Follow your messages in real time in the new Kafka Browser

Written by Magnus Landerblom

To simplify the debugging, we have now released Kafka Browser!

We want it to be easy to get started with Kafka. Although, more than once we've got the question: "why doesn't my application get any data from Kafka?".

Unfortunately, this question does not have a simple answer. Mainly because the error might be located in different areas. The most common reason why an application not receiving data from Kafka is why:

  • there isn’t any data in Kafka (producer error), or
  • the consumer is misconfigured, or
  • the problem is caused by network issues, for example, you have a firewall that blocks the ports used by Kafka.

To simplify the debugging of these issues, we have now released Kafka Browser.

Kafka Browser is a simple web UI which lets you consume from one or many topics while the results present on the same web page with real-time updates.

Kafka Browser shows you information about which topic, partition and offset the message was stored at in Kafka.

Enable Debugging

To gather more information about your instance behavior, we recommend you to enable debugging. The debugging will print the consumer's action while consuming a message, and this data can be helpful in the search for a reason why an application doesn't receive any data. Debugging will not affect your cluster - however, debugging via the Kafka Browser tool might give more information then you sometimes require.

Produce a message

Consuming from Kafka is no fun if there aren’t any messages coming in. That's why we've added a form from which you can send a message to a topic. This message is asynchronously produced, and the page doesn’t reload, meaning that you won’t lose track of the existing consumed messages. A sent message will take a couple of seconds before it shows in the table (if you produce to the same topic that you have subscribed to). However, this delay does not mean that your Kafka cluster is slow, the small delay depends on the fact that sending just one message and construct a new consumer takes some time.

And as always, feel free to send us any questions or feedback you might have at support@cloudkarafka.com

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