Apache Camel – The Beginner’s Guide

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Apache Camel - Wikidata

Are you using microservices architecture? Are you having trouble implementing integration patterns between microservices and different applications? Enterprise integrations can be very complex. Apache Camel simplifies enterprise integrations and makes it easy to communicate with queues, databases, file systems, and a number of other endpoints.

Problem that Apache Camel solves?

Enterprise integrations are very complex, whenever we talk about enterprises, they have hundreds of applications and these applications have complex communication patterns and they use a variety of transports like HTTP, queue, etc. Also, they use a variety of protocols like HTTP, JMS, amqp are just a few examples.

The evolution of cloud and microservices makes enterprise integration more complex. If we imagine various microservices talking to each other then it seems like a web of different transports, protocols, etc.

So, how do we simplify enterprise integration? We can follow Enterprise Integration Patterns but implementing them is a big challenge. Hence, the best framework to use in this case is Apache Camel.

Apache Camel is an open-source enterprise integration framework and allows the users to easily integrate systems that are consuming or producing data. Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf wrote an incredible book called “Enterprise Integration Patterns” that inspired Apache Camel. This fantastic book provides all the patterns that are being involved in enterprise integration implementation.

Apache Camel also helps you to implement patterns around microservices architectures and the cloud.

One of the important things about Apache Camel is that it is very lean, it is very lightweight, and extensible. Apache Camel helps you to integrate with a variety of other applications. For example, you can integrate with Kafka, ActiveMQ also we can integrate with applications that use JMS furthermore You can make HTTP calls, and you can talk to cloud services like AWS lambda. Apache Camel uses component architecture which makes it lightweight.

There are hundreds of different components which are provided for different databases i.e messages, queues, APIs, and cloud integrations. Apache Camel also supports 200 plus protocols, transports, data formats, and 300 plus converters between these data formats and It provides a domain-specific language (DSL) which can be customized to the needs of application integrations.

Working of Apache Camel

Let’s consider we have two different types of systems here. One is source machine. Just assume this source machine is having data i.e it might be a file system or it can be a message queue or it can be a database. It’s just one computer with data to transfer.Likewise, we have one more system also furthermore we are simply just calling system 1 and system 2 here. In between these two we are going to use the concept of Camel which supports integration here. In

Apache Camel, we will be having 3 different components i.e Route, Filter and Process. Camel supports 3 things i.e Routing, Filtering and processing. It also supports a variety of protocols.

Route: It is the process of routing (transferring) the data from system 1 to system 2. File system to file system, File System to MQ, File System to DB. Likewise, MQ to File System, MQ to MQ and MQ to DB and so on.

Filter: If you want to remove invalid data or you want to avoid some particular data, we can just use filter. Additionally, you just have to check the condition before transfer.

Process: We can do some conversions/modifications or calculations. (XML->json, text->json etc.). Data is sent from one system to another via Camel integration and it also supports various protocols which makes the transfer process easier and less complex.

Spring Boot Dependency


Some Important Camel Concepts


CamelContext is a type of container also We can think of it as Camels runtime system, which keeps everything together.

Routing Engine

The routing engine in Camel is responsible for moving messages behind the hood. And we should be aware that this exists and that it handles all of the heavy lifting, ensuring that messages are routed correctly.


The processor is a fundamental Camel notion that represents a node that can use, create, and alter an incoming exchange. Exchanges go from one processor to another during routing; as a result, you can think of a route as a graph with specialised processors as nodes and lines connecting one processor’s output to another’s input.


In this blog we saw the very basics of Apache Camel and it’s components. In addition, we saw what base problems does it solve. This gives a basic kickstart to our Apache Camel Journey.

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Written by 

Sakshi Mittal is a Software Consultant at Knoldus Software. She has completed her MCA from BCIIT and Bachelors in Computer Applications from GGSIPU. Her practice area is Java but she loves to explore machine learning field as well. She likes writing tech blogs and contribute to open source. When not working you will find her watching travel and food vlogs.