Should/Will Kafka Connect support schema evolution using Avro 1.10.X enum defaults?

We are using Kafka Connect to pipe data from Kafka topics into parquet files on HDFS and/or S3. Our Kafka data is serialised using Avro (schema registry).

At the moment we use 2 connectors for this

  • HDFS2 Sink Connector
  • Amazon S3 Sink Connector

Up until recently we would set “schema.compatibility” to “NONE” in our connectors, but this had the pain-full side-effect that during deploys of our application we got huge file explosions (lots of very small files in HDFS / S3). This happens because kafka connect will create a new file every time the schema id of a log changes compared to the previous log. During deploys of our applications (which can take up to 20 minutes) multiple logs of mixed schema ids are inevitable and given the huge amounts of logs file explosions of up to a million files weren’t uncommon.

To solve this problem we switched all our connectors “schema.compatibility” to “BACKWARD”, which should only create a new file when a higher schema id is detected and deserialise all logs with the latest known schema id. Which should only create one new file during deploys.

An example connector config:

{
    "name": "hdfs-Project_Test_Subject",
    "config": {
        "connector.class": "io.confluent.connect.hdfs.HdfsSinkConnector",
        "partition.duration.ms": "86400000",
        "topics.dir": "/user/kafka/Project",
        "hadoop.conf.dir": "/opt/hadoop/conf",
        "flush.size": "1000000",
        "schema.compatibility": "BACKWARD",
        "topics": "Project_Test_Subject",
        "timezone": "UTC",
        "hdfs.url": "hdfs://hadoophost:9000",
        "value.converter.value.subject.name.strategy": "io.confluent.kafka.serializers.subject.TopicNameStrategy",
        "rotate.interval.ms": "7200000",
        "locale": "C",
        "hadoop.home": "/opt/hadoop",
        "logs.dir": "/user/kafka/_logs",
        "format.class": "io.confluent.connect.hdfs.parquet.ParquetFormat",
        "partitioner.class": "io.confluent.connect.storage.partitioner.TimeBasedPartitioner",
        "name": "hdfs-Project_Test_Subject",
        "errors.tolerance": "all",
        "storage.class": "io.confluent.connect.hdfs.storage.HdfsStorage",
        "path.format": "YYYY/MM/dd"
    }
}

However, we have lots of enum fields in our data records (avro schemas) to which subjects get added frequently, and this is causing issues with our Kafka Connect connectors FAILING with these kinds of errors:

Schema parameters not equal. 
source parameters: 
{io.confluent.connect.avro.enum.default.testfield=null, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum=Ablo.testfield, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.null=null, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.value1=value1, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.value2=value2}
and target parameters:
{io.confluent.connect.avro.enum.default.testfield=null, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum=Ablo.testfield, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.null=null, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.value1=value1, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.value2=value2, io.confluent.connect.avro.Enum.value3=value3}

Since Avro 1.10.X specification, enum values support defaults, which makes schema evolution possible even when adding subjects (values) to an enum. When testing our schemas for compatibility using the Schema Registry api we always get “is_compatible” => true. So schema evolution should in theorie not be a problem.

The error above is thrown in the SchemaProjector class which is part of Kafka Connect, more specifically in the function checkMaybeCompatible(). It seems like this function is not respecting the Avro 1.10.X specification for enum schema evolution, and I’m not sure if it is meant to respect it? Is this something that is known / being worked on? As we currently don’t have any other routes to fix this issue and returning to the “NONE” schema compatibility is no options considering the file explosions, we’re kinda stuck here.