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Stream Zendesk Data into Apache Kafka Topics



Access and stream Zendesk data in Apache Kafka using the CData JDBC Driver and the Kafka Connect JDBC connector.

Apache Kafka is an open-source stream processing platform that is primarily used for building real-time data pipelines and event-driven applications. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for Zendesk, Kafka can work with live Zendesk data. This article describes how to connect, access and stream Zendesk data into Apache Kafka Topics and to start Confluent Control Center to help users secure, manage, and monitor the Zendesk data received using Kafka infrastructure in the Confluent Platform.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Zendesk data. When you issue complex SQL queries to Zendesk, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Zendesk and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). Its built-in dynamic metadata querying allows you to work with and analyze Zendesk data using native data types.

Prerequisites

Before connecting the CData JDBC Driver for streaming Zendesk data in Apache Kafka Topics, install and configure the following in the client Linux-based system.

  1. Confluent Platform for Apache Kafka
  2. Confluent Hub CLI Installation
  3. Self-Managed Kafka JDBC Source Connector for Confluent Platform

Define a New JDBC Connection to Zendesk data

  1. Download CData JDBC Driver for Zendesk on a Linux-based system
  2. Follow the given instructions to create a new directory extract all the driver contents into it:
    1. Create a new directory named Zendesk mkdir Zendesk
    2. Move the downloaded driver file (.zip) into this new directory mv ZendeskJDBCDriver.zip Zendesk/
    3. Unzip the CData ZendeskJDBCDriver contents into this new directory unzip ZendeskJDBCDriver.zip
  3. Open the Zendesk directory and navigate to the lib folder ls cd lib/
  4. Copy the contents of the lib folder of Zendesk into the lib folder of Kafka Connect JDBC. Check the Kafka Connect JDBC folder contents to confirm that the cdata.jdbc.zendesk.jar file is successfully copied into the lib folder cp * ../../confluent-7.5.0/share/confluent-hub-components/confluentinc-kafka-connect-jdbc/lib/ cd ../../confluent-7.5.0/share/confluent-hub-components/confluentinc-kafka-connect-jdbc/lib/
  5. Install the CData Zendesk JDBC driver license using the given command, followed by your Name and Email ID java -jar cdata.jdbc.zendesk.jar -l
  6. Enter the product key or "TRIAL" (In the scenarios of license expiry, please contact our CData Support team)
  7. Start the Confluent local services using the command: confluent local services start

    This starts all the Confluent Services like Zookeeper, Kafka, Schema Registry, Kafka REST, Kafka CONNECT, ksqlDB and Control Center. You are now ready to use the CData JDBC driver for Zendesk to stream messages using Kafka Connect Driver into Kafka Topics on ksqlDB.

    Start the Confluent local services
  8. Create the Kafka topics manually using a POST HTTP API Request: curl --location 'server_address:8083/connectors' --header 'Content-Type: application/json' --data '{ "name": "jdbc_source_cdata_zendesk_01", "config": { "connector.class": "io.confluent.connect.jdbc.JdbcSourceConnector", "connection.url": "jdbc:zendesk:URL=https://subdomain.zendesk.com;[email protected];Password=test123;; InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH", "topic.prefix": "zendesk-01-", "mode": "bulk" } }'

    Let us understand the fields used in the HTTP POST body (shown above):

    • connector.class: Specifies the Java class of the Kafka Connect connector to be used.
    • connection.url: The JDBC connection URL to connect with Zendesk data.

      Built-in Connection String Designer

      For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Zendesk JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

      java -jar cdata.jdbc.zendesk.jar

      Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

      Connecting to Zendesk

      To connect, set the URL and provide authentication. The URL is your Zendesk Support URL: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com.

      Authenticating to Zendesk

      You can authenticate using the Basic or OAuth methods.

      Using Basic Authentication

      To use Basic authentication, specify your email address and password or your email address and an API token. Set User to your email address and follow the steps below to provide the Password or ApiToken.

      • Enable password access in the Zendesk Support admin interface at Admin > Channels > API.
      • Manage API tokens in the Zendesk Support Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

      Using OAuth Authentication

      See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for an authentication guide.

      Using the built-in connection string designer to generate a JDBC URL (Salesforce is shown.)

    • topic.prefix: A prefix that will be added to the Kafka topics created by the connector. It's set to "zendesk-01-".
    • mode: Specifies the mode in which the connector operates. In this case, it's set to "bulk", which suggests that the connector is configured to perform bulk data transfer.

    This request adds all the tables/contents from Zendesk as Kafka Topics.

    Note: The IP Address (server) to POST the request (shown above) is the Linux Network IP Address.

  9. Run ksqlDB and list the topics. Use the commands: ksql list topics; List the Kafka Topics (BigCommerce is shown)
  10. To view the data inside the topics, type the SQL Statement: PRINT topic FROM BEGINNING;

Connecting with the Confluent Control Center

To access the Confluent Control Center user interface, ensure to run the "confluent local services" as described in the above section and type http://<server address>:9021/clusters/ on your local browser.

Connect with Confluent Control Center

Get Started Today

Download a free, 30-day trial of the CData JDBC Driver for Zendesk and start streaming Zendesk data into Apache Kafka. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.