Simple Language

Available as of Camel version 1.1

The Simple Expression Language was a really simple language when it was created, but has since grown more powerful. It is primarily intended for being a really small and simple language for evaluating Expressions and Predicates without requiring any new dependencies or knowledge of XPath; so it is ideal for testing in camel-core. The idea was to cover 95% of the common use cases when you need a little bit of expression based script in your Camel routes.

However for much more complex use cases you are generally recommended to choose a more expressive and powerful language such as:

The simple language uses ${body} placeholders for complex expressions where the expression contains constant literals. The $\{ } placeholders can be omitted if the expression is only the token itself.

Alternative syntax You can also use the alternative syntax which uses $simple{ } as placeholders. This can be used in situations to avoid clashes when using for example Spring property placeholder together with Camel.

Simple Language options

The Simple language supports 2 options, which are listed below.

Name Default Java Type Description

resultType

String

Sets the class name of the result type (type from output)

trim

true

Boolean

Whether to trim the value to remove leading and trailing whitespaces and line breaks

Variables

Variable Type Description

camelId

String

the CamelContext name

camelContext.OGNL

Object

the CamelContext invoked using a Camel OGNL expression.

exchange

Exchange

the Exchange

exchange.OGNL

Object

the Exchange invoked using a Camel OGNL expression.

exchangeId

String

the exchange id

id

String

the input message id

body

Object

the input body

in.body

Object

deprecated the input body

body.OGNL

Object

the input body invoked using a Camel OGNL expression.

in.body.OGNL

Object

deprecated the input body invoked using a Camel OGNL expression.

bodyAs(type)

Type

Converts the body to the given type determined by its classname. The converted body can be null.

bodyAs(type).OGNL

Object

Converts the body to the given type determined by its classname and then invoke methods using a Camel OGNL expression. The converted body can be null.

bodyOneLine

String

Converts the body to a String and removes all line-breaks so the string is in one line.

mandatoryBodyAs(type)

Type

Converts the body to the given type determined by its classname, and expects the body to be not null.

mandatoryBodyAs(type).OGNL

Object

Converts the body to the given type determined by its classname and then invoke methods using a Camel OGNL expression.

header.foo

Object

refer to the input foo header

header:foo

Object

refer to the input foo header

header[foo]

Object

refer to the input foo header

headers.foo

Object

refer to the input foo header

headers:foo

Object

refer to the input foo header

headers[foo]

Object

refer to the input foo header

in.header.foo

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

in.header:foo

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

in.header[foo]

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

in.headers.foo

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

in.headers:foo

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

in.headers[foo]

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header

header.foo[bar]

Object

regard input foo header as a map and perform lookup on the map with bar as key

in.header.foo[bar]

Object

deprecated regard input foo header as a map and perform lookup on the map with bar as key

in.headers.foo[bar]

Object

deprecated regard input foo header as a map and perform lookup on the map with bar as key

header.foo.OGNL

Object

refer to the input foo header and invoke its value using a Camel OGNL expression.

in.header.foo.OGNL

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header and invoke its value using a Camel OGNL expression.

in.headers.foo.OGNL

Object

deprecated refer to the input foo header and invoke its value using a Camel OGNL expression.

headerAs(key,type)

Type

converts the header to the given type determined by its classname

headers

Map

refer to the input headers

in.headers

Map

deprecated refer to the input headers

exchangeProperty.foo

Object

refer to the foo property on the exchange

exchangeProperty[foo]

Object

refer to the foo property on the exchange

exchangeProperty.foo.OGNL

Object

refer to the foo property on the exchange and invoke its value using a Camel OGNL expression.

sys.foo

String

refer to the JVM system property

sysenv.foo

String

refer to the system environment variable

env.foo

String

refer to the system environment variable

exception

Object

refer to the exception object on the exchange, is null if no exception set on exchange. Will fallback and grab caught exceptions (Exchange.EXCEPTION_CAUGHT) if the Exchange has any.

exception.OGNL

Object

refer to the exchange exception invoked using a Camel OGNL expression object

exception.message

String

refer to the exception.message on the exchange, is null if no exception set on exchange. Will fallback and grab caught exceptions (Exchange.EXCEPTION_CAUGHT) if the Exchange has any.

exception.stacktrace

String

refer to the exception.stracktrace on the exchange, is null if no exception set on exchange. Will fallback and grab caught exceptions (Exchange.EXCEPTION_CAUGHT) if the Exchange has any.

date:_command_

Date

evaluates to a Date object. Supported commands are: now for current timestamp, in.header.xxx or header.xxx to use the Date object header with the key xxx. exchangeProperty.xxx to use the Date object in the exchange property with the key xxx. file for the last modified timestamp of the file (available with a File consumer). Command accepts offsets such as: now-24h or in.header.xxx+1h or even now+1h30m-100.

date:_command:pattern_

String

Date formatting using java.text.SimpleDataFormat patterns.

date-with-timezone:_command:timezone:pattern_

String

Date formatting using java.text.SimpleDataFormat timezones and patterns.

bean:_bean expression_

Object

Invoking a bean expression using the Bean language. Specifying a method name you must use dot as separator. We also support the ?method=methodname syntax that is used by the Bean component.

properties:key:default

String

Lookup a property with the given key. If the key does not exists or has no value, then an optional default value can be specified.

routeId

String

Returns the id of the current route the Exchange is being routed.

stepId

String

Returns the id of the current step the Exchange is being routed.

threadName

String

Returns the name of the current thread. Can be used for logging purpose.

ref:xxx

Object

To lookup a bean from the Registry with the given id.

type:name.field

Object

To refer to a type or field by its FQN name. To refer to a field you can append .FIELD_NAME. For example you can refer to the constant field from Exchange as: org.apache.camel.Exchange.FILE_NAME

null

null

represents a null

random_(value)_

Integer

returns a random Integer between 0 (included) and value (excluded)

random_(min,max)_

Integer

returns a random Integer between min (included) and max (excluded)

collate(group)

List

The collate function iterates the message body and groups the data into sub lists of specified size. This can be used with the Splitter EIP to split a message body and group/batch the splitted sub message into a group of N sub lists. This method works similar to the collate method in Groovy.

skip(number)

Iterator

The skip function iterates the message body and skips the first number of items. This can be used with the Splitter EIP to split a message body and skip the first N number of items.

messageHistory

String

The message history of the current exchange how it has been routed. This is similar to the route stack-trace message history the error handler logs in case of an unhandled exception.

messageHistory(false)

String

As messageHistory but without the exchange details (only includes the route strack-trace). This can be used if you do not want to log sensitive data from the message itself.

OGNL expression support

INFO:Camel’s OGNL support is for invoking methods only. You cannot access fields. Camel support accessing the length field of Java arrays.

The Simple and Bean language now supports a Camel OGNL notation for invoking beans in a chain like fashion. Suppose the Message IN body contains a POJO which has a getAddress() method.

Then you can use Camel OGNL notation to access the address object:

simple("${body.address}")
simple("${body.address.street}")
simple("${body.address.zip}")

Camel understands the shorthand names for getters, but you can invoke any method or use the real name such as:

simple("${body.address}")
simple("${body.getAddress.getStreet}")
simple("${body.address.getZip}")
simple("${body.doSomething}")

You can also use the null safe operator (?.) to avoid NPE if for example the body does NOT have an address

simple("${body?.address?.street}")

It is also possible to index in Map or List types, so you can do:

simple("${body[foo].name}")

To assume the body is Map based and lookup the value with foo as key, and invoke the getName method on that value.

If the key has space, then you must enclose the key with quotes, for example 'foo bar':

simple("${body['foo bar'].name}")

You can access the Map or List objects directly using their key name (with or without dots) :

simple("${body[foo]}")
simple("${body[this.is.foo]}")

Suppose there was no value with the key foo then you can use the null safe operator to avoid the NPE as shown:

simple("${body[foo]?.name}")

You can also access List types, for example to get lines from the address you can do:

simple("${body.address.lines[0]}")
simple("${body.address.lines[1]}")
simple("${body.address.lines[2]}")

There is a special last keyword which can be used to get the last value from a list.

simple("${body.address.lines[last]}")

And to get the 2nd last you can subtract a number, so we can use last-1 to indicate this:

simple("${body.address.lines[last-1]}")

And the 3rd last is of course:

simple("${body.address.lines[last-2]}")

And you can call the size method on the list with

simple("${body.address.lines.size}")

Camel supports the length field for Java arrays as well, eg:

String[] lines = new String[]{"foo", "bar", "cat"};
exchange.getIn().setBody(lines);

simple("There are ${body.length} lines")

And yes you can combine this with the operator support as shown below:

simple("${body.address.zip} > 1000")

Operator support

The parser is limited to only support a single operator.

To enable it the left value must be enclosed in $\{ }. The syntax is:

${leftValue} OP rightValue

Where the rightValue can be a String literal enclosed in ' ', null, a constant value or another expression enclosed in $\{ }.

There must be spaces around the operator.

Camel will automatically type convert the rightValue type to the leftValue type, so it is able to eg. convert a string into a numeric so you can use > comparison for numeric values.

The following operators are supported:

Operator Description

==

equals

=~

equals ignore case (will ignore case when comparing String values)

>

greater than

>=

greater than or equals

<

less than

less than or equals

!=~

not equals

!=~

not equals ignore case (will ignore case when comparing String values)

contains

For testing if contains in a string based value

!contains

For testing if not contains in a string based value

~~

For testing if contains by ignoring case sensitivity in a string based value

!~~

For testing if not contains by ignoring case sensitivity in a string based value

regex

For matching against a given regular expression pattern defined as a String value

!regex

For not matching against a given regular expression pattern defined as a String value

in

For matching if in a set of values, each element must be separated by comma. If you want to include an empty value, then it must be defined using double comma, eg ',,bronze,silver,gold', which is a set of four values with an empty value and then the three medals.

!in

For matching if not in a set of values, each element must be separated by comma. If you want to include an empty value, then it must be defined using double comma, eg ',,bronze,silver,gold', which is a set of four values with an empty value and then the three medals.

is

For matching if the left hand side type is an instanceof the value.

!is

For matching if the left hand side type is not an instanceof the value.

range

For matching if the left hand side is within a range of values defined as numbers: from..to..

!range

For matching if the left hand side is not within a range of values defined as numbers: from..to. .

startsWith

For testing if the left hand side string starts with the right hand string.

endsWith

For testing if the left hand side string ends with the right hand string.

And the following unary operators can be used:

Operator Description

++

To increment a number by one. The left hand side must be a function, otherwise parsed as literal.

 — 

To decrement a number by one. The left hand side must be a function, otherwise parsed as literal.

\

To escape a value, eg \$, to indicate a $ sign. Special: Use \n for new line, \t for tab, and \r for carriage return. Notice: Escaping is not supported using the File Language. Notice: The escape character is not supported, use the following three special escaping instead.

\n

To use newline character.

\t

To use tab character.

\r

To use carriage return character.

\}

To use the } character as text

And the following logical operators can be used to group expressions:

Operator Description

&&

The logical and operator is used to group two expressions.

||

The logical or operator is used to group two expressions.

The syntax for AND is:

${leftValue} OP rightValue && ${leftValue} OP rightValue

And the syntax for OR is:

${leftValue} OP rightValue || ${leftValue} OP rightValue

Some examples:

// exact equals match
simple("${in.header.foo} == 'foo'")

// ignore case when comparing, so if the header has value FOO this will match
simple("${in.header.foo} =~ 'foo'")

// here Camel will type convert '100' into the type of in.header.bar and if it is an Integer '100' will also be converter to an Integer
simple("${in.header.bar} == '100'")

simple("${in.header.bar} == 100")

// 100 will be converter to the type of in.header.bar so we can do > comparison
simple("${in.header.bar} > 100")

Comparing with different types

When you compare with different types such as String and int, then you have to take a bit care. Camel will use the type from the left hand side as 1st priority. And fallback to the right hand side type if both values couldn’t be compared based on that type.
This means you can flip the values to enforce a specific type. Suppose the bar value above is a String. Then you can flip the equation:

simple("100 < ${in.header.bar}")

which then ensures the int type is used as 1st priority.

This may change in the future if the Camel team improves the binary comparison operations to prefer numeric types over String based. It’s most often the String type which causes problem when comparing with numbers.

// testing for null
simple("${in.header.baz} == null")

// testing for not null
simple("${in.header.baz} != null")

And a bit more advanced example where the right value is another expression

simple("${in.header.date} == ${date:now:yyyyMMdd}")

simple("${in.header.type} == ${bean:orderService?method=getOrderType}")

And an example with contains, testing if the title contains the word Camel

simple("${in.header.title} contains 'Camel'")

And an example with regex, testing if the number header is a 4 digit value:

simple("${in.header.number} regex '\\d{4}'")

And finally an example if the header equals any of the values in the list. Each element must be separated by comma, and no space around.
This also works for numbers etc, as Camel will convert each element into the type of the left hand side.

simple("${in.header.type} in 'gold,silver'")

And for all the last 3 we also support the negate test using not:

simple("${in.header.type} !in 'gold,silver'")

And you can test if the type is a certain instance, eg for instance a String

simple("${in.header.type} is 'java.lang.String'")

We have added a shorthand for all java.lang types so you can write it as:

simple("${in.header.type} is 'String'")

Ranges are also supported. The range interval requires numbers and both from and end are inclusive. For instance to test whether a value is between 100 and 199:

simple("${in.header.number} range 100..199")

Notice we use .. in the range without spaces. It is based on the same syntax as Groovy.

From Camel 2.9 onwards the range value must be in single quotes

simple("${in.header.number} range '100..199'")

Using Spring XML

As the Spring XML does not have all the power as the Java DSL with all its various builder methods, you have to resort to use some other languages for testing with simple operators. Now you can do this with the simple language. In the sample below we want to test if the header is a widget order:

<from uri="seda:orders">
   <filter>
       <simple>${in.header.type} == 'widget'</simple>
       <to uri="bean:orderService?method=handleWidget"/>
   </filter>
</from>

Using and / or

If you have two expressions you can combine them with the && or || operator.

For instance:

simple("${in.header.title} contains 'Camel' && ${in.header.type'} == 'gold'")

And of course the || is also supported. The sample would be:

simple("${in.header.title} contains 'Camel' || ${in.header.type'} == 'gold'")

Notice: Currently && or || can only be used once in a simple language expression. This might change in the future.
So you cannot do:

simple("${in.header.title} contains 'Camel' && ${in.header.type'} == 'gold' && ${in.header.number} range 100..200")

Samples

In the Spring XML sample below we filter based on a header value:

<from uri="seda:orders">
   <filter>
       <simple>${in.header.foo}</simple>
       <to uri="mock:fooOrders"/>
   </filter>
</from>

The Simple language can be used for the predicate test above in the Message Filter pattern, where we test if the in message has a foo header (a header with the key foo exists). If the expression evaluates to true then the message is routed to the mock:fooOrders endpoint, otherwise the message is dropped.

The same example in Java DSL:

from("seda:orders")
    .filter().simple("${in.header.foo}")
        .to("seda:fooOrders");

You can also use the simple language for simple text concatenations such as:

from("direct:hello")
    .transform().simple("Hello ${in.header.user} how are you?")
    .to("mock:reply");

Notice that we must use $\{ } placeholders in the expression now to allow Camel to parse it correctly.

And this sample uses the date command to output current date.

from("direct:hello")
    .transform().simple("The today is ${date:now:yyyyMMdd} and it is a great day.")
    .to("mock:reply");

And in the sample below we invoke the bean language to invoke a method on a bean to be included in the returned string:

from("direct:order")
    .transform().simple("OrderId: ${bean:orderIdGenerator}")
    .to("mock:reply");

Where orderIdGenerator is the id of the bean registered in the Registry. If using Spring then it is the Spring bean id.

If we want to declare which method to invoke on the order id generator bean we must prepend .method name such as below where we invoke the generateId method.

from("direct:order")
    .transform().simple("OrderId: ${bean:orderIdGenerator.generateId}")
    .to("mock:reply");

We can use the ?method=methodname option that we are familiar with the Bean component itself:

from("direct:order")
    .transform().simple("OrderId: ${bean:orderIdGenerator?method=generateId}")
    .to("mock:reply");

You can also convert the body to a given type, for example to ensure that it is a String you can do:

<transform>
  <simple>Hello ${bodyAs(String)} how are you?</simple>
</transform>

There are a few types which have a shorthand notation, so we can use String instead of java.lang.String. These are: byte[], String, Integer, Long. All other types must use their FQN name, e.g. org.w3c.dom.Document.

It is also possible to lookup a value from a header Map:

<transform>
  <simple>The gold value is ${header.type[gold]}</simple>
</transform>

In the code above we lookup the header with name type and regard it as a java.util.Map and we then lookup with the key gold and return the value. If the header is not convertible to Map an exception is thrown. If the header with name type does not exist null is returned.

You can nest functions, such as shown below:

<setHeader name="myHeader">
  <simple>${properties:${header.someKey}}</simple>
</setHeader>

Referring to constants or enums

Suppose you have an enum for customers

And in a Content Based Router we can use the Simple language to refer to this enum, to check the message which enum it matches.

Using new lines or tabs in XML DSLs

It is easier to specify new lines or tabs in XML DSLs as you can escape the value now

<transform>
  <simple>The following text\nis on a new line</simple>
</transform>

Leading and trailing whitespace handling

The trim attribute of the expression can be used to control whether the leading and trailing whitespace characters are removed or preserved. The default value is true, which removes the whitespace characters.

<setBody>
  <simple trim="false">You get some trailing whitespace characters.     </simple>
</setBody>

Setting result type

You can now provide a result type to the Simple expression, which means the result of the evaluation will be converted to the desired type. This is most usable to define types such as booleans, integers, etc.

For example to set a header as a boolean type you can do:

.setHeader("cool", simple("true", Boolean.class))

And in XML DSL

<setHeader name="cool">
  <!-- use resultType to indicate that the type should be a java.lang.Boolean -->
  <simple resultType="java.lang.Boolean">true</simple>
</setHeader>

Loading script from external resource

You can externalize the script and have Camel load it from a resource such as "classpath:", "file:", or "http:".
This is done using the following syntax: "resource:scheme:location", eg to refer to a file on the classpath you can do:

.setHeader("myHeader").simple("resource:classpath:mysimple.txt")

Setting Spring beans to Exchange properties

You can set a spring bean into an exchange property as shown below:

<bean id="myBeanId" class="my.package.MyCustomClass" />
...
<route>
  ...
  <setProperty name="monitoring.message">
    <simple>ref:myBeanId</simple>
  </setProperty>
  ...
</route>