First Integration

Deploy Vyne locally, then integrate a database, a REST API, and Kafka


In this tutorial, we'll set up a local instance of Vyne, and then see how to use Vyne to link data from a REST API, a database, and a Kafka topic.

Our use-case is to find a list of films, along with which online streaming service has the films available to watch.

This involves linking Films lists from our Database, with streaming service information from a REST API.

Finally, we'll listen for updates on a Kafka topic, sending Protobuf messages, and join those with the DB and API.

This is a step-by-step introduction for beginners.

If you're already familiar with the basics of Vyne, our other guides are probably more appropriate.



Start a local instance of Vyne

For this tutorial, we're going to deploy Vyne, as well as a few demo projects that we'll use throughout this tutorial.

Everything you need is packaged up in a docker-compose file to make getting started easier. To launch, run the following in your command line:

mkdir vyne-films-demo
cd vyne-films-demo
wget -P vyne/schema-server
wget -P vyne/schema-server/projects
docker-compose up -d

This will download the following files:

docker-compose.ymlThe docker compose file that contains all the docker images for this tutorial
schema-server.confA config file for Vyne's Schema Server, which will store and publish the schemas we generate in this tutorial
taxi.confA skeleton taxi project configuration, which contains basic information for the schemas we create

After about a minute, and Vyne should be available at http://localhost:9022.

To make sure everything is ready to go, head to the Schema Explorer to make sure that some schemas are registered. It should look like the screenshot below. If you see a message saying there's nothing registered, wait a few moments longer.

Schema server

You now have Vyne running locally, along with a handful of demo services which we'll use in our next steps.

If you run docker ps, you should see a collection of docker containers now running.

Docker ImagePart of Vyne stack or Demo?Description
vyneco/vyneVyneThe core Vyne server, which provides our UI, and runs all our integration for us
vyneco/schema-serverVyneA schema server, which stores all the schemas that Vyne knows about
vyneco/eurekaVyne (Optional)A instance of Eureka - a service discovery server, which makes finding and resolving services easier. This is optional when running Vyne.
films-apiDemoA REST API, which exposes information about films. We also publish a protobuf message to Kafka from here.
pagila-dbDemoA Postgres Db, which contains the Postgres Pagila demo database for a fake DVD rental store
confluentinc/cp-zookeeperDemo (Kafka)Official zookeeper image, required to run Kafka
confluentinc/cp-kafkaDemo (Kafka)The official Kafka image
Related links

Connect a database table

First, we'll add a connection to our database, and make a table available as a datasource that Vyne can fetch data from.

This demo ships with an instance of the Postgres demo db called "Pagila".

Pagila contains several tables related to running a fictional DVD Rental store, including details of all sorts of different films, actors, etc. We'll use this database as part of our walk through.

To get started, click "Add a data source" on the home page of Vyne, or navigate to http://localhost:9022/schema-explorer/import

Define the database connection

First, we need to tell Vyne how to connect to the database.

  • Select "Database Table" as the type of schema to import
  • For Connection, select "Add a new connection..."
  • A pop-up window appears, allowing you to create a connection to our database
  • Fill in the form with the details below
Connection namefilms-database
Connection typePostgres
  • Click Test connection.
  • After a short moment, you should see that the connection was tested successfully.
  • Click Create.

The connection to the database has now been created, and the pop-up should close.

Select the table to import

Now that Vyne has a connection to the database, we need to select the tables we want to make available for Vyne to query from.

Vyne will create schema files for the contents of the table. Specifically, Vyne will create:

  • A model for the table, defining all the fields that are present
  • A series of types, which describe the content of each field
  • A query service, which lets Vyne run queries against the database

To import the schema:

  • Complete the form for the database table to import using the parameters below
Connectionfilms-database (Note - this should already be populated from the previous step)
Default namespaceio.vyne.demos.films

Namespaces are used to help us group related content together - like packages in Java, and namespaces in C# and Typescript.

Here, we're providing a default namespace, which will be applied to the types, models and services Vyne will create importing this table.

  • Click Create

Vyne will connect to the database, and create all the necessary schema configuration for us for the table.

Preview the imported tables

Vyne now shows a preview of the types, models and services that will be created.

schema preview

You can click around to explore the different models, types and services that will be created. For now, the defaults that have been assigned are good enough.

  • Click Save

Vyne will create the necessary schema files in a local project.

If you're interested...

Vyne has just created a series of Taxi schema files, which contain the schemas we've just imported. You can explore these files locally.

cd vyne/schema-server/projects

Taxi ships a great VS Code plugin, which provides click-to-navigate, syntax highlighting, as you type code completion, etc.

You've now connected a database to Vyne, and exposed one of its tables, so that Vyne can run queries against it.

Related links

Connect a Swagger API

In this step, we want to tell Vyne about our REST API, which exposes information about which streaming service each of our films are available on.

We'll use the UI of Vyne to import a Swagger definition of our REST API

  • Click on the Vyne logo in the top-left corner to navigate back to the home page
  • Once again, click "Add a data source"
  • Alternatively, navigate to http://localhost:9022/schema-explorer/import
  • From the drop-down list, select "Swagger / Open API" as the type of schema to import
  • For the Swagger Source, select a Url.

Fill in the form with the following values:

Swagger sourcehttp://films-api/v2/api-docs
Default namespaceio.vyne.demo.films
Base urlLeave this blank
  • Click Create

Update the service type

A preview of the imported schema is once again displayed.

This time, we do need to modify some default values.

Click on Services → getStreamingProvidersForFilmUsingGET.

This shows the API operation that's exposed in the swagger spec we just imported. This API accepts the id of a Film, and returns information about the streaming services that have the film available to watch.

Now, take a look at the parameters section.

Note that the input parameter - filmId is typed as String. Since we know that this is a FilmId - the same value that's exposed by the Films database table. We need to update the type accordingly, so that Vyne knows these two pieces of information are linked.

  • Click on the String link
  • In the search box, type FilmId
  • Select the FilmId type that's shown
  • Finally, click Save

Great! We've now exposed the Swagger API to Vyne

What just happened?

We've connected the Swagger schema of a REST API to Vyne. Vyne now knows about this service, and will make calls to it as needed.

Integrating services & loading data

Now that everything is set up, let's fetch and integrate some data.

List all the films in the database

Queries in Vyne are written in TaxiQL. TaxiQL is a simple query language that isn't tied to one specific underlying technology (i.e., it's independent of databases, APIs, etc.).

This means we can write queries for data without worrying where the data is served from.

Our first query is very simple - it just finds all the films.

find { Film[] }
  • Click run.

This query tells Vyne to return all the Film records. When this query is executed, Vyne looks for services that expose a collection of Films, and invokes them. In our example, that means that Vyne will invoke a database query, selecting all the films.

There's some different options to show the result of Vyne queries. These are displayed as tabs under the query editor.

  • Table - Nice for tabular, two dimensional data
  • Tree - Nice for nested data
  • Profile - What work did Vyne to produce the result. Contains information about the systems called by Vyne, performance stats and lineage information.

Once the query is completed, you should see a list of records displayed in the grid.

results table

Restructure the data into a way that's useful for us

Vyne lets you restructure data in a way that's useful to you. Our original query returned the data as a flat list, since it's coming from a database.

However, for our purposes, (let's say we're building a UI), we might want to restructure the data to a subset of fields, grouped in a way that's useful.

  • Paste the below query into the Query Editor.
find { Film[] } as {
    film: {
        name: Title
        id : FilmId
        description: Description
    productionDetails: {
        released: ReleaseYear
  • Click Run

This time, the data has been returned structured as a tree. To see the tree data, click on the Tree tab in the results panel.

results tree

Now our data has been restructured into a tree shape. Using this approach, we can change the shape of the structure, along with field names.

In Taxi language, this is called a Projection - as we're changing the shape of the output.

List films and the providers they're available on

Finally, let's add in data about which streaming movie service contains each movie. This requires linking data between our database and our REST API.

As Vyne is handling all the integration for us, this is as simple as updating our query to include the provider data.

Vyne handles working out how to call the REST API, which data to pass, and what to collect.

  • Paste the below query
findAll { Film[] } as {
    film: {
        name: Title
        id : FilmId
        description: Description
    productionDetails: {
        released: ReleaseYear
    providers: StreamingProvider[]
  • Click Run

When the query results are returned, as this is nested data, ensure you're in the Tree view to see the results. Note that now we have data from our database, combined with data from our Rest API.

results tree with providers

Exploring the query execution

Vyne has several diagnostic tools to help us see what happened.

Explore the individual server requests

In the Profiler, you can click to see a sequence diagram of calls that have taken place to different services. Clicking on any of the rows shows the actual request and response.

call explorer

Exploring cell-based lineage

Vyne provides detailed trace lineage for each value shown in its results.

In tree mode, try clicking on one of the names of the streaming providers. A lineage display will open, showing the trace of how the value was derived.

  • We can see that a value of Netflix was returned from an Http operation.
  • The input to that Http operation was a FilmId - in our example, the value 1.
  • Clicking on the FilmId expands the lineage graph to show where that FilmId came from.
  • We can see that the FilmId was returned as the result of a database query.

cell based lineage

This deep lineage is very powerful for understanding how data has flowed, and proving the provenance of data that Vyne is exposing.

Running our query via CURL

Although Vyne's UI is powerful, developers will want to interact with Vyne through its API. That's a topic on its own, but here is an example of running the same query through Vyne's API, using curl.

Getting a JSON payload

We can use Curl to get the results of our query as a JSON document.

  • Copy and paste the below snippet into a shell window, and press enter
curl 'http://localhost:9022/api/taxiql' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/taxiql' \
  --data-raw 'findAll { Film[] } as {
    film: {
        name: Title
        id : FilmId
        description: Description
    productionDetails: {
        released: ReleaseYear
    providers: StreamingProvider[]
Better json with jq

Interacting with JSON from the command line is better with tools like jq

Try installing jq, then adding | jq at the end of the curl commands.

Getting streaming data via Curl

Alternatively, for queries with large datasets, Vyne can stream results. This enables Vyne to work on arbitrarily large datasets, as it's not holding content in memory.

To ask Vyne to stream the data over HTTP, Vyne can serve Server-Sent events. Simple update the headers with an Accept: text/event-stream.

curl 'http://localhost:9022/api/taxiql' \
  -H 'Accept: text/event-stream' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/taxiql' \
  --data-raw 'findAll { Film[] } as {
    film: {
        name: Title
        id : FilmId
        description: Description
    productionDetails: {
        released: ReleaseYear
    providers: StreamingProvider[]

Adding a Kafka streaming source

Now that we have Vyne linking our Database and REST API, it's time we add a Kafka stream into the mix.

We have a new releases topic that emits a message whenever Netflix decides to turn a beloved movie into a new TV series.

For this part of our demo, we'll use Vyne to listen for new release announcements, and join data from our REST API and Postgres DB.

Import a Protobuf schema

Our new releases topic emits a protobuf message - which Vyne needs to know about.

To keep things simple in our demo, the protobuf message is available via one of our APIs. You can view the protobuf yourself by clicking on http://localhost:9091/proto. For Vyne (running inside the docker container), this is visible as http://films-api/proto

Import the spec by clicking "Add a data source" on the front page of Vyne, or by navigating to http://localhost:9022/schema-explorer/import.

  • Select "Protobuf" as the type of schema to import
  • Set the Protobuf Source as a URL
  • Paste the url: http://films-api/proto
  • Click Create

You should see a preview of a newly created a model: NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement.

We need to indicate that the filmId property is the same as the FilmId used elsewhere in our company.

  • On the left-hand table, click Models → NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement
  • The NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement data model is displayed
  • In the "Attributes" table, click on the underlined Integer type next to filmId
  • Search for the type FilmId, and select film.types.FilmId from the search box

Also, notice that the announcement field has been typed as String. Let's create a more specific type:

  • In the "attributes" table, click on the underlined String type next to announcement
  • In the popup, click "Create new"

Fill out the form with the following details:

Type nameAnnouncementMessage
NamespaceLeave this blank for now
Inherits fromStart typing String, and select from the drop-down box
DocumentationLeave this blank for now

Create a new type

  • Click Create type

Your NewReleaseFilmAnnouncement type should look like the following screenshot:

New release film announcement definition

  • Click Save

We've now imported a protobuf schema, and linked its fields to other fields in our schema.

Import a Kafka Topic

Next we need to tell Vyne about the Kafka topic.

  • Return to the Vyne home page by clicking the Vyne logo in the nav bar.
  • Click Add a Data Source, or navigate to http://localhost:9022/schema-explorer/import
  • From the drop-down, select Kafka Topic
  • In the Connection Name, select "Add a new connection..."

Fill out the form with the following details:

Connection namemy-kafka
Connection typekafka (should already be populated)
Broker addresskafka:29092
Group Idvyne (should already be populated)
  • Click create. A new Kafka connection is created, and the popup should close

Fill out the rest of the form with the following details:

Connection namemy-kafka (should have been populated when the pop-up closed)
Topic OffsetLATEST
Message TypeNewFilmReleaseAnnouncement
Service and Operation NameLeave these blank
  • Click Create

A preview of the schema is shown.

By clicking Services → MyKafkaService → consumeFromReleases, you can see a new operation has been created which returns a Stream<NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement>.

Streams are a different type of operation - rather than request / response like an HTTP operation exposes, these expose a continuous stream of data.

Take a look around, and then click Save.

Join data from Kafka, API and our DB

It's time to explore writing some queries that join data from across all 3 sources.

First, let's start with querying our Kafka topic. Head over to the Query Editor, and paste the following query:

stream { NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement }

At this stage, you should see a running query, but without any results. In order to see some data, we need to publish onto our Kafka topic.

Open a terminal window, and paste the following:

curl --location --request POST 'http://localhost:9091/kafka/newReleases/23'

This will send a new release Protobuf message onto our Kafka topic - and you should see the details of the message appear in your query panel.

Now, let's enrich our Kafka stream with data from our other sources.

Cancel the running query, and paste the following:

stream { NewFilmReleaseAnnouncement } as {
    // The announcement comes from our Kafka Protobuf message
    news: {
        announcement: AnnouncementMessage
    // Grab some film information from the Database
    film: {
        name: Title
        id : FilmId
        description: Description
    productionDetails: {
        released: ReleaseYear
    // And query the REST API to see where we can watch this
    providers: StreamingProvider[]

Now, let's push a couple of new release announcements to our kafka topic:

curl --location --request POST 'http://localhost:9091/kafka/newReleases/1'
curl --location --request POST 'http://localhost:9091/kafka/newReleases/2'
curl --location --request POST 'http://localhost:9091/kafka/newReleases/3'

In the results panel, you should see the following:

What just happened?

  • Vyne read our protobuf message from the Kafka topic
  • Enriched it with data from a Database query
  • Then fleshed it out some more information from a REST API call
  • And served it up in our UI.

What's next?

In this tutorial, we've set up Vyne, and used it to automatically integrate data from a Postgres Database, a REST API, and a Kafka topic with protobuf. Nice stuff!

Look under the hood

In order to get a better understanding of what's happened under the hood, take a look at some of the files that Vyne has generated during this tutorial.

DirectoryWhat's there?
./vyne/schema-server/schema-server.confThe config file that's driving the Schema server. It defines where to read and write the schema files Vyne created in the background
./vyne/schema-server/projectsThe schema project that Vyne was writing schemas to
./vyne/config/connections.confA connections file defining the api connections you imported in the UI

Other tutorials

There's lots of things left to explore - a few great next tutorials are: