MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform Unifies App & Data Integration for SOA, SaaS and APIs

MuleSoft is delivering on a vision for an intelligent unified integration platform – a one-stop solution that can remove a lot of complex coding tasks for application and data integration across SOA, SaaS integration and APIs. IDN speaks with MuleSoft vice president Ken Yagen.

Tags: Anypoint, API, CloudHub, Datasense, ESB, integration, iPaaS, mobile, MSMQ, MuleSoft, .NET, SaaS, SOA,

Ken Yagen
vice president products

"Traditionally, there have been two separate scenarios – applications or services integration, and data integration. Today, you may have to work on both together to get an effective solution."

MuleSoft is delivering on a vision for an intelligent unified integration platform – a one-stop solution that can remove a lot of complex coding tasks for application and data integration across SOA, SaaS integration and APIs.


“Anypoint brings together enterprise application and data integration technologies in one place. That means companies can have a single, unified platform for design, deployment and operations for just about any enterprise project,” MuleSoft’s vice president of products Ken Yagen, told IDN.


Under the covers, Anypoint unites Mule ESB (enterprise service bus), the CloudHub iPaaS (integration platform as a service) and the company’s API Manager and API Portal products. Further, it also supports data integration for event-driven, real-time or batch projects.


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We asked Yagen why MuleSoft has taken such a multi-dimensional approach to integration, bringing support for multiple applications and data integrations types all together in one platform.


“Traditionally, there have been two separate scenarios – applications or services integration, and data integration. Those different approaches use different tools and often by different people,” Yagen said. “New applications, such as SaaS, are changing all that. Today, more and more, you may have to combine these [approaches] and work on both together to get an effective solution.”


Working with SaaS can also add another level of complexity, Yagen added.


“With SaaS, that app may or may not provide you with ways to move your local data in the ways you’re used to,” he said. As an example, often devs or users aren’t working only with data in a local database. Rather, they are dealing with an API that is running remote. “With Anypoint, we can also let customers work with modern APis – rather than web services – to easily bridge the gap between legacy and these new [environments],” he said.


Use cases like SaaS app and data illustrate why MuleSoft thought it important to provide access to multiple capabilities in a single platform. The platform also provides pre-designed patterns and automation to reduce coding, wherever possible, he added.




Inside MuleSoft’s Anypoint
Unified Integration Platform

Beyond the multiple application integration capabilities – SOA, ESB, iPaaS and APIs Anypoint can also simplify data integration, thanks to a combination of automation and intelligence.


One example is MuleSoft’s DataSense technology. This uses message metadata to capture and use important information about how different applications use data, such as data type and structure, Yagen said. For example, if an on-premises application needs to connect to Twitter, DataSense can capture information about the type and structure of data that Twitter uses, and can advise devs about how to map or send such data to Twiier – and even what to expect (or receive) from Twitter when the data is moving.


Anypoint also comes with the Andypoint Studio, a graphical drag-and-drop design time tool that lets devs quickly assemble integration flows without complex coding. This package offers a complete designtime-runtime lifecycle for integration-driven projects, Yagen noted.


Lifecycle Highlights of MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform
Anypoint aims to increase success at all stages along the continuum of integration from point-to-point data sync to service orchestration to API management. It include these capabilities and features:

  • Integrated batch capabilities, with ability to move millions of records between applications or data sources with fast, reliable tooling
  • Ability to quickly connect APIs to backend services because required integration flows can be automatically-generated* Customize, extend and reuse configurable integration applications that leverage best practices from MuleSoft
  • Support for commonly used integration patterns, such as synchronizing data across applications
  • Process records in parallel for accelerated loading
  • Follow predefined load/step/commit models to ensure reliability and recovery
  • Create reports to track status and success of various
  • Rapidly connect Salesforce to other CRM and ERP applications, including multiple Salesforce instances, Siebel, SAP and databases
  • Adds new business-critical security certifications for CloudHub, including SSAE 16 and FIPS

To complement these core platform features, Anypoint DataMapper can process data mappings and transformations up to 30x faster. Anypoint SaaS Templates: Pre-built solutions built to address common integration use cases for mobile users of Salesforce and Siebel, with more to come.


Anypoint Enhances Features for .NET Modernization
Anypoint leverages its architecture and capability to help .NET shops modernize their apps, logic and data, especially for us with modern SaaS and mobile apps.


“Many organizations have .NET legacy investments they want to leverage, especially for mobile and SaaS projects. But they’re finding they need to do quite a lot of custom coding for the integrations. Even BizTalk can require a lot of custom coding,” Yagen told IDN. MuleSoft leveraged Anypoint’s power of metadata, automation and APIs – all working together to simplify how vast amounts of .NET assets can be leveraged by modern day SaaS, mobile and cloud services.


MuleSoft provides devs native execution of valuable .NET libraries. It then pulls all the metadata around the .NET assemblies into the Anypoint Studio environment and allow [Visual Studio devs] to discover and execute against those libraries. “Being able to bring the two environments in a seamless way is really important,” Yagen said.


As a result, devs can use Visual Studio or other familiar .NET tools to debug .NET code for Mule applications (or customize Mule application logic). “The experience is what is so great about it. In beta, we really focused on creating that. If you are responsible for maintaining .NET code, you live every day inside Visual Studio and you don’t want to change that experience,” Yagen said.


Even further, Anypoint also executes the Microsoft virtual machine, thanks to a custom “bridge” between Java and .NET that is optimized for many types of data sharing between SaaS, tablets or smartphones.


To further connect .NET resources to outside resources, Anypoint supports MSMQ (the Microsoft message queue) as its Mule ESB implements those patterns and bridges with security and management. This also avoids custom coding. “We’re giving companies with .NET assets a more loosely-coupled approach, and that lets them really cut down on custom coding,” he added.


This sentiment around easy leveraging of .NET showcases the broader focus of Anypoint’s unified integration platform: It could be summed up as: Use cutting-edge integration techniques to bring not just legacy assets – but skills from developers themselves -- into the 21st century, quickly and without a lot of pain.