Apache Kafka® with Karapace Schema Registry#

This example shows how to setup Karapace - an open source HTTP API interface and schema registry, with Aiven for Apache Kafka® using Aiven Terraform Provider.

You’ll also enable the auto creation of Apache Kafka topics which will allow you to send message to topics that didn’t exist already on the Apache Kafka cluster. In order to work directly with Kafka by producing and consuming messages over HTTP, the REST API feature will be enabled. To learn more, check out Create Apache Kafka® topics automatically page.

flowchart LR producer[Producer] consumer[Consumer] SchemaRegistry{{Schema Registry:<br /> Karapace}} producer --> Kafka --> consumer producer --> SchemaRegistry --> consumer

Describe the setup#

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_name 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 provider.tf 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 variables.tf file. You can then use a *.tfvars file with the actual values so that Terraform receives the values during runtime, and exclude it.

The variables.tf 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:


Here is the sample Terraform file to stand-up a single Apache Kafka server and configure Karapace, Kafka REST, and auto creation of topics.

services.tf file:

resource "aiven_kafka" "demo-kafka" {
  project                 = var.project_name
  cloud_name              = "google-northamerica-northeast1"
  plan                    = "business-4"
  service_name            = "demo-kafka"
  maintenance_window_dow  = "monday"
  maintenance_window_time = "10:00:00"
  kafka_user_config {
    kafka_version = "3.2"
    // Enables Karapace Schema Registry and REST
    schema_registry = true
    kafka_rest      = true
    kafka {
      auto_create_topics_enable = true

resource "aiven_kafka_topic" "source" {
  project      = var.project_name
  service_name = aiven_kafka.demo-kafka.service_name
  topic_name   = "topic-a"
  partitions   = 3
  replication  = 2
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

Let’s test that each of these configurations are setup by Terraform. Once the Aiven for Apache Kafka service is running, from the Overview tab, ensure that Apache Kafka REST API (Karapace) and Schema Registry (Karapace) are toggled on. For documentation on how to use Karapace, refer to the Karapace GitHub repository. Without the REST API option enabled, you won’t be able to view the messages in the topics from the Aiven web console. If you navigate to the Topics tab on Aiven console and are able to browse the messages for a particular topic (the Messages button is enabled), that confirms that the REST API setting has been enabled.

Finally, you can send messages to a non-existing topic (for example, topic-b) on your Apache Kafka cluster and the message will be delivered thanks to the auto_create_topics_enable parameter being set to true. By default, in Aiven for Apache Kafka this features is turned off as safeguard against accidental topic creation. Either remove this parameter from the Terraform code or set auto_create_topics_enable parameter to false and run the terraform apply again. This time, you won’t be able to send messages to a non-existing topic.

More resources#

To find more information on Karapace and Apache Kafka: