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CREATE CHANGEFEED is an Enterprise-only feature. For the core version, see EXPERIMENTAL CHANGEFEED FOR.

The CREATE CHANGEFEED statement creates a new Enterprise changefeed, which targets an allowlist of tables called "watched rows". Every change to a watched row is emitted as a record in a configurable format (JSON or Avro) to a configurable sink (Kafka, Google Cloud Pub/Sub, a cloud storage sink, or a webhook sink). You can create, pause, resume, alter, or cancel an Enterprise changefeed.

We recommend reading the Changefeed Messages page for detail on understanding how changefeeds emit messages and Create and Configure Changefeeds for important usage considerations.

Required privileges

To create a changefeed, the user must be a member of the admin role or have the CREATECHANGEFEED parameter set.


CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR changefeed_target , INTO sink WITH option = value ,


Parameter Description
table_name The name of the table (or tables in a comma separated list) to create a changefeed for.

Note: Before creating a changefeed, consider the number of changefeeds versus the number of tables to include in a single changefeed. Each scenario can have an impact on total memory usage or changefeed performance. See Create and Configure Changefeeds for more detail.
sink The location of the configurable sink. The scheme of the URI indicates the type. For more information, see Sink URI below.
option / value For a list of available options and their values, see Options below.

Sink URI

The sink URI follows the basic format of:

URI Component Description
scheme The type of sink: kafka, gcpubsub, any cloud storage sink, or webhook sink.
host The sink's hostname or IP address.
port The sink's port.
query_parameters The sink's query parameters.

See Changefeed Sinks for considerations when using each sink and detail on configuration.


Example of a Kafka sink URI:

'kafka://{sasl user}&sasl_password={url-encoded password}&sasl_mechanism=SASL-SCRAM-SHA-256'

Google Cloud Pub/Sub


The Google Cloud Pub/Sub sink is currently in beta.

New in v22.1: Example of a Google Cloud Pub/Sub sink URI:

'gcpubsub://{project name}?region={region}&topic_name={topic name}&AUTH=specified&CREDENTIALS={base64-encoded key}'

Use Cloud Storage for Bulk Operations explains the requirements for the authentication parameter with specified or implicit. See Changefeed Sinks for further consideration.

Cloud Storage

Example of a cloud storage sink URI with Amazon S3:


Use Cloud Storage for Bulk Operations explains the requirements for authentication and encryption for each supported cloud storage sink. See Changefeed Sinks for considerations when using cloud storage and example URIs for Google Cloud Storage and Azure Storage.



The webhook sink is currently in beta.

Example of a webhook URI:


See Changefeed Sinks for specifics on webhook sink configuration.

Query parameters


Parameters should always be URI-encoded before they are included the changefeed's URI, as they often contain special characters. Use Javascript's encodeURIComponent function or Go language's url.QueryEscape function to URI-encode the parameters. Other languages provide similar functions to URI-encode special characters.

Query parameters include:

Sink Type
topic_name Kafka, GC Pub/Sub STRING Allows arbitrary topic naming for Kafka and GC Pub/Sub topics. See the Kafka topic naming limitations or GC Pub/Sub topic naming for detail on supported characters etc.

For example, CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR foo,bar INTO 'kafka://sink?topic_name=all' will emit all records to a topic named all. Note that schemas will still be registered separately. When using Kafka, this option can be combined with the topic_prefix option (this is not supported for GC Pub/Sub).

Default: table name.
topic_prefix Kafka, cloud STRING Adds a prefix to all topic names.

For example, CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE foo INTO 'kafka://...?topic_prefix=bar_' would emit rows under the topic bar_foo instead of foo.
tls_enabled Kafka BOOL If true, enable Transport Layer Security (TLS) on the connection to Kafka. This can be used with a ca_cert (see below).

Default: false
ca_cert Kafka, webhook, (Confluent schema registry) STRING The base64-encoded ca_cert file. Specify ca_cert for a Kafka sink, webhook sink, and/or a Confluent schema registry.

For usage with a Kafka sink, see Kafka Sink URI.

It's necessary to state https in the schema registry's address when passing ca_cert:
See confluent_schema_registry for more detail on using this option.

Note: To encode your ca.cert, run base64 -w 0 ca.cert.
client_cert Kafka, webhook STRING The base64-encoded Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM) certificate. This is used with client_key.
client_key Kafka, webhook STRING The base64-encoded private key for the PEM certificate. This is used with client_cert.

Note: Client keys are often encrypted. You will receive an error if you pass an encrypted client key in your changefeed statement. To decrypt the client key, run: openssl rsa -in key.pem -out key.decrypt.pem -passin pass:{PASSWORD}. Once decrypted, be sure to update your changefeed statement to use the new key.decrypt.pem file instead.
sasl_enabled Kafka BOOL If true, the authentication protocol can be set to SCRAM or PLAIN using the sasl_mechanism parameter. You must have tls_enabled set to true to use SASL.

Default: false
sasl_mechanism Kafka STRING Can be set to SASL-SCRAM-SHA-256, SASL-SCRAM-SHA-512, or SASL-PLAIN. A sasl_user and sasl_password are required.

sasl_user Kafka STRING Your SASL username.
sasl_password Kafka STRING Your SASL password. Note: Passwords should be URL encoded since the value can contain characters that would cause authentication to fail.
file_size cloud STRING The file will be flushed (i.e., written to the sink) when it exceeds the specified file size. This can be used with the WITH resolved option, which flushes on a specified cadence.

Default: 16MB
insecure_tls_skip_verify Kafka, webhook BOOL If true, disable client-side validation of responses. Note that a CA certificate is still required; this parameter means that the client will not verify the certificate. Warning: Use this query parameter with caution, as it creates MITM vulnerabilities unless combined with another method of authentication.

Default: false
S3_storage_class Amazon S3 cloud storage sink STRING Specify the Amazon S3 storage class for files created by the changefeed. See Create a changefeed with an S3 storage class for the available classes and an example.

partition_format cloud STRING New in v22.1: Specify how changefeed file paths are partitioned in cloud storage sinks. Use partition_format with the following values:

  • daily is the default behavior that organizes directories by dates (2022-05-18/, 2022-05-19/, etc.).
  • hourly will further organize directories by hour within each date directory (2022-05-18/06, 2022-05-18/07, etc.).
  • flat will not partition the files at all.

For example: CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE users INTO 'gs://...?AUTH...&partition_format=hourly'

Default: daily


Option Value Description
updated N/A Include updated timestamps with each row.

If a cursor is provided, the "updated" timestamps will match the MVCC timestamps of the emitted rows, and there is no initial scan. If a cursor is not provided, the changefeed will perform an initial scan (as of the time the changefeed was created), and the "updated" timestamp for each change record emitted in the initial scan will be the timestamp of the initial scan. Similarly, when a backfill is performed for a schema change, the "updated" timestamp is set to the first timestamp for when the new schema is valid.
resolved INTERVAL Emits resolved timestamp events per changefeed in a format dependent on the connected sink. Resolved timestamp events do not emit until all ranges in the changefeed have progressed to a specific point in time.

Set an optional minimal duration between emitting resolved timestamps. Example: resolved='10s'. This option will only emit a resolved timestamp event if the timestamp has advanced and at least the optional duration has elapsed. If unspecified, all resolved timestamps are emitted as the high-water mark advances.
envelope key_only / wrapped Use key_only to emit only the key and no value, which is faster if you only want to know when the key changes.

Default: envelope=wrapped
cursor Timestamp Emit any changes after the given timestamp, but does not output the current state of the table first. If cursor is not specified, the changefeed starts by doing an initial scan of all the watched rows and emits the current value, then moves to emitting any changes that happen after the scan.

When starting a changefeed at a specific cursor, the cursor cannot be before the configured garbage collection window (see gc.ttlseconds) for the table you're trying to follow; otherwise, the changefeed will error. With default garbage collection settings, this means you cannot create a changefeed that starts more than 25 hours in the past.

cursor can be used to start a new changefeed where a previous changefeed ended.

Example: CURSOR='1536242855577149065.0000000000'
end_time Timestamp New in v22.1: Indicate the timestamp up to which the changefeed will emit all events and then complete with a successful status. Provide a future timestamp to end_time in number of nanoseconds since the Unix epoch. For example, end_time="1655402400000000000". You cannot use end_time and initial_scan = 'only' simultaneously.
format json / avro / csv* Format of the emitted record. For mappings of CockroachDB types to Avro types, see the table and detail on Avro limitations.

New in v22.1: *format=csv works only in combination with initial_scan = 'only'. You cannot combine format=csv with the diff or resolved options. See Export data with changefeeds for details using these options to create a changefeed as an alternative to EXPORT.

Default: format=json.
mvcc_timestamp N/A Include the MVCC timestamp for each emitted row in a changefeed. With the mvcc_timestamp option, each emitted row will always contain its MVCC timestamp, even during the changefeed's initial backfill.
confluent_schema_registry Schema Registry address The Schema Registry address is required to use avro.

To connect to Confluent Cloud, use the following URL structure: 'https://{API_KEY_ID}:{API_SECRET_URL_ENCODED}@{CONFLUENT_REGISTRY_URL}:443'. See the Confluent Cloud Schema Registry Tutorial for further detail.
key_in_value N/A Make the primary key of a deleted row recoverable in sinks where each message has a value but not a key (most have a key and value in each message). key_in_value is automatically used for cloud storage sinks, webhook sinks, and GC Pub/Sub sinks.
diff N/A Publish a before field with each message, which includes the value of the row before the update was applied.
compression gzip Compress changefeed data files written to a cloud storage sink. Currently, only Gzip is supported for compression.
on_error pause / fail Use on_error=pause to pause the changefeed when encountering non-retryable errors. on_error=pause will pause the changefeed instead of sending it into a terminal failure state. Note: Retryable errors will continue to be retried with this option specified.

Use with protect_data_from_gc_on_pause to protect changes from garbage collection.

Default: on_error=fail
protect_data_from_gc_on_pause N/A When a changefeed is paused, ensure that the data needed to resume the changefeed is not garbage collected. If protect_data_from_gc_on_pause is unset, pausing the changefeed will release the existing protected timestamp records. It is also important to note that pausing and adding protect_data_from_gc_on_pause to a changefeed will not protect data if the garbage collection window has already passed.

Use with on-error=pause to protect changes from garbage collection when encountering non-retryable errors.

See Garbage collection and changefeeds for more detail on protecting changefeed data.

Note: If you use this option, changefeeds that are left paused for long periods of time can prevent garbage collection.
schema_change_events default / column_changes The type of schema change event that triggers the behavior specified by the schema_change_policy option:
Default: schema_change_events=default
schema_change_policy backfill / nobackfill / stop The behavior to take when an event specified by the schema_change_events option occurs:
  • backfill: When schema changes with column backfill are finished, output all watched rows using the new schema.
  • nobackfill: For schema changes with column backfill, perform no logical backfills. The changefeed will still emit any duplicate records for the table being altered, but will not emit the new schema records.
  • stop: schema changes with column backfill, wait for all data preceding the schema change to be resolved before exiting with an error indicating the timestamp at which the schema change occurred. An error: schema change occurred at <timestamp> will display in the cockroach.log file.

Default: schema_change_policy=backfill
initial_scan yes/no/only Control whether or not an initial scan will occur at the start time of a changefeed. Only one initial_scan option (yes, no, or only) can be used. If none of these are set, an initial scan will occur if there is no cursor, and will not occur if there is one. This preserves the behavior from previous releases. With initial_scan = 'only' set, the changefeed job will end with a successful status (succeeded) after the initial scan completes. You cannot specify yes, no, only simultaneously.

If used in conjunction with cursor, an initial scan will be performed at the cursor timestamp. If no cursor is specified, the initial scan is performed at now().

Although the initial_scan / no_initial_scan syntax from previous versions is still supported, you cannot combine the previous and current syntax.

Note: You cannot use the new initial_scan = "yes"/"no"/"only" syntax with ALTER CHANGEFEED in v22.1. To ensure that you can modify a changefeed with the initial_scan options, use the previous syntax of initial_scan, no_initial_scan, and initial_scan_only.

Default: initial_scan = 'yes'
kafka_sink_config STRING Set fields to configure the required level of message acknowledgement from the Kafka server, the version of the server, and batching parameters for Kafka sinks. See Kafka sink configuration for more detail on configuring all the available fields for this option.

Example: CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR table INTO 'kafka://localhost:9092' WITH kafka_sink_config='{"Flush": {"MaxMessages": 1, "Frequency": "1s"}, "RequiredAcks": "ONE"}'
full_table_name N/A Use fully-qualified table name in topics, subjects, schemas, and record output instead of the default table name. This can prevent unintended behavior when the same table name is present in multiple databases.

Example: CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR foo... WITH full_table_name will create the topic name instead of foo.
avro_schema_prefix Schema prefix name Provide a namespace for the schema of a table in addition to the default, the table name. This allows multiple databases or clusters to share the same schema registry when the same table name is present in multiple databases.

Example: CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR foo WITH format=avro, confluent_schema_registry='registry_url', avro_schema_prefix='super' will register subjects as superfoo-key and superfoo-value with the namespace super.
webhook_client_timeout INTERVAL If a response is not recorded from the sink within this timeframe, it will error and retry to connect. Note this must be a positive value.

Default: "3s"
webhook_auth_header STRING Pass a value (password, token etc.) to the HTTP Authorization header with a webhook request for a "Basic" HTTP authentication scheme.

Example: With a username of "user" and password of "pwd", add a colon between "user:pwd" and then base64 encode, which results in "dXNlcjpwd2Q=". WITH webhook_auth_header='Basic dXNlcjpwd2Q='.
topic_in_value BOOL Set to include the topic in each emitted row update. Note this is automatically set for webhook sinks.
webhook_sink_config STRING Set fields to configure sink batching and retries. The schema is as follows:

{ "Flush": { "Messages": ..., "Bytes": ..., "Frequency": ..., }, "Retry": {"Max": ..., "Backoff": ..., } }.

Note that if either Messages or Bytes are nonzero, then a non-zero value for Frequency must be provided.

See Webhook sink configuration for more details on using this option.
metrics_label STRING This is an experimental feature. Define a metrics label to which the metrics for one or multiple changefeeds increment. All changefeeds also have their metrics aggregated.

The maximum length of a label is 128 bytes. There is a limit of 1024 unique labels.

WITH metrics_label=label_name

For more detail on usage and considerations, see Using changefeed metrics labels.
split_column_families N/A Use this option to create a changefeed on a table with multiple column families. The changefeed will emit messages for each of the table's column families. See Changefeeds on tables with column families for more usage detail.
virtual_columns STRING New in v22.1: Changefeeds omit virtual computed columns from emitted messages by default. To maintain the behavior of previous CockroachDB versions where the changefeed would emit NULL values for virtual computed columns, set virtual_columns = "null" when you start a changefeed.

You may also define virtual_columns = "omitted", though this is already the default behavior for v22.1+. If you do not set "omitted" on a table with virtual computed columns when you create a changefeed, you will receive a warning that changefeeds will filter out virtual computed values.

Default: "omitted"
min_checkpoint_frequency INTERVAL Controls how often nodes flush their progress to the coordinating changefeed node. Changefeeds will wait for at least the specified duration before a flush to the sink. This can help you control the flush frequency of higher latency sinks to achieve better throughput. If this is set to 0s, a node will flush as long as the high-water mark has increased for the ranges that particular node is processing. Note: If a changefeed is resumed, then min_checkpoint_frequency is the amount of time that changefeed will need to catch up. That is, it could emit duplicate messages during this time.

Default: 30s

Using the format=avro, envelope=key_only, and updated options together is rejected. envelope=key_only prevents any rows with updated fields from being emitted, which makes the updated option meaningless.


The files emitted to a sink use the following naming conventions:



General file format


For example:


New in v22.1: When emitting changefeed messages to a cloud storage sink, you can specify a partition format for your files using the partition_format query parameter. This will result in the following file path formats:

  • daily: This is the default option and will follow the same pattern as the previous general file format.
  • hourly: This will partition into an hourly directory as the changefeed emits messages, like the following:

  • flat: This will result in no file partitioning. The cloud storage path you specify when creating a changefeed will store all of the message files with no additional directories created.

Resolved file format


For example:



The following examples show the syntax for managing changefeeds and starting changefeeds to specific sinks. The Options table on this page provides a list of all the available options. For information on sink-specific query parameters and configurations see the Changefeed Sinks page.

Create a changefeed connected to Kafka

> CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE name, name2, name3
  INTO 'kafka://host:port'
  WITH updated, resolved;
|       job_id       |
| 360645287206223873 |
(1 row)

For step-by-step guidance on creating a changefeed connected to Kafka, see the Create a changefeed connected to Kafka example. The parameters table on the Changefeed Sinks page provides a list of all kafka-specific query parameters.

Create a changefeed connected to Kafka using Avro

> CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE name, name2, name3
  INTO 'kafka://host:port'
  WITH format = avro, confluent_schema_registry = <schema_registry_address>;
|       job_id       |
| 360645287206223873 |
(1 row)

For more information on how to create a changefeed that emits an Avro record, see this step-by-step example. The parameters table on the Changefeed Sinks page provides a list of all kafka-specific query parameters.

Create a changefeed connected to a cloud storage sink

> CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE name, name2, name3
  INTO 'scheme://host?parameters'
  WITH updated, resolved;
|       job_id       |
| 360645287206223873 |
(1 row)

For step-by-step guidance on creating a changefeed connected to a cloud storage sink, see the Changefeed Examples page. The parameters table on the Changefeed Sinks page provides a list of the available cloud storage parameters.

Create a changefeed with an S3 storage class

New in v22.1: To associate the changefeed message files with a specific storage class in your Amazon S3 bucket, use the S3_STORAGE_CLASS parameter with the class. For example, the following S3 connection URI specifies the INTELLIGENT_TIERING storage class:


Use the parameter to set one of these storage classes listed in Amazon's documentation. For more general usage information, see Amazon's Using Amazon S3 storage classes documentation.

Create a changefeed connected to a Google Cloud Pub/Sub


The Google Cloud Pub/Sub sink is currently in beta.

> CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE name, name2, name3
  INTO 'gcpubsub://project name?parameters'
  WITH resolved;
|       job_id       |
| 360645287206223873 |
(1 row)

For step-by-step guidance on creating a changefeed connected to a Google Cloud Pub/Sub, see the Changefeed Examples page. The parameters table on the Changefeed Sinks page provides a list of the available Google Cloud Pub/Sub parameters.

Create a changefeed connected to a webhook sink


The webhook sink is currently in beta — see usage considerations, available parameters, and options for more information.

  INTO 'webhook-https://{your-webhook-endpoint}?insecure_tls_skip_verify=true'
  WITH updated;
|      job_id         |
| 687842491801632769  |
(1 row)

For step-by-step guidance on creating a changefeed connected to a webhook sink, see the Changefeed Examples page. The parameters table on the Changefeed Sinks page provides a list of the available webhook parameters.

Manage a changefeed

For Enterprise changefeeds, use SHOW CHANGEFEED JOBS to check the status of your changefeed jobs:


Use the following SQL statements to pause, resume, or cancel a changefeed.

Pause a changefeed

> PAUSE JOB job_id;

For more information, see PAUSE JOB.

Resume a paused changefeed

> RESUME JOB job_id;

For more information, see RESUME JOB.

Cancel a changefeed

> CANCEL JOB job_id;

For more information, see CANCEL JOB.

Modify a changefeed

To modify an Enterprise changefeed, pause the job and then use:

ALTER CHANGEFEED job_id {ADD table DROP table SET option UNSET option};

You can add new table targets, remove them, set new changefeed options, and unset them.

For more information, see ALTER CHANGEFEED.

Configuring all changefeeds

It is useful to be able to pause all running changefeeds during troubleshooting, testing, or when a decrease in CPU load is needed.

To pause all running changefeeds:


This will change the status for each of the running changefeeds to paused, which can be verified with SHOW CHANGEFEED JOBS.

To resume all running changefeeds:


This will resume the changefeeds and update the status for each of the changefeeds to running.

Start a new changefeed where another ended

Find the high-water timestamp for the ended changefeed:

> SELECT * FROM WHERE job_id = <job_id>;
        job_id       |  job_type  | ... |      high_water_timestamp      | error | coordinator_id
+--------------------+------------+ ... +--------------------------------+-------+----------------+
  383870400694353921 | CHANGEFEED | ... | 1537279405671006870.0000000000 |       |              1
(1 row)

Use the high_water_timestamp to start the new changefeed:

> CREATE CHANGEFEED FOR TABLE name, name2, name3
  INTO 'kafka//host:port'
  WITH cursor = '<high_water_timestamp>';

Note that because the cursor is provided, the initial scan is not performed.

See also

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