Insert and delete data

Lenses SQL allows you to utilize the ANSI SQL command to store new records into a table.

Single or multi record inserts are supported:

INSERT INTO $Table(column1[, column2, column3])
VALUES(value1[,value2, value3])

INSERT INTO $Table(column1[, column2, column3])
(value1[,value2, value3]),
(value4[,value5, value6])

  • $Table - The name of the table to insert the data into
  • Columns - The target columns to populate with data. Adding a record does not require you to fill all the available columns. In the case of Avro stored Key, Value pairs, the user needs to make sure that a value is specified for all the required Avro fields.
  • VALUES - The set of value to insert. It has to match the list of columns provided, including their data types. You can use simple constants or more complex expressions as values, like 1 + 1 or NOW().


INSERT INTO customer (
    _key, id
    , address.line
    , address.city
    , address.postcode
    , email)
('maria.wood','maria.wood', '698 E. Bedford Lane','Los Angeles', 90044, 'maria.wood@lenses.io'),
('david.green', 'david.green', '4309 S Morgan St', 'Chicago', 60609, 'david.green@lenses.io');

Inserting data from a SELECT 

Records can be inserted from the result of SELECT statement.

The syntax is as follows:

SELECT */column1[,column2, ...]
FROM $Table2
[WHERE $condition]

For example, to copy all the records from the customer table into customer_avro one:

INSERT INTO customer_avro
FROM customer

Deleting data in Kafka 

There are two ways to delete data:

  • If the topic is not compacted, then DELETE expects an offset to delete records up to.
-- Delete records across all partitions up to the offset 10
DELETE FROM customer 
WHERE _meta.offset <= 10;

-- Delete records from a specific partition 
DELETE FROM customer 
WHERE _meta.offset <= 10 AND _meta.partition = 2

  • If the topic is compacted, then DELETE expects the record Key to be provided. For a compacted topic a delete translates to inserting a record with the existing Key, but the Value is null. For the customer_avro topic (which has the compacted flag on), a delete operation for a specific customer identifier would look like this:
DELETE FROM customer_avro
WHERE _key = 'andy.perez'

Deleting is an insert operation. Until the compaction takes place, there will be at least one record with the Key used earlier. The latest (or last) record will have the Value set to null.

Truncating a table 

To remove all records from a table:


where the $Table is the table name to delete all records from. This operation is only supported on non-compacted topics, which is a Kafka design restriction. To remove the data from a compacted topic, you have two options: either dropping and recreating the topic or inserting null Value records for each unique Key on the topic.

After rebuilding the customer table to be non-compacted, the truncate can be performed as follows:

/* SELECT count(*) FROM customer returns 0 after the previous statement */