Child pages
  • Connect Transforms - Proposed Design
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Java API


A transformation chain will be configured at the connector-level. The order of transformations is defined by the transforms config which represents a list of aliases.

An alias in transforms implies that some additional keys are configurable:

  • transforms.$alias.type – fully qualified class name for the transformation
  • transforms.$alias.* – all other keys as defined in Transformation.config() are embedded with this prefix




For source connectors, transformations are applied on results from SourceTask.poll().

For sink connectors, transformations are applied on the SinkRecord before being provided to SinkTask.put().

If the result of any Transformation.apply() in a chain is null, that record is discarded (not written to Kafka in the case of a source connector, or not provided to sink connector). 

 SourceTask.poll()        →        Transformation.apply()*        →?        Converter.fromConnectData()        →        Kafka
 Kafka        →        Converter.toConnectData()        →        Transformation.apply()*        →       SinkTask.put()



  • Backwards compatible - no breaking change in the current APIs is required. Transformation is an additional layer at the edge of record exchange between the framework and connectors.
  • Pluggable - initialized and configured somewhat similarly to Converter
  • Stackable - can be chained in a defined order
  • Fairly flexible - within the constraints of the TransformableRecord API and 1:{0,1} mapping
    • Any kind of filtering, renaming, masking operations on the data, adding fields, etc.
    • Filtering of records from the stream.
    • Routing for both source and sink - sink connectors can also just operate on the TransformableRecord.topic since the target 'bucket' (table, index, etc.) in always a function of that.
    • For any transformation that requires access to certain fields not exposed on the TransformableRecord i.e. {SourceRecord,SinkRecord}.kafkaPartitionSinkRecord.kafkaOffset, or SinkRecord.timestampType – it can set the R type parameter to specifically be SourceRecord and SinkRecord and use the relevant constructors instead of newRecord(). It can also just cast internally if an optional functionality requires access to such a field.

Example transformations

List of example transformations to demonstrate broad applicability - not in any particular order, and some more thought-through than others. We may want to include some of these with Connect itself to provide some useful out-of-the-box functionality and encourage standard ways to perform these transformations.

  • Mask
    • Masks primitive fields: obscure sensitive info like credit card numbers.
    • Configure with list of fields to randomize or clobber.
  • Flatten
    • Flatten nested Structs inside a top-level Struct, omitting all other non-primitive fields. Useful for connectors that can only deal with flat Structs like Confluent's JDBC Sink.
    • Configure with delimiter to use when flattening field names.
  • Replace
    • Filter and rename fields. Useful for lightweight data munging.
    • Configure with whitelist and/or blacklist, map of fields to rename.
  • NumericCasts
    • Casting of numeric field to some numeric type, useful in conjunction with source connectors that don't have enough information.
    • Configure with map of field to type (i.e. boolean, int8, int16, int32, int64, float32, float64).
  • TimestampRouter
    • Useful for temporal data e.g. application log data being indexed to Elasticsearch with a sink connector can be routed to a daily index.
    • Configure with SimpleDateFormat-compatible timestamp format string, and a format string for the renamed topic that can have placeholders for original topic and the timestamp.
  • Insert
    • Allow inserting into a top-level Struct record-level fields like the topicpartition, offset, timestamp. Can also allow a UUID field to be inserted.
    • Configure with names for desired fields.
  • RegexRouter
    • Regex-based routing. There are too many inconsistent configs to route in different connectors.
    • Configure with matcher regex and replacement that can contain capture references.
  • TimestampConverter
    • Timestamps are represented in a ton of different ways; provide a transformation from going between strings, epoch times as longs, and Connect date/time types.
    • Configure with field name and desired type.
  • HoistToStruct
    • Wrap data in a Struct.
    • Configure with schema name for the Struct schema and field name to insert the original data as.
  • ExtractFromStruct
    • Extract a specific field from a Struct.
    • Configure with field name.
  • ValueToKey
    • Useful when a source connector does not populate the SourceRecord key but only the value with a Struct. 
    • Configure with list of field names to hoist into the record key as a primitive (single field ) / Struct (multiple fields), and a flag to force wrapping in a Struct even when it is a single field.

Patterns for data transformations

  • Data transformations could be applicable to the key or the value of the record. We could have *Key and *Value variants for these transformations that reuse the common functionality.
  • Some common utilities for data transformations will probably shape up:
    • Cache the changes they make to Schema objects, possibly only preserving last-seen one as the likelihood of source data Schema changing is low.
    • Copying of Schema objects with the possible exclusion of some fields, which they are modifying.
    • Likewise, copying of Struct object to another Struct having a different Schema with the exception of some fields, which they are modifying.
    • Where fields are being added and a field name specified in configuration, we may want a consistent way to convey if it should be created as an optional field. E.g. a leading '?' character.
  • Where field names are expected, we may want to allow for getting at nested fields by allowing a dotted syntax which is common in such usage (and accordingly, will need some reusable utilities around accessing a field that may be nested). Also implies actual dots in field names will need escaping.
  • No labels