ReThink Source

Download connector ReThinkDB Connector for Kafka 1.0 ReThinkDB Connector for Kafka 0.11

A Kafka Connector and Source to write events from ReThinkDB to Kafka. The connector subscribes to change feeds on tables and streams the records to Kafka.


  • Apache Kafka 0.11.x or above
  • Kafka Connect 0.11.x or above
  • RethinkDB 2.3.3 or above
  • Java 1.8


  1. The KCQL routing querying - Table to topic routing
  2. Initialization (Read feed from start) via KCQL
  3. ReThinkDB type (add, delete, update). The feed a change data capture of mutations
  4. ReThinkDB initial states

KCQL Support

INSERT INTO kafka_topic SELECT * FROM rethink_table [INITIALIZE] [BATCH ...]


You can specify multiple KCQL statements separated by ; to have a the connector sink multiple topics.

The ReThinkDB source supports KCQL, Kafka Connect Query Language. The following support KCQL is available:

  1. Selection of RethinkDB tables to listen for change on
  2. Selection of the target topic in Kafka
  3. Whether to initialize the feed from the start
  4. Setting the batch size of the feed.


-- Insert into Kafka the change feed from tableA

-- Insert into topicA the change feed from tableA, read from start

-- Insert into topicA the change feed from tableA, read from start, read from start and batch 100 rows to send to kafka

Lenses QuickStart

The easiest way to try out this is using Lenses Box the pre-configured docker, that comes with this connector pre-installed. You would need to Connectors –> New Connector –> Source –> Rethink and paste your configuration


Rethink Setup

Download and install RethinkDb. Follow the instruction here dependent on your operating system.

Installing the Connector

Connect, in production should be run in distributed mode

  1. Install and configure a Kafka Connect cluster
  2. Create a folder on each server called plugins/lib
  3. Copy into the above folder the required connector jars from the stream reactor download
  4. Edit in the etc/schema-registry folder and uncomment the plugin.path option. Set it to the root directory i.e. plugins you deployed the stream reactor connector jars in step 2.
  5. Start Connect, bin/connect-distributed etc/schema-registry/

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

Sink Connector QuickStart

Start Kafka Connect in distributed mode (see install). 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, and install Stream Reactor. Follow the instructions here if you haven’t already done so. All paths in the quickstart are based on 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 ReThinkDB. For the CLI to work including when using the dockers you will have to set the following environment variable to point the Kafka Connect Rest API.

export KAFKA_CONNECT_REST="http://myserver:myport"
➜  bin/connect-cli create rethink-source < conf/

connect.rethink.kcql=INSERT INTO rethink-topic SELECT * FROM source-test

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

 By Andrew Stevenson (com.datamountaineer.streamreactor.connect.rethink.source.ReThinkSourceTask:48)

Test Records

Go to the ReThink Admin console http://localhost:8080/#tables and add a database called test and table called source-test. Then on the Data Explorer tab insert the following and hit run to insert the record into the table.

    { name: "datamountaineers-rule", tv_show: "Battlestar Galactica",
      posts: [
        {title: "Decommissioning speech3", content: "The Cylon War is long over..."},
        {title: "We are at war", content: "Moments ago, this ship received word..."},
        {title: "The new Earth", content: "The discoveries of the past few days..."}

Check for records in Kafka

Check for records in Kafka with the console consumer.

➜  bin/kafka-avro-console-consumer \
   --zookeeper localhost:2181 \
   --topic rethink-topic \

   {"state":null,"old_val":null,"new_val":{"string":"{tv_show=Battlestar Galactica, name=datamountaineers-rule, id=ec9d337e-ee07-4128-a830-22e4f055ce64, posts=[{title=Decommissioning speech3, content=The Cylon War is long over...}, {title=We are at war, content=Moments ago, this ship received word...}, {title=The new Earth, content=The discoveries of the past few days...}]}"},"type":{"string":"add"}}

Record Schema

The connectors subscribes to change feeds, theses feed provide a new and old value. The connector constructs the following schema for this feed:

Name Description Type
The changefeed stream will include
special status documents consisting of the
field state and a string indicating a change
in the feed’s state.
{:state => ‘initializing’} indicates the following
documents represent initial values on the feed rather than changes.
This will be the first document of a feed that returns initial values.
{:state => ‘ready’} indicates the following documents represent changes.
This will be the first document of a feed that does not return initial values;
otherwise, it will indicate the initial values have all been sent
optional string
oldVal The old value before the mutation optional string
newVal The new value record after the mutation optional string
Mutation type
add: a new value added to the result set.
remove: an old value removed from the result set.
change: an existing value changed in the result set.
initial: an initial value notification.
uninitial: an uninitial value notification.
state: a status document from include_states
optional string


The Kafka Connect framework requires the following in addition to any connectors specific configurations:

Config Description Type Value
name Name of the connector string  
tasks.max The number of tasks to scale output int 1
connector.class Name of the connector class string com.datamountaineer.streamreactor.connect.rethink.source.ReThinkSourceConnector

Connector Configurations

Config Description Type
Kafka connect query language expression. Allows for expressive topic to table
routing, field selection and renaming. Fields to be used as the row key
can be set by specifying the PK
string Specifies the rethink server host string

Optional Configurations

Config Description Type
connect.rethink.port Specifies the rethink server port number. Default: 28015 int
connect.rethink.db Specifies the rethink database to connect to. Default: connect_rethink_sink string
connect.rethink.batch.size The number of records to drain from the internal queue on each poll. Default : 1000 int
The number of milliseconds to wait before flushing the received messages to Kafka.
The records will be flushed if the batch size is reached before the linger
period has expired. Default : 5000
Certificate file to connect to a TLS enabled ReThink cluster. Cannot be
used in conjunction with username/password. connect.rethink.auth.key must also be set
Authentication key to connect to a TLS enabled ReThink cluster. Cannot be
used in conjunction with username/password. connect.rethink.cert.file must be set
connect.rethink.username Username to connect to ReThink with string
connect.rethink.password Password to connect to ReThink with string
connect.rethink.ssl.enabled Enables SSL communication against an SSL enabled Rethink cluster boolean Password for truststore string Path to truststore string Password for key store string
connect.rethink.ssl.client.cert.auth Path to keystore string
connect.progress.enabled Enables the output for how many records have been processed. Default : false boolean


connect.rethink.kcql=INSERT INTO rethink-topic SELECT * FROM source-test

Schema Evolution

The schema is fixed. The following schema is used:

Name Type Optional
state string yes
new_val string yes
old_val string yes
type string yes


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 its own deployment.

Add the Helm charts to your Helm instance:

helm repo add landoop


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