Debezium source connector - PostgreSQL® to Apache Kafka® across clouds#

The Aiven Terraform Provider is a great choice for provisioning an Aiven for Apache Kafka® cluster with Kafka Connect enabled and the Debezium source connector for PostgreSQL® configured.

Let’s check out the following diagram to understand the setup.

flowchart LR id1[(PostgreSQL service on GCP)] subgraph Kafka Connect Debezium-Source-Connector-PG end subgraph Apache Kafka on Azure Topic end id1 --->|wal2json plugin| Debezium-Source-Connector-PG --->|publishes changes| Topic

Describe the setup#

This terraform recipe will provision one Aiven for PostgreSQL database service, one Aiven for Apache Kafka service, and a separate Aiven for Apache Kafka Connect service with a Debezium source connector for PostgreSQL enabled and configured to connect to the PostgreSQL database and capture any changes in tables. The Aiven for Apache Kafka service is deployed in the Azure cloud, whereas the PostgreSQL database, like the Aiven for Apache Kafka Connector service, is deployed in the Google Cloud. Aiven makes it very easy to configure services in different clouds that integrate seamlessly. As soon as any of the monitored tables is inserted or updated with new data, the Debezium connector will capture the data change and convert table data into JSON payload and produce messages to the relevant Kafka topic. Some of these services are created on one cloud provider and some on another cloud provider, to demonstrate how easy it is with Aiven to integrate services across multiple cloud vendors.


Aiven provides the option to run Kafka Connect on the same nodes as your Kafka cluster, sharing the resources. This is a low-cost way to get started with Kafka Connect. A standalone Aiven for Apache Kafka® Connect allows you to scale independently, offers more CPU time and memory for the Kafka Connect service and reduces load on nodes, making the cluster more stable.

Be sure to check out the getting started guide to learn about the common files required to execute the following recipe. For example, you’ll need to declare the variables for project and api_token.

Expand to check out the relevant common files needed for this recipe.

Navigate to a new folder and add the following files.

  1. Add the following to a new file:

terraform {
  required_providers {
    aiven = {
      source  = "aiven/aiven"
      version = "~> 3.10.0"

provider "aiven" {
  api_token = var.aiven_api_token

You can also set the environment variable TF_VAR_aiven_api_token for the api_token property. With this, you don’t need to pass the -var-file flag when executing Terraform commands.

  1. To avoid including sensitive information in source control, the variables are defined here in the file. You can then use a *.tfvars file with the actual values so that Terraform receives the values during runtime, and exclude it.

The file defines the API token, the project name to use, and the prefix for the service name:

variable "aiven_api_token" {
  description = "Aiven console API token"
  type        = string

variable "project_name" {
  description = "Aiven console project name"
  type        = string
  1. The var-values.tfvars file holds the actual values and is passed to Terraform using the -var-file= flag.

var-values.tfvars file:


The file for the provisioning of these three services, service integration, and related resource is this:

resource "aiven_pg" "demo-pg" {
  project      = var.project_name
  service_name = "demo-postgres"
  cloud_name   = "google-europe-north1"
  plan         = "business-4"

resource "aiven_kafka" "demo-kafka" {
  project                 = var.project_name
  cloud_name              = "azure-norway-west"
  plan                    = "startup-2"
  service_name            = "demo-kafka"
  maintenance_window_dow  = "saturday"
  maintenance_window_time = "10:00:00"
  kafka_user_config {
    kafka_rest      = true
    kafka_connect   = false
    schema_registry = true
    kafka_version   = "3.2"

    kafka {
      auto_create_topics_enable  = true
      num_partitions             = 3
      default_replication_factor = 2
      min_insync_replicas        = 2

    kafka_authentication_methods {
      certificate = true


resource "aiven_kafka_connect" "demo-kafka-connect" {
  project                 = var.project_name
  cloud_name              = "google-europe-north1"
  project_vpc_id          = "PROJECT_NAME/ABCD1234-AB12-AB12-AB12-ABCDEF123456"
  plan                    = "startup-4"
  service_name            = "demo-kafka-connect"
  maintenance_window_dow  = "monday"
  maintenance_window_time = "10:00:00"

  kafka_connect_user_config {
    kafka_connect {
      consumer_isolation_level = "read_committed"

    public_access {
      kafka_connect = true

resource "aiven_service_integration" "i1" {
  project                  = var.project_name
  integration_type         = "kafka_connect"
  source_service_name      = aiven_kafka.demo-kafka.service_name
  destination_service_name = aiven_kafka_connect.demo-kafka-connect.service_name

  kafka_connect_user_config {
    kafka_connect {
      group_id             = "connect"
      status_storage_topic = "__connect_status"
      offset_storage_topic = "__connect_offsets"

resource "aiven_kafka_connector" "kafka-pg-source" {
  project        = var.project_name
  service_name   = aiven_kafka_connect.demo-kafka-connect.service_name
  connector_name = "kafka-pg-source"

  config = {
    "name"                      = "kafka-pg-source"
    "connector.class"           = "io.debezium.connector.postgresql.PostgresConnector"
    "snapshot.mode"             = "initial"
    "database.hostname"         = aiven_pg.demo-pg.service_host
    "database.port"             = aiven_pg.demo-pg.service_port
    "database.password"         = aiven_pg.demo-pg.service_password
    "database.user"             = aiven_pg.demo-pg.service_username
    "database.dbname"           = "defaultdb"
    ""      = "replicator"
    "database.ssl.mode"         = "require"
    "include.schema.changes"    = true
    "include.query"             = true
    "table.include.list"        = "public.tab1"
    ""               = "wal2json"
    "decimal.handling.mode"     = "double"
    "_aiven.restart.on.failure" = "true"
    ""     = 30000
    "heartbeat.action.query"    = "INSERT INTO heartbeat (status) VALUES (1)"
  depends_on = [aiven_service_integration.i1]
Expand to check out how to execute the Terraform files.

The init command performs several different initialization steps in order to prepare the current working directory for use with Terraform. In our case, this command automatically finds, downloads, and installs the necessary Aiven Terraform provider plugins.

terraform init

The plan command creates an execution plan and shows you the resources that will be created (or modified) for you. This command does not actually create any resource; this is more like a preview.

terraform plan -var-file=var-values.tfvars

If you’re satisfied with the output of terraform plan, go ahead and run the terraform apply command which actually does the task or creating (or modifying) your infrastructure resources.

terraform apply -var-file=var-values.tfvars


wal2json will be deprecated in Debezium 2.0. A future revision of the recipe will use another decoding plug-in like pgoutput.

Let’s go over a few of these configurations and understand their functions:

  • The auto_create_topics_enable = true property allows the Debezium connector to send messages to a non-existing topic.

  • The kafka_connect = false property is used because we want to create a separate Aiven for Apache Kafka Connect service.

  • The Aiven for Apache Kafka Connect service is configured with public_access set to TRUE to allow the service to be accessed through a VPC since we are setting up services in different clouds.

  • The resource aiven_service_integration.i1 configures the integration between the Aiven for Apache Kafka service and the Aiven for Apache Kafka Connect service. This integration uses two internal topics for storing status and offset.

  • group_id under kafka_connect_user_config is a unique ID that identifies the Kafka Connect cluster.

  • status_storage_topic and offset_storage_topic identify the name of the internal Kafka topics that store the connector status and the connector offsets respectively.

  • The Debezium source connector for PostgreSQL listens for all data changes on one or more tables, including schema changes. In our case, the table that is monitored for any data change is “tab1” in defaultdb database under public schema. The plugin used to capture changes is wal2json that converts WAL events (WAL stands for Write Ahead Logging) into JSON payload that is sent to the Kafka topic via the Kafka connect service. The Kafka topic that the Debezium connector creates has the name replicator.public.tab1, where “replicator” is the logical database used by Debezium connector to monitor for data changes and “public” and “tab1” are the name of the PostgreSQL schema and table name respectively.

  • The depends_on property establishes a dependency between the services creation in order to avoid failures.

More resources#

Keep in mind that some parameters and configurations will vary for your case. A reference to some of the advanced Apache Kafka configurations and other related resources: