XAP Integration with Kafka

Author XAP Version Last Updated Reference Download
Oleksiy Dyagilev 9.6 February 2014 Apache Kafka Kafka integration


Apache Kafka is a distributed publish-subscribe messaging system. It is designed to support persistent messaging with a O(1) disk structures that provides constant time performance even with many TB of stored messages. Apache Kafka provides High-throughput even with very modest hardware, Kafka can support hundreds of thousands of messages per second. Apache Kafka supports partitioning the messages over Kafka servers and distributing consumption over a cluster of consumer machines while maintaining per-partition ordering semantics. Many times Apache Kafka is used to perform parallel data load into Hadoop.

This pattern integrates GigaSpaces with Apache Kafka. GigaSpaces’ write-behind IMDG operations to Kafka making it available for the subscribers. Such could be Hadoop or other data warehousing systems using the data for reporting and processing.

XAP Kafka Integration Architecture

The XAP Kafka integration is done via the SpaceSynchronizationEndpoint interface deployed as a Mirror service PU. It consumes a batch of IMDG operations, converts them to custom Kafka messages and sends these to the Kafka server using the Kafka Producer API.


GigaSpace-Kafka protocol is simple and represents the data and its IMDG operation. The message consists of the IMDG operation type (Write, Update , remove, etc.) and the actual data object. The Data object itself could be represented either as a single object or as a Space Document with key/values pairs (SpaceDocument). Since a Kafka message is sent over the wire, it should be serialized to bytes in some way. The default encoder utilizes Java serialization mechanism which implies Space classes (domain model) to be Serializable.

By default Kafka messages are uniformly distributed across Kafka partitions. Please note, even though IMDG operations appear ordered in SpaceSynchronizationEndpoint, it doesn’t imply correct ordering of data processing in Kafka consumers. See below diagram:


Getting started

Download the Kafka Example

You can download the example code from here. Unzip into an empty folder.

The example located under <project_root>/example. It demonstrates how to configure Kafka persistence and implements a simple Kafka consumer pulling data from Kafka and store in HsqlDB.

Running the Example

In order to run an example, please follow the instruction below:

Step 1: Install Kafka

Step 2: Start Zookeeper and Kafka server
bin/zookeeper-server-start.sh config/zookeeper.properties
bin/kafka-server-start.sh config/server.properties

Step 3: Build project

cd <project_root>
mvn clean install

Step 4: Deploy example to GigaSpaces

cd example
mvn os:deploy

Step 5: Check GigaSpaces log files, there should be messages from the Feeder and Consumer.


Library Dependency

The following maven dependency needs to be included in your project in order to use Kafka persistence. This artifact is built from <project_rood>/kafka-persistence source directory.


Processing Unit

Here is an example of the Kafka Processing Unit configuration:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
       xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.1.xsd
       http://www.openspaces.org/schema/core http://www.openspaces.org/schema/9.1/core/openspaces-core.xsd">

        Spring property configurer which allows us to use system properties (such as user.name).
    <bean id="propertiesConfigurer" class="org.springframework.beans.factory.config.PropertyPlaceholderConfigurer"/>

        Enables the usage of @GigaSpaceContext annotation based injection.

        A bean representing a space (an IJSpace implementation).
    <os-core:space id="space" url="/./space" schema="default" mirror="true">
        <os-core:space-type type-name="Product">
            <os-core:id property="CatalogNumber"/>
            <os-core:basic-index path="Name"/>
            <os-core:extended-index path="Price"/>

        OpenSpaces simplified space API built on top of IJSpace/JavaSpace.
    <os-core:giga-space id="gigaSpace" space="space" />

Mirror service

Here is an example of the Kafka Space Synchronization Endpoint configuration:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
       xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.1.xsd
       http://www.openspaces.org/schema/core http://www.openspaces.org/schema/9.1/core/openspaces-core.xsd
       http://www.openspaces.org/schema/events http://www.openspaces.org/schema/9.1/events/openspaces-events.xsd
       http://www.openspaces.org/schema/remoting http://www.openspaces.org/schema/9.1/remoting/openspaces-remoting.xsd
       http://www.openspaces.org/schema/sla http://www.openspaces.org/schema/sla/9.1/openspaces-sla.xsd">

    <bean id="propertiesConfigurer" class="org.springframework.beans.factory.config.PropertyPlaceholderConfigurer">
        <property name="locations">

    <bean id="kafkaSpaceSynchronizationEndpoint" class="com.epam.openspaces.persistency.kafka.KafkaSpaceSynchronizationEndpointFactoryBean">
        <property name="producerProperties">
                <!-- Kafka producer properties. Consult Kafka documentation for a list of available properties -->
                <prop key="metadata.broker.list">${metadata.broker.list}</prop>
                <prop key="request.required.acks">${request.required.acks}</prop>

        The mirror space. Uses the Kafka external data source. Persists changes done on the Space that
        connects to this mirror space into the Kafka.
    <os-core:mirror id="mirror" url="/./mirror-service" space-sync-endpoint="kafkaSpaceSynchronizationEndpoint" operation-grouping="group-by-replication-bulk">
        <os-core:source-space name="space" partitions="2" backups="1"/>

See also:

For more information on the Mirror service see asynchronous persistence

Producer Properties

Please consult Kafka documentation for the full list of available producer properties. The default properties applied to Kafka producer are the following:

Property Default value Description
key.serializer.class com.epam.openspaces.persistency.kafka.
Message key serializer of default Gigaspace-Kafka protocol
serializer.class com.epam.openspaces.persistency.kafka.
Message serializer of default Gigaspace-Kafka protocol

You can override the default properties if there is a need to customize GigaSpace-Kafka protocol. See Customization section below for details.

Space class

In order to associate a Kafka topic with the domain model class, the class needs to be annotated with the @KafkaTopic annotation and declared as Serializable. Here is an example

public class UserActivity implements Serializable {

Space Documents

To configure a Kafka topic for a SpaceDocuments or Extended SpaceDocument, the property KafkaPersistenceConstants.SPACE_DOCUMENT_KAFKA_TOPIC_PROPERTY_NAME should be added to document. Here is an example

public class Product extends SpaceDocument {

public Product() {
    super.setProperty(SPACE_DOCUMENT_KAFKA_TOPIC_PROPERTY_NAME, "product");

It’s also possible to configure the name of the property which defines the Kafka topic for SpaceDocuments. Set spaceDocumentKafkaTopicName to the desired value as shown below.

<bean id="kafkaSpaceSynchronizationEndpoint" class="com.epam.openspaces.persistency.kafka.KafkaSpaceSynchrspaceDocumentKafkaTopicNameonizationEndpointFactoryBean">
    <property name="spaceDocumentKafkaTopicName" value="topic_name" />

Kafka consumers

The Kafka persistence library provides a wrapper around the native Kafka Consumer API for the GigaSpace-Kafka protocol serialization. Please see com.epam.openspaces.persistency.kafka.consumer.KafkaConsumer, example of how to use it under <project_root>/example module.


  • Kafka persistence was designed to be extensible and customizable.
  • If you need to create a custom protocol between GigaSpace and Kafka, provide an implementation of AbstractKafkaMessage, AbstractKafkaMessageKey, AbstractKafkaMessageFactory.
  • If you would like to customize how data grid operations are sent to Kafka or how the Kafka topic is chosen for a given entity, provide an implementation of ‘AbstractKafkaSpaceSynchronizationEndpoint’.
  • If you want to create a custom serializer, look at KafkaMessageDecoder and KafkaMessageKeyDecoder.
  • Kafka Producer client (which is used under the hood) can be configured with a number of settings, see Kafka documentation.