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Stream MQTT Data into Apache Pulsar


EMQX Enterprise Edition features. EMQX Enterprise Edition provides comprehensive coverage of key business scenarios, rich data integration, product-level reliability, and 24/7 global technical support. Experience the benefits of this enterprise-ready MQTT messaging platform today.

Apache Pulsar is a popular open-source distributed event streaming platform designed for the efficient transmission of real-time data streams between applications and systems. Apache Pulsar offers greater scalability, faster throughput, and lower latency. In IoT applications, data generated by devices is typically transmitted using a lightweight MQTT protocol. With data integration between Apache Pulsar and EMQX, users can effortlessly stream MQTT data into Apache Pulsar and connect it with other data systems for real-time processing, storage, and analysis of data generated by IoT devices.

This page provides a detailed overview of the data integration between EMQX and Pulsar with practical instructions on creating and validating the data integration.

How It Works

Apache Pulsar data integration is an out-of-the-box feature of EMQX that combines EMQX's device connectivity and message transmission capabilities with Pulsar's robust data processing capabilities. With the built-in rule engine component, the data streaming and processing process is simplified between the two platforms. This means that you can easily transmit MQTT data to Pulsar and leverage Pulsar's powerful features for data processing without the need for complex coding, making the management and utilization of IoT data more efficient and convenient.

EMQX Data Integration - Apache Pulsar

EMQX forwards MQTT data to Apache Pulsar through the rule engine and configured Sink, and the complete process is as follows:

  1. Message publication and reception: IoT devices establish successful connections through the MQTT protocol and subsequently publish telemetry and status data to specific topics. When EMQX receives these messages, it initiates the matching process within its rules engine.
  2. Rule engine processes messages: Using the built-in rule engine, MQTT messages from specific sources can be processed based on topic matching. The rule engine matches corresponding rules and processes messages, such as data format conversion, filtering specific information, or enriching messages with context information.
  3. Data streaming into Apache Pulsar: Rule triggers the action of forwarding messages to Pulsar where data can be easily configured to Pulsar message key and value. MQTT topics can also be mapped to Pulsar topics for better data organization and identification, facilitating subsequent data processing and analysis.

After MQTT message data is written to Apache Pulsar, you can engage in flexible application development, such as:

  • Write Pulsar consumer applications to subscribe and process these messages. Depending on business needs, you can associate, aggregate, or transform MQTT data with other data sources, achieving real-time data synchronization and integration.
  • Upon receiving specific MQTT messages, you can use Pulsar's rule engine component to trigger corresponding actions or events, enabling cross-system and application event-driven functionality.
  • Analyze MQTT data streams in real-time within Pulsar, detect anomalies or specific event patterns, and trigger alert notifications or perform corresponding actions based on these conditions.
  • Centralize data from multiple MQTT topics into a unified data stream and utilize Pulsar's computational capabilities for real-time aggregation, calculation, and analysis to gain more comprehensive data insights.

Features and Benefits

The data integration with Pulsar brings the following features and advantages to your business:

  • Reliable IoT Data Message Delivery: EMQX can reliably batch and send MQTT messages to Pulsar, enabling the integration of IoT devices with Pulsar and application systems.
  • MQTT Message Transformation: Using the rule engine, EMQX can filter and transform MQTT messages. Messages can undergo data extraction, filtering, enrichment, and transformation before being sent to Pulsar.
  • Flexible Topic Mapping: The Pulsar Sink supports flexible mapping of MQTT topics to Pulsar topics, allowing easy configuration of keys (Key) and values (Value) for data in Pulsar messages.
  • Flexible Partition Selection: The Pulsar Sink can select Pulsar partitions based on MQTT topics or clients using different strategies, providing flexibility in organizing and identifying data.
  • Processing Capabilities in High-Throughput Scenarios: The Pulsar Sink supports both synchronous and asynchronous write modes, allowing for a flexible balance between latency and throughput according to different scenarios.

Before You Start

This section describes the preparations you need to complete before you start to create the Pulsar data integration in EMQX Dashboard.


Install Pulsar

Run Pulsar in Docker.

docker run --rm -it -p 6650:6650 --name pulsar apachepulsar/pulsar:2.11.0 bin/pulsar standalone -nfw -nss

Refer to the Quick Start section in Pulsar Documentation for detailed operation steps.

Create Pulsar Topic

Relevant Pulsar topics should be created before creating the data integration in EMQX. Use the commands below to create a topic called my-topic in Pulsar under the public tenant, default namespace, with 1 partition.

docker exec -it pulsar bin/pulsar-admin topics create-partitioned-topic persistent://public/default/my-topic -p 1

Create a Connector

This section demonstrates how to create a Connector to connect the Sink to the Pulsar server.

The following steps assume that you run both EMQX and Pulsar on the local machine. If you have Pulsar and EMQX running remotely, adjust the settings accordingly.

  1. Enter the EMQX Dashboard and click Integration -> Connectors.
  2. Click Create in the top right corner of the page.
  3. On the Create Connector page, select Pulsar and then click Next.
  4. In the Configuration step, configure the following information:
    • Enter the connector name, which should be a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers, for example: my_pulsar.
    • Bridge Role: Producer is selected by default.
    • Configure the information for connecting to the Pulsar server and message writing:
      • Servers: Enter pulsar://localhost:6650 for the Servers. If you have Pulsar and EMQX running remotely, adjust the settings accordingly.
      • Authentication: Select the authentication method: none, Basic auth, or token. For Basic auth, EMQX joins Username and Password with : to make the authentication string.
      • Pulsar Topic Name: Enter persistent://public/default/my-topic, the pulsar topic you created before. Note: Variables are not supported here.
      • Partition Strategy: Select the way for the producer to dispatch messages to Pulsar partitions: random, roundrobin, or key_dispatch.
      • Compression: Specify whether or not to use compression algorithms and which algorithms are used to compress/decompress the records in a Pulsar message. The optional values are: no_compression, snappy, or zlib.
      • Enable TLS: If you want to establish an encrypted connection, click the toggle switch. For more information about TLS connection, see TLS for External Resource Access.
  5. Advanced settings (optional): See Advanced Configurations.
  6. Before clicking Create, you can click Test Connectivity to test if the connector can connect to the Pulsar server.
  7. Click the Create button at the bottom to complete the creation of the connector. In the pop-up dialog, you can click Back to Connector List or click Create Rule to continue creating rules and Sink to specify the data to be forwarded to Pulsar. For detailed steps, see Create a Rule with Pulsar Sink.

Create a Rule with Pulsar Sink

This section demonstrates how to create a rule in the Dashboard for processing messages from the source MQTT topic t/#, and saving the processed data to the Pulsar topic my-topic via a configured Sink.

  1. Go to EMQX Dashboard, and click Integration -> Rules.

  2. Click Create on the top right corner of the page.

  3. Enter a rule ID, for example, my_rule.

  4. Enter the following statement in the SQL Editor if you want to save the MQTT messages under topic t/# to Pulsar.

    Note: If you want to specify your own SQL syntax, make sure that you have included all fields required by the Sink in the SELECT part.


    Note: If you are a beginner user, click SQL Examples and Enable Test to learn and test the SQL rule.

  5. Click the + Add Action button to define an action that will be triggered by the rule. With this action, EMQX sends the data processed by the rule to Pulsar.

  6. Select Pulsar from the Action Type dropdown list.

  7. Keep the Action dropdown with the default Create Action value. You can also select a Sink if you have created one. This demonstration will create a new Sink.

  8. Enter a name for the Sink. The name should be a combination of upper/lower case letters and numbers.

  9. Select the my_pulsar just created from the Connector dropdown box. You can also create a new Connector by clicking the button next to the dropdown box. For the configuration parameters, see Create a Connector.

  10. Configure the following options for the Sink:

    • Message Key: Pulsar message key. Insert a string here, either a plain string or a string containing placeholders (${var}).
    • Message Value: Pulsar message value. Insert a string here, either a plain string or a string containing placeholders (${var}).
  11. Advanced settings (optional): See Advanced Configurations.

  12. Before clicking Create, you can click Test Connectivity to test that the Connector can connect to the Pulsar server.

  13. Click the Create button to complete the Sink configuration. A new Sink will be added to the Action Outputs.

  14. Back on the Create Rule page, verify the configured information. Click the Create button to generate the rule.

You have now successfully created the rule. You can see the newly created rule on the Integration -> Rules page. Click the Actions(Sink) tab and you can see the new Pulsar Sink.

You can also click Integration -> Flow Designer to view the topology and you can see that the messages under topic t/# are sent and saved to Pulsar.

Test the Rule

Use MQTTX to send messages to topic t/1:

mqttx pub -i emqx_c -t t/1 -m '{ "msg": "Hello Pulsar" }'

Check the Sink running status, there should be one new incoming and one new outgoing message.

Check whether messages are written into the topic persistent://public/default/my-topic with the following Pulsar command:

docker exec -it pulsar bin/pulsar-client consume -n 0 -s mysubscriptionid -p Earliest persistent://public/default/my-topic

Advanced Configurations

This section describes some advanced configuration options that can optimize the performance of your Pulsar Sink and customize the operation based on your specific scenarios. When creating the Sink, you can unfold the Advanced Settings and configure the following settings according to your business needs.

FieldsDescriptionsRecommended Values
Sync Publish TimeoutThe maximum amount of time the publisher will wait for a response or confirmation that the message has been successfully delivered in a synchronous publish operation.
This timeout setting can be essential for ensuring data reliability, as it prevents the publisher from blocking indefinitely in case of delivery issues or network problems.
3 second
Retention PeriodThis option defines how long messages published to Pulsar topics will be retained in those topics. This setting allows you to control the duration for which messages will be available for consumption by subscribers.
The default setting is infinity which means there is no automatic expiration of messages.
If you specify a numerical value in seconds, messages that exceed this time limit will automatically expire and be removed from the topic.
Socket Send Buffer SizeManages the size of socket buffers to optimize network transmission performance.1 MB
Batch SizeSpecify the maximum number of individual requests to be batched within a Pulsar message.100
Max Batch BytesThe maximum size, in bytes, for collecting messages within a Pulsar batch. Typically, Pulsar brokers have a default batch size limit of 1 MB. However, EMQX's default value is intentionally set slightly lower than 1 MB to account for Pulsar message encoding overheads, particularly when individual messages are very small. A single message will still be sent as a separate batch if it exceeds this limit.900 KB
Connect TimeoutThe maximum time to wait for TCP connection establishment includes the authentication time if enabled.5 second
Buffer ModeDefines whether messages are stored in a buffer before being sent. Memory buffering can increase transmission speeds.
memory: Messages are buffered in memory. They will be lost in the event of an EMQX node restart.
disk: Messages are buffered on disk, ensuring they can survive an EMQX node restart.
hybrid: Messages are initially buffered in memory. When they reach a certain limit (refer to the segment_bytes configuration for more details), they are gradually offloaded to disk. Similar to the memory mode, messages will be lost if the EMQX node restarts.
Per-partition Buffer LimitMaximum allowed buffer size, in bytes, for each Pulsar partition. When this limit is reached, older messages will be discarded to make room for new ones by reclaiming buffer space.
This option helps to balance memory usage and performance.
2 GB
Segment File BytesThis setting is applicable when the buffer mode is configured as disk or hybrid. It controls the size of segmented files used to store messages, influencing the optimization level of disk storage.100 MB
Memory Overload ProtectionThis setting applies when the buffer mode is configured as memory. EMQX will automatically discard older buffered messages when it encounters high memory pressure. It helps prevent system instability due to excessive memory usage, ensuring system reliability.
Note: The threshold for high memory usage is defined in the configuration parameter sysmon.os.sysmem_high_watermark. This configuration is effective only on Linux systems.
Start TimeoutDetermines the maximum time interval, in seconds, that the Connector will wait for an auto-started resource to reach a healthy state before responding to resource creation requests. This setting helps ensure that the Connector does not proceed with operations until it verifies that the connected resource, such as an instance in Polar, is fully operational and ready to handle data transactions.5 second
Health Check IntervalThe time interval for checking the running status of the Sink.1 second