Couchbase Java DCP Client

This repository contains a purely java-based implementation for a Couchbase DCP (Database Change Protocol) client.

Important: The java-dcp-client is not officially supported by Couchbase directly. It is used as a fundamental building block for higher-level (supported) libraries like our kafka or elasticsearch connectors. Use at your own Risk!

It supports:


We publish the releases (including pre-releases to maven central):


If you want the bleeding edge, you can check out the project from github and build it on your own. It is a maven-based project so simply run

$ git clone
$ cd java-dcp-client
$ mvn install

This local build will install the com.couchbase.client:dcp-client artifact with the next SNAPSHOT version. You can then depend on it in your project.

Basic Usage

The simplest way is to initiate a stream against localhost and open all streams available. You always need to attach a callback for both the config and the data events - in the simplest case all the messages are just discarded. It's important to release the buffers!

Please check out the examples!

The following example connects to the travel-sample bucket and prints out all subsequent mutations and deletions that occur.

// Connect to localhost and use the travel-sample bucket
final Client client = Client.configure()

// Don't do anything with control events in this example
client.controlEventHandler(new ControlEventHandler() {
    public void onEvent(ChannelFlowController flowController, ByteBuf event) {

// Print out Mutations and Deletions
client.dataEventHandler(new DataEventHandler() {
    public void onEvent(ChannelFlowController flowController, ByteBuf event) {
        if ( {
            System.out.println("Mutation: " + DcpMutationMessage.toString(event));
            // You can print the content via DcpMutationMessage.content(event).toString(StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
        } else if ( {
            System.out.println("Deletion: " + DcpDeletionMessage.toString(event));

// Connect the sockets

// Initialize the state (start now, never stop)
client.initializeState(StreamFrom.NOW, StreamTo.INFINITY).await();

// Start streaming on all partitions

// Sleep for some time to print the mutations
// The printing happens on the IO threads!

// Once the time is over, shutdown.

Dealing with Messages and ByteBufs

To save allocations the actual data you are interacting with are raw netty ByteBufs that may be pooled, depending on the configuration. So it is always important to release() them when not needed anymore.

Since working with the raw buffers is not fun, the client provides flyweights that allow you to extract the information out of the buffers easily. Consult the docs for information on which message types to expect when, but as an example if you want to print the key and content of an incoming mutation in the data handler you can do it like this:

if ( {
    String key = DcpMutationMessage.keyString(event);
    String content = DcpMutationMessage.content(event).toString(StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
    System.out.println("Found Key " + key + " with Content " + content);

Advanced Usage

Flow Control

To handle slow clients better and to make it possible that the client signals backpressure to the server (that it should stop sending new data when the client is busy processing the previous ones) flow control tuneables are available.

Handling flow control consist of two stages: first, you need to enable it during bootstrap and then acknowledge specific message types as soon as you are done processing them.

Configuring Flow Control

To activate flow control, the DcpControl.Names.CONNECTION_BUFFER_SIZE control param needs to be set to a value greater than zero. A reasonable start value to test would be "10240" (10K).

Next, you also need to set the bufferAckWatermark to a value which is equal or smaller than the connection buffer size. Every time a message is acknowledged the client accumulates up to the watermark and only if the watermark is exceeded the acknowledgement is sent. This helps with cutting down on network traffic and to reduce the workload on the server side for accounting.

Acknowledging Messages

If you do not acknowledge the bytes read for specific messages, the server will stop streaming new messages when the CONNECTION_BUFFER_SIZE is reached.

The following messages need to be acknowledged by the user:

Acknowledging works by calling the ChannelFlowController#ack method.

A simple way to do this is the following:


This method extracts the number of readable bytes out of it. When you already did consume the bytes and the reader index of the buffer is not the number of bytes orginally, you can fall back to the lower level API:


SSL (Couchbase Enterprise feature)

Read in details about SSL in Couchbase on our documentation. Here we will just post quick start steps:

  1. Download and store in file cluster certificate from "Security" -> "Root Certificate" section on Admin Console.

  2. Import this certificate using keytool:

    keytool -importcert -keystore /tmp/keystore \
                        -storepass secret \
                        -file /tmp/cluster.cert
  3. And update configuration of the DCP client:

    final Client client = Client.configure()

System Events

Since the 0.7.0 release, the client implements a notification service, which allows you to react on events, which are not tied directly to protocol and data transmission. For example, connection errors, or notifications about stream completion when the end sequence number wasn't set to infinity. The following example subscribes a handler to system events to find out when partition 42 is done with data transmission:

client.systemEventHandler(new SystemEventHandler() {
    public void onEvent(CouchbaseEvent event) {
        if (event instanceof StreamEndEvent) {
            StreamEndEvent streamEnd = (StreamEndEvent) event;
            if (streamEnd.partition() == 42) {
                System.out.println("Stream for partition 42 has ended (reason: " + streamEnd.reason() + ")");