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A source is a resource that RisingWave can read data from. You can create a source in RisingWave using the CREATE SOURCE command. For the full list of the sources we support, see Supported sources.

If you choose to persist the data from the source in RisingWave, use the CREATE TABLE command with connector settings. Or if you need to create the primary key (which is required by some formats like FORMAT UPSERT/DEBEZIUM), you have to use CREATE TABLE too. For more details, see CREATE TABLE.

Regardless of whether the data is persisted in RisingWave, you can create materialized views to perform analysis or data transformations.


col_name data_type [ AS generation_expression ],
[ watermark_clause ]
[INCLUDE { header | key | offset | partition | timestamp } [AS <column_name>]]
[ WITH (
connector_parameter='value', ...)]
[FORMAT data_format ENCODE data_encode [ (
schema.location='location', ...) ]


A generated column is defined with non-deterministic functions. When the data is ingested, the function will be evaluated to generate the value of this field.

Names and unquoted identifiers are case-insensitive. Therefore, you must double-quote any of these fields for them to be case-sensitive.

To know when a data record is loaded to RisingWave, you can define a column that is generated based on the processing time (<column_name> timestamptz AS proctime()) when creating the table or source. See also proctime().

For a source with schema from an external connector, use * to represent all columns from the external connector first, so that you can define a generated column on the source with an external connector. See the example below.

CREATE SOURCE from_kafka (
gen_i32_field INT AS int32_field + 2
connector = 'kafka',
topic = 'test-rw-sink-upsert-avro',
properties.bootstrap.server = 'message_queue:29092'
schema.registry = 'http://message_queue:8081'

The generated column is created in RisingWave and will not be accessed through the external connector. Therefore, if the external upstream system has a schema, it does not need to include the generated column within the table's schema in the external system.


source_nameThe name of the source. If a schema name is given (for example, CREATE SOURCE <schema>.<source> ...), then the table is created in the specified schema. Otherwise it is created in the current schema.
col_nameThe name of a column.
data_typeThe data type of a column. With the struct data type, you can create a nested table. Elements in a nested table need to be enclosed with angle brackets ("<>").
generation_expressionThe expression for the generated column. For details about generated columns, see Generated columns.
watermark_clauseA clause that defines the watermark for a timestamp column. The syntax is WATERMARK FOR column_name as expr. For details about watermarks, refer to Watermarks.
INCLUDE clauseExtract fields not included in the payload as separate columns. For more details on its usage, see INCLUDE clause.
WITH clauseSpecify the connector settings here if trying to store all the source data. See Supported sources for the full list of supported source as well as links to specific connector pages detailing the syntax for each source.
FORMAT and ENCODE optionsSpecify the data format and the encoding format of the source data. To learn about the supported data formats, see Supported formats.

Please distinguish between the parameters set in the FORMAT and ENCODE options and those set in the WITH clause. Ensure that you place them correctly and avoid any misuse.


RisingWave supports generating watermarks when creating a source. Watermarks are like markers or signals that track the progress of event time, allowing you to process events within their corresponding time windows. The WATERMARK clause should be used within the schema_definition. For more information on how to create a watermark, see Watermarks.

Change Data Capture (CDC)

Change Data Capture (CDC) refers to the process of identifying and capturing data changes in a database, and then delivering the changes to a downstream service in real-time.

RisingWave provides native MySQL and PostgreSQL CDC connectors. With these CDC connectors, you can ingest CDC data from these databases directly, without setting up additional services like Kafka.

If Kafka is part of your technical stack, you can also use the Kafka connector in RisingWave to ingest CDC data in the form of Kafka topics from databases into RisingWave. You need to use a CDC tool such as Debezium connector for MySQL or Maxwell's daemon to convert CDC data into Kafka topics.

For complete step-to-step guides about ingesting MySQL and PostgreSQL data using both approaches, see Ingest data from MySQL and Ingest data from PostgreSQL.

See also

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