The Pulsar Functions API Preview


Pulsar Functions provides an easy-to-use API that developers can use to create and manage processing logic for the Apache Pulsar messaging system. With Pulsar Functions, you can write functions of any level of complexity in Java or Python and run them in conjunction with a Pulsar cluster without needing to run a separate stream processing engine.

For a more in-depth overview of the Pulsar Functions feature, see the Pulsar Functions overview.

Core programming model

Pulsar Functions provide a wide range of functionality but are based on a very simple programming model. You can think of Pulsar Functions as lightweight processes that

  • consume messages from one or more Pulsar topics and then
  • apply some user-defined processing logic to each incoming message. That processing logic could be just about anything you want, including
    • producing the resulting, processed message on another Pulsar topic, or
    • doing something else with the message, such as writing results to an external database.

You could use Pulsar Functions, for example, to set up the following processing chain:

  • A Python function listens on the raw-sentences topic and “sanitizes” incoming strings (removing extraneous whitespace and converting all characters to lower case) and then publishes the results to a sanitized-sentences topic
  • A Java function listens on the sanitized-sentences topic, counts the number of times each word appears within a specified time window, and publishes the results to a results topic
  • Finally, a Python function listens on the results topic and writes the results to a MySQL table

Example function

Here’s an example “input sanitizer” function written in Python and stored in a sanitizer.py file:

def clean_string(s):
    return s.strip().lower()

def process(input):
    return clean_string(input)

Some things to note about this Pulsar Function:

  • There is no client, producer, or consumer object involved. All message “plumbing” is already taken care of for you, enabling you to worry only about processing logic.
  • No topics, subscription types, tenants, or namespaces are specified in the function logic itself. Instead, topics are specified upon deployment. This means that you can use and re-use Pulsar Functions across topics, tenants, and namespaces without needing to hard-code those attributes.

Example deployment

Deploying Pulsar Functions is handled by the pulsar-admin CLI tool, in particular the functions command. Here’s an example command that would run our sanitizer function from above in local run mode:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions localrun \
  --py sanitizer.py \          # The Python file with the function's code
  --className sanitizer \      # The class or function holding the processing logic
  --tenant public \            # The function's tenant (derived from the topic name by default)
  --namespace default \        # The function's namespace (derived from the topic name by default)
  --name sanitizer-function \  # The name of the function (the class name by default)
  --inputs dirty-strings-in \  # The input topic(s) for the function
  --output clean-strings-out \ # The output topic for the function
  --logTopic sanitizer-logs    # The topic to which all functions logs are published

For instructions on running functions in your Pulsar cluster, see the Deploying Pulsar Functions guide.

Available APIs

In both Java and Python, you have two options for writing Pulsar Functions:

Interface Description Use cases
Language-native interface No Pulsar-specific libraries or special dependencies required (only core libraries from Java/Python) Functions that don’t require access to the function’s context
Pulsar Function SDK for Java/Python Pulsar-specific libraries that provide a range of functionality not provided by “native” interfaces Functions that require access to the function’s context

In Python, for example, this language-native function, which adds an exclamation point to all incoming strings and publishes the resulting string to a topic, would have no external dependencies:

def process(input):
    return "{}!".format(input)

This function, however, would use the Pulsar Functions SDK for Python:

from pulsar import Function

class DisplayFunctionName(Function):
    def process(self, input, context):
        function_name = context.function_name()
        return "The function processing this message has the name {0}".format(function_name)

Serialization and deserialization (SerDe)

SerDe stands for Serialization and Deserialization. All Pulsar Functions use SerDe for message handling. How SerDe works by default depends on the language you’re using for a particular function:

  • In Python, the default SerDe is identity, meaning that the type is serialized as whatever type the producer function returns
  • In Java, a number of commonly used types (Strings, Integers, etc.) are supported by default

In both languages, however, you can write your own custom SerDe logic for more complex, application-specific types. See the docs for Java and Python for language-specific instructions.

Context

Both the Java and Python SDKs provide access to a context object that can be used by the function. This context object provides a wide variety of information and functionality to the function:

  • The name and ID of the Pulsar Function
  • The message ID of each message. Each Pulsar message is automatically assigned an ID.
  • The name of the topic on which the message was sent
  • The names of all input topics as well as the output topic associated with the function
  • The name of the class used for SerDe
  • The tenant and namespace associated with the function
  • The ID of the Pulsar Functions instance running the function
  • The version of the function
  • The logger object used by the function, which can be used to create function log messages
  • Access to arbitrary user config values supplied via the CLI
  • An interface for recording metrics

User config

When you run or update Pulsar Functions created using the SDK, you can pass arbitrary key/values to them via the command line with the --userConfig flag. Key/values must be specified as JSON. Here’s an example of a function creation command that passes a user config key/value to a function:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  --name word-filter \
  # Other function configs
  --userConfig '{"forbidden-word":"rosebud"}'

If the function were a Python function, that config value could be accessed like this:

from pulsar import Function

class WordFilter(Function):
    def process(self, context, input):
        forbidden_word = context.user_config()["forbidden-word"]

        # Don't publish the message if it contains the user-supplied
        # forbidden word
        if forbidden_word in input:
            pass
        # Otherwise publish the message
        else:
            return input

Pulsar Functions for Java

Writing Pulsar Functions in Java involves implementing one of two interfaces:

Getting started

In order to write Pulsar Functions in Java, you’ll need to install the proper dependencies and package your function as a JAR.

Dependencies

How you get started writing Pulsar Functions in Java depends on which API you’re using:

  • If you’re writing a Java native function, you won’t need any external dependencies.
  • If you’re writing a Java SDK function, you’ll need to import the pulsar-functions-api library.

    Here’s an example for a Maven pom.xml configuration file:

    <dependency>
        <groupId>org.apache.pulsar</groupId>
        <artifactId>pulsar-functions-api</artifactId>
        <version>2.0.0-incubating-SNAPSHOT</version>
    </dependency>
    

    Here’s an example for a Gradle build.gradle configuration file:

    dependencies {
      compile group: 'org.apache.pulsar', name: 'pulsar-functions-api', version: '2.0.0-incubating-SNAPSHOT'
    }
    

Packaging

Whether you’re writing Java Pulsar Functions using the native Java java.util.Function interface or using the Java SDK, you’ll need to package your function(s) as a “fat” JAR.

Starter repo

If you’d like to get up and running quickly, you can use this repo, which contains the necessary Maven configuration to build a fat JAR as well as some example functions.

Java native functions

If your function doesn’t require access to its context, you can create a Pulsar Function by implementing the java.util.Function interface, which has this very simple, single-method signature:

public interface Function<I, O> {
    O apply(I input);
}

Here’s an example function that takes a string as its input, adds an exclamation point to the end of the string, and then publishes the resulting string:

import java.util.Function;

public class ExclamationFunction implements Function<String, String> {
    @Override
    public String process(String input) {
        return String.format("%s!", input);
    }
}

In general, you should use native functions when you don’t need access to the function’s context. If you do need access to the function’s context, then we recommend using the Pulsar Functions Java SDK.

Java native examples

There is one example Java native function in this folder:

Java SDK functions

To get started developing Pulsar Functions using the Java SDK, you’ll need to add a dependency on the pulsar-functions-api artifact to your project. Instructions can be found above.

An easy way to get up and running with Pulsar Functions in Java is to clone the pulsar-functions-java-starter repo and follow the instructions there.

Java SDK examples

There are several example Java SDK functions in this folder:

Function name Description
ContextFunction Illustrates context-specific functionality like logging and metrics
CounterFunction Illustrates usage of Pulsar Function counters
ExclamationFunction A basic string manipulation function for the Java SDK
LoggingFunction A function that shows how logging works for Java
PublishFunction Publishes results to a topic specified in the function’s user config (rather than on the function’s output topic)
UserConfigFunction A function that consumes user-supplied configuration values
UserMetricFunction A function that records metrics
VoidFunction A simple void function

Java context object

The Context interface provides a number of methods that you can use to access the function’s context. The various method signatures for the Context interface are listed below:

public interface Context {
    byte[] getMessageId();
    String getTopicName();
    Collection<String> getSourceTopics();
    String getSinkTopic();
    String getOutputSerdeClassName();
    String getTenant();
    String getNamespace();
    String getFunctionName();
    String getFunctionId();
    String getInstanceId();
    String getFunctionVersion();
    Logger getLogger();
    Map<String, String> getUserConfigMap();
    Optional<String> getUserConfigValue(String key);
    String getUserConfigValueOrDefault(String key, String default);
    void recordMetric(String metricName, double value);
    <O> CompletableFuture<Void> publish(String topicName, O object, String serDeClassName);
    <O> CompletableFuture<Void> publish(String topicName, O object);
    CompletableFuture<Void> ack(byte[] messageId, String topic);
}

Here’s an example function that uses several methods available via the Context object:

import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Context;
import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Function;
import org.slf4j.Logger;

import java.util.stream.Collectors;

public class ContextFunction implements Function<String, Void> {
    public Void process(String input, Context context) {
        Logger LOG = context.getLogger();
        String inputTopics = context.getInputTopics().stream().collect(Collectors.joining(", "));
        String functionName = context.getFunctionName();

        String logMessage = String.format("A message with a value of \"%s\" has arrived on one of the following topics: %s\n",
                input,
                inputTopics);

        LOG.info(logMessage);

        String metricName = String.format("function-%s-messages-received", functionName);
        context.recordMetric(metricName, 1);

        return null;
    }
}

Void functions

Pulsar Functions can publish results to an output topic, but this isn’t required. You can also have functions that simply produce a log, write results to a database, etc. Here’s a function that writes a simple log every time a message is received:

import org.slf4j.Logger;

public class LogFunction implements PulsarFunction<String, Void> {
    public String apply(String input, Context context) {
        Logger LOG = context.getLogger();
        LOG.info("The following message was received: {}", input);
        return null;
    }
}

When using Java functions in which the output type is Void, the function must always return null.

Java SerDe

Pulsar Functions use SerDe when publishing data to and consuming data from Pulsar topics. When you’re writing Pulsar Functions in Java, the following basic Java types are built in and supported by default:

  • String
  • Double
  • Integer
  • Float
  • Long
  • Short
  • Byte

Built-in vs. custom. For custom, you need to implement this interface:

public interface SerDe<T> {
    T deserialize(byte[] input);
    byte[] serialize(T input);
}

Java SerDe example

Imagine that you’re writing Pulsar Functions in Java that are processing tweet objects. Here’s a simple example Tweet class:

public class Tweet {
    private String username;
    private String tweetContent;

    public Tweet(String username, String tweetContent) {
        this.username = username;
        this.tweetContent = tweetContent;
    }

    // Standard setters and getters
}

In order to be able to pass Tweet objects directly between Pulsar Functions, you’ll need to provide a custom SerDe class. In the example below, Tweet objects are basically strings in which the username and tweet content are separated by a |.

package com.example.serde;

import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.SerDe;

import java.util.regex.Pattern;

public class TweetSerde implements SerDe<Tweet> {
    public Tweet deserialize(byte[] input) {
        String s = new String(input);
        String[] fields = s.split(Pattern.quote("|"));
        return new Tweet(fields[0], fields[1]);
    }

    public byte[] serialize(Tweet input) {
        return "%s|%s".format(input.getUsername(), input.getTweetContent()).getBytes();
    }
}

To apply this custom SerDe to a particular Pulsar Function, you would need to:

  • Package the Tweet and TweetSerde classes into a JAR
  • Specify a path to the JAR and SerDe class name when deploying the function

Here’s an example create operation:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  --jar /path/to/your.jar \
  --outputSerdeClassName com.example.serde.TweetSerde \
  # Other function attributes

Custom SerDe classes must be packaged with your function JARs

Pulsar does not store your custom SerDe classes separately from your Pulsar Functions. That means that you’ll need to always include your SerDe classes in your function JARs. If not, Pulsar will return an error.

Java logging

Pulsar Functions that use the Java SDK have access to an SLF4j Logger object that can be used to produce logs at the chosen log level. Here’s a simple example function that logs either a WARNING- or INFO-level log based on whether the incoming string contains the word danger:

import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Context;
import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Function;
import org.slf4j.Logger;

public class LoggingFunction implements Function<String, Void> {
    @Override
    public void apply(String input, Context context) {
        Logger LOG = context.getLogger();
        String messageId = new String(context.getMessageId());

        if (input.contains("danger")) {
            LOG.warn("A warning was received in message {}", messageId);
        } else {
            LOG.info("Message {} received\nContent: {}", messageId, input);
        }

        return null;
    }
}

If you want your function to produce logs, you need to specify a log topic when creating or running the function. Here’s an example:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  --jar my-functions.jar \
  --className my.package.LoggingFunction \
  --logTopic persistent://public/default/logging-function-logs \
  # Other function configs

Now, all logs produced by the LoggingFunction above can be accessed via the persistent://public/default/logging-function-logs topic.

Java user config

The Java SDK’s Context object enables you to access key/value pairs provided to the Pulsar Function via the command line (as JSON). Here’s an example function creation command that passes a key/value pair:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  # Other function configs
  --userConfig '{"word-of-the-day":"verdure"}'

To access that value in a Java function:

import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Context;
import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Function;
import org.slf4j.Logger;

import java.util.Optional;

public class UserConfigFunction implements Function<String, Void> {
    @Override
    public void apply(String input, Context context) {
        Logger LOG = context.getLogger();
        Optional<String> wotd = context.getUserConfigValue("word-of-the-day");
        if (wotd.isPresent()) {
            LOG.info("The word of the day is {}", wotd);
        } else {
            LOG.warn("No word of the day provided");
        }
        return null;
    }
}

The UserConfigFunction function will log the string "The word of the day is verdure" every time the function is invoked (i.e. every time a message arrives). The word-of-the-day user config will be changed only when the function is updated with a new config value via the command line.

You can also access the entire user config map or set a default value in case no value is present:

// Get the whole config map
Map<String, String> allConfigs = context.getUserConfigMap();

// Get value or resort to default
String wotd = context.getUserConfigValueOrDefault("word-of-the-day", "perspicacious");

For all key/value pairs passed to Java Pulsar Functions, both the key and the value are Strings. If you’d like the value to be of a different type, you will need to deserialize from the String type.

Java metrics

You can record metrics using the Context object on a per-key basis. You can, for example, set a metric for the key process-count and a different metric for the key elevens-count every time the function processes a message. Here’s an example:

import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Context;
import org.apache.pulsar.functions.api.Function;

public class MetricRecorderFunction implements Function<Integer, Void> {
    @Override
    public void apply(Integer input, Context context) {
        // Records the metric 1 every time a message arrives
        context.recordMetric("hit-count", 1);

        // Records the metric only if the arriving number equals 11
        if (input == 11) {
            context.recordMetric("elevens-count", 1);
        }

        return null;
    }
}

For instructions on reading and using metrics, see the Monitoring guide.

Pulsar Functions for Python

Writing Pulsar Functions in Python entails implementing one of two things:

  • A process function that takes an input (message data from the function’s input topic(s)), applies some kind of logic to it, and either returns an object (to be published to the function’s output topic) or passes and thus doesn’t produce a message
  • A Function class that has a process method that provides a message input to process and a context object

Getting started

Regardless of which deployment mode you’re using, you’ll need to install the following Python libraries on any machine that’s running Pulsar Functions written in Python:

That could be your local machine for local run mode or a machine running a Pulsar broker for cluster mode. To install those libraries using pip:

$ pip install pulsar-client protobuf futures grpcio grpcio-tools

Packaging

At the moment, the code for Pulsar Functions written in Python must be contained within a single Python file. In the future, Pulsar Functions may support other packaging formats, such as Python EXecutables (PEXes).

Python native functions

If your function doesn’t require access to its context, you can create a Pulsar Function by implementing a process function, which provides a single input object that you can process however you wish. Here’s an example function that takes a string as its input, adds an exclamation point at the end of the string, and then publishes the resulting string:

def process(input):
    return "{0}!".format(input)

In general, you should use native functions when you don’t need access to the function’s context. If you do need access to the function’s context, then we recommend using the Pulsar Functions Python SDK.

Python native examples

There is one example Python native function in this folder:

Python SDK functions

To get started developing Pulsar Functions using the Python SDK, you’ll need to install the pulsar-client library using the instructions above.

Python SDK examples

There are several example Python functions in this folder:

Function file Description
exclamation.py Adds an exclamation point at the end of each incoming string
logfunction.py Logs each incoming message
thumbnailer.py Takes image data as input and outputs a 128x128 thumbnail of each image

Python context object

The Context class provides a number of methods that you can use to access the function’s context. The various methods for the Context class are listed below:

Method What it provides
get_message_id The message ID of the message being processed
get_topic_name The input topic of the message being processed
get_function_name The name of the current Pulsar Function
get_function_id The ID of the current Pulsar Function
get_instance_id The ID of the current Pulsar Functions instance
get_function_version The version of the current Pulsar Function
get_logger A logger object that can be used for logging
get_user_config_value Returns the value of a user-defined config (or None if the config doesn’t exist)
get_user_config_map Returns the entire user-defined config as a dict
record_metric Records a per-key metric
publish Publishes a message to the specified Pulsar topic
get_output_serde_class_name The name of the output SerDe class
ack Acks the message being processed to Pulsar

Python SerDe

Pulsar Functions use SerDe when publishing data to and consuming data from Pulsar topics (this is true of both native functions and SDK functions). You can specify the SerDe when creating or running functions. Here’s an example:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  --tenant public \
  --namespace default \
  --name my_function \
  --py my_function.py \
  --className my_function.MyFunction \
  --customSerdeInputs '{"input-topic-1":"Serde1","input-topic-2":"Serde2"}' \
  --outputSerdeClassName Serde3 \
  --output output-topic-1

In this case, there are two input topics, input-topic-1 and input-topic-2, each of which is mapped to a different SerDe class (the map must be specified as a JSON string). The output topic, output-topic-1, uses the Serde3 class for SerDe. At the moment, all Pulsar Function logic, include processing function and SerDe classes, must be contained within a single Python file.

When using Pulsar Functions for Python, you essentially have three SerDe options:

  1. You can use the IdentitySerde, which leaves the data unchanged. The IdentitySerDe is the default. Creating or running a function without explicitly specifying SerDe will mean that this option is used.
  2. You can use the PickeSerDe, which uses Python’s pickle for SerDe.
  3. You can create a custom SerDe class by implementing the baseline SerDe class, which has just two methods: serialize for converting the object into bytes, and deserialize for converting bytes into an object of the required application-specific type.

The table below shows when you should use each SerDe:

SerDe option When to use
IdentitySerde When you’re working with simple types like strings, Booleans, integers, and the like
PickleSerDe When you’re working with complex, application-specific types and are comfortable with pickle’s “best effort” approach
Custom SerDe When you require explicit control over SerDe, potentially for performance or data compatibility purposes

Python SerDe example

Imagine that you’re writing Pulsar Functions in Python that are processing tweet objects. Here’s a simple Tweet class:

class Tweet(object):
    def __init__(self, username, tweet_content):
        self.username = username
        self.tweet_content = tweet_content

In order to use this class in Pulsar Functions, you’d have two options:

  1. You could specify PickleSerDe, which would apply the pickle library’s SerDe
  2. You could create your own SerDe class. Here’s a simple example:
  from pulsar import SerDe

  class TweetSerDe(SerDe):
      def __init__(self, tweet):
          self.tweet = tweet

      def serialize(self, input):
          return bytes("{0}|{1}".format(self.tweet.username, self.tweet.tweet_content))

      def deserialize(self, input_bytes):
          tweet_components = str(input_bytes).split('|')
          return Tweet(tweet_components[0], tweet_componentsp[1])

Python logging

Pulsar Functions that use the Python SDK have access to a logging object that can be used to produce logs at the chosen log level. Here’s a simple example function that logs either a WARNING- or INFO-level log based on whether the incoming string contains the word danger:

from pulsar import Function

class LoggingFunction(Function):
    def process(self, input, context):
        logger = context.get_logger()
        msg_id = context.get_message_id()
        if 'danger' in input:
            logger.warn("A warning was received in message {0}".format(context.get_message_id()))
        else:
            logger.info("Message {0} received\nContent: {1}".format(msg_id, input))

If you want your function to produce logs on a Pulsar topic, you need to specify a log topic when creating or running the function. Here’s an example:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  --py logging_function.py \
  --className logging_function.LoggingFunction \
  --logTopic logging-function-logs \
  # Other function configs

Now, all logs produced by the LoggingFunction above can be accessed via the logging-function-logs topic.

Python user config

The Python SDK’s Context object enables you to access key/value pairs provided to the Pulsar Function via the command line (as JSON). Here’s an example function creation command that passes a key/value pair:

$ bin/pulsar-admin functions create \
  # Other function configs \
  --userConfig '{"word-of-the-day":"verdure"}'

To access that value in a Python function:

from pulsar import Function

class UserConfigFunction(Function):
    def process(self, input, context):
        logger = context.get_logger()
        wotd = context.get_user_config_value('word-of-the-day')
        if wotd is None:
            logger.warn('No word of the day provided')
        else:
            logger.info("The word of the day is {0}".format(wotd))

Python metrics

You can record metrics using the Context object on a per-key basis. You can, for example, set a metric for the key process-count and a different metric for the key elevens-count every time the function processes a message. Here’s an example:

from pulsar import Function

class MetricRecorderFunction(Function):
    def process(self, input, context):
        context.record_metric('hit-count', 1)

        if input == 11:
            context.record_metric('elevens-count', 1)