According to Enterprise Integration Patterns,1 a message channel is a virtual data pipe that connects a sender to one or more receivers. The message channel decouples the sender and the receivers so the sender does not necessary know who will receive the messages.
There are two major types of message channels: point-to-point channels and publisher-subscriber channels. By selecting the different type of message channel, the application can control the behavior of how the receivers get messages. The Spring Integration framework simplifies the development of message channels in an integration implementation.