From Custom Builds to Custom MuleSoft Solutions: My Journey Solving API & Integration Needs
I started my MuleSoft journey a little over three years ago when I joined Green Irony. Prior to working at Green Irony, I spent 5 years in professional services building custom solutions for our clients. The challenges we encountered remained the same, though the tooling we used to build solutions has evolved.
Integration is often the most challenging part of projects. Companies face challenges connecting to systems, mapping data, re-using assets, and managing the deployment, security, and maintenance of the infrastructure.
The speed at which these challenges have to be overcome is increasing with the demands of the business. A mature platform, like MuleSoft, gives companies the capabilities they need when it comes to solving integration challenges at the speed most businesses demand.
Top 10 Reasons to Consider MuleSoft for Your API & Integration Needs From an Architect Perspective
As an architect, here are the top 10 reasons I would recommend and continue to recommend MuleSoft to my clients for their API and integration needs:
1. The MuleSoft tools are integrated into a single platform.
Often, multiple tools are required to match the capabilities of MuleSoft. The MuleSoft API Designer, Exchange, API Manager, Runtime Manager, and Monitoring tools are all integrated out of the box, easing the administration and initial setup of the platform. API-led connectivity has proven to be a reliable way to integrate systems, and provide for the reuse of assets and accelerate projects. The MuleSoft Anypoint platform provides everything that is required to support a best practices API development lifecycle, allowing companies to start building business value quickly, no matter the size of an organization.
2. MuleSoft provides flexibility to choose your integration design pattern.
If an event-driven or file-based integration pattern is more appropriate, MuleSoft provides the tools to implement these patterns. Anypoint MQ can be added to the platform to support messaging between applications. MuleSoft does not lock you into a single integration pattern and provides accelerators across the various integration patterns.
3. CloudHub abstracts complex configuration, allowing you to stand up the platform quickly.
Virtual private clouds and dedicated load balancers can be created with minimal configuration, simplifying the deployment process. Applications deployed to CloudHub will be automatically provisioned with zero downtime to secure AWS instances. MuleSoft manages the deployment, eliminating the need for creating and managing virtual instances or containers. Application resources can be scaled up or down as needed to meet capacity demands.
4. MuleSoft provides a variety of application development accelerators.
These accelerators range from core components and connectors to Dataweave. MuleSoft provides a variety of core components to make developing applications quicker and easier. These core components are the foundation of Mulesoft applications and allow you to transform messages, control processing and handle errors. Connectors abstract the details of connecting to a system and managing the credentials. For example, the Salesforce connector handles the complexities of using OAuth and managing the tokens when authorizing a Salesforce connection. The object store connector allows applications to store and cache data and every MuleSoft application will be provisioned with its own object store.
In addition to the connectors, MuleSoft provides Dataweave, a purpose-built programming language for data transformation. Dataweave is fast and efficient, allowing for quick transformation of data between systems. These accelerators allow developers to quickly build high-quality applications, reducing the tedious and repetitive work required to build an integration.
5. MuleSoft will integrate with your new or existing release management processes.
MuleSoft applications are maintained in source control, allowing for the branching, review, and release strategy that works best for your company. Application code can be packaged and deployed using maven. MuleSoft is fully integrated with the maven lifecycle and will integrate with any DevOps tooling that can run Maven commands.
6. MuleSoft provides flexible deployment options.
If CloudHub will not work for your company, MuleSoft provides flexible deployment models, such as Runtime Fabric, that will allow you to bring your applications on premise into your existing data centers or cloud deployments. This flexibility allows our clients to choose the best deployment model based on their unique security or performance requirements.
7. MuleSoft can enable integration use cases for both large and small organizations.
Companies of all sizes can benefit from the integration capabilities and accelerators that MuleSoft provides. Typically at smaller companies, MuleSoft is managed by a single team and the resources are shared. Larger organizations often need to separate and control access to resources at the business unit level. MuleSoft can enable these capabilities with Business groups and resource quotas, giving organizations of all sizes the flexibility they need to manage the platform.
8. MuleSoft product innovation.
The MuleSoft team is constantly developing new capabilities and bringing new features to market such as support for the Async API specification. The team is 100% focused on driving innovation to accelerate integration. When developers and architects are not focused on building the platform they can focus on applying the technology to solve critical business problems.
9. MuleSoft provides quality education and training.
The MuleSoft education and training courses range from the entry-level MuleSoft developer to the more advanced platform architect courses and can very quickly enable new developers on the MuleSoft platform.
10. The MuleSoft ecosystem is very active.
MuleSoft professionals can engage with the community through regular meetups and community forums. Meetups are a great way to network with the MuleSoft community and learn about different parts of the platform.
The capabilities that MuleSoft brings allow your development teams to start delivering business value very quickly rather than focusing on building the platform. MuleSoft provides the integration capabilities and tooling companies need to bring new offerings to market and change the way they do business with their customers.
If you’re still not convinced, I encourage you to download Adapt vs. Adopt: The Value of MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. The whitepaper explains all the benefits of MuleSoft in greater detail and features a comparison case study that breaks down the total cost of ownership and impact on project velocity of adopting MuleSoft Anypoint Platform vs. adapting an existing API infrastructure.