What is Confluent Schema Registry?

Confluent Schema Registry provides a serving layer for your metadata. It provides a RESTful interface for storing and retrieving your Avro®, JSON Schema, and Protobuf schemas. It stores a versioned history of all schemas based on a specified subject name strategy, provides multiple compatibility settings and allows evolution of schemas according to the configured compatibility settings and expanded support for these schema types. It provides serializers that plug into Apache Kafka® clients that handle schema storage and retrieval for Kafka messages that are sent in any of the supported formats.

Schema Registry lives outside of and separately from your Kafka brokers. Your producers and consumers still talk to Kafka to publish and read data (messages) to topics. Concurrently, they can also talk to Schema Registry to send and retrieve schemas that describe the data models for the messages.

Confluent Schema Registry for storing and retrieving schemas

Schema Registry is a distributed storage layer for schemas which uses Kafka as its underlying storage mechanism. Some key design decisions:

  • Assigns globally unique ID to each registered schema. Allocated IDs are guaranteed to be monotonically increasing but not necessarily consecutive.
  • Kafka provides the durable backend, and functions as a write-ahead changelog for the state of Schema Registry and the schemas it contains.
  • Schema Registry is designed to be distributed, with single-primary architecture, and ZooKeeper/Kafka coordinates primary election (based on the configuration).

Read more: https://docs.confluent.io/current/schema-registry/index.html