openshine / kafka-streams-scala   0.3.1

Apache License 2.0 GitHub

Typesafe Scala wrapper around the Kafka Streams Java API

Scala versions: 2.11 2.12

A Scala Interface for the Kafka Streams Java API

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The library wraps Java APIs in Scala thereby providing:

  1. type safety for serializers against data types
  2. much better type inference in Scala
  3. less boilerplate in application code
  4. the usual builder-style composition that developers get with the original Java API

The design of the library was inspired by the work started by Alexis Seigneurin in this repository and later continued by Lightbend in this repository.

Quick Start

kafka-streams-scala is published and cross-built for Scala 2.11, and 2.12, so you can just add the following to your build:

val kafka_streams_scala_version = "0.1.2"

libraryDependencies ++= Seq("com.openshine" %%
  "kafka-streams-scala" % kafka_streams_scala_version)

Note: kafka-streams-scala supports onwards Kafka Streams 1.0.0.

The API docs for kafka-streams-scala is not yet publicly built at the moment.

Running the Tests

The library comes with an embedded Kafka server. To run the tests, simply run sbt testOnly and all tests will run on the local embedded server.

The embedded server is started and stopped for every test and takes quite a bit of resources. Hence it's recommended that you allocate more heap space to sbt when running the tests. e.g. sbt -mem 1500.

$ sbt -mem 1500
> +clean
> +test

Type Inference and Composition

Here's a sample code fragment using the Scala wrapper library. Compare this with the Scala code from the same example in Confluent's repository.

// Compute the total per region by summing the individual click counts per region.
val clicksPerRegion: TSKTable[String, Long] = userClicksStream

  // Join the stream against the table.
  .leftJoin(userRegionsTable, (clicks: Long, region: String) => (if (region == null) "UNKNOWN" else region, clicks))

  // Change the stream from <user> -> <region, clicks> to <region> -> <clicks>
  .map((_, regionWithClicks) => regionWithClicks)

  // Compute the total per region by summing the individual click counts per region.
  .reduce(_ + _)


  1. Note that some methods, like map, take a two-argument function, for key-value pairs, rather than the more typical single argument.

Better Abstraction

The wrapped Scala APIs also incur less boilerplate by taking advantage of Scala function literals that get converted to Java objects in the implementation of the API. Hence the surface syntax of the client API looks simpler and less noisy.

Here's an example of a snippet built using the Java API from Scala ..

val approximateWordCounts: KStream[String, Long] = textLines
  .flatMapValues(value => value.toLowerCase.split("\\W+").toIterable.asJava)
    new TransformerSupplier[Array[Byte], String, KeyValue[String, Long]] {
      override def get() = new ProbabilisticCounter
    cmsStoreName), Produced.`with`(Serdes.String(), longSerde))

And here's the corresponding snippet using the Scala library. Note how the noise of TransformerSupplier has been abstracted out by the function literal syntax of Scala.

  .flatMapValues(value => value.toLowerCase.split("\\W+").toIterable)
  .transform(() => new ProbabilisticCounter, cmsStoreName)

Also, the explicit conversion asJava from a Scala Iterable to a Java Iterable is done for you by the Scala library.

Runtime cost

As any adaptor library, running this wrapper may incur into an overhead. However, several techniques were followed to try to minimize the runtime overhead for using this library.

We design the API so that the most overhead goes to the compiler system and out from the runtime and from the programmer.

  1. All the TSKType instances (i.e., the typesafe variants of the streams and tables wrapping the Java API) are Value Classes, and actual object creation is mostly always avoided. We avoided using the unsafely API inside our own construction because that would entail allocating a TSKStream object in order to use it as a parameter for the UnsafelyWrapper case class.

  2. All the conversions between KTypes and TSKTypes are done with scala objects (thus, statically allocated) implementing a converter trait. The converter trait is public, which allows the user to define further conversions in a future API version even if this library is not yet updated. The conversions are marked @inline, so the compiler may inline the conversions in the user code. Given that the conversion is to a value class no actual operations are performed, the worst-case result (not inlined) would be equivalent to calling identity.

  3. Using .safe on a KType will use the aforementioned converter via an intermediate implicit class (also a Value Class)conversion. The bytecode generated bytecode is equivalent to calling a function that calls identity.

Implicit Serdes

The Java API has, for many methods, two different interfaces available: one where you use an explicit Serdes-related type (Consumed, Produced, Materialized, et al.), and another without such parameter. In the later case, the default Serdes for keys and values would be used instead.

In Java there is no notion of implicit parameters, and the only sane way to provide custom-value Serdes are using explicit parameters, thus making the methods signatures more cumbersome.

Fortunately, in Scala we can leverage implicit parameters to make the compiler work to find out the appropriate instances for any Serde type that you have configured in your application.

In the interest of type safety, the Scala API only provides a single interface, where the appropriate Serdes-related type is filled implicitly as the last parameter.

As a benefit, your application will not compile if you fail to provide the compiler an appropriate Serde for every operation where you might need one.


In order to use the packaged Serdes, you can just have in your file a

import com.openshine.kafka.streams.scala.typesafe.SerdeDerivations._

This will bring you into scope Serde instances for the default types (including scala.Long and java.lang.Long, for compatibility) as well as default implicit definitions that can construct Serde-derived types (Consumed, Produced, Materialized, Joined) from a Serde. If you want to customize the definition of such constructors or disallow some from being brought into scope, take a look at the typesafe.derivations package. You can create your own custom derivations by extending the available traits in that package.

A recommended way of working is having your own SerdeDerivations extending from ours that includes Serde instances for your domain-specific data types.


If you need to pass a customized certain Materialized instance (for example) you can always provide an explicit instance for such a case.


This means that you will never use the default serdes that you may have configured in the StreamsConfig. Given that the resulting implementation performs equivalently by definition, we seem this argument as not constructive.


  1. The example StreamToTableJoinScalaIntegrationTestImplicitSerdes demonstrates how to use the technique of implicit Serdes
  2. The example StreamToTableJoinScalaIntegrationTestImplicitSerialized demonstrates how to use the technique of implicit Serialized, Consumed and Produced.
  3. The example StreamToTableJoinScalaIntegrationTestMixImplicitSerialized demonstrates how to use the technique of how to use default serdes along with implicit Serialized, Consumed and Produced.