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Red Hat JBoss Fuse - Processes and Integration routes

People often confuse when they look at camel route and BPM process, although they do look very similar as connecting different nodes with conditions and passing objects or messages, the way they are structured and engineered to execute is a complete different story. Let’s talk about Camel route in JBoss Fuse, the endpoints of camel routes are smart, they handle different protocols, consumes and produce messages, BPM endpoints tends to be just a starting point kick of by a automated application and ended when the process is done. The users of Camel route are more developer oriented it is used to integrate between various systems, routing data and transform messages, whereas BPM are used to describe business process between departments, define business users and departments and are often used by business analyst.

One thing I found when designing integration solutions, I will try to make my services stateless, so it will be more decouple and modularized and easier to horizontally extend the capability. But in a business automation or human tasks, it must keep the state of each process, I made a table showing the difference between the two.

BPM Process
Camel Routes
Main purpose
Describe business processes within an organization
Describe the protocols, transformation of data and integration pattern of a service
Business analyst 
Integration developers
Define business user and department entity
Define systems applications
Divide the node into services in each departments and responsibility
Divide nodes into different actions of a services, such as executing business logics, data transformations
Indicator Only
Smart Endpoint
No, error should be handle by triggering different events
Transactions and XA transactions are supported in Messaging in Database protocols
Human interactions
Built-in Human Task handler
Should avoid human interactions
Best Practice
Place for meaningful business process and business rules
Should only have routing logic, data transform rules. NO business rules in ESB.

So one thing I might consider when architecting, is to have client kicking off a business process, the business process can then call the services for various application functionality. This way you can then 
  • Record and track the state of each processes.
  • Human task are considered as part of the process and can mix with system automation.
  • Having services built smaller, more modularize and easier to expend. 
  • Keep ESB clean, for that I am no business logic in the routes. 
  • Allow processes to talk to more protocol by taking advantages of Camel's smart endpoint. 
  • Hide transaction from process, since it is always complex when it's between departments, by having transaction within each service as boundaries will simply the steps.


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