33. XML Support - Dealing with XML Payloads

33.1 Introduction

Spring Integration's XML support extends the Spring Integration Core with implementations of splitter, transformer, selector and router designed to make working with xml messages in Spring Integration simple. The provided messaging components are designed to work with xml represented in a range of formats including instances of java.lang.String, org.w3c.dom.Document and javax.xml.transform.Source. It should be noted however that where a DOM representation is required, for example in order to evaluate an XPath expression, the String payload will be converted into the required type and then converted back again to String. Components that require an instance of DocumentBuilder will create a namespace aware instance if one is not provided. Where greater control of the document being created is required an appropriately configured instance of DocumentBuilder should be provided.

33.2 Transforming xml payloads

This section will explain the workings of UnmarshallingTransformer, MarshallingTransformer, XsltPayloadTransformer and how to configure them as beans. All of the provided xml transformers extend AbstractTransformer or AbstractPayloadTransformer and therefore implement Transformer. When configuring xml transformers as beans in Spring Integration you would normally configure the transformer in conjunction with either a MessageTransformingChannelInterceptor or a MessageTransformingHandler. This allows the transformer to be used as either an interceptor, which transforms the message as it is sent or received to the channel, or as an endpoint. Finally the namespace support will be discussed which allows for the simple configuration of the transformers as elements in XML.

UnmarshallingTransformer allows an xml Source to be unmarshalled using implementations of Spring OXM Unmarshaller. Spring OXM provides several implementations supporting marshalling and unmarshalling using JAXB, Castor and JiBX amongst others. Since the unmarshaller requires an instance of Source where the message payload is not currently an instance of Source, conversion will be attempted. Currently String and org.w3c.dom.Document payloads are supported. Custom conversion to a Source is also supported by injecting an implementation of SourceFactory.

<bean id="unmarshallingTransformer"
      class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.UnmarshallingTransformer">
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.oxm.jaxb.Jaxb1Marshaller">
        <property name="contextPath" value="org.example" />
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

The MarshallingTransformer allows an object graph to be converted into xml using a Spring OXM Marshaller. By default the MarshallingTransformer will return a DomResult. However the type of result can be controlled by configuring an alternative ResultFactory such as StringResultFactory. In many cases it will be more convenient to transform the payload into an alternative xml format. To achieve this configure a ResultTransformer. Two implementations are provided, one which converts to String and another which converts to Document.

<bean id="marshallingTransformer"
      class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.MarshallingTransformer">
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.oxm.jaxb.Jaxb1Marshaller">
            <property name="contextPath" value="org.example" />
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.ResultToDocumentTransformer" />
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

By default, the MarshallingTransformer will pass the payload Object to the Marshaller, but if its boolean "extractPayload" property is set to "false", the entire Message instance will be passed to the Marshaller instead. That may be useful for certain custom implementations of the Marshaller interface, but typically the payload is the appropriate source Object for marshalling when delegating to any of the various out-of-the-box Marshaller implementations.

XsltPayloadTransformer transforms xml payloads using xsl. The transformer requires an instance of either Resource or Templates. Passing in a Templates instance allows for greater configuration of the TransformerFactory used to create the template instance. As in the case of XmlPayloadMarshallingTransformer by default XsltPayloadTransformer will create a message with a Result payload. This can be customised by providing a ResultFactory and/or a ResultTransformer.

<bean id="xsltPayloadTransformer"
      class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.XsltPayloadTransformer">
    <constructor-arg value="classpath:org/example/xsl/transform.xsl" />
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.ResultToDocumentTransformer" />
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

33.3 Namespace support for xml transformers

Namespace support for all xml transformers is provided in the Spring Integration xml namespace, a template for which can be seen below. The namespace support for transformers creates an instance of either EventDrivenConsumer or PollingConsumer according to the type of the provided input channel. The namespace support is designed to reduce the amount of xml configuration by allowing the creation of an endpoint and transformer using one element.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
       xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
       xmlns:integration="http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration"
       xmlns:si-xml="http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration/xml"
       xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration/spring-integration-2.0.xsd
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration/xml
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/integration/xml/spring-integration-xml-2.0.xsd">
</beans>

The namespace support for UnmarshallingTransformer is shown below. Since the namespace is now creating an endpoint instance rather than a transformer, a poller can also be nested within the element to control the polling of the input channel.

<si-xml:unmarshalling-transformer id="defaultUnmarshaller"
    input-channel="input"
    output-channel="output"
    unmarshaller="unmarshaller"/>

<si-xml:unmarshalling-transformer id="unmarshallerWithPoller"
    input-channel="input"
    output-channel="output"
    unmarshaller="unmarshaller">
    <si:poller fixed-rate="2000"/>
<si-xml:unmarshalling-transformer/>
    

The namespace support for the marshalling transformer requires an input channel, output channel and a reference to a marshaller. The optional result-type attribute can be used to control the type of result created, valid values are StringResult or DomResult (the default). Where the provided result types are not sufficient a reference to a custom implementation of ResultFactory can be provided as an alternative to setting the result-type attribute using the result-factory attribute. An optional result-transformer can also be specified in order to convert the created Result after marshalling.

<si-xml:marshalling-transformer
     input-channel="marshallingTransformerStringResultFactory"
     output-channel="output"
     marshaller="marshaller"
     result-type="StringResult" />

<si-xml:marshalling-transformer
    input-channel="marshallingTransformerWithResultTransformer"
    output-channel="output"
    marshaller="marshaller"
    result-transformer="resultTransformer" />

<bean id="resultTransformer"
      class="org.springframework.integration.xml.transformer.ResultToStringTransformer"/>

Namespace support for the XsltPayloadTransformer allows either a resource to be passed in in order to create the Templates instance or alternatively a precreated Templates instance can be passed in as a reference. In common with the marshalling transformer the type of the result output can be controlled by specifying either the result-factory or result-type attribute. A result-transfomer attribute can also be used to reference an implementation of ResultTransfomer where conversion of the result is required before sending.

<si-xml:xslt-transformer id="xsltTransformerWithResource"
    input-channel="withResourceIn"
    output-channel="output"
    xsl-resource="org/springframework/integration/xml/config/test.xsl"/>
<si-xml:xslt-transformer id="xsltTransformerWithTemplatesAndResultTransformer"
    input-channel="withTemplatesAndResultTransformerIn"
    output-channel="output"
    xsl-templates="templates"
    result-transformer="resultTransformer"/>

Very often to assist with transformation you may need to have access to Message data (e.g., Message Headers). For example; you may need to get access to certain Message Headers and pass them on as parameters to a transformer (e.g., transformer.setParameter(..)).  Spring Integration provides two convenient ways to accomplish this. Just look at the following XML snippet.

<si-xml:xslt-transformer id="paramHeadersCombo"
      input-channel="paramHeadersComboChannel"
    output-channel="output"
    xsl-resource="classpath:transformer.xslt"
    xslt-param-headers="testP*, *foo, bar, baz">

    <int-xml:xslt-param name="helloParameter" value="hello"/>
    <int-xml:xslt-param name="firstName" expression="headers.fname"/>
</int-xml:xslt-transformer>

If message header names match 1:1 to parameter names, you can simply use xslt-param-headers attribute. There you can also use wildcards for simple pattern matching which supports the following simple pattern styles: "xxx*", "*xxx", "*xxx*" and "xxx*yyy".

You can also configure individual xslt parameters via xslt-param sub element. There you can use expression or value attribute. The expression attribute should be any valid SpEL expression with Message being the root object of the expression evaluation context. The value attribute just like any value in Spring beans allows you to specify simple scalar vallue. YOu can also use property placeholders (e.g., ${some.value}) So as you can see, with the expression and value attribute xslt parameters could now be mapped to any accessible part of the Message as well as any literal value.

33.4 Splitting xml messages

XPathMessageSplitter supports messages with either String or Document payloads. The splitter uses the provided XPath expression to split the payload into a number of nodes. By default this will result in each Node instance becoming the payload of a new message. Where it is preferred that each message be a Document the createDocuments flag can be set. Where a String payload is passed in the payload will be converted then split before being converted back to a number of String messages. The XPath splitter implements MessageHandler and should therefore be configured in conjunction with an appropriate endpoint (see the namespace support below for a simpler configuration alternative).

<bean id="splittingEndpoint"
      class="org.springframework.integration.endpoint.EventDrivenConsumer">
    <constructor-arg ref="orderChannel" />
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.splitter.XPathMessageSplitter">
            <constructor-arg value="/order/items" />
            <property name="documentBuilder" ref="customisedDocumentBuilder" />
            <property name="outputChannel" ref="orderItemsChannel" />
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

33.5 Routing xml messages using XPath

Two Router implementations based on XPath are provided XPathSingleChannelRouter and XPathMultiChannelRouter. The implementations differ in respect to how many channels any given message may be routed to, exactly one in the case of the single channel version or zero or more in the case of the multichannel router. Both evaluate an XPath expression against the xml payload of the message, supported payload types by default are Node, Document and String. For other payload types a custom implementation of XmlPayloadConverter can be provided. The router implementations use ChannelResolver to convert the result(s) of the XPath expression to a channel name. By default a BeanFactoryChannelResolver strategy will be used, this means that the string returned by the XPath evaluation should correspond directly to the name of a channel. Where this is not the case an alternative implementation of ChannelResolver can be used. Where there is a simple mapping from Xpath result to channel name the provided MapBasedChannelResolver can be used.

<!-- Expects a channel for each value of order type to exist  -->
<bean id="singleChannelRoutingEndpoint"
      class="org.springframework.integration.endpoint.EventDrivenConsumer">
    <constructor-arg ref="orderChannel" />
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.router.XPathSingleChannelRouter">
            <constructor-arg value="[email protected]" />
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>


<!-- Multi channel router which uses a map channel resolver to resolve the channel name
     based on the XPath evaluation result Since the router is multi channel it may deliver
     message to one or both of the configured channels -->
<bean id="multiChannelRoutingEndpoint"
      class="org.springframework.integration.endpoint.EventDrivenConsumer">
    <constructor-arg ref="orderChannel" />
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.router.XPathMultiChannelRouter">
            <constructor-arg value="/order/recipient" />
            <property name="channelResolver">
                <bean class="org.springframework.integration.channel.MapBasedChannelResolver">
                    <constructor-arg>
                        <map>
                            <entry key="accounts"
                                   value-ref="accountConfirmationChannel" />
                            <entry key="humanResources"
                                   value-ref="humanResourcesConfirmationChannel" />
                        </map>
                     </constructor-arg>
               </bean>
            </property>
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

33.6 Selecting xml messages using XPath

Two MessageSelector implementations are provided, BooleanTestXPathMessageSelector and StringValueTestXPathMessageSelector. BooleanTestXPathMessageSelector requires an XPathExpression which evaluates to a boolean, for example boolean(/one/two) which will only select messages which have an element named two which is a child of a root element named one. StringValueTestXPathMessageSelector evaluates any XPath expression as a String and compares the result with the provided value.

<!-- Interceptor which rejects messages that do not have a root element order  -->
<bean id="orderSelectingInterceptor"
      class="org.springframework.integration.channel.interceptor.MessageSelectingInterceptor">
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.selector.BooleanTestXPathMessageSelector">
            <constructor-arg value="boolean(/order)" />
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

<!--  Interceptor which rejects messages that are not version one orders -->
<bean id="versionOneOrderSelectingInterceptor"
      class="org.springframework.integration.channel.interceptor.MessageSelectingInterceptor">
    <constructor-arg>
        <bean class="org.springframework.integration.xml.selector.StringValueTestXPathMessageSelector">
            <constructor-arg value="[email protected]" index="0"/>
            <constructor-arg value="1" index="1"/>
        </bean>
    </constructor-arg>
</bean>

33.7 Transforming xml messages using XPath

When it comes to message transformation XPath is a great way to transform Messages that have XML payloads by defining XPath transformers via xpath-transformer element.

Simple XPath transformation

Let's look at the following transformer configuration:

<xpath-transformer input-channel="inputChannel" output-channel="outputChannel"
      xpath-expression="[email protected]" />

. . . and Message

Message<?> message =
  MessageBuilder.withPayload("<person name='John Doe' age='42' married='true'/>").build();

After sending this message to the 'inputChannel' the XPath transformer configured above will transform this XML Message to a simple Message with payload of 'John Doe' all based on the simple XPath Expression specified in the xpath-expression attribute.

XPath also has capability to perform simple conversion of extracted elements to a desired type. Valid return types are defined in XPathConstants and follows the conversion rules specified by the XPath.

The following constants are defined by the XPathConstants: BOOLEAN, DOM_OBJECT_MODEL, NODE, NODESET, NUMBER, STRING

You can configure the desired type by simply using evaluation-type attribute of the xpath-transformer element.

<xpath-transformer input-channel="numberInput" xpath-expression="[email protected]"
    evaluation-type="NUMBER_RESULT" output-channel="output"/>

<xpath-transformer input-channel="booleanInput" xpath-expression="[email protected] = 'true'"
    evaluation-type="BOOLEAN_RESULT" output-channel="output"/>

Node Mappers

If you need to provide custom mapping for the node extracted by the XPath expression simply provide a reference to the implementation of the org.springframework.xml.xpath.NodeMapper - an interface used by XPathOperations implementations for mapping Node objects on a per-node basis. To provide a reference to a NodeMapper simply use node-mapper attribute:

<xpath-transformer input-channel="nodeMapperInput" xpath-expression="[email protected]"
    node-mapper="testNodeMapper" output-channel="output"/>

. . . and Sample NodeMapper implementation:

class TestNodeMapper implements NodeMapper {
  public Object mapNode(Node node, int nodeNum) throws DOMException {
    return node.getTextContent() + "-mapped";
  }
}

XML Payload Converter

You can also use implementation of the org.springframework.integration.xml.XmlPayloadConverter to provide more granular transformation:

<xpath-transformer input-channel="customConverterInput" xpath-expression="[email protected]"
    converter="testXmlPayloadConverter" output-channel="output"/>

. . . and Sample XmlPayloadConverter implementation:

class TestXmlPayloadConverter implements XmlPayloadConverter {
  public Source convertToSource(Object object) {
    throw new UnsupportedOperationException();
  }
  //
  public Node convertToNode(Object object) {
    try {
      return DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance().newDocumentBuilder().parse(
          new InputSource(new StringReader("<test type='custom'/>")));
    }
    catch (Exception e) {
      throw new IllegalStateException(e);
    }
  }
  //
  public Document convertToDocument(Object object) {
    throw new UnsupportedOperationException();
  }
}

Combination of SpEL and XPath expressions

You can also combine Spring Expression Language (SpEL) expressions with XPath expression and configure them using expression attribute:

xpath-expression id="testExpression" expression="[email protected] * 2"/>

In the above case the overall result of the expression will be the result of the XPathe expression multiplied by 2.

33.8 XPath components namespace support

All XPath based components have namespace support allowing them to be configured as Message Endpoints with the exception of the XPath selectors which are not designed to act as endpoints. Each component allows the XPath to either be referenced at the top level or configured via a nested xpath-expression element. So the following configurations of an xpath-selector are all valid and represent the general form of XPath namespace support. All forms of XPath expression result in the creation of an XPathExpression using the Spring XPathExpressionFactory

<si-xml:xpath-selector id="xpathRefSelector"
                       xpath-expression="refToXpathExpression"
                       evaluation-result-type="boolean" />

<si-xml:xpath-selector id="selectorWithNoNS" evaluation-result-type="boolean" >
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/name"/>
</si-xml:xpath-selector>

<si-xml:xpath-selector id="selectorWithOneNS" evaluation-result-type="boolean" >
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/ns1:name"
                             ns-prefix="ns1" ns-uri="www.example.org" />
</si-xml:xpath-selector>

<si-xml:xpath-selector id="selectorWithTwoNS" evaluation-result-type="boolean" >
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/ns1:name/ns2:type">
        <map>
            <entry key="ns1" value="www.example.org/one" />
            <entry key="ns2" value="www.example.org/two" />
        </map>
    </si-xml:xpath-expression>
</si-xml:xpath-selector>

<si-xml:xpath-selector id="selectorWithNamespaceMapRef" evaluation-result-type="boolean" >
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/ns1:name/ns2:type"
                             namespace-map="defaultNamespaces"/>
</si-xml:xpath-selector>

<util:map id="defaultNamespaces">
    <util:entry key="ns1" value="www.example.org/one" />
    <util:entry key="ns2" value="www.example.org/two" />
</util:map>

XPath splitter namespace support allows the creation of a Message Endpoint with an input channel and output channel.

<!-- Split the order into items creating a new message for each item node -->
<si-xml:xpath-splitter id="orderItemSplitter"
                       input-channel="orderChannel"
                       output-channel="orderItemsChannel">
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/order/items"/>
</si-xml:xpath-splitter>

<!-- Split the order into items creating a new document for each item-->
<si-xml:xpath-splitter id="orderItemDocumentSplitter"
                       input-channel="orderChannel"
                       output-channel="orderItemsChannel"
                       create-documents="true">
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/order/items"/>
    <si:poller fixed-rate="2000"/>
</si-xml:xpath-splitter>

XPath router namespace support allows for the creation of a Message Endpoint with an input channel but no output channel since the output channel is determined dynamically. The multi-channel attribute causes the creation of a multi channel router capable of routing a single message to many channels when true and a single channel router when false.

<!-- route the message according to exactly one order type channel -->
<si-xml:xpath-router id="orderTypeRouter" input-channel="orderChannel" multi-channel="false">
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/order/type"/>
</si-xml:xpath-router>

<!-- route the order to all responders-->
<si-xml:xpath-router id="responderRouter" input-channel="orderChannel" multi-channel="true">
    <si-xml:xpath-expression expression="/request/responders"/>
    <si:poller fixed-rate="2000"/>
</si-xml:xpath-router>