Tutorial: Stream data into Azure Databricks using Event Hubs

In this tutorial, you connect a data ingestion system with Azure Databricks to stream data into an Apache Spark cluster in near real-time. You set up data ingestion system using Azure Event Hubs and then connect it to Azure Databricks to process the messages coming through. To access a stream of data, you use Twitter APIs to ingest tweets into Event Hubs. Once you have the data in Azure Databricks, you can run analytical jobs to further analyze the data.

By the end of this tutorial, you would have streamed tweets from Twitter (that have the term "Azure" in them) and read the tweets in Azure Databricks.

The following illustration shows the application flow:

Azure Databricks with Event Hubs

This tutorial covers the following tasks:

  • Create an Azure Databricks workspace
  • Create a Spark cluster in Azure Databricks
  • Create a Twitter app to access streaming data
  • Create notebooks in Azure Databricks
  • Attach libraries for Event Hubs and Twitter API
  • Send tweets to Event Hubs
  • Read tweets from Event Hubs

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


Before you start with this tutorial, make sure to meet the following requirements:

  • An Azure Event Hubs namespace.
  • An Event Hub within the namespace.
  • Connection string to access the Event Hubs namespace. The connection string should have a format similar to Endpoint=sb://<namespace>.servicebus.windows.net/;SharedAccessKeyName=<key name>;SharedAccessKey=<key value>.
  • Shared access policy name and policy key for Event Hubs.

You can meet these requirements by completing the steps in the article, Create an Azure Event Hubs namespace and event hub.

Log in to the Azure portal

Log in to the Azure portal.

Create an Azure Databricks workspace

In this section, you create an Azure Databricks workspace using the Azure portal.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Create a resource > Data + Analytics > Azure Databricks.

    Databricks on Azure portal

  2. Under Azure Databricks Service, provide the values to create a Databricks workspace.

    Create an Azure Databricks workspace

    Provide the following values:

    Property Description
    Workspace name Provide a name for your Databricks workspace
    Subscription From the drop-down, select your Azure subscription.
    Resource group Specify whether you want to create a new resource group or use an existing one. A resource group is a container that holds related resources for an Azure solution. For more information, see Azure Resource Group overview.
    Location Select East US 2. For other available regions, see Azure services available by region.
    Pricing Tier Choose between Standard or Premium. For more information on these tiers, see Databricks pricing page.

    Select Pin to dashboard and then select Create.

  3. The account creation takes a few minutes. During account creation, the portal displays the Submitting deployment for Azure Databricks tile on the right side. You may need to scroll right on your dashboard to see the tile. There is also a progress bar displayed near the top of the screen. You can watch either area for progress.

    Databricks deployment tile

Create a Spark cluster in Databricks

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the Databricks workspace that you created, and then select Launch Workspace.

  2. You are redirected to the Azure Databricks portal. From the portal, select Cluster.

    Databricks on Azure

  3. In the New cluster page, provide the values to create a cluster.

    Create Databricks Spark cluster on Azure

    Accept all other default values other than the following:

    • Enter a name for the cluster.
    • For this article, create a cluster with 4.0 runtime.
    • Make sure you select the Terminate after __ minutes of inactivity checkbox. Provide a duration (in minutes) to terminate the cluster, if the cluster is not being used.

      Select Create cluster. Once the cluster is running, you can attach notebooks to the cluster and run Spark jobs.

Create a Twitter application

To receive a stream of tweets, you create an application in Twitter. Follow the instructions create a Twitter application and record the values that you need to complete this tutorial.

  1. From a web browser, go to Twitter Application Management, and select Create New App.

    Create Twitter application

  2. In the Create an application page, provide the details for the new app, and then select Create your Twitter application.

    Twitter application details

  3. In the application page, select the Keys and Access Tokens tab and copy the values for Consume Key and Consumer Secret. Also, select Create my access token to generate the access tokens. Copy the values for Access Token and Access Token Secret.

    Twitter application details

Save the values that you retrieved for the Twitter application. You need the values later in the tutorial.

Attach libraries to Spark cluster

In this tutorial, you use the Twitter APIs to send tweets to Event Hubs. You also use the Apache Spark Event Hubs connector to read and write data into Azure Event Hubs. To use these APIs as part of your cluster, add them as libraries to Azure Databricks and then associate them with your Spark cluster. The following instructions show how to add the library to the Shared folder in your workspace.

  1. In the Azure Databricks workspace, select Workspace, and then right-click Shared. From the context menu, select Create > Library.

    Add library dialog box

  2. In the New Library page, for Source select Maven Coordinate. For Coordinate, enter the coordinate for the package you want to add. Here is the Maven coordinates for the libraries used in this tutorial:

    • Spark Event Hubs connector - com.microsoft.azure:azure-eventhubs-spark_2.11:2.3.1
    • Twitter API - org.twitter4j:twitter4j-core:4.0.6

      Provide Maven coordinates

  3. Select Create Library.

  4. Select the folder where you added the library, and then select the library name.

    Select library to add

  5. On the library page, select the cluster where you want to use the library. Once the library is successfully associated with the cluster, the status immediately changes to Attached.

    Attach library to cluster

  6. Repeat these steps for the Twitter package, twitter4j-core:4.0.6.

Create notebooks in Databricks

In this section, you create two notebooks in Databricks workspace with the following names:

  • SendTweetsToEventHub - A producer notebook you use to get tweets from Twitter and stream them to Event Hubs.
  • ReadTweetsFromEventHub - A consumer notebook you use to read the tweets from Event Hubs.
  1. In the left pane, select Workspace. From the Workspace drop-down, select Create > Notebook.

    Create notebook in Databricks

  2. In the Create Notebook dialog box, enter SendTweetsToEventHub, select Scala as the language, and select the Spark cluster that you created earlier.

    Create notebook in Databricks

    Select Create.

  3. Repeat the steps to create the ReadTweetsFromEventHub notebook.

Send tweets to Event Hubs

In the SendTweetsToEventHub notebook, paste the following code, and replace the placeholders with values for your Event Hubs namesapce and Twitter application that you created earlier. This notebook streams tweets with the keyword "Azure" into Event Hubs in real time.

    import java.util._
    import scala.collection.JavaConverters._
    import com.microsoft.azure.eventhubs._
    import java.util.concurrent._

    val namespaceName = "<EVENT HUBS NAMESPACE>"
    val eventHubName = "<EVENT HUB NAME>"
    val sasKeyName = "<POLICY NAME>"
    val sasKey = "<POLICY KEY>"
    val connStr = new ConnectionStringBuilder()

    val pool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(1)
    val eventHubClient = EventHubClient.create(connStr.toString(), pool)

    def sendEvent(message: String) = {
      val messageData = EventData.create(message.getBytes("UTF-8"))
      System.out.println("Sent event: " + message + "\n")

    import twitter4j._
    import twitter4j.TwitterFactory
    import twitter4j.Twitter
    import twitter4j.conf.ConfigurationBuilder

    // Twitter configuration!
    // Replace values below with yours

    val twitterConsumerKey = "<CONSUMER KEY>"
    val twitterConsumerSecret = "<CONSUMER SECRET>"
    val twitterOauthAccessToken = "<ACCESS TOKEN>"
    val twitterOauthTokenSecret = "<TOKEN SECRET>"

    val cb = new ConfigurationBuilder()

    val twitterFactory = new TwitterFactory(cb.build())
    val twitter = twitterFactory.getInstance()

    // Getting tweets with keyword "Azure" and sending them to the Event Hub in realtime!

    val query = new Query(" #Azure ")
    var finished = false
    while (!finished) {
      val result = twitter.search(query)
      val statuses = result.getTweets()
      var lowestStatusId = Long.MaxValue
      for (status <- statuses.asScala) {
        lowestStatusId = Math.min(status.getId(), lowestStatusId)
      query.setMaxId(lowestStatusId - 1)

    // Closing connection to the Event Hub

To run the notebook, press SHIFT + ENTER. You see an output like the snippet below. Each event in the output is a tweet that is ingested into the Event Hubs containing the term "Azure".

Sent event: @Microsoft and @Esri launch Geospatial AI on Azure https://t.co/VmLUCiPm6q via @geoworldmedia #geoai #azure #gis #ArtificialIntelligence

Sent event: Public preview of Java on App Service, built-in support for Tomcat and OpenJDK
#cloudcomputing #Azure

Sent event: 4 Killer #Azure Features for #Data #Performance https://t.co/kpIb7hFO2j by @RedPixie

Sent event: Migrate your databases to a fully managed service with Azure SQL Database Managed Instance | #Azure | #Cloud https://t.co/sJHXN4trDk

Sent event: Top 10 Tricks to #Save Money with #Azure Virtual Machines https://t.co/F2wshBXdoz #Cloud


Read tweets from Event Hubs

In the ReadTweetsFromEventHub notebook, paste the following code, and replace the placeholder with values for your Azure Event Hubs that you created earlier. This notebook reads the tweets that you earlier streamed into Event Hubs using the SendTweetsToEventHub notebook.

    import org.apache.spark.eventhubs._

    // Build connection string with the above information
    val connectionString = ConnectionStringBuilder("<EVENT HUBS CONNECTION STRING>")
      .setEventHubName("<EVENT HUB NAME>")

    val customEventhubParameters =

    val incomingStream = spark.readStream.format("eventhubs").options(customEventhubParameters.toMap).load()


    // Sending the incoming stream into the console.
    // Data comes in batches!
    incomingStream.writeStream.outputMode("append").format("console").option("truncate", false).start().awaitTermination()

You get the following output:

 |-- body: binary (nullable = true)
 |-- offset: long (nullable = true)
 |-- seqNumber: long (nullable = true)
 |-- enqueuedTime: long (nullable = true)
 |-- publisher: string (nullable = true)
 |-- partitionKey: string (nullable = true)

Batch: 0
|body  |offset|sequenceNumber|enqueuedTime   |publisher|partitionKey|
|[50 75 62 6C 69 63 20 70 72 65 76 69 65 77 20 6F 66 20 4A 61 76 61 20 6F 6E 20 41 70 70 20 53 65 72 76 69 63 65 2C 20 62 75 69 6C 74 2D 69 6E 20 73 75 70 70 6F 72 74 20 66 6F 72 20 54 6F 6D 63 61 74 20 61 6E 64 20 4F 70 65 6E 4A 44 4B 0A 68 74 74 70 73 3A 2F 2F 74 2E 63 6F 2F 37 76 73 37 63 4B 74 76 61 68 20 0A 23 63 6C 6F 75 64 63 6F 6D 70 75 74 69 6E 67 20 23 41 7A 75 72 65]                              |0     |0             |2018-03-09 05:49:08.86 |null     |null        |
|[4D 69 67 72 61 74 65 20 79 6F 75 72 20 64 61 74 61 62 61 73 65 73 20 74 6F 20 61 20 66 75 6C 6C 79 20 6D 61 6E 61 67 65 64 20 73 65 72 76 69 63 65 20 77 69 74 68 20 41 7A 75 72 65 20 53 51 4C 20 44 61 74 61 62 61 73 65 20 4D 61 6E 61 67 65 64 20 49 6E 73 74 61 6E 63 65 20 7C 20 23 41 7A 75 72 65 20 7C 20 23 43 6C 6F 75 64 20 68 74 74 70 73 3A 2F 2F 74 2E 63 6F 2F 73 4A 48 58 4E 34 74 72 44 6B]            |168   |1             |2018-03-09 05:49:24.752|null     |null        |

Batch: 1

Because the output is in a binary mode, use the following snippet to convert it into string.

    import org.apache.spark.sql.types._
    import org.apache.spark.sql.functions._

    // Event Hub message format is JSON and contains "body" field
    // Body is binary, so we cast it to string to see the actual content of the message
    val messages =
      .withColumn("Offset", $"offset".cast(LongType))
      .withColumn("Time (readable)", $"enqueuedTime".cast(TimestampType))
      .withColumn("Timestamp", $"enqueuedTime".cast(LongType))
      .withColumn("Body", $"body".cast(StringType))
      .select("Offset", "Time (readable)", "Timestamp", "Body")


    messages.writeStream.outputMode("append").format("console").option("truncate", false).start().awaitTermination()

The output now resembles the following snippet:

 |-- Offset: long (nullable = true)
 |-- Time (readable): timestamp (nullable = true)
 |-- Timestamp: long (nullable = true)
 |-- Body: string (nullable = true)

Batch: 0
|Offset|Time (readable)  |Timestamp |Body
|0     |2018-03-09 05:49:08.86 |1520574548|Public preview of Java on App Service, built-in support for Tomcat and OpenJDK
#cloudcomputing #Azure          |
|168   |2018-03-09 05:49:24.752|1520574564|Migrate your databases to a fully managed service with Azure SQL Database Managed Instance | #Azure | #Cloud https://t.co/sJHXN4trDk    |
|0     |2018-03-09 05:49:02.936|1520574542|@Microsoft and @Esri launch Geospatial AI on Azure https://t.co/VmLUCiPm6q via @geoworldmedia #geoai #azure #gis #ArtificialIntelligence|
|176   |2018-03-09 05:49:20.801|1520574560|4 Killer #Azure Features for #Data #Performance https://t.co/kpIb7hFO2j by @RedPixie                                                    |
Batch: 1

That's it! Using Azure Databricks, you have successfully streamed data into Azure Event Hubs in near real-time. You then consumed the stream data using the Event Hubs connector for Apache Spark. For more information on how to use the Event Hubs connector for Spark, see the connector documentation.

Clean up resources

After you have finished running the tutorial, you can terminate the cluster. To do so, from the Azure Databricks workspace, from the left pane, select Clusters. For the cluster you want to terminate, move the cursor over the ellipsis under Actions column, and select the Terminate icon.

Stop a Databricks cluster

If you do not manually terminate the cluster it will automatically stop, provided you selected the Terminate after __ minutes of inactivity checkbox while creating the cluster. In such a case, the cluster will automatically stop if it has been inactive for the specified time.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned how to:

  • Create an Azure Databricks workspace
  • Create a Spark cluster in Azure Databricks
  • Create a Twitter app to generate streaming data
  • Create notebooks in Azure Databricks
  • Add libraries for Event Hubs and Twitter API
  • Send tweets to Event Hubs
  • Read tweets from Event Hubs

Advance to the next tutorial to learn about performing sentiment analysis on the streamed data using Azure Databricks and Microsoft Cognitive Services API.