Integrate with Apache Kafka®#

You can integrate Aiven for ClickHouse® with either Aiven for Apache Kafka® service located in the same project, or an external Apache Kafka endpoint. A single Aiven for ClickHouse instance can connect to multiple Kafka clusters with different authentication mechanism and credentials.

Behind the scenes the integration between Aiven for ClickHouse and Apache Kafka services relies on ClickHouse Kafka Engine.


Aiven for ClickHouse service integrations are available for Startup plans and higher.


You will need:

  • Aiven for ClickHouse service

  • Aiven for Apache Kafka service or a self-hosted Apache Kafka service


    If you use the self-hosted Apache Kafka service, an external Apache Kafka endpoint should be configured in Service Integrations

  • At least one topic in the Apache Kafka service


The following variables will be used later in the code snippets:




Name of your Aiven for ClickHouse service.


Name of the Apache Kafka service you use for the integration.


Name of Aiven project where your services are located.


Name of the Kafka engine virtual table that is used as a connector.


Input/output data format in which data is accepted into Aiven for ClickHouse. See Supported data formats for input and output


Name of the consumer group. Each message is delivered once per consumer group.

Create an integration#

You can create an integration with the help of Aiven CLI, or through the Aiven console by following these steps:

  1. Log in to the Aiven web console, choose the right project, and select your Aiven for ClickHouse service.

  2. In the Overview tab, scroll till the section Service integrations and click on Set up integration. A modal window with available integration options will appear.

  3. Select Apache Kafka from the list of the options.

  4. Choose your service from the list. This is also a place where you can trigger creation of a new Aiven for Apache Kafka service.

  5. Click on Enable.

  6. Your Apache Kafka service will be added to the list of enabled service integrations.

  7. You can now close Service integrations modal window.

  8. The Kafka integration database will now be added.

The newly created database name has the following format: service_KAFKA_SERVICE_NAME, where KAFKA_SERVICE_NAME is the name of your Apache Kafka service.


During this step we only created an empty database in Aiven for ClickHouse, but we didn’t create any tables yet. Creation of the virtual connector table is done by setting specific integration configuration, see the section below.

Update Apache Kafka integration settings#

Next step is to configure the topic and data format options for the integration. This will create a virtual table in Aiven for ClickHouse that can receive and send messages from multiple topics. You can have as many of such tables as you need. You need to define for each table following:

  • name - name of the connector table

  • columns - array of columns, with names and types

  • topics - array of topics, where you want to bring the data from

  • data_format - your preferred format for data input, see Supported data formats for input and output

  • group_name - consumer group name, that will be created on your behalf

Integration settings in a JSON format:

    "tables": [
            "name": "CONNECTOR_TABLE_NAME",
            "columns": [
                {"name": "id", "type": "UInt64"},
                {"name": "name", "type": "String"}
            "topics": [{"name": "topic1"}, {"name": "topic2"}],
            "data_format": "DATA_FORMAT",
            "group_name": "CONSUMER_NAME"

Configure integration with CLI#

Currently the configurations can be set only with the help of CLI command avn service integration-update

Follow these instructions:

  1. Get the service integration id by requesting the full list of integrations. Replace PROJECT, CLICKHOUSE_SERVICE_NAME and KAFKA_SERVICE_NAME with the names of your services:

avn service integration-list                        \
--project PROJECT                                   \
  1. Update the configuration settings using the service integration id retrieved in the previous step and your integration settings. Replace SERVICE_INTEGRATION_ID, CONNECTOR_TABLE_NAME, DATA_FORMAT and CONSUMER_NAME with your values:

avn service integration-update SERVICE_INTEGRATION_ID \
--project PROJECT                                     \
--user-config-json '{
    "tables": [
            "name": "CONNECTOR_TABLE_NAME",
            "columns": [
                {"name": "id", "type": "UInt64"},
                {"name": "name", "type": "String"}
            "topics": [{"name": "topic1"}, {"name": "topic2"}],
            "data_format": "DATA_FORMAT",
            "group_name": "CONSUMER_NAME"

Read and store data#

In Aiven for ClickHouse you can consume messages by running SELECT command. Replace KAFKA_SERVICE_NAME and CONNECTOR_TABLE_NAME with your values and run:


However, the messages are only read once (per consumer group). If you want to store the messages for later, you can send them into a separate ClickHouse table with the help of a materialized view.

For example, run to creating a destination table:

CREATE TABLE destination (id UInt64, name String)
ENGINE = ReplicatedMergeTree()

Add a materialised view to bring the data from the connector:

CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW materialised_view TO destination AS

Now the messages consumed from the Apache Kafka topic will be read automatically and sent into the destination table directly.


ClickHouse is strict about allowed symbols in database and table names. You can use backticks around the names when running ClickHouse requests, particularly in the cases when the name contains dashes.

Write data back to the topic#

You can also bring the entries from ClickHouse table into the Apache Kafka topic. Replace KAFKA_SERVICE_NAME and CONNECTOR_TABLE_NAME with your values:

VALUES (1, 'Michelangelo')


Writing to more than one topic is not supported.