Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pipes and Filters - Integration Pattern

Arguably one the simplest integration problems we encounter is having to process a complex job in a sequence of steps. Most of these problems are part of a workflow requirement. Examples include processing an order, approving a purchase order, and applying a credit to an account. Each of these business problems usually requires a series of steps to be performed in a certain sequence. This integration problem can be easily solved using Pipes and Filters. Here's an example of Pipes and Filters being applied to the processing of an incoming order (image is credited to

Essentially, Pipes and Filters is just a breakdown of a requirement into a series of connected steps. Each step is called a "filter" and the transitions between two filters is called a "pipe". When faced with having to process a large job in a series of processing steps, you should consider implementing the Pipes and Filters pattern.

It's important to implement a Pipes and Filters pattern in such a way that makes it easy to add and remove filters at any location in the process. To achieve this flexibility, I recommend using a framework such as Camel. Camel makes it very easy to add, remove, replace, or rearrange the processing steps with very little work and risk to your project. Read my tutorial on Implementing Pipes and Filters Using Camel to learn how Apache Camel makes this easy to implement and maintain.

No comments:

Post a Comment