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JAXB is a Data Format which uses the JAXB2 XML marshalling standard which is included in Java 6 to unmarshal an XML payload into Java objects or to marshal Java objects into an XML payload.

Using the Java DSL

For example the following uses a named DataFormat of jaxb which is configured with a number of Java package names to initialize the JAXBContext.

You can if you prefer use a named reference to a data format which can then be defined in your Registry such as via your Spring XML file. e.g.

Using Spring XML

The following example shows how to use JAXB to unmarshal using Spring configuring the jaxb data typeThis example shows how to configure the data type just once and reuse it on multiple routes.

Multiple context paths

It is possible to use this data format with more than one context path. You can specify context path using : as separator, for example com.mycompany:com.mycompany2. Note that this is handled by JAXB implementation and might change if you use different vendor than RI.

Partial marshalling/unmarshalling

This feature is new to Camel 2.2.0.
JAXB 2 supports marshalling and unmarshalling XML tree fragments. By default JAXB looks for @XmlRootElement annotation on given class to operate on whole XML tree. This is useful but not always - sometimes generated code does not have @XmlRootElement annotation, sometimes you need unmarshall only part of tree.
In that case you can use partial unmarshalling. To enable this behaviours you need set property partClass. Camel will pass this class to JAXB's unmarshaler.For marshalling you have to add partNamespace attribute with QName of destination namespace. Example of Spring DSL you can find above.


This feature is new to Camel 2.8.0.
JaxbDataFormat has new property fragment which can set the the Marshaller.JAXB_FRAGMENT encoding property on the JAXB Marshaller. If you don't want the JAXB Marshaller to generate the XML declaration, you can set this option to be true. The default value of this property is false.

Ignoring the NonXML Character

This feature is new to Camel 2.2.0.
JaxbDataFromat supports to ignore the NonXML Character, you just need to set the filterNonXmlChars property to be true, JaxbDataFormat will replace the NonXML character with " " when it is marshaling or unmarshaling the message. You can also do it by setting the Exchange property Exchange.FILTER_NON_XML_CHARS.


JDK 1.5

JDK 1.6+

Filtering in use

StAX API and implementation


Filtering not in use

StAX API only


This feature has been tested with Woodstox 3.2.9 and Sun JDK 1.6 StAX implementation.

New for Camel 2.12.1
JaxbDataFormat now allows you to customize the XMLStreamWriter used to marshal the stream to XML. Using this configuration, you can add your own stream writer to completely remove, escape, or replace non-xml characters.


The following example shows using the Spring DSL and also enabling Camel's NonXML filtering:

xml ]]>

Working with the ObjectFactory

If you use XJC to create the java class from the schema, you will get an ObjectFactory for you JAXB context. Since the ObjectFactory uses JAXBElement to hold the reference of the schema and element instance value, jaxbDataformat will ignore the JAXBElement by default and you will get the element instance value instead of the JAXBElement object form the unmarshaled message body.
If you want to get the JAXBElement object form the unmarshaled message body, you need to set the JaxbDataFormat object's ignoreJAXBElement property to be false.

Setting encoding

You can set the encoding option to use when marshalling. Its the Marshaller.JAXB_ENCODING encoding property on the JAXB Marshaller.
You can setup which encoding to use when you declare the JAXB data format. You can also provide the encoding in the Exchange property Exchange.CHARSET_NAME. This property will overrule the encoding set on the JAXB data format.

In this Spring DSL we have defined to use iso-8859-1 as the encoding:

Controlling namespace prefix mapping

Available as of Camel 2.11

When marshalling using JAXB or SOAP then the JAXB implementation will automatic assign namespace prefixes, such as ns2, ns3, ns4 etc. To control this mapping, Camel allows you to refer to a map which contains the desired mapping.

Notice this requires having JAXB-RI 2.1 or better (from SUN) on the classpath, as the mapping functionality is dependent on the implementation of JAXB, whether its supported.

For example in Spring XML we can define a Map with the mapping. In the mapping file below, we map SOAP to use soap as prefix. While our custom namespace "" is not using any prefix.

xml ]]>

To use this in JAXB or SOAP you refer to this map, using the namespacePrefixRef attribute as shown below. Then Camel will lookup in the Registry a java.util.Map with the id "myMap", which was what we defined above.

xml ]]>

Schema validation

Available as of Camel 2.11

The JAXB Data Format supports validation by marshalling and unmarshalling from/to XML. Your can use the prefix classpath:, file:* or *http: to specify how the resource should by resolved. You can separate multiple schema files by using the ',' character.

Known issue

Camel 2.11.0 and 2.11.1 has a known issue by validation multiple Exchange's in parallel. See CAMEL-6630. This is fixed with Camel 2.11.2/2.12.0.

Using the Java DSL, you can configure it in the following way:


You can do the same using the XML DSL:

xml ]]>

Camel will create and pool the underling SchemaFactory instances on the fly, because the SchemaFactory shipped with the JDK is not thread safe.
However, if you have a SchemaFactory implementation which is thread safe, you can configure the JAXB data format to use this one:


Schema Location

Available as of Camel 2.14

The JAXB Data Format supports to specify the SchemaLocation when marshaling the XML. 

Using the Java DSL, you can configure it in the following way:


You can do the same using the XML DSL:

xml ]]>

Marshal data that is already XML

Available as of Camel 2.14.1

The JAXB marshaller requires that the message body is JAXB compatible, eg its a JAXBElement, eg a java instance that has JAXB annotations, or extend JAXBElement. There can be situations where the message body is already in XML, eg from a String type. There is a new option mustBeJAXBElement you can set to false, to relax this check, so the JAXB marshaller only attempts to marshal JAXBElements (javax.xml.bind.JAXBIntrospector#isElement returns true). And in those situations the marshaller fallbacks to marshal the message body as-is.

XmlRootElement objects

Available as of Camel 2.17.2

The JAXB Data Format option objectFactory has a default value equals to false. This is related to a performance degrading. For more information look at the issue CAMEL-10043

For the marshalling of non-XmlRootElement JaxB objects you'll need to call JaxbDataFormat#setObjectFactory(true)


To use JAXB in your camel routes you need to add the a dependency on camel-jaxb which implements this data format.

If you use maven you could just add the following to your pom.xml, substituting the version number for the latest & greatest release (see the download page for the latest versions).

org.apache.camel camel-jaxb x.x.x ]]>
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  1. I am trying to use partial unmarshaling feature with camel and I cannot make it work. I don't see any errors but the data is empty in the part class object. Are there any examples around this?

    1. Pran, the best place to ask this question is the user mailing list by also showing part of your code that is not working.