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Version: Python

How to consume streaming data from Kafka topics

This guide shows you how to connect to one or more Kafka topics to stream data into Deephaven. It uses an example producer, which connects to a DevExperts DXFeed demo feed and publishes its quote and trade events as JSON messages through Kafka.

The demo feed contains a handful of symbols with 15 minute delayed publication during trading hours. In order to provide events during non-trading hours, the demo feed will replay random old events every few seconds.

The Kafka producer used in this guide creates quotes and trades topics using the local system as the broker.

Connect to Kafka broker topics

We can use the consume method to connect to the broker and the topics and receive events as they are published.

Use the sample Kafka producer container

A Docker container containing a Confluent Kafka Community Edition broker and the DXFeed Kafka producer is available in the Deephaven-Examples Repository as: kafka_sample_producer.tar.gz.

To clone this repository to follow along run:

git clone
cd kafka-sample-producer

To load the container, inside the repository directory run:

docker load < kafka_sample_producer.tar.gz

Next, one needs to run the broker. To do this you need to list your IP address. On a Mac the command is:

ipconfig getifaddr en0

To run it, execute:

docker run -e HOSTIP=<IP_address> -dp 9092:9092
  • IP_address is an address of your Docker host that is reachable from your Deephaven Community Core container.
  • 9092:9092 exposes port 9092 (the default port for Kafka) from the sample producer container to the host's IP.
  • -d indicates to run disconnected, rather than echoing container output back to the Docker host's console.

In the examples above, this container was started with HOSTIP=, and the queries were then able to connect to it to obtain the quotes and trades topics.

Create the quotes table

The following query creates the quotes table. Note that you need to change <IP_address> to match your own IP address that you have the producer running from before:

from deephaven import kafka_consumer as kc
from import TableType, KeyValueSpec
import deephaven.dtypes as dht

quotes = kc.consume({ 'bootstrap.servers' : '<IP_address>:9092' },
value_spec=kc.json_spec([('Sym', dht.string),
('AskSize', dht.int_),
('AskPrice', dht.double),
('BidSize', dht.int_),
('BidPrice', dht.double),
('AskExchange', dht.string),
('BidExchange', dht.string),
('AskTime', dht.long),
('BidTime', dht.long)]),
table_type=TableType.append()) \
.update_view(formulas=["AskTime = millisToTime(AskTime)"]) \
.update_view(formulas=["BidTime = millisToTime(BidTime)"])

Let's walk through the query step-by-step:

  • The module provides the consume method, which is used to connect to a Kafka broker and receive events.

  • The dtypes module, imported as dht, contains data type definitions to be used when adding columns/fields for parsing from JSON messages to a Deephaven table. Note the trailing underscore, which is a required part of the name for the int and long types used here.

  • quotes is the name of the table to create from the consume call.

  • The consume call includes the following:

    • The first argument is a dictionary which can contain Kafka client properties. The one property which we need to set is the bootstrap.servers list (the broker to connect to), including its name, or IP address, and port. 9092 is the default port for Kafka.
    • The next argument is the name of the topic to connect to (quotes).
    • The next two arguments are the key/value pair to parse from Kafka messages. In this case, we are going to accept all keys (KeyValueSpec.IGNORE), and parse the values as JSON (kafka_consumer.json_spec), with the array of the kafka_consumer.json argument being the list of columns/fields and their data types.
  • The last two statements (.update_view) operate on the quotes table to convert epoch milliseconds Ask and Bid time values to Deephaven DateTime values.

The result is a quotes table that populates as new events arrive:


New messages are added to the bottom of the table, by default, so you may want to .reverse() it, or sort in descending order by KafkaTimestamp, in order to see new events tick in.

Create the trades table

A similar query gets the trades topic data from Kafka. Note that you need to change <IP_address> to match your own IP address that you have the producer running from before:

from deephaven import kafka_consumer as kc
from import TableType, KeyValueSpec
import deephaven.dtypes as dht

trades = kc.consume({ 'bootstrap.servers' : '<IP_address>:9092' },
value_spec=kc.json_spec([('Sym', dht.string),
('Size', dht.int_),
('Price', dht.double),
('DayVolume', dht.int_),
('Exchange', dht.string),
('Time', dht.long)]),
table_type=TableType.append()) \
.update_view(formulas=["Time = millisToTime(Time)"])


Perform aggregations

We can then write other queries which combine and/or aggregate data from these streams. This query uses an as-of join to correlate trade events with the most recent bid for the same symbol.

related_quotes = trades.aj(table=quotes, on=["Sym, Time = BidTime"], joins=["BidTime, BidPrice, BidSize, BidExchange"])


The next query calculates the volume average price for each symbol on a per-minute basis, using the start of the minute as the binning value.

from deephaven import agg

agg_list = [
agg.avg(cols=["AvgPrice = Price"]),\
agg.sum_("Volume = Size"),\
agg.sum_("TotalGross = GrossPrice")

vwap = trades.view(formulas=["Sym", "Size", "Price", "TimeBin = lowerBin(Time, MINUTE)","GrossPrice = Price*Size"])\
.agg_by(agg_list, by=["Sym", "TimeBin"])\
.update_view(formulas=["VWAP = TotalGross/Volume"])


Create a simple plot

Now, we'll create the aapl_vwap table to limit the data to AAPL events, then plot VWAP vs actual price for each trade event. The query below depends on the vwap table created in the previous example:

from deephaven.plot.figure import Figure

aapl_vwap = vwap.where(filters=["Sym = `AAPL`"])

p = Figure()\
.plot_xy(series_name="VWAP", t=aapl_vwap, x="TimeBin", y="VWAP")\
.plot_xy(series_name="Price", t=trades.where(filters=["Sym = `AAPL`"], x="Time", y="Price"))\



The related_quotes and vwap tables do not work well outside of trading hours, because the before/after hours events lack real timestamps.