Mule ESB as an integration platform
A vendor may have tried to sell you ESB with a picture of a long box labeled ESB with all your systems and applications hanging neatly off the sides.
ESB architectures are actually much more sophisticated than this. ESBs are made up of a number of interoperating components such as adaptors, messaging services, connectors, frameworks, and service containers, depending on what and how different formats and systems must be integrated. If the use case is especially difficult, the ESB will take on even more complexity.
A successful ESB solution should provide a means of accomplishing this scaling in a graceful, unified manner. Some ESBs, like Mule, handle this task very well. Other ESBs look good for simple situations, but struggle with more complex problems.
Mule ESB - Not a one trick pony
One thing that sets Mule as an ESB apart from competing ESB offerings is that Mule does everything an ESB is expected to do: mediation, orchestration, routing, messaging, management, processing, etc. Mule isn't "just" an ESB - it's an integration platform that allows you to quickly create elegant, lightweight integration architectures tailored to your specific use scenario.
Since its inception, the Mule project focused on creating a stable, standards-based framework and tools that make great integration architecture simple. This has allowed Mule to leverage the unparalleled interoperability, extensibility, and flexibility of open-source integration.
Pain-Free system integration and service orchestration
In any integration scenario complex enough to require an ESB, Mule offers bulletproof integration with the lowest possible overhead, because it doesn't come bundled. You can pick and choose exactly which components you need, and combine them to handle any patterns that come up.
Have you already purchased a proprietary messaging server that's working well for you? No need to rip and replace; just keep using it! Mule's components implement battle-tested practices and patterns for integration and service orchestration, logically exposing or hiding the services you need from your systems so you can focus on solving your problems.
With Mule, service components don't require Mule-specific code. Mule lets components like POJOs, Spring beans, Java beans, or web services talk to one another right out of the box. Mule's lightweight service container does the work of managing the components for you, bundling them with configuration settings and exposing them as services. This ensures that the right information is passed to and from your services, based on the settings you specified in the Mule configuration file.
Another difference between Mule and a traditional ESB is that Mule doesn't make assumptions about message type and only converts data as needed. In a typical ESB, connecting a new application to the bus means building a new adapter to convert the application's data into a single common messaging format.
Building new components adds a lot of time and effort to your integration project, and the burden of maintaining an increasing number of custom built components - the issues that ESB architecture is supposed to solve. Mule handles this problem the right way by letting each application talk its own language and translating only as needed.
With Mule, messages can be sent via any communication channel, like HTTP or JMS, and are translated only as needed along the way to the endpoint. This allows for the complete separation of service components and business logic from message format and removes the bottleneck caused by message normalization that plagues other ESBs.
Integration is mission-critical. Mule ensures that no matter what constraints you have to work with, whether it be time, money, legacy systems, or uncertain requirements, your integration solution will not let you down.
Future-proof integration architecture
Mule's maturity as an integration platform also means you'll never have to worry about whether future complexity will render your integration architecture obsolete. Mule supports more protocols, data formats, and systems than any other open source ESB project, and the Mule community, which includes MuleSoft's dedicated team of developers, continually adds to the list.
Mule ESB - The world's most widely used open source ESB
Mule as an ESB is the most widely used open source ESB in the world, with over 3200 production deployments, including leading companies such as Walmart.com, Nestlé, Honeywell and DHL, as well as 85 in the Global 500 and 5 of the world’s top 10 banks.
To learn more about the Mule ESB and Integration Platform, visit MuleSoft, our open source community site.
Download the latest version of Mule for free, and jump right in. Our easy to follow examples, screencasts, clear documentation, and friendly, active developer community will help you get started right away!
Want to know more about the future of Mule ESB?
The Mule development team has released new Development features to the platform, including: