Pulsar Flink connector is an elastic data processing with Apache Pulsar and Apache Flink.




Client library

For Scala/Java applications using SBT/Maven project definitions, link your application with the following artifact:

    groupId = io.streamnative.connectors
    artifactId = pulsar-flink-connector_{{SCALA_BINARY_VERSION}}
    version = {{PULSAR_FLINK_VERSION}}

Currently, the artifact is available in Bintray Maven repository of StreamNative. For Maven project, you can add the repository to your pom.xml as follows:


To build an application JAR that contains all dependencies required for libraries and pulsar flink connector, you can use the following shade plugin definition template:

  <!-- Shade all the dependencies to avoid conflicts -->

            <!-- more libs to include here -->
          <transformer implementation="org.apache.maven.plugins.shade.resource.ServicesResourceTransformer" />
          <transformer implementation="org.apache.maven.plugins.shade.resource.PluginXmlResourceTransformer" />


Client library

As with any Flink applications, ./bin/flink run is used to compile and launch your application.
If you have already built a fat jar using the shade maven plugin above, your jar can be added to flink run using --classpath.


The format of a path must be a protocol (for example, file://) and the path should be accessible on all nodes.


$ ./bin/flink run
  -c com.example.entry.point.ClassName file://path/to/jars/your_fat_jar.jar

Scala REPL

For experimenting on the interactive Scala shell bin/start-scala-shell.sh, you can use --addclasspath to add pulsar-flink-connector_{{SCALA_BINARY_VERSION}}-{{PULSAR_FLINK_VERSION}}.jar directly.


$ ./bin/start-scala-shell.sh remote <hostname> <portnumber>
  --addclasspath pulsar-flink-connector_{{SCALA_BINARY_VERSION}}-{{PULSAR_FLINK_VERSION}}.jar

For more information about submitting applications with CLI, see Command-Line Interface.

SQL Client

For playing with SQL Client Beta and writing queries in SQL to manipulate data in Pulsar, you can use --jar to add pulsar-flink-connector_{{SCALA_BINARY_VERSION}}-{{PULSAR_FLINK_VERSION}}.jar directly.


$ ./bin/sql-client.sh embedded --jar pulsar-flink-connector_{{SCALA_BINARY_VERSION}}-{{PULSAR_FLINK_VERSION}}.jar

By default, to use Pulsar catalog in SQL Client and get it registered automatically at startup, the SQL Client reads its configuration from the environment file ./conf/sql-client-defaults.yaml. You need to add Pulsar catalog to catalogs section in this YAML file:

- name: pulsarcatalog
    type: pulsar
    default-database: tn/ns
    service-url: "pulsar://localhost:6650"
    admin-url: "http://localhost:8080"

Pulsar Source

Flink's Pulsar consumer is called FlinkPulsarSource<T> or just FlinkPulsarRowSource with data schema auto-inferring). It provides access to one or more Pulsar topics.

The constructor accepts the following arguments:

  1. The service url and admin url for the Pulsar instance to connect to.
  2. A DeserializationSchema for deserializing the data from Pulsar when using FlinkPulsarSource
  3. Properties for the Pulsar Source. The following properties are required:
    • One of "topic", "topics" or "topicsPattern" to denote topic(s) to consume. (topics is a comma-separated list of topics, and topicsPattern is a Java regex string used to pattern matching topic names )


StreamExecutionEnvironment see = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();
Properties props = new Properties();
props.setProperty("topic", "test-source-topic")
FlinkPulsarSource<String> source = new FlinkPulsarSource<>(serviceUrl, adminUrl, new SimpleStringSchema(), props);

DataStream<String> stream = see.addSource(source);

// chain operations on dataStream of String and sink the output
// end method chaining


The DeserializationSchema

When FlinkPulsarSource<T> is used, it needs to know how to turn the binary data in Pulsar into Java/Scala objects. The DeserializationSchema allows users to specify such a schema. The T deserialize(byte[] message) method gets called for each Pulsar message, passing the value from Pulsar.

It is usually helpful to start from the AbstractDeserializationSchema, which takes care of describing the produced Java/Scala type to Flink's type system. Users that implement a vanilla DeserializationSchema need to implement the getProducedType(...) method themselves.

For convenience, we provides the following DeserializationSchema:

  1. JsonDeser: if the topic is of JSONSchema in Pulsar, you could use JsonDeser.of(POJO_CLASS_NAME.class) for DeserializationSchema.

  2. AvroDeser: if the topic is of AVROSchema in Pulsar, you could use AvroDeser.of(POJO_CLASS_NAME.class) for DeserializationSchema.

Schema for FlinkPulsarRowSource

Pulsar Sources Start Position Configuration

The Flink Pulsar Source allows configuring how the start position for Pulsar partitions are determined.


final StreamExecutionEnvironment env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();

FlinkPulsarSource<String> myConsumer = new FlinkPulsarSource<>(...);
myConsumer.setStartFromEarliest();     // start from the earliest record possible
myConsumer.setStartFromLatest();       // start from the latest record (the default behaviour)

DataStream<String> stream = env.addSource(myConsumer);

Both FlinkPulsarSource and FlinkPulsarRowSource have the above explicit configuration methods for start position.

You can also specify the exact offsets the source should start from for each partition:

Map<String, MessageId> offset = new HashMap<>();
offset.put("topic1-partition-0", mid1);
offset.put("topic1-partition-1", mid2);
offset.put("topic1-partition-2", mid3);


The above example configures the consumer to start from the specified offsets for partitions 0, 1, and 2 of topic topic1. The offset values should be the next record that the consumer should read for each partition. Note that if the consumer needs to read a partition which does not have a specified offset within the provided offsets map, it will fallback to the default offsets behaviour (i.e. setStartLatest()) for that particular partition.

Note that these start position configuration methods do not affect the start position when the job is automatically restored from a failure or manually restored using a savepoint. On restore, the start position of each Kafka partition is determined by the offsets stored in the savepoint or checkpoint (please see the next section for information about checkpointing to enable fault tolerance for the consumer).

Pulsar Source and Fault Tolerance

With Flink's checkpointing enabled, the Flink Pulsar Source will consume records from a topic and periodically checkpoint all its Pulsar offsets, together with the state of other operations, in a consistent manner. In case of a job failure, Flink will restore the streaming program to the state of the latest checkpoint and re-consume the records from Pulsar, starting from the offsets that were stored in the checkpoint.

The interval of drawing checkpoints therefore defines how much the program may have to go back at most, in case of a failure.

To use fault tolerant Pulsar Sources, checkpointing of the topology needs to be enabled at the execution environment:

final StreamExecutionEnvironment env = StreamExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment();
env.enableCheckpointing(5000); // checkpoint every 5000 msecs

Also note that Flink can only restart the topology if enough processing slots are available to restart the topology. So if the topology fails due to loss of a TaskManager, there must still be enough slots available afterwards. Flink on YARN supports automatic restart of lost YARN containers.

Pulsar Sources Topic and Partition Discovery

Topic/Partition discovery

The Flink Pulsar Source supports discovering dynamically created Pulsar partitions, and consumes them with exactly-once guarantees. All partitions discovered after the initial retrieval of partition metadata (i.e., when the job starts running) will be consumed from the earliest possible offset.

By default, partition discovery is disabled. To enable it, set a non-negative value for partitionDiscoveryIntervalMillis in the provided properties config, representing the discovery interval in milliseconds.

Pulsar Source and Timestamp Extraction/Watermark Emission

In many scenarios, the timestamp of a record is embedded (explicitly or implicitly) in the record itself. In addition, the user may want to emit watermarks either periodically, or in an irregular fashion, e.g. based on special records in the Pulsar stream that contain the current event-time watermark. For these cases, the Flink Pulsar Source allows the specification of an AssignerWithPeriodicWatermarks or an AssignerWithPunctuatedWatermarks.

Internally, an instance of the assigner is executed per Pulsar partition. When such an assigner is specified, for each record read from Pulsar, the extractTimestamp(T element, long previousElementTimestamp) is called to assign a timestamp to the record and the Watermark getCurrentWatermark() (for periodic) or the Watermark checkAndGetNextWatermark(T lastElement, long extractedTimestamp) (for punctuated) is called to determine if a new watermark should be emitted and with which timestamp.

Pulsar Sink

Flinkā€™s Pulsar Sink is called FlinkPulsarSink for POJO class and FlinkPulsarRowSink for Flink Row type. It allows writing a stream of records to one or more Pulsar topics.


FlinkPulsarSink<Person> sink = new FlinkPulsarSink(
  Optional.of(topic),      // mandatory target topic or use `Optional.empty()` if sink to different topics for each record
  TopicKeyExtractor.NULL,  // replace this to extract key or topic for each record


Pulsar Sink and Fault Tolerance

With Flink's checkpointing enabled, the FlinkPulsarSink and FlinkPulsarRowSink can provide at-least-once delivery guarantees.

Besides enabling Flink's checkpointing, you should also configure the setter methods setLogFailuresOnly(boolean) and setFlushOnCheckpoint(boolean) appropriately.

Advanced Configurations

Authentication configurations

For Pulsar instance configured with Authentication, Pulsar Flink Connector could be set in similar way with the regular Pulsar Client.

For FlinkPulsarSource, FlinkPulsarRowSource, FlinkPulsarSink and FlinkPulsarRowSink, they all comes with a constructor that enables you to pass in ClientConfigurationData as one of the parameters. You should construct a ClientConfigurationData first and pass it to the correspond constructor.

For example:

ClientConfigurationData conf = new ClientConfigurationData();

Properties props = new Properties();
props.setProperty("topic", "test-source-topic");

FlinkPulsarSource<String> source = new FlinkPulsarSource<>(adminUrl, conf, new SimpleStringSchema(), props);

Pulsar specific configurations

Client/producer/reader configurations of Pulsar can be set in properties with pulsar.client./pulsar.producer./pulsar.reader. prefix.


prop.setProperty("pulsar.consumer.ackTimeoutMillis", "10000")

For possible Pulsar parameters, see Pulsar client libraries.

Use Pulsar Catalog

Flink always searches for tables, views, and UDFs in the current catalog and database. To use Pulsar catalog and treat topics in Pulsar as tables in Flink, you should use pulsarcatalog that has been defined in ./conf/sql-client-defaults.yaml.

Flink SQL> USE CATALOG pulsarcatalog;
Flink SQL> USE `public/default`;
Flink SQL> select * from topic0;

The following configurations are optional in environment file or can be overridden in a SQL client session using the SET command.

`default-database` The default database name. public/default A topic in Pulsar is treated as a table in Flink when using Pulsar catalog, therefore, `database` is another name for `tenant/namespace`. The database is the basic path for table lookup or creation.
`startup-mode` The following are valid values:
* "earliest"(streaming and batch queries)
* "latest" (streaming query)
"latest" `startup-mode` option controls where a table reads data from.
`table-default-partitions` The default number of partitions when a table is created in Table API. 5 A table in Pulsar catalog is a topic in Pulsar, when creating table in Pulsar catalog, `table.partitions` controls the number of partitions when creating a topic.

Build Pulsar Flink Connector

If you want to build a Pulsar Flink connector reading data from Pulsar and writing results to Pulsar, follow the steps below.

  1. Check out the source code.
    $ git clone https://github.com/streamnative/pulsar-flink.git
    $ cd pulsar-flink
  2. Install Docker.

    Pulsar-flink connector is using Testcontainers for integration tests. In order to run the integration tests, make sure you have installed Docker.

  3. Set a Java version.

    Change java.version and java.binary.version in pom.xml.


    Java version should be consistent with the Java version of flink you use.

  4. Build the project.
    $ mvn clean install -DskipTests
  5. Run the tests.
    $ mvn clean install

    Once the installation is finished, there is a fat jar generated under both local maven repo and target directory.