Chapter 1. Meeting Camel


This chapter covers

  • An introduction to Camel
  • Camel’s main features
  • Your first Camel ride
  • Camel’s architecture and concepts

Building complex systems from scratch is a very costly endeavor, and one that’s almost never successful. An effective and less risky alternative is to assemble a system like a jigsaw puzzle from existing, proven components. We depend daily on a multitude of such integrated systems, making possible everything from phone communications, financial transactions, and healthcare to travel planning and entertainment.

You can’t finalize a jigsaw puzzle until you have a complete set of pieces that plug into each other simply, seamlessly, and robustly. That holds true for system integration projects as well. But whereas jigsaw puzzle pieces are made to plug into each other, the systems we integrate rarely are. Integration frameworks aim to fill this gap. As an integrator, you’re less concerned about how the system you integrate works and more focused on how to interoperate with it from the outside. A good integration framework provides simple, manageable abstractions for the complex systems you’re integrating and the “glue” for plugging them together seamlessly.

Apache Camel is such an integration framework. In this book, we’ll help you understand what Camel is, how to use it, and why we think it’s one of the best integration frameworks out there.

1.1. Introducing Camel

1.2. Getting started

1.3. Camel’s message model

1.4. Camel’s architecture

1.5. Your first Camel ride, revisited

1.6. Summary