Just before I started the Debezium project in early 2016, Martin Kleppmann gave several presentations about turning the database inside out and how his Bottled Water project demonstrated the importantance that change data capture can play in using Kafka for stream processing. Then Kafka Connect was announced, and at that point it seemed obvious to me that Kafka Connect was the foundation upon which practical and reusable change data capture can be built. As these techniques and technologies were becoming more important to Red Hat, I was given the opportunity to start a new open source project and community around building great CDC connectors for a variety of databases management systems.
Over the past few years, we have created Kafka Connect connectors for MySQL, then MongoDB, and most recently PostgreSQL. Each were initially limited and had a number of problems and issues, but over time more and more people have tried the connectors, asked questions, answered questions, mentioned Debezium on Twitter, tested connectors in their own environments, reported problems, fixed bugs, discussed limitations and potential new features, implemented enhancements and new features, improved the documentation, and wrote blog posts. Simply put, people with similar needs and interests have worked together and have formed a community. Additional connectors for Oracle and SQL Server are in the works, but could use some help to move things along more quickly.
It’s really exciting to see how far we’ve come and how the Debezium community continues to evolve and grow. And it’s perhaps as good a time as any to hand the reigns over to someone else. In fact, after nearly 10 wonderful years at Red Hat, I’m making a bigger change and as of today am part of Confluent’s engineering team, where I expect to play a more active role in the broader Kafka community and more directly with Kafka Connect and Kafka Streams. I definitely plan to stay involved in the Debezium community, but will no longer be leading the project. That role will instead be filled by Gunnar Morling, who’s recently joined the Debezium community but has extensive experience in open source, the Hibernate community, and the Bean Validation specification effort. Gunnar is a great guy and an excellent developer, and will be an excellent lead for the Debezium community.
Will the Debezium project change? To some degree it will always continue to evolve just as it has from the very beginning, and that’s a healthy thing. But a lot is staying the same. Red Hat remains committed to the Debezium project, and will continue its sponsorship and community-oriented governance that has worked so well from the beginning. And just as importantly, we the community are still here and will continue building the best open source CDC connectors.