MuleSoft Madness: The Elite Eight MuleSoft Feature Winners

Brent Johnson

Welcome to the Elite Eight of MuleSoft Madness! We’re about to witness eight of the most powerful features and capabilities that MuleSoft has to offer as they battle it out for the right to be called the champion. It’s time to go big or go home. No excuses. Will there be any huge upsets or will the top seeds all move on? Follow along as we run through each matchup to see which features will be sent home packing and who will move on to the Final Four.

(1) API Manager vs (8) Anypoint Design Center

Top seed API Manager comes in boasting a very deep group of features while Anypoint Design Center relies on 2 star contributors in API Designer and Flow Designer. Starting off we have API Manager coming out strong with the ability to create a single API instance to be used in multiple environments as well as being able to use multiple instances in a single environment. API manager was able to create an instance to use as a proxy and another to use as a basic endpoint to give multiple ways to manage and apply policies.

Anypoint Design Center would fight back led by its two designers. API Designer had the hot hand with being able to create API specifications by using a visual or a text editor. After creating these specifications directly in RAML or OAS 2.0, API Designer is able to simulate calls to a mocking endpoint even before publishing to Exchange that can be publicly accessible to use for testing in place of the real implementation. Not to be outshined, Flow Designer comes out showing the end-to-end movement of data through each flow by using a visual representation. Flow Designer is able to incorporate connections from connectors to systems, define and use data types, and add logic and data transformations to flows.

API Manager may not be a team full of superstars, but it’s full of glue guys. Glue guys are features that may not get the headlines, but do things you appreciate and will get you to the winner’s circle. Powered by management of API Instance contracts, defining SLA tiers and policies to determine approval level access, and enforcing policy regulation to help manage security and control traffic, API Manager put on a great showing that fully proves why it’s deserving of the overall top seed.

While they were admirable, the abilities of API Designer and Flow Designer would prove to be not enough to compete against the deep feature set of API Manager.

Winner: API Manager

(2) Anypoint Exchange vs (7) Anypoint Connectors

In this matchup we have a feature in Anypoint Exchange that makes its living behind the 3-point arc with their 3 main points of finding, sharing, and incorporating assets. Going up against Exchange is an Anypoint Connectors feature that is possibly the deepest in the tournament with its unlimited amount of connectors and configurations that allows numerous looks to be thrown at its opponent. 

Anypoint Connectors allow you to easily integrate with third-party APIs. To name a few of the Mule 4 Connectors available include Salesforce, SAP, Database, and HTTP. There are many more connectors to pop in when building a Mule application that reduces code complexity, allows for updates to connector configuration without the need to update other parts of the app, and also makes it easier to transform data with Dataweave. Connectors allow you to simplify many different pieces, as well as give you the ability to create your own.

Facing the barrage of the many reusable and versatile connectors, Anypoint Exchange battles back from downtown and clearly the bank is open for them as well. The bank of content available in Exchange, both public and private, includes connectors, templates, policies, API spec fragments, and examples just to name a few. Exchange makes it easy to search for assets by using the asset name, tags, categories, custom attributes, or even combine terms with filters. Sharing assets, the 2nd main ability of Exchange, makes it easy to share privately with internal developers, reuse code and APIs, and even enables the sharing of assets externally by using Exchange Portal. Draining the final shot to put the nail in the coffin is how easy Exchange makes consuming an API. The API console and API Notebook allow you to view functions and documentation while the mocking service allows you to simulate data to an API.

The ability of Anypoint Connectors to be so reusable and easily configurable almost pulled out the win, but in the end it’s the sheer ease of use and discoverability in Exchange that led to victory.

Winner: Anypoint Exchange

The Value of MuleSoft Anypoint Platform

(3) Mule Runtime vs (6) MUnit

Testing its opponents and presenting mistakes and errors made is a huge reason MUnit is in this tournament. Mule Runtime is one of the most well balanced features in the tournament with the ability to lock down security on the defensive end, but also utilize Dataweave to transform any outcome on the offensive side. 

MUnit is a very powerful testing framework integrated within Anypoint Studio that allows mocking and testing across many different scenarios. Mocked resources with sample data, mocking messages inside Foreach processors, and testing with mocked errors and environment properties are just the tip of the iceberg. Among the many processors available with MUnit are Mock When, Spy Event, Sleep Processor and Assertions on matchers and expressions.

Mule Runtime is the engine that runs Mule applications. Mule applications are able to provide functionality across many different areas and connect using API-led connectivity as opposed to more of a point-to-point integration. This connectivity and adhesiveness makes Mule Runtime a difficult team to compete against. When developing a Mule application there are core components used such as Choice routers, batch processing, flow and subflow scopes, and error handlers. Adding to these components is the ability to use Dataweave to transform from one format to another, set variables, perform flow control and pattern matching, and also utilize external functions that are available.

The broad capabilities that Mule Runtime brings to any matchup proved more than enough to knock off MUnit. MUnit may be able to Mock When, but in this matchup it just isn’t able to Mock a Win.

Winner: Mule Runtime

(4) APIkit vs (5) Anypoint Studio

Anypoint Studio storms out of the gate in most matchups, but it would be hard to tell it’s the underdog in this one. Speed kills and Anypoint Studio is all about figuring out ways to increase speed to be a more productive feature. From tip-off Anypoint Studio shows multiple views like Package Explorer, Mule Palette, Mule Properties, and Console. Studio is integrated with Exchange to import templates, connectors, and other resources from Anypoint Platform. Exchange allows the instant running of a Mule application inside of a local runtime, visual editors and debuggers, and even has built-in support to deploy to CloudHub. 

APIkit comes in boasting a simplified design and implementation process for REST APIs. Based on a spec using RAML or WSDL, flows are automatically generated within Studio or alternatively an XML editor can be used to create the flows. With the ability to run onsite or on CloudHub, APIkit also generates an API Console that allows a user to easily simulate calls.

At the end of regulation, APIkit was beaten in our first upset of the tournament as it didn’t have the capabilities needed to keep up with Anypoint Studio and the weapons it brought to the table. 

Winner: Anypoint Studio

MuleSoft Madnesss Final Four

Talk about an exciting Elite Eight to get this tournament started! With only one upset, we see the depth and versatility the top seeds possess. Going into the Final Four the championship is up for grabs as each feature has the potential to take home the trophy. 

Will Anypoint Studio have enough to knock off top seed API Manager? Will Dataweave take charge and lead Mule Runtime to a victory over the higher seeded Anypoint Exchange? Check back for the Final Four to see which of these features will continue to move on as we dive deeper into the capabilities of each.

In the meantime, check out our whitepaper, The Value of MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, to get insight into the technical, business, and financial advantages of the platform as well as a comparison case study. You can learn more here.