An Introduction to Kafka Connect: How to Seamlessly Move Data Between Systems

Data integration is a key challenge for businesses today as they collect an increasing amount of data from multiple sources. A critical issue is moving data between various systems while ensuring real-time synchronization.

This is the first blog post of two on Kafka Connect. In the first post, we will introduce Kafka Connect, and in the subsequent post, we will discuss how we utilized it for one of our clients.

What is Kafka Connect?

Kafka Connect is an open-source framework that simplifies data integration between Kafka and external data systems. It provides a tool for building and running data streaming pipelines that move data between Kafka and other systems.
The framework is highly extensible, enabling developers to customize and extend its functionality as needed and build their connectors for specific needs. It provides flexibility in terms of connectors, supporting a wide range of connectors, including database connectors, file connectors, message queue connectors, and more. This means that users can set up data pipelines that move data between Kafka and other data sources quickly.

Here are some examples of how Kafka Connect can be used effectively:

  • Setting up streaming pipelines to transport data from source to target system(s).
  • Ingesting data from Kafka into data stores.
  • Making data from legacy applications available to new systems using CDC (Change Data Capture).


Kafka Connect is designed to be highly scalable and fault-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for large-scale data integration scenarios. It is built on top of Kafka, a distributed streaming platform. Kafka Connect can be deployed as a distributed system with multiple instances of the framework running in a cluster. This enables users to scale their data integration efforts to handle large volumes of data while also providing fault-tolerance and high availability.

Another key feature of Kafka Connect is its support for transformations. With Kafka Connect, users can apply transformations to data as it flows through the pipeline. This allows them to modify the format, structure, or content of the data or enrich it with additional information. Transformations can be applied to both the input data and the output data, making it easy to tailor the data pipeline to specific use cases.

Transformations can also be applied to data schema evolution. For example, if there are changes in the schema of the data that are being moved between systems, Kafka Connect can transform the data in real-time so that it is compatible with the target schema. This can be useful for data warehousing use cases where the target schema is likely to be more rigid than the source schema

Connecting the dots

Kafka Connect is easy to use and manage. It provides a simple, declarative configuration model that allows users to define their data pipelines using a few simple settings. This makes it easy to work with data from a variety of sources and to transform it into the desired format for use in downstream systems.

Kafka Connect is an ideal choice for organizations that need to move data between different systems in real-time in a standardized way. This can include use cases such as data warehousing, data processing, and data synchronization. With its support for distributed data processing, transformations, and simple configuration and management, Kafka Connect is a must-have tool for anyone working on data integration in today’s business world.


In conclusion, Kafka Connect is a versatile and reliable open-source framework that simplifies data integration. It offers a convenient way to move data between Kafka and external systems, enabling users to establish scalable and fault-tolerant data streaming pipelines. With its ability to apply transformations, SMTs, and support for multiple data formats, it is a valuable tool for organizations looking to streamline their data integration processes. Whether for data warehousing, data processing, or data synchronization, Kafka Connect can help businesses overcome the challenges of real-time data integration and unlock the full potential of their data.

Don’t miss out on our next part where we talk about how we used Kafka Connect in a real case.

Erik Forslid