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Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ
Confluent Platform 5.0, the enterprise streaming platform built on Apache Kafka, supports LDAP authorization, Kafka topic inspection, and Confluent MQTT Proxy for Internet of Things (IoT) integration. The latest release is built on Apache Kafka 2.0 features and focuses on secure infrastructure, reliability and management of applications using streaming data.
Operations teams can use the new LDAP authorizer plugin to secure the messaging infrastructure. The plugin can be used to set up access control for Kafka, allowing customers to use user-group mappings defined in their LDAP server. The plugin allows user-principal-based as well as group-based Access Control Lists (ACLs).
Operators can also provide disaster recovery (DR) support because of the automatic offset translation available in the Confluent Replicator. The Replicator tool automates the replication of topic messages and related metadata. With the latest version of Confluent Platform, it also ensures that consumer offsets are available on the secondary cluster. When consumer client applications failover to the secondary cluster, Replicator handles consumer offset translation so that they can resume consuming near the last point they stopped consuming at in the original cluster. This minimizes the reprocessing that consumers needs to do in a disaster scenario without skipping messages.
In Confluent Control Center, operators can view broker configurations across multiple Kafka clusters, check configuration values for specific brokers, compare differences within a cluster to identify potential risks such as mismatched security configurations in different brokers and download configurations. They can also inspect consumer lag to ensure better performance of the apps using Kafka.
The Control Center allows users to gain insight into the actual data published to Kafka topics using the new topic inspection feature. Users can see the streaming messages in topics and read message attributes like key, header, and value data. The integration with Schema Registry helps the topic inspection feature to support data formats like JSON, string, and Avro. Users can also view older schema versions and compare them against current versions, which makes it easier to find differences in evolving schemas.
Control Center presents a new user interface for writing KSQL. The latest version of KSQL introduces support for nested data, user-defined functions (UDFs), User-Defined Aggregate Functions (UDAFs), new types of joins (stream-stream, table-table, and stream-table joins) and an enhanced REST API.
Confluent Platform new version also includes the Confluent MQTT Proxy for integrating Internet of Things (IoT) based applications with Kafka. MQTT Proxy enables the replacement of third party MQTT brokers with Kafka-native MQTT proxies and can be used in applications in connected cars, assembly lines in manufacturing, and predictive maintenance.
Using Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption and basic authentication, MQTT Proxy supports the MQTT 3.1.1 protocol and allows publishing messages in all three MQTT quality of service levels. The service levels include delivering the messages to the consumers: 1) at most once (Fire and forget), 2) at least once (confirmation required) and 3) exactly once.
Confluent Platform comes in two flavors: Confluent Open Source (download link), which includes open source components like Schema Registry, KSQL support, REST proxy, and pre-built connectors for external systems like Elasticsearch, HDFS, and S3.
Confluent Enterprise version (download link) includes Confluent Open Source features and adds other features like Confluent Control Center, auto data balancer, Replicator, and commercial support of the product.