Sending message to reply-channel of http-inbound-gateway

I have a below setup with spring integration.

<int-http:inbound-gateway id="restListener"

<int:channel id="restChannel"/>
<int:channel id="restResponseChannel"/>

<int:service-activator input-channel="restChannel"

I receive 2 different types of POST requests on gateway and both of them are passed to service-activator for processing. In one type of POST request my service-activator can immediately process it and reply back with a standard response. However, other type of request will be routed through different channels and processed by different processors (depending on the content). I want the output for processing both type of requests to be sent as response of REST call.

For first type of request I can simply do this

public void handleRestRequest(Message<JsonNode> postMessage) {
     if (type1) {
        // Do processing
     } else {
        // send to another channel for further processing


But for second type of request if I try to send my output to restResponseChannel (without headers) then I get below exception

org.springframework.messaging.core.DestinationResolutionException: no
output-channel or replyChannel header available

I do not have access to original headers for second type of request. How can I send the output to reply-channel? (I read somewhere that gateway creates an anonymous channel to connect to the reply-channel and not having those headers is causing the exception, however I don’t understand the underlying mechanism completely to debug this myself)

You understand that absolutely correctly.

If you don’t carry request headers, there is no TemporaryReplyChannel header to correlate reply with response. See GenericMessagingTemplate.doSendAndReceive() for implementation:

TemporaryReplyChannel tempReplyChannel = new TemporaryReplyChannel(this.throwExceptionOnLateReply);
    requestMessage = MessageBuilder.fromMessage(requestMessage).setReplyChannel(tempReplyChannel)
            .setHeader(this.sendTimeoutHeader, null)
            .setHeader(this.receiveTimeoutHeader, null)

    try {
        doSend(channel, requestMessage, sendTimeout);
    catch (RuntimeException ex) {
        throw ex;

    Message<?> replyMessage = this.doReceive(tempReplyChannel, receiveTimeout);

So, if there is no that header, no possibility to accept reply. The behavior is the same like in many other messaging replyAddress patterns.

That reply-channel=”restResponseChannel” is just for convenience when you don’t want to consult header for the next channel or when you would like to send a reply not only to the response but to somewhere else – publish-subscribe pattern.

You don’t have choice unless carry headers anyway. One case is to use Message directly, another is with the @Headers Map<String, Object> service method.