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Kafka Self-Serve


If this is your first time setting up Self-Serve, please ensure you meet the requirements and are familiar with the self-serve concepts.

This guide will outline how to setup self-serve for your organization, providing developers autonomy to manage defined Kafka resources.

The guide will cover:

  • Configuring environments that relate to your Kafka clusters
  • Configuring an application that is responsible for a set of Kafka resources
  • Demonstrating request and approval workflows for:
    • Accessing another applications resources
    • Creating new Kafka resources

Getting Started

To get started, navigate to 'Topic as a Service' from the primary navigation.


Step 1 - Configure your environments

Configuring your environments is the first step in using Topic as a Service. An environment is a 1 to 1 mapping to your Kafka clusters. Note this step must be completed by an administrator.


You can see we have created three different environments, one for our development cluster, one for our staging cluster and one for our production cluster.


Step 2 - Configure an Application

Create an Application

From the Applications screen, select Create Application.


  • Name: The name of your streaming app or data pipeline.
  • Description: Friendly description of the application and what it is responsible for.
  • Prefix: Prefix pattern used to identify resources relevant to the application. For example, consider PaymentApp with the following resources:
    • topic: payments.transactions
    • subject: payments.transactions-value
    • consumer group: payments-consumer
    • The prefix payments should be used to match all resources relevant to the PaymentApp application.
  • Owner: The owner of the application that will manage access to the underlying resources.
  • Resource Ownership: By default, the prefix will be used to derive owned resources.
    • However, you can add additional resources if the application contains resources with multiple resource patterns.
  • Service Account: The service account used by the application for programmatic access to the cluster and its resources.
    • Note:
      • ACLs will be created against this principal for the resource prefix(es) you have defined.
      • Ensure you provide the correct service account details for each environment the application resides in.


Step 3 - Validate ACLs and Permissions

Kafka ACLs

Once you have created your application in Self-Serve, ACLs are created for the principal ( the service account). You can see this in the Console screen, under the ACL's tab. In the screenshot below we can see the ACL's created for the Orders application and the name of the principal is the one we defined at creation, orders-app.

Conduktor RBAC

In addition to this, Role Based Access Control (RBAC) permissions are added within Conduktor for this application. This means, members of the owning group will inherit permissions to manage the application resources.

This provides the owning group autonomy within their application scope.



Note: RBAC permissions derived from Self-Serve are not currently visible via the RBAC screen.

Step 4 - Create requests

Request and Approval Workflows

Users have the ability to self-serve by requesting access to new Kafka resources which will then need to be approved by an admin. Additionally, you can request access to existing Kafka resources owned by another application. These requests will need to be approved by the application owners.


Note: It's currently only possible to see applications whereby the user is part of the owning team, but it is possible to request access to resources of applications where you are not a part of the owning team.

Requesting access to existing applications

In the screenshot below, a member of the BI application team is requesting external topic access to topics owned by the Orders application.


When an administrator or a member of the Orders application team logs in, they will see a notification in case of an access request. This is highlighted in the screenshot below. overview-figure8.png

If you are part of the group that is defined as the owner for an application, you will be able to approve these application requests.

After being approved or denied, the BI application team can see the external topics which they have access to. Also clarified is the explicit permissions (i.e. read/write) granted in each environment. overview-figure9.png

Requesting resources for a new application

It's possible to request resources for a new application, regardless of whether you are an admin or a non-admin with a subset of permissions.

To request resources for a new application, click create application. See an example below of creating a Sales Orders application as a non admin.


Note: that if you have the RBAC permission: 'Can manage Topic as a Service Applications and Approve requests', then your request will not go through an approval workflow.


Approving requests for new applications

To approve a new request, a member of the admin team must approve or deny it. When the admin logs in they will see a notification symbol indicating pending requests in the Requests tab.


The admin can then decide with all of the given information whether to approve or deny this new application. overview-figure12.png