
  • use the schemas to turn the binary stream of bytes on your Kafka topics into structured objects that are easy for ACE to manipulate and process


From bytes to objects: describing Kafka events

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

The recording of the talk that Kate Stanley and I gave at Kafka Summit Americas is now available.

Events stored in Kafka are just bytes, this is one of the reasons Kafka is so flexible. But when developing a producer or consumer you want objects, not bytes. Documenting and defining events provides a common way to discuss and agree on an approach to using Kafka. It also informs developers how to consume events without needing access to the developers responsible for producing events.

In our talk, we introduced the most popular formats for documenting events that flow through Kafka, such as AsyncAPI, Avro, CloudEvents, JSON schemas, and Protobuf.

We discussed the differences between the approaches and how to decide on a documentation strategy. Alongside the formats, we also touched on the tooling available for the different approaches. Tools for testing and code generation can make a big difference to your day-to-day developer experience.

The talk was aimed at developers who maybe aren’t already documenting their Kafka events or who wanted to see other approaches.

watch the recording on the Kafka Summit website


Stock price events for Kafka

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

I’ve made a Kafka Connect source connector for sending “real-time” (not really) stock price events to a Kafka topic.

Choose your stock (e.g. “IBM“) and run the Connector pointed at your topic, and every minute a JSON event will be produced like:

{"open":137.9,"high":137.9,"low":137.9,"close":137.9,"volume":500,"timestamp":1629421200,"datetime":"2021-08-19 20:00:00"}


Describing Kafka security in AsyncAPI

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

The new version of AsyncAPI, 2.1.0, was released today. One of the updates is that it lets you describe Kafka security mechanisms and protocols. In this post, I’ll show how you can do this, and how it relates to configuring a Kafka client.

Kafka config means AsyncAPI
sasl.mechanism security.protocol encryption? auth? server protocol security scheme type
unset PLAINTEXT no no kafka
PLAIN SASL_PLAINTEXT no yes, using SASL/PLAIN kafka plain
SCRAM-SHA-256 SASL_PLAINTEXT no yes, using SASL/SCRAM kafka scramSha256
SCRAM-SHA-512 SASL_PLAINTEXT no yes, using SASL/SCRAM kafka scramSha512
OAUTHBEARER SASL_PLAINTEXT no yes, using OAuth kafka oauth2
GSSAPI SASL_PLAINTEXT no yes, using GSSAPI kafka gssapi
unset SSL yes no kafka-secure
PLAIN SASL_SSL yes yes, using SASL/PLAIN kafka-secure plain
SCRAM-SHA-256 SASL_SSL yes yes, using SASL/SCRAM kafka-secure scramSha256
SCRAM-SHA-512 SASL_SSL yes yes, using SASL/SCRAM kafka-secure scramSha512
OAUTHBEARER SASL_SSL yes yes, using OAuth kafka-secure oauth2
GSSAPI SASL_SSL yes yes, using GSSAPI kafka-secure gssapi
unset SSL yes yes, using mutual TLS kafka-secure X509