2017-05-11

Apache Camel 2.19 Released - Whats new

Apache Camel 2.19 was released on May 5th 2017 and its about time I do a little blog about what this release includes of noteworthy new features and improvements.

Here is a list of the noteworthy new features and improvements.

1. Spring Boot Improvements

The Camel 2.19 release has been improved for Spring Boot in numerous ways. For example all the Camel components now include more details in their spring boot metadata files for auto configuration. This means tooling can now show default values, documentation etc for all the options on each component, language, and data format you may use, and configure in application.properties or .yml files.

The release is also up to date with latest Spring Boot 1.5.3 release.

Some component has improved auto configuration which makes it even easier to use, such as camel-servlet where you can easily setup the context-path from the application.properties file.

We have also made available to configure many more options on CamelContext as well so you can tweak JMX, stream caching, and many other options.

2. Camel Catalog Improvements

The Camel Catalog now includes fine grained details of every artifact shipped in the release, also for the other kinds such as camel-hystrix, camel-cdi etc.

The catalog now also include all the documentation in ascii doc and html format.

The catalog has specialized providers for Spring Boot and Karaf runtimes, which allows tooling to know which of the Camel artifacts you can use on those runtimes.

The Camel project uses the catalog itself, so we now use this to automatic generate and keep a full list of all the artifacts on the website, and when each artifact was added. You can therefore see whether its a new artifact in this release, or was introduced in Camel 2.17 etc.

There is a specialized runtime version of the CamelCatalog provided in camel-core RuntimeCamelCatalog, which allows you to tap into the catalog when running Camel. The offline catalog is camel-catalog which is totally standalone.

3. Camel Maven Plugin can now validate

There is a new validate goal on the camel-maven-plugin which allows you to check your source code and validate all your Camel endpoints and simple expressions whether they have any invalid configuration or options. I have previously blogged about this.

4. Auto reload XML files

If you develop Camel routes in XML files, then you can now turn on auto reload, so Camel will watch the XML files for changes and then automatic update the routes on the fly. I have previously blogged and recorded a video of this.

5. Service Call EIP improvements

Luca has been buys improving the Service Call EIP so it works better and easier with Camel on the cloud, such as kubernetes or spring-boot-cloud. 

Luca blogged recently about this.

6. Calling REST services is easier

If you want to use Camel to call RESTful services then its now easier as we add a producer side to the Rest DSL. This means you can call REST service using the rest component that can then plugin and use any of the HTTP based component in Camel such as restlet, http4, undertow etc.

For more information see the rest-producer example.

We also added a new camel-swagger-rest component that makes it even easier to call Swagger REST APIs, where you can refer to their operation id, and then let Camel automatic map to its API.

For more information see the rest-swagger example and the rest-swagger documentation.

7. CDI with JEE transactions

The camel-cdi component now supports JEE transactions so you can leverage that out of the box without having to rely on spring transactions anymore.

8. Example documentation improved

We now generate a table with all the examples and sorted by category. This allows users to find the beginner examples, rest, cloud etc. And also ensure that we keep a better documentation for our examples in the future as the generator tool will WARN if we have examples without documentation.

Also all examples have a readme file with information about the example and how to run.

9. Spring Cloud components

There is new Camel components that integrate with Spring Cloud and Spring Cloud Netflix. This makes it easy to use for example the ServiceCall EIP or Hystrix EIP with Spring Cloud Netflix or just Camel with Spring Cloud in general. You can find more information in the example.

10. Kafka improvements

The camel-kafka component has been improved to work more intuitively. This unfortunately means the uri syntax has changed in a backwards incompatible way. So if you are upgrading then make sure to change your uris. However the new syntax resemble how other messaging components does it by using kafka:topicName?options. 

Also the component can now automatic convert to the kafka serializer and deserializer out of the box, so you dont have to hazzle with that. We provide converts to the typically used such as byte[] and string types.

The component also has been upgraded to latest Kafka release and its now possible to store the offset state offline so you can resume from this offset in case you stop and later start your application.

Its also much easier to configure and use custom key and partition key which can be supplied as header values.

And there is a new Kafka idempotent repository.

11. Route Contracts 

We have added initial support for being able to specify an incoming and outgoing type to a Camel route (called transformer and validator inside Camel). This then allows both Camel at runtime, and Camel developers to know what payload the routes is expected as input and what it returns. For example you can specify that a route takes in XML and returns JSon. And with XML you can even specify the namespace. Likewise you can specify Java types for POJO classes. Based on these contracts Camel is able at runtime to automatic be able to type-covert the message payload (if possible) between these types if needed.

We will continue with more improvements in this area. For example we hope we can add such capabilities to Camel components so they will be able to provide such information so your Camel routes is more type-safe with the message payloads during during routing.

And tooling will also be able to tap into this formation and then for example "flag" users with hints about routes not being compatible etc.

You can find more details in this example (we have for CDI and XML as well) and in the documentation.

12. Reactive Camel

There is a new camel-reactive-streams component that makes Camel work as first-class with the reactive-streams API so you can easily use Camel components in your reactive flows, or call flows from your Camel routes.

For the next release there is a camel-rx2 component in the works which has improved support for Camel with the popular RxJava 2 framework.

For users that want to use reactive with vert.x then there is a camel-vertx and vertx-camel-bridge components in both projects. We plan to merge them together and bring the best features from each of them together in the future, when we get some time. However Claus is in talks with the vert.x team about this. 

You can find more information in some of this example. And the Camel in Action 2nd ed book contains an entire chapter 21 covering all of this.

13. Java 8 DSL improvements

And just on top of my head the Java 8 DSL has been slightly improved to allow using more of the Java 8 lambda and functional style in your Camel routes and EIPs. We will continue to improve this from time to time when we find EIPs that can be made more awesome for savvy Java 8 users. We are also looking for feedback in this area so if you are kneed deep in the Java 8 style then help us identify where we can improve the DSL.

14. Camel Connectors

We have introduced a new concept called Camel Connector. However its still early stages and we will over the next couple of releases further improve and refine what a Camel connector is.

The short story is that a Camel Connector is a specialized and pre-configured Camel Component that can do one thing and one thing only. For example if you need to known when someone mentions you on twitter, then you can use the camel-twitter component. But it can do 10 things and it can take time to understand how to use the component and make it work. So instead you can build a connector that can just do that, a camel-twitter-mention connector.  It's pre-build and configured to just do that. So all you need to do is to configure your twitter credentials and off you go. At runtime the connector is a Camel component, so from Camel point of view, they are all components and therefore it runs as first-class in Camel.

We have provided some connector examples in the source code.

15. Many more components

As usual there is a bunch of new components in every Camel release and this time we have about 20 new components. You can find the list of new components in the release notes, or on the Camel components website where you can search by the 2.19 release number.

For example there is a camel-opentracing component that allows to use Camel with distributed tracing. Gary Brown has blogged about this.

There is also a few new Camel components for IoT such as camel-milo that Jens Reimann blogged about.

There is a bunch of other smaller improvements which you can find in the release notes. For example the jsonpath language now allows to use embedded simple language, and you can define predicates in a much simpler syntax without too many of the confusing jsonpath tokens, in case you just want to say order.customer.id > 1000 etc.


2017-05-05

Developing cloud-ready Camel microservice talk from Red Hat Summit 2017

I am sitting at Boston Logan Airport and having a Samuel Adams lager and checking up my twitter timeline, emails and whatelse is happening.

Two days ago I had my talk about developing cloud ready Camel microservices at Red Hat Summit 2017. The talk was video recorded and it is already online on you tube.


The source code and slides is posted on my github account at: https://github.com/davsclaus/minishift-hello

I had a great time at Red Hat Summit and enjoyed meeting up with fellow Red Hat co-workers and others whom I know from twitter or the open source communities.

2017-04-25

Mine and other Camel talks at Red Hat Summit 2017

Next week I am giving a talk at Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston.




S104668 - Developing cloud-ready Camel microservices

Its a talk how to get started as a Java developer to build Java based microserves that runs on Kubernetes or OpenShift. Its a talk that is a mix between slides and live demo where its all coded and running locally on my old laptop.  I am using three of my favorite Java stack with Apache Camel, Spring Boot, and WildFly Swarm in the demos.

The talk is on Tuesday May 2nd before lunch, eg 11:30 to 12:15pm so you can come and bild up an appetite.

On Wednesday from 3-5pm I am on boot duty at the Red Hat Community Central, so that's a chance for you to come find me and have a chat. I am actually not aware where that is located, but I would assume its in the exhibition hall.

I will be in Boston all week and attend Summit from Tuesday till Thursday. On Friday evening I am flying back home.

I have started running for the last year or so, so I am also signed up for the 5km Summit run which happens at 6 am on Wednesday. In my time zone that would be noon so I am up and awake already.


Other Camel Talks

There is a number of other talks that I plan to attend.

For example Rajith's talk with TD Bank where they talk how they are using Camel. I love to hear about what the real world does with Camel and Red Hat summit is a conference where also the customer stories are present.

S103873 - Migrating TD Bank's monolithic Java EE application to a microservices architecture


There is also the stuff I have been worked on lately a new product iPaaS that uses Camel under the hood. I am really looking forward to Keith and Hiram presenting this.

S101856 - Red Hat iPaaS—integration made easy


Christian Posta is always an inspiration. I always learn something when he give talks about microservices. He is out there in the field and see first hand what our customers want to do, and what they are doing/can do.

S101993 - The hardest part of microservices is your data


I have formerly worked in the health care industry and have a chance to hear Quinn Stevenson's talk. Quinn has been fantastic in the Camel community where he has contributed code patches, components and help Camel work better with OSGi and HL7.

S103149 - Deploying Red Hat JBoss Fuse in healthcare—notes from the field


I don't want to miss the chance to hear about how to migrate a monolith 10 year old system to a modern microservice based with Camel, Vert.X, and other cool technologies.

S99785 - How to handle the complexity of migrating to microservices from 10 years of monolithic code


There are more talks about Camel that I will try to attend. There are 12 sessions listed in the Red Hat Summit agenda.

If you are attending Red Hat Summit. Then I hope we get a chance to meet and say hi. I love the hallway conversations at conferences and also to hear the good, bad, and ugly. Apache Camel is not perfect, likely far from it. But its adaptive and very flexible, and we have a very active, vibrant and open community.

And btw Camel 2.19 is on the way. We are building the release candidate this week. So hopefully its released by Summit so I can tell Jim Whitehurst to announce that at the keynote ;)


2017-04-14

Next phase with the Camel in Action 2nd edition book

This time its a longer ride for Jonathan and myself. Its about 2 years ago we started with the first words and edits for writing this book all over again.



Here 2 years later we have just handed in our last complete draft of all the chapters and appendixes. All 21 chapters are in the bank, and now we enter a new phase. The table of content at the Manning website has not yet been updated, so there is 2 additional chapters in the final book than listed currently. More for the money for you ;)

The book is going into pre-production. Here is roughly what will happen:

The newest 1/3 of the chapters will first have to go through a review procedure where a selected group of anonymous readers are providing feedback. And based on their feedback and what else may come to our attention we can freely do changes to these chapters. Then they join the rest of the chapters.

The other 2/3 of the chapters are already moving ahead and are under Mannings strict scrutiny of tech review and proofing. For example chapter 13 has already been through this process. The chapter has a thousand or so, small changes to fix up the grammar, flow of content and just make it enjoyable to read, instead of my 2nd-language english.

At the same time Apache Camel moves ahead and the upcoming 2.19.0 release is planned for end of April / start of May. This means that we will ensure all the content in the book is up to date with reference to this release. A big part of that is also to ensure all the accompanying source code is fully up to date as well.

Likewise Jonathan and I have a TODO list of small items we have noted over the time to go back into the previous chapters to do updates.

With all this combined we will ensure that all the content in the book is fully up to update and cover as much of Apache Camel as possible. For things that are not possible to cover we will add callouts or sidebars with details and references where you can find more material. And on the good days we will add an example with the source code etc.

So there is surely more work for us before we can see the finish line. As they say its not over until the fat lady signs.

2017-03-19

Apache Camel first commit was 10 years ago on March 19th

Today marks a very special day as it was exactly 10 years ago the first commit of Apache Camel was done by its creator James Strachan.

Added Mon Mar 19 10:54:57 2007 UTC (10 years ago) by jstrachan
Initial checkin of Camel routing library

The project was created as a sub-project to Apache ActiveMQ and back then github did not exists, so its using good old subversion.

In summer 2007 the first release of Apache Camel was published, which happened on July 2nd so lets wait until the summer to celebrate it's 10 years birthday.

2017-02-27

Wanna work on cool open source projects like Apache Camel and fabric8

Jonathan Anstey whom is lead in the JBoss Fuse sustaining team (and also co-author of the Camel in Action books) posted a tweet today about an opening in his team.

So if you want to work on cool open source projects upstream like Apache Camel, fabric8, and yeah also sometimes Apache Karaf, ServiceMix, CXF, hawtio, etc.

The position is: Senior Software Engineer
Location: Remote

You can find more details about the job at the Red Hat site.

If you want to apply then you can use apply directly from the Red Hat website. Or you can get in touch with me, where we can have a little talk, and then I can make a referrer from inside Red Hat which would put you one step ahead.


2017-02-06

Complete overview of all Camel components and JARs

You can now see a complete overview of all Camel components, data formats, languages, and miscellaneous components at the Camel github website: https://github.com/apache/camel/tree/master/components#components




Also we now count the total number as well, so at this time of writing there are 218 Camel components.

The tables on that page are all auto generated from the Camel source code which ensures its always up to date.

This information is also available from the camel-catalog, which allows tooling to tap into this information as well. And we will also use this to ensure the new website / documentation is using this to build a up to date TOC as well for all the Camel documentation. 

2017-01-27

Three Apache Camel talks in Aarhus on thursday 9th February

I am going to Aarhus to spread the word about Apache Camel. With me I have two other Camel riders whom will share their real life experience.

So you get 3 for the price of 1. Well its gratis to attend so the price is 0 :)

The event is hosted at Systematic and organized by Javagruppen. You can find more details about the event on their website at: http://javagruppen.dk/54-arrangementer/arrangementer-2016/363-javagruppemode-den-9-februar-hos-systematic-i-aarhus

The talks will be in english, and so will the source code being shown :)

After the talks I hope you may have time for a beverage, where we can share our Camel stories.

Agenda

  • Introduction to Apache Camel - Ibsen
  • A practical example of applying Camel in homecare application - Therkildsen
  • Get started with Apache Camel Intellij plug-in - Harms
Venue
Systematic, Søren Frichs Vej 39, 8000 Aarhus

Date and time
9. February at16.30-19.30

Price
Free to attend

Registration
You need to register for the event which you can find on the Javagruppen website.

2017-01-10

Great podcast about Apache Camel from Java Pub House

Recently I listened to a podcast from Java Pub House posted on 7th of January 2017 where Freddy Guime and Bob Hollin talk about Apache Camel.

Episode 62. Hm, what's the best to travel this holiday? on Apache CAMEL, of course!

Freddy is new to Apache Camel, and Bob an experience user. I enjoyed listening to the podcast where they talk about what Camel is, where you can use Camel, and where you should not use Camel etc.

Freddy is good at asking all the right questions which new users would have, and together they are great at coming to good answers.

Bob also shares from his wisdom and experience with using Camel. So you get all the good, bad and ugly of Camel from real war stories.

If you have some time to spare then I recommend listening.

The podcast is episode and the link is up there in the top of this blog.