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Polling Consumer

Camel supports implementing the Polling Consumer from the EIP patterns using the PollingConsumer interface which can be created via the Endpoint.createPollingConsumer() method.

So in your Java code you can do

Endpoint endpoint = context.getEndpoint("activemq:my.queue");
PollingConsumer consumer = endpoint.createPollingConsumer();
Exchange exchange = consumer.receive();

The ConsumerTemplate (discussed below) is also available.

There are 3 main polling methods on PollingConsumer

Method name

Description

receive()

Waits until a message is available and then returns it; potentially blocking forever

receive(long)

Attempts to receive a message exchange, waiting up to the given timeout and returning null if no message exchange could be received within the time available

receiveNoWait()

Attempts to receive a message exchange immediately without waiting and returning null if a message exchange is not available yet

ConsumerTemplate

The ConsumerTemplate is a template much like Spring's JmsTemplate or JdbcTemplate supporting the Polling Consumer EIP. With the template you can consume Exchanges from an Endpoint.

The template supports the 3 operations above, but also including convenient methods for returning the body, etc consumeBody.
The example from above using ConsumerTemplate is:

Exchange exchange = consumerTemplate.receive("activemq:my.queue");

Or to extract and get the body you can do:

Object body = consumerTemplate.receiveBody("activemq:my.queue");

And you can provide the body type as a parameter and have it returned as the type:

String body = consumerTemplate.receiveBody("activemq:my.queue", String.class);

You get hold of a ConsumerTemplate from the CamelContext with the createConsumerTemplate operation:

ConsumerTemplate consumer = context.createConsumerTemplate();

Using ConsumerTemplate with Spring DSL

With the Spring DSL we can declare the consumer in the CamelContext with the consumerTemplate tag, just like the ProducerTemplate. The example below illustrates this:

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Then we can get leverage Spring to inject the ConsumerTemplate in our java class. The code below is part of an unit test but it shows how the consumer and producer can work together.

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Timer based polling consumer

In this sample we use a Timer to schedule a route to be started every 5th second and invoke our bean MyCoolBean where we implement the business logic for the Polling Consumer. Here we want to consume all messages from a JMS queue, process the message and send them to the next queue.

First we setup our route as:

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MyCoolBean cool = new MyCoolBean();
cool.setProducer(template);
cool.setConsumer(consumer);

from("timer://foo?period=5000").bean(cool, "someBusinessLogic");

from("activemq:queue.foo").to("mock:result");

And then we have out logic in our bean:

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public static class MyCoolBean {

    private int count;
    private ConsumerTemplate consumer;
    private ProducerTemplate producer;

    public void setConsumer(ConsumerTemplate consumer) {
        this.consumer = consumer;
    }

    public void setProducer(ProducerTemplate producer) {
        this.producer = producer;
    }

    public void someBusinessLogic() {
        // loop to empty queue
        while (true) {
            // receive the message from the queue, wait at most 3 sec
            String msg = consumer.receiveBody("activemq:queue.inbox", 3000, String.class);
            if (msg == null) {
                // no more messages in queue
                break;
            }

            // do something with body
            msg = "Hello " + msg;

            // send it to the next queue
            producer.sendBodyAndHeader("activemq:queue.foo", msg, "number", count++);
        }
    }
}

Scheduled Poll Components

Quite a few inbound Camel endpoints use a scheduled poll pattern to receive messages and push them through the Camel processing routes. That is to say externally from the client the endpoint appears to use an Event Driven Consumer but internally a scheduled poll is used to monitor some kind of state or resource and then fire message exchanges.

Since this a such a common pattern, polling components can extend the ScheduledPollConsumer base class which makes it simpler to implement this pattern.

There is also the Quartz Component which provides scheduled delivery of messages using the Quartz enterprise scheduler.

For more details see:

ScheduledPollConsumer Options

The ScheduledPollConsumer supports the following options:

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Option

Default

Description

pollStrategy

A pluggable org.apache.camel.PollingConsumerPollingStrategy allowing you to provide your custom implementation to control error handling usually occurred during the poll operation before an Exchange have been created and being routed in Camel. In other words the error occurred while the polling was gathering information, for instance access to a file network failed so Camel cannot access it to scan for files. The default implementation will log the caused exception at WARN level and ignore it.

sendEmptyMessageWhenIdle

false

Camel 2.9: If the polling consumer did not poll any files, you can enable this option to send an empty message (no body) instead.

startScheduler

true

Whether the scheduler should be auto started.

initialDelay

1000

Milliseconds before the first poll starts.

delay

500

Milliseconds before the next poll.

useFixedDelay

 

Controls if fixed delay or fixed rate is used. See ScheduledExecutorService in JDK for details. In Camel 2.7.x or older the default value is false. From Camel 2.8 onwards the default value is true.

timeUnit

TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS

time unit for initialDelay and delay options.

runLoggingLevel

TRACE

Camel 2.8: The consumer logs a start/complete log line when it polls. This option allows you to configure the logging level for that.

scheduledExecutorService

null

Camel 2.10: Allows for configuring a custom/shared thread pool to use for the consumer. By default each consumer has its own single threaded thread pool. This option allows you to share a thread pool among multiple consumers.

greedy

false

Camel 2.10.6/2.11.1: If greedy is enabled, then the ScheduledPollConsumer will run immediately again, if the previous run polled 1 or more messages.

scheduler

null

Camel 2.12: Allow to plugin a custom org.apache.camel.spi.ScheduledPollConsumerScheduler to use as the scheduler for firing when the polling consumer runs. The default implementation uses the ScheduledExecutorService and there is a Quartz2, and Spring based which supports CRON expressions. Notice: If using a custom scheduler then the options for initialDelay, useFixedDelay, timeUnit, and scheduledExecutorService may not be in use. Use the text quartz2 to refer to use the [Quarz2] scheduler; and use the text spring to use the Spring based; and use the text #myScheduler to refer to a custom scheduler by its id in the Registry.

scheduler.xxx

null

Camel 2.12: To configure additional properties when using a custom scheduler or any of the Quartz2, Spring based scheduler.

About error handling and scheduled polling consumers

ScheduledPollConsumer is scheduled based and its run method is invoked periodically based on schedule settings. But errors can also occur when a poll is being executed. For instance if Camel should poll a file network, and this network resource is not available then a java.io.IOException could occur. As this error happens before any Exchange has been created and prepared for routing, then the regular Error handling in Camel does not apply. So what does the consumer do then? Well the exception is propagated back to the run method where its handled. Camel will by default log the exception at WARN level and then ignore it. At next schedule the error could have been resolved and thus being able to poll the endpoint successfully.

Using a custom scheduler

Available as of Camel 2.12:

The SPI interface org.apache.camel.spi.ScheduledPollConsumerScheduler allows to implement a custom scheduler to control when the Polling Consumer runs. The default implementation is based on the JDKs ScheduledExecutorService with a single thread in the thread pool. There is a CRON based implementation in the Quartz2, and Spring components.

For an example of developing and using a custom scheduler, see the unit test org.apache.camel.component.file.FileConsumerCustomSchedulerTest from the source code in camel-core.

Controlling the error handling using PollingConsumerPollStrategy

org.apache.camel.PollingConsumerPollStrategy is a pluggable strategy that you can configure on the ScheduledPollConsumer. The default implementation org.apache.camel.impl.DefaultPollingConsumerPollStrategy will log the caused exception at WARN level and then ignore this issue.

The strategy interface provides the following 3 methods

  • begin
    • void begin(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint)
  • begin (Camel 2.3)
    • boolean begin(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint)
  • commit
    • void commit(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint)
  • commit (Camel 2.6)
    • void commit(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint, int polledMessages)
  • rollback
    • boolean rollback(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint, int retryCounter, Exception e) throws Exception

In Camel 2.3 onwards the begin method returns a boolean which indicates whether or not to skipping polling. So you can implement your custom logic and return false if you do not want to poll this time.

In Camel 2.6 onwards the commit method has an additional parameter containing the number of message that was actually polled. For example if there was no messages polled, the value would be zero, and you can react accordingly.

The most interesting is the rollback as it allows you do handle the caused exception and decide what to do.

For instance if we want to provide a retry feature to a scheduled consumer we can implement the PollingConsumerPollStrategy method and put the retry logic in the rollback method. Lets just retry up till 3 times:

    public boolean rollback(Consumer consumer, Endpoint endpoint, int retryCounter, Exception e) throws Exception {
        if (retryCounter < 3) {
            // return true to tell Camel that it should retry the poll immediately
            return true;
        }
        // okay we give up do not retry anymore
        return false;
    }

Notice that we are given the Consumer as a parameter. We could use this to restart the consumer as we can invoke stop and start:

    // error occurred lets restart the consumer, that could maybe resolve the issue
    consumer.stop();
    consumer.start();

Notice: If you implement the begin operation make sure to avoid throwing exceptions as in such a case the poll operation is not invoked and Camel will invoke the rollback directly.

Configuring an Endpoint to use PollingConsumerPollStrategy

To configure an Endpoint to use a custom PollingConsumerPollStrategy you use the option pollStrategy. For example in the file consumer below we want to use our custom strategy defined in the Registry with the bean id myPoll:

    from("file://inbox/?pollStrategy=#myPoll").to("activemq:queue:inbox")

Using This Pattern

If you would like to use this EIP Pattern then please read the Getting Started, you may also find the Architecture useful particularly the description of Endpoint and URIs. Then you could try out some of the Examples first before trying this pattern out.

See Also

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