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Processing an exchange object in a producer—which usually involves sending a message to a remote destination and waiting for a reply—can potentially block for a significant length of time. If you want to avoid blocking the current thread, you can opt to implement the producer as an asynchronous processor. The asynchronous processing pattern decouples the preceding processor from the producer, so that the process() method returns without delay. See Asynchronous Processing.

When implementing a producer, you can support the asynchronous processing model by implementing the org.apache.camel.AsyncProcessor interface. On its own, this is not enough to ensure that the asynchronous processing model will be used: it is also necessary for the preceding processor in the chain to call the asynchronous version of the process() method. The definition of the AsyncProcessor interface is shown in Example 9.2.

The asynchronous version of the process() method takes an extra argument, callback, of org.apache.camel.AsyncCallback type. The corresponding AsyncCallback interface is defined as shown in Example 9.3.

The caller of AsyncProcessor.process() must provide an implementation of AsyncCallback to receive the notification that processing has finished. The AsyncCallback.done() method takes a boolean argument that indicates whether the processing was performed synchronously or not. Normally, the flag would be false, to indicate asynchronous processing. In some cases, however, it can make sense for the producer not to process asynchronously (in spite of being asked to do so). For example, if the producer knows that the processing of the exchange will complete rapidly, it could optimise the processing by doing it synchronously. In this case, the doneSynchronously flag should be set to true.

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