Twitter Bijection is an invertible function library that converts back and forth between two types. It supports a number of types including Apache Avro. In the following tutorial we will configure, build and run an example in which we will send/receive an Avro message to/from Apache Kafka using Bijection, Apache Avro, Spring Kafka, Spring Boot and Maven.

General Project Setup

If you want to learn more about Spring Kafka - head on over to the Spring Kafka tutorials page.

Tools used:

  • Twitter Bijection 0.9
  • Apache Avro 1.8
  • Spring Kafka 1.2
  • Spring Boot 1.5
  • Maven 3.5

We base this example on a previous Spring Kafka Avro serializer/deserializer example in which we used the Avro API’s to serialize and deserialize objects. For this tutorial we will be using the Bijection APIs which are a bit easier to use as we will see further down below.

Starting point is again the user.avsc schema from the Avro getting started guide. It describes the fields and their types of a User type.

{"namespace": "example.avro",
  "type": "record",
  "name": "User",
  "fields": [
    {"name": "name", "type": "string"},
    {"name": "favorite_number",  "type": ["int", "null"]},
    {"name": "favorite_color", "type": ["string", "null"]}

We setup our project using Maven. In the POM file we add the bijection-avro_2.11 dependency. The artifactId suffix of the dependency (in this case _2.11) highlights the Scala version used to compile the JAR.

Note that we choose the 2.11 version of bijection-avro since spring-kafka-test includes a dependency on the 2.11 version of the scala-library.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""


  <description>Spring Kafka - Avro Bijection Example</description>




    <!-- spring-boot -->
    <!-- spring-kafka -->
    <!-- avro -->
    <!-- bijection-avro -->

      <!-- spring-boot-maven-plugin -->
      <!-- avro-maven-plugin -->

Generation of the Avro User class is done by executing below Maven command. The result is a User class that contains the schema and Builder methods.

mvn generate-sources
bijection avro generated java classes

Producing Avro Messages to a Kafka Topic

Serializing an Avro message to a byte[] array using Bijection can be achieved in just two lines of code as shown below.

We first create an Injection which is an object that can make the conversion in one way or the other. This is done by calling the static toBinary() method on the GenericAvroCodecs class. This returns and Injection capable of serializing and deserializing a generic Avro record using As input parameter we need to supply the Avro schema which we get from the passed object.

The ‘apply()’ method is then used to create the Byte array which is returned.

package com.codenotfound.kafka.serializer;

import java.util.Map;

import javax.xml.bind.DatatypeConverter;

import org.apache.avro.generic.GenericRecord;
import org.apache.avro.specific.SpecificRecordBase;
import org.apache.kafka.common.serialization.Serializer;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;

import com.twitter.bijection.Injection;
import com.twitter.bijection.avro.GenericAvroCodecs;

public class AvroSerializer<T extends SpecificRecordBase> implements Serializer<T> {

  private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(AvroSerializer.class);

  public void close() {
    // No-op

  public void configure(Map<String, ?> arg0, boolean arg1) {
    // No-op

  public byte[] serialize(String topic, T data) {
    LOGGER.debug("data to serialize='{}'", data);

    Injection<GenericRecord, byte[]> genericRecordInjection =
    byte[] result = genericRecordInjection.apply(data);

    LOGGER.debug("serialized data='{}'", DatatypeConverter.printHexBinary(result));
    return result;

Consuming Avro Messages from a Kafka Topic

Deserializing an Avro message from a byte[] array using Bijection is also done using an Injection. Creation is identical as to what we did in the AvroSerializer class.

We then create a GenericRecord from the received data using the invert() method. Finally using deepCopy() we extract the received data object and return it.

package com.codenotfound.kafka.serializer;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Map;

import javax.xml.bind.DatatypeConverter;

import org.apache.avro.Schema;
import org.apache.avro.generic.GenericRecord;
import org.apache.avro.specific.SpecificData;
import org.apache.avro.specific.SpecificRecordBase;
import org.apache.kafka.common.errors.SerializationException;
import org.apache.kafka.common.serialization.Deserializer;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;

import com.twitter.bijection.Injection;
import com.twitter.bijection.avro.GenericAvroCodecs;

public class AvroDeserializer<T extends SpecificRecordBase> implements Deserializer<T> {

  private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(AvroDeserializer.class);

  protected final Class<T> targetType;

  public AvroDeserializer(Class<T> targetType) {
    this.targetType = targetType;

  public void close() {
    // No-op

  public void configure(Map<String, ?> arg0, boolean arg1) {
    // No-op

  public T deserialize(String topic, byte[] data) {
    LOGGER.debug("data to deserialize='{}'", DatatypeConverter.printHexBinary(data));
    try {
      // get the schema
      Schema schema = targetType.newInstance().getSchema();

      Injection<GenericRecord, byte[]> genericRecordInjection = GenericAvroCodecs.toBinary(schema);
      GenericRecord genericRecord = genericRecordInjection.invert((byte[]) data).get();
      T result = (T) SpecificData.get().deepCopy(schema, genericRecord);

      LOGGER.debug("data='{}'", result);
      return result;
    } catch (Exception e) {
      throw new SerializationException(
          "Can't deserialize data [" + Arrays.toString(data) + "] from topic [" + topic + "]", e);

Test Sending and Receiving Avro Messages on Kafka

The SpringKafkaApplicationTest test case demonstrates the above sample code. An embedded Kafka and ZooKeeper server are automatically started using a JUnit ClassRule. Using @Before we wait until all the partitions are assigned to our Receiver by looping over the available ConcurrentMessageListenerContainer (if we don’t do this the message will already be sent before the listeners are assigned to the topic).

In the testReceiver() test case an Avro User object is created using the Builder methods. This user is then sent to 'avro-bijection.t' topic. Finally the CountDownLatch from the Receiver is used to verify that a message was successfully received.

package com.codenotfound.kafka;

import static org.assertj.core.api.Assertions.assertThat;

import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.ClassRule;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;
import org.springframework.kafka.config.KafkaListenerEndpointRegistry;
import org.springframework.kafka.listener.MessageListenerContainer;
import org.springframework.kafka.test.rule.KafkaEmbedded;
import org.springframework.kafka.test.utils.ContainerTestUtils;
import org.springframework.test.context.junit4.SpringRunner;

import com.codenotfound.kafka.consumer.Receiver;
import com.codenotfound.kafka.producer.Sender;

import example.avro.User;

public class SpringKafkaApplicationTest {

  private Sender sender;

  private Receiver receiver;

  private KafkaListenerEndpointRegistry kafkaListenerEndpointRegistry;

  public static KafkaEmbedded embeddedKafka = new KafkaEmbedded(1, true, "avro-bijection.t");

  public static void setUpBeforeClass() throws Exception {
    System.setProperty("kafka.bootstrap-servers", embeddedKafka.getBrokersAsString());

  public void setUp() throws Exception {
    // wait until the partitions are assigned
    for (MessageListenerContainer messageListenerContainer : kafkaListenerEndpointRegistry
        .getListenerContainers()) {

  public void testReceiver() throws Exception {
    User user = User.newBuilder().setName("John Doe").setFavoriteColor("blue")

    receiver.getLatch().await(10000, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS);

Note that the sample code also contains AvroSerializerTest and AvroDeserializerTest unit test cases to verify the serialization classes.

Trigger the above test case using a command prompt and following Maven command:

mvn test

Maven will do the necessary and the outcome should be a successful build as shown below:

  .   ____          _            __ _ _
 /\\ / ___'_ __ _ _(_)_ __  __ _ \ \ \ \
( ( )\___ | '_ | '_| | '_ \/ _` | \ \ \ \
 \\/  ___)| |_)| | | | | || (_| |  ) ) ) )
  '  |____| .__|_| |_|_| |_\__, | / / / /
 :: Spring Boot ::        (v1.5.2.RELEASE)

22:04:35.984 [main] INFO  c.c.kafka.SpringKafkaApplicationTest - Starting SpringKafkaApplicationTest on cnf-pc with PID 4424 (started by CodeNotFound in c:\code\st\spring-kafka\spring-kafka-avro-bijection)
22:04:35.984 [main] DEBUG c.c.kafka.SpringKafkaApplicationTest - Running with Spring Boot v1.5.2.RELEASE, Spring v4.3.7.RELEASE
22:04:35.984 [main] INFO  c.c.kafka.SpringKafkaApplicationTest - No active profile set, falling back to default profiles: default
22:04:36.002 [main] INFO  o.s.c.a.AnnotationConfigApplicationContext - Refreshing org.springframework.context.annotation.AnnotationConfigApplicatio[email protected]: startup date [Tue Apr 18 22:04:36 CEST 2017]; root of context hierarchy
22:04:36.368 [main] INFO  o.s.c.s.PostProcessorRegistrationDelegate$BeanPostProcessorChecker - Bean 'org.springframework.kafka.annotation.KafkaBootstrapConfiguration' of type [org.springframework.kafka.annotation.KafkaBootstrapConfiguration$$EnhancerBySpringCGLIB$$be4aa608] is not eligible for getting processed by all BeanPostProcessors (for example: not eligible for auto-proxying)
22:04:36.611 [main] INFO  o.s.c.s.DefaultLifecycleProcessor - Starting beans in phase 0
22:04:36.659 [main] INFO  c.c.kafka.SpringKafkaApplicationTest - Started SpringKafkaApplicationTest in 0.995 seconds (JVM running for 5.352)
22:04:37.889 [org.springframework.kafka.KafkaListenerEndpointContainer#0-0-C-1] INFO  o.s.k.l.KafkaMessageListenerContainer - partitions revoked:[]
22:04:37.964 [org.springframework.kafka.KafkaListenerEndpointContainer#0-0-C-1] INFO  o.s.k.l.KafkaMessageListenerContainer - partitions assigned:[avro-bijection.t-0, avro-bijection.t-1]
22:04:37.993 [main] INFO  c.codenotfound.kafka.producer.Sender - sending user='{"name": "John Doe", "favorite_number": null, "favorite_color": "blue"}'
22:04:38.011 [main] DEBUG c.c.kafka.serializer.AvroSerializer - data to serialize='{"name": "John Doe", "favorite_number": null, "favorite_color": "blue"}'
22:04:38.011 [main] DEBUG c.c.kafka.serializer.AvroSerializer - serialized data='104A6F686E20446F65020008626C7565'
22:04:38.032 [org.springframework.kafka.KafkaListenerEndpointContainer#0-0-C-1] DEBUG c.c.k.serializer.AvroDeserializer - data to deserialize='104A6F686E20446F65020008626C7565'
22:04:38.032 [org.springframework.kafka.KafkaListenerEndpointContainer#0-0-C-1] DEBUG c.c.k.serializer.AvroDeserializer - data='{"name": "John Doe", "favorite_number": null, "favorite_color": "blue"}'
22:04:38.039 [org.springframework.kafka.KafkaListenerEndpointContainer#0-0-L-1] INFO  c.c.kafka.consumer.Receiver - received user='{"name": "John Doe", "favorite_number": null, "favorite_color": "blue"}'
22:04:40.300 [main] ERROR o.a.zookeeper.server.ZooKeeperServer - ZKShutdownHandler is not registered, so ZooKeeper server won't take any action on ERROR or SHUTDOWN server state changes
Tests run: 1, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 9.197 sec - in com.codenotfound.kafka.SpringKafkaApplicationTest
22:04:41.326 [Thread-8] INFO  o.s.c.a.AnnotationConfigApplicationContext - Closing org.springframework.context.annotation.AnnotationConfigApplicatio[email protected]: startup date [Tue Apr 18 22:04:36CEST 2017]; root of context hierarchy
22:04:41.330 [Thread-8] INFO  o.s.c.s.DefaultLifecycleProcessor - Stopping beans in phase 0

Results :

Tests run: 3, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0

[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] Total time: 42.206 s
[INFO] Finished at: 2017-04-18T22:05:11+02:00
[INFO] Final Memory: 18M/212M
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------

github mark If you would like to run the above code sample you can get the full source code here.

This wraps up the example on how to send/receive Avro messages using Twitter Bijection and Spring Kafka.

Let me know if something is missing or if you were able to successfully use the above code.

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