absaoss / abris

Avro SerDe for Apache Spark structured APIs.


ABRiS - Avro Bridge for Spark

  • Pain free Spark/Avro integration.

  • Seamlessly convert your Avro records from anywhere (e.g. Kafka, Parquet, HDFS, etc) into Spark Rows.

  • Convert your Dataframes into Avro records without even specifying a schema.

  • Seamlessly integrate with Confluent platform, including Schema Registry with all available naming strategies and schema evolution.

  • Go back-and-forth Spark Avro (since Spark 2.4).

Coordinates for Maven POM dependency

Abris for Scala 2.11

Maven Central

Abris for Scala 2.12

Maven Central

Supported Spark versions

On spark 2.4.x Abris should work without any further requirements.

On Spark 2.3.x you must declare dependency on org.apache.avro:avro:1.8.0 or higher. (Spark 2.3.x uses Avro 1.7.x so you must overwrite this because ABRiS needs Avro 1.8.0+.)


ABRiS API is in it's most basic form almost identical to Spark built-in support for Avro, but it provides additional functionality. Mainly it's support of schema registry and also seamless integration with confluent Avro data format.

The API consists of four Spark SQL expressions:

  • to_avro and from_avro used for normal Avro payload
  • to_confluent_avro and from_confluent_avro used for Confluent Avro data format

Detailed instructions for many use cases are in separated documents:

Full runnable examples can be found in the za.co.absa.abris.examples package. You can also take a look at unit tests in package za.co.absa.abris.avro.sql.

IMPORTANT: Spark dependencies have provided scope in the pom.xml, so when running the examples, please make sure that you either, instruct your IDE to include dependencies with provided scope, or change the scope directly.

Confluent Avro format

The format of Avro binary data is defined in Avro specification. Confluent format extends it and prepends the schema id before the actual record. The Confluent expressions in this library expect this format and add the id after the Avro data are generated or remove it before they are parsed.

You can find more about Confluent and Schema Registry in Confluent documentation.

Schema Registry security settings

Some settings are required when using Schema Registry, as explained above. However, there is more settings supported by Schema Registry as contained in io.confluent.kafka.serializers.AbstractKafkaAvroSerDeConfig.

Among those are basic.auth.user.info and basic.auth.credentials.source required for user authentication.

To make use of those, all that is required is to add them to the settings map as in the example below:

val commonRegistryConfig = Map(
  SchemaManager.PARAM_SCHEMA_REGISTRY_TOPIC -> "example_topic",
  SchemaManager.PARAM_SCHEMA_REGISTRY_URL -> "http://localhost:8081"

val valueRegistryConfig = commonRegistryConfig +
  (SchemaManager.PARAM_VALUE_SCHEMA_NAMING_STRATEGY -> "topic.name")

val securityRegistryConfig = valueRegistryConfig + 
  ("basic.auth.credentials.source" -> "USER_INFO",
   "basic.auth.user.info" -> "srkey:srvalue")

Using ABRiS with Python and PySpark

ABRiS can also be used with PySpark to deserialize Avro payloads from Confluent Kafka. For that, we need to convert Python object into JVM ones. The snippet below shows how it can be achieved.

import logging, traceback
import requests
from pyspark.sql import Column
from pyspark.sql.column import *

jvm_gateway = spark_context._gateway.jvm
abris_avro  = jvm_gateway.za.co.absa.abris.avro
naming_strategy = getattr(getattr(abris_avro.read.confluent.SchemaManager, "SchemaStorageNamingStrategies$"), "MODULE$").TOPIC_NAME()        

schema_registry_config_dict = {"schema.registry.url": schema_registry_url,
                               "schema.registry.topic": topic,
                               "value.schema.id": "latest",
                               "value.schema.naming.strategy": naming_strategy}

conf_map = getattr(getattr(jvm_gateway.scala.collection.immutable.Map, "EmptyMap$"), "MODULE$")
    for k, v in schema_registry_config_dict.items():
        conf_map = getattr(conf_map, "$plus")(jvm_gateway.scala.Tuple2(k, v))
    deserialized_df = data_frame.select(Column(abris_avro.functions.from_confluent_avro(data_frame._jdf.col("value"), conf_map))

Other Features

Using schema manager to directly download or register schema

You can use SchemaManager directly to download or upload a schema. The configuration is identical to one use for the rest of Abris. The SchemaManager API may be changed from version to version. It's still considered to be internal object of the library.

// Downloading schema:

val schemaRegistryConfig = Map( ...configuration... )

val schemaManager = SchemaManagerFactoryg.create(schemaRegistryConfig)
val schema = schemaManager.downloadSchema()
// Registering schema:

val schemaString = "...schema..."
val schemaRegistryConfig = Map( ...configuration... )

val schemaManager = SchemaManagerFactory.create(schemaRegistryConfig)
val schemaId = schemaManager.register(schemaString)

Data Conversions

This library also provides convenient methods to convert between Avro and Spark schemas.

If you have an Avro schema which you want to convert into a Spark SQL one - to generate your Dataframes, for instance - you can do as follows:

val avroSchema: Schema = AvroSchemaUtils.load("path_to_avro_schema")
val sqlSchema: StructType = SparkAvroConversions.toSqlType(avroSchema) 

You can also do the inverse operation by running:

val sqlSchema = new StructType(new StructField ....
val avroSchema = SparkAvroConversions.toAvroSchema(sqlSchema, avro_schema_name, avro_schema_namespace)

IMPORTANT - Note on Schema Registry naming strategies

The naming strategies RecordName and TopicRecordName allow for a topic to receive different payloads, i.e. payloads containing different schemas that do not have to be compatible, as explained here.

However, currently, there is no way for Spark to change Dataframes schemas on the fly, thus, if incompatible schemas are used on the same topic, the job will fail. Also, it would be cumbersome to write jobs that shift between schemas.

A possible solution would be for ABRiS to create an uber schema from all schemas expected to be part of a topic, which will be investigated in future releases.

Avro Fixed type

Fixed is an alternative way of encoding binary data in Avro. Unlike bytes type the fixed type doesn't store the length of the data in the payload, but in Avro schema itself.

The corresponding data type in Spark is BinaryType, but the inferred schema will always use bytes type for this kind of data. If you want to use the fixed type you must provide the appropriate Avro schema.

Copyright 2018 ABSA Group Limited

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
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