Introduction to Spring Integration

Spring integration is a Spring-family project illustrating well the idea of enterprise integration patterns. To understand better this Spring project, we'll write some test cases to show how they work. This article will introduce the basic concepts of Spring Integration.

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Presented basics are needed to, first, understand Spring Integration project, and second, to better take the test cases up. These basics are hidden under the concept of Entreprise Integration Patterns which will be described in the first part of the article. At the second part we'll present main components of Spring Integration project. At the end we'll describe shortly the method used to learn Spring Integration.

Entreprise Integration Patterns

Web people can think about integration as about putting together images and styles in the goal to construct HTML page. However, in enterprise IT world, integration means the way of put together different components of company services. For example, it can be translated by association of orders passed in website to global CRM system. This kind of interactions were described in "Enterprise Integration Patterns" reference book by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. We, for now, we'll discuss only about the main concepts of EIP.

Let's iterate through main concepts of enterprise integration:

Main concepts of Spring Integration

After previous, global, description, you can think about integration as about underground system helping to transmit data from one application to another. Spring Integration corresponds to this definition by implementing all of previously defined main concepts.

Spring Integration learning method

To learn Spring Integration, we'll explore its features by writing several small applications and prove expected behavior through test cases. The majority of small applications will be based on separated configuration files. Each article will described concepts approached in given sample code.

In this article we discovered the basic elements needed to start working with application integration systems. At the first part we saw the main aspects, as message, channel and endpoints. After that we discovered how these aspects were implemented in Spring Integration. The last paragraph presented shortly a taxi booking system. We'll write it to learn Spring Integration in practice.

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