Debezium SerDes for Changing Event Deserialization: 3 Easy Steps

Ishwarya M • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Debezium SerDes FI

Debezium is a real-time data monitoring platform that continuously captures and streams event changes or modifications made on any external database system. It streams and stores all real-time changes or newly made updates on the respective databases in the Kafka servers. Usually, Debezium serializes and stores data changes in the form of a complex message structure, which is difficult for the end-users to understand. To eliminate such complications, Debezium allows end-applications or consumers to deserialize the complex message structure into a logical and readable message format using the Debezium SerDes process.

In this article, you will learn about Debezium and how to implement the change event deserialization using the Debezium SerDes.

Table of Contents


Fundamentals of real-time data streaming.

Understanding Debezium

Debezium SerDes: logo
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Originally developed by Red Hat, Debezium is an Open-Source, distributed event monitoring platform that allows you to perform CDC (Change Data Capture) operations. In other words, Debezium is a real-time data change monitoring tool that enables you to capture, record, and track Real-Time modifications made on external Database Systems such as MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle. Debezium also provides you with a vast collection of source connectors that help you connect with various external database systems to capture and stream real-time data changes made on the respective databases.    

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Steps to implement Change Event Deserialization using Debezium SerDes

Step 1: Starting the Kafka Environment

To implement change event deserialization using Debezium SerDes, you have to start the Kafka environment with Kafka server, Zookeeper Instance, and Kafka Connect platform. After setting up the Kafka environment, you have to install the Debezium MySQL connector to capture row-level changes from the MySQL database system. In the below steps, you will set up and start the Kafka environment and Debezium MySQL Connector.

  • Since you will use Docker and Docker container images to set up the Kafka instances, ensure that Docker is installed and configured in your local machine.
  • Initially, you have to start the Zookeeper Instance in a Docker container. Open a new command prompt and execute the below command to start a Zookeeper instance.
$ docker run -it --rm --name zookeeper -p 2181:2181 -p 2888:2888 -p 3888:3888 debezium/zookeeper:1.8
  • In the above command, debezium/zookeeper is the Docker image of Zookeeper with version 1.8.
  • You can start a Kafka server in a new Docker container. Open another new command prompt and execute the following command.
$ docker run -it --rm --name kafka -p 9092:9092 --link zookeeper:zookeeper debezium/kafka:1.8
  • In the above command, debezium/Kafka is the Docker image of Zookeeper with version 1.8. 
  • In the next step, you have to start the Kafka Connect platform for managing the Kafka clusters and Debezium SerDes connector.
  • Execute the following command to start a Kafka Connect service in a Docker container.
Debezium SerDes: Step 1
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Step 2: Setting up MySQL database

  • You have to start the MySQL database server from which Debezium will capture real-time, row-level changes in the future. Open a command terminal and execute the following command to start a Docker container that runs the MySQL database. The newly started MySQL server is pre-configured with the sample “inventory” database by default.
$ docker run -it --rm --name mysql -p 3306:3306 -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=debezium -e MYSQL_USER=mysqluser -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=mysqlpw debezium/example-mysql:1.8
  • Run the command given below to start a MySQL command-line client to access the MySQL database for querying purposes.
$ docker run -it --rm --name mysqlterm --link mysql 
--rm mysql:8.0 sh -c 'exec mysql 
-P"$MYSQL_PORT_3306_TCP_PORT" -uroot
  • Now, you have to download the Debezium MySQL connector for capturing data changes from the MySQL database. You can download the MySQL connector from the official website of Confluent. 
  • After downloading the MySQL connector, add it to the plugin path of the Kafka Connect setup.
  • You have to configure the plugin, as shown in the below image. 
Debezium SerDes Step 2
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  • Since you are about to capture changes made on the customer and addresses table present inside the inventory database, the “table.whitelist” parameter just has two values, such as “inventory.customers” and “inventory.addresses” 
  • On setting the parameter as transforms.unwrap.type=io.debezium.transforms.UnwrapFromEnvelope, you stream only new data modifications made on the database to the respective Kafka servers. 
  • Now, you can start the MySQL application by executing the following command.
curl -i -X POST -H "Accept:application/json" -H "Content-Type:application/json" http://localhost:8083/connectors/ -d @mysql-source.json

Step 3: Implementing Change Event Deserialization using Debezium SerDes

  • At this stage, you are now ready to capture and stream real-time changes made on the database. You can use Kafka Consumer CLI, which is provided by default during the Kafka installation. Execute the following command to run the Kafka Consumer CLI in the Docker container.
docker-compose exec kafka /kafka/bin/ 
--bootstrap-server kafka:9092 --from-beginning --property print.key=true  --topic dbserver1.inventory.customers
  • Now, open a new terminal to view the Kafka topic that continuously streams and stores all real-time changes made on the database recently.  
docker-compose exec kafka /kafka/bin/ --bootstrap-server kafka:9092 --from-beginning --property print.key=true --topic dbserver1.inventory.addresses
  • On executing the above command, you will get the output that resembles the following image. In the output shown below, you can view the new modifications made to the database in a Key-Value pair format
Debezium SerDes Step 3a
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  • The serializer converts all recently made data modifications into JSON format and stores real-time changes in Kafka servers. Since the Kafka topic records and organizes all the real-time changes in the Debezium JSON format, the data is totally in the form of unwrapped envelopes, making it complex for the consumers to understand or read the modifications. On the consumer end, any reader application can deserialize or decode the JSON formatted data and convert them into Java class, making it easy to read or understand the real-time modifications.
  • For performing the deserialization action on the consumer side, Debezum provides a SerDes (Serializer/Deserializer), which encodes or decodes data whenever applicable during application execution.
  • In the next step, you will use Kafka streams to process data present inside Kafka topics in a JSON format. Then, you will transfer the data into KTable in Kafka streams to continue with the further processing steps using Debezium SerDes. 
  • Execute the following Java code to process the customer table.
KTable<DefaultId, Customer> customerTable = builder .table(parentTopic, Consumed.with(defaultIdSerde, customerSerde));
  • Now, run the below code to process the address table.
KStream<DefaultId, Address> addressStream =,Consumed.with(defaultIdSerde, addressSerde));
  • In the next step, you have to implement the process of pseudo grouping to merge both the customer and address records based on their keys. The following code snippet helps you in executing the grouping process.
Debezium SerDes Step 3b
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  • Now, you have to create a new parameter called “addresses” to store the address records that will be updated continuously. The new parameter is added because the customer-specific addresses are finalized based on their primary key during the grouping process. To store the map of newly added address records, the “addresses” parameter is created.
Debezium SerDes Step 3c
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  • In the next step, you have to combine the customer table with newly-created addresses. Execute the following code snippet to implement the merging process.
Debezium SerDes Step 3d
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  • Now, you can run the application using the Maven Package Manager. Execute the command given below to run the application.
mvn clean package -f poc-ddd-aggregates/pom.xml
  • After executing the above-given command, you will get an output that resembles the following image.
Debezium SerDes Step 3e
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  • You have to set up a MongoDB sink connector that reads real-time changes made on the external database, which are readily stored in the respective Kafka topic.
  • Execute the following command to start the MongoDB sink connector.
docker-compose up -d mongodb connect_sink
  • Now, configure the sink connector plugin, as shown in the below image.
Debezium SerDes Step 3f
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  • After configuring, deploy the sink connector by executing the following command.
curl -i -X POST -H "Accept:application/json" -H  "Content-Type:application/json" http://localhost:8084/connectors/ -d @mongodb-sink.json
  • The above command will consume messages from the final_ddd_aggregates that store all the real-time changes made on the MySQL database.
  • After the MongoDB sink connector consumes data from the Kafka topic, the real-time changes are stored in customers_with_addresses
  • Since you already defined the value of customers_with_addresses in the mongodb.collection parameter, you can call the respective parameter to fetch all the real-time changes.
  • Now, run the Docker container having MongoDB database console.
docker-compose exec mongodb bash -c 'mongo inventory'
  • Execute the below command to fetch data stored in the customers_with_addresses.
  • On executing the above command, you will get real-time changes in the form of Key-Value pairs, as shown in the above image.
Debezium SerDes Step 3g
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In this article, you learned about Debezium and how to set up the Kafka environment to implement change event deserialization using Debezium SerDes. This article mainly focused on configuring the MySQL source and MongoDB sink connector to write and read real-time changes, respectively. However, you can also configure other Debezium database connectors, such as PostgreSQL, Oracle, and MySQL connectors, for implementing the process of change event deserialization. In case you want to transfer data into your desired Database/destination, then Hevo Data is the right choice for you! 

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