For those unfamiliar with Apache Camel, the framework enables users to send data, or messages, among different pieces of software or even different parts of just one program. While accomplishing many of the tasks of a full-scale ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), Camel offers a lightweight alternative to such a system – one preferred by many organizations.
FuseSource’s GUI means that using Camel just got easier. The GUI is an Eclipse plug-in with which “you can create, edit and test out your routes,” all without writing any of the code by hand, notes Debbie Moynihan, FuseSource vice president of marketing. This can seriously speed up your workflow, in more ways than one.
You see, as a open source messaging framework, Apache Camel implements Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIPs). These patterns describe the basic operations that must be performed to make systems work well together. They include tasks like transferring a file or filtering messages. Users of the new GUI will be able to drag and drop these patterns onto a palette and tie them together into a route. Thus, developers will be able to test a number of different routes, or workflows, more quickly than is currently possible because they will not need to code each one by hand.
Currently, Camel developers often use Java to compose their Camel workflows. To describe the patterns, they call on a Domain Specific Language (DSL), whose semantics they must remember as they create their routes. Since the GUI from FuseSource includes all of the basic EIPs, users will no longer need to think about DSL semantics for this task.
This versatile GUI not only includes the basic EIPs, but it it is capable of validating the links between nodes – that is, it can say whether or not these links can be executed. The GUI can also be linked into various containers, including Java application servers, the Java Spring framework, standalone JVMs and even certain ESBs, such as Apache ServiceMix.
You may have heard of the GUI when it was in beta back in January. Apache Camel co-founder James Strachan, who developed the GUI, signed up about 500 users to test it out. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can download a trial version (http://fusesource.com/products/fuse-ide-camel).
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