SFTP Source connector

The SFTP Source connector is a Stateless NiFi dataflow developed by Cloudera that is running in the Kafka Connect framework. Learn about the connector, its properties, and configuration.

The SFTP Source connector obtains files from an SFTP server and transfers them to Kafka. The SFTP Source connector supports record processing. In case record processing is enabled, input file is split into records and the records are transferred to Kafka. If record processing is not enabled, the connector forwards files to Kafka as they are fetched from the SFTP server.

If record processing is enabled, the input file can contain records in either JSON, CSV or Grok format. If the input records are in JSON or CSV format, the connector can either infer the schema of the records based on the data or read the schema from Schema Registry. If the input records are in Grok format, the connector can either derive the schema using the field names from the value of the Grok Expression property or read the schema from Schema Registry.

In addition, if record processing is enabled, the connector writes the records to Kafka in Avro format. The record schema gets embedded in these Avro messages if the schema is set to be either inferred or determined based on the Grok Expression property. If Schema Registry is used for getting the schema of the records, then the schema does not get embedded in the Avro messages.

If Schema Registry is used, and it is on a Kerberized cluster, the krb5.file property must point to the krb5.conf file that provides access to the cluster on which Schema Registry is present. This means that the krb5.conf file must be on the same cluster node that the connector runs on. The Kerberos keytab used to access Schema Registry must also be on the same cluster node that the connector runs on. The connection to Schema Registry can be secured by TLS. The truststore file necessary for securing the connection must also be on the same cluster node that the connector runs on.

Properties and configuration

Configuration is passed to the connector in a JSON file during creation. The properties of the connector can be categorized into three groups. These are as follows:

Common connector properties
These are the properties of the Kafka Connect framework that are accepted by all connectors. For a comprehensive list of these properties, see the Apache Kafka documentation.
Stateless NiFi Source properties
These are the properties that are specific to the Stateless NiFi Source connector. All Stateless NiFi Source connectors share and accept these properties. For a comprehensive list of these properties, see the Stateless NiFi Source property reference.
Connector/dataflow specific properties
These properties are unique to this specific connector. Or to be more precise, unique to the dataflow running within the connector. These properties use the following prefix:
parameter.[***CONNECTOR NAME***] Parameters:
For a comprehensive list of these properties, see the SFTP Source properties reference.

Notes and limitations

  • Required properties must be assigned a valid value even if they are not used in the particular configuration. If a required property is not used, either leave its default value, or completely remove the property from the configuration JSON.
  • If a property that has a default value is completely removed from the configuration JSON, the system uses the default value.
  • Properties not marked as required must be completely removed from the configuration JSON if not set.
  • The Schema Registry URL property is mandatory even if Schema Registry is not used. If Schema Registry is not used, use the default value, or completely remove the property from the configuration JSON.
  • The value of the Schema Access Strategy property is not independent of the value of the Input Data Format property. As a result, you must exercise caution when configuring Schema Access Strategy.
    • If the value of Input Data Format is JSON, the possible values for Schema Access Strategy are Schema Registry or Infer Schema.
    • If the value of Input Data Format is CSV, the possible values for Schema Access Strategy are Schema Registry or Infer Schema.
    • If the value of Input Data Format is GROK, the possible values for Schema Access Strategy are Schema Registry or Field Names From Grok Expression.
  • If the Enable Record Processing property is set to false (record processing disabled), the entire input file is transferred to Kafka as one message.
  • If the Enable Record Processing property is set to true (record processing enabled), the output is always in Avro format. However, the contents of the output message transferred to Kafka depends on the value of the Schema Access Strategy property.
    • If Schema Access Strategy is set to Schema Registry, the output Avro message does not contain the schema (the schema is not embedded in the output).
    • If Schema Access Strategy is set to either Infer Schema or Field Names From Grok Expression, the output Avro message contains the schema (the schema is embedded in the output).

Configuration example

In this example, the connector fetches files from an SFTP server that only requires Basic Authentication (username and password) and transfers these files to a Kafka topic.
{
 "connector.class": "org.apache.nifi.kafka.connect.StatelessNiFiSourceConnector",
 "meta.smm.predefined.flow.name": "SFTP Source",
 "meta.smm.predefined.flow.version": "1.0.0",
 "key.converter": "org.apache.kafka.connect.storage.StringConverter",
 "value.converter": "org.apache.kafka.connect.converters.ByteArrayConverter",
 "tasks.max": "1",
 "nexus.url": "https://repository.cloudera.com/artifactory/repo",
 "extensions.directory": "/tmp/nifi-stateless-extensions",
 "working.directory": "/tmp/nifi-stateless-working",
 "topics": "[*** KAFKA TOPIC NAME***]",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Hostname": "[***SFTP Server Hostname***]",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Port": "22",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Username": "[***SFTP USERNAME***]",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Password": "[***SFTP PASSWORD***]",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Remote Path": "[***FOLDER PATH***]",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:File Filter Regex": ".*",
 "parameter.SFTP Source Parameters:Enable Record Processing": "false"
}
The following list collects the properties from the configuration example that must be customized for this use case.
topics
The name of the Kafka topic that the connector sends messages to.
Hostname
The hostname of the remote system where the SFTP server runs. For example, my.sftp-server.com.
Port
The port that the remote system is listening on for file transfers.
Username
The username for connecting to the SFTP server.
Password
The password used to authenticate the user towards the SFTP server. In this example, the SFTP server requires Basic Authentication.
Remote Path
The path on the remote system that points to the directory from which to pull files. For example, /uploads.
File Filter Regex
The Java regular expression to use for filtering filenames. Only files whose names match the regular expression are fetched.
Enable Record Processing
Determines whether the contents of a file get parsed as records before sending them to Kafka. In this example, the property is set to false, meaning that the entire file gets forwarded to Kafka as one message.