Converting file content to base64 with Apache Camel 2.10.2

Recently I wanted to convert input files of various formats into an XML message with certain meta information and the content of the input file as as base64-encoded element. Because I’m working on enterprise integration at the moment and we’re using Apache Camel a lot, I first tried to find an available solution from Camel.

Sure enough, if you’re using a version of Camel higher than 2.11.0, you can just use the shipped Base64DataFormat and be done. It’s as simple as this XML configuration:

<camelContext id="camel" xmlns="">
    <base64 id="base64" />
    <from uri="file://inputDirectory" />
    <marshal ref="base64" />
    <to uri="file://outputDirectory" />

Unfortunately, I’m stuck with Camel Version 2.10.2 - so no Base64DataFormat for me. I decided to roll my own DataFormat and use Apache Commons Base64.

My route (using the Spring DSL) now looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""
  xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:camel=""

  <bean id="base64Dataformat" class="my.package.Base64DataFormat" />
  <camel:camelContext xmlns="">
          <from ref="file://inputDirectory" />
          <!-- convert input to base64 encoded string -->
              <custom ref="base64Dataformat" />
          <!-- convert into string, the velocity template isn't doing that -->
          <convertBodyTo type="java.lang.String" />
          <!-- wrap into mapping message schema -->
          <to uri="velocity:META-INF/templates/mappingmessage.vm" />
          <to uri="file://archive" />

The actual Base64 encoding looks quite like in Camel Version 2.11.x. Because I want to use a velocity template and wrap the base64 encoded string in XML, I have to convert the body into a java.lang.String - no idea why.

Now I can convert file content into base64 encoded string and pass them to other (mostly legacy) systems.

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