Apache Camel 3.2 - Reflection free configuration of Camel

At the Apache Camel project we are working towards the next upcoming Apache Camel 3.2.0 release, which is planned for next month.

One of the ares we have worked hard on in Camel 3 is to make it smaller and faster. And one aspect of this is also configuration management. You can fully configure Camel in many ways and according to the 12 factor principles, to keep configuration separated from the application. A popular way to configure is to use properties files (eg application.properties) or in Kubernetes you can configure from config maps or environment variables as well.

So we have gradually over Camel 3.0, 3.1 and now 3.2 made configuration faster. With the latest work we are now fully reflection free.

Camel is capable of reporting when reflection based configuration are being used. Which can be configured with:

# bean introspection to log reflection based configuration

We have prepared the camel-example-main-tiny to report this. The numbers for Camel 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 are as follows:

Camel 3.0: BeanIntrospection invoked: 12 times
Camel 3.1: Stopping BeanIntrospection which was invoked: 11 times
Camel 3.2: Stopping BeanIntrospection which was invoked: 0 times

What this means is that you can fully configure all your Camel endpoints, components, routes, EIPs, data formats, languages, camel main, camel context, and whatnot, in declarative properties files etc and then at runtime all of this ends up invoking the actual setter methods on all these instances (ie just direct java method calls, no java.lang.reflect).

This is possible because we source code generate configurer classes based on what options are present. And these configurer classes are reflection free. There can be many options so it would be impossible to implement this by hand, see for example the kafka endpoint configurer.

And btw another feature coming in Camel 3.2 is that we made all of the components options available for configuration, before we didn't include nested configuration options. And if you do not like configuring in properties files, then we have type-safe component-dsl and endpoint-dsl as well.

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