Here's where you probably stand now: you need to integrate all your on-premise systems or cloud (or both) applications and to automate them in a perfectly orchestrated infrastructure! And you're asking yourself: “Should I go with Mulesoft's capabilities?” “What if I evaluated other integration solutions, as well?” “What are my other options?” “Which are the Mulesoft alternatives?”
Since it's been a while since Mulesoft's Anypoint Platform's been competing with other technologies for users' preference in the enterprise integration software landscape.
And competition sure is fierce, and so is your paradox of choice:
- each technology comes with its own type of infrastructure
- … geared at delivering integration as a service
- each one's packed with specific capabilities, designed to meet particular integration needs
MuleSoft Anypoint Platform: A Few Words
A comprehensive, yet succinct definition would go something like this:
MuleSoft provides companies with a next-generation integration platform (Mule ESB & CloudHub) for connecting all their systems (SaaS and enterprise apps) both in the cloud and on-premise.
“And how does it work?” “What can you achieve by using it?” You might then ask yourself.
Here's my three-version answer to your legitimate questions:
- MuleSoft manages and secures the continuous data flow between all the existing systems in your organization
- it provides your team with self-serve exiting APIs, thus supporting their innovative initiatives
- it practically unlocks data via APIs, “injecting” it in the indicated external apps and systems from your enterprise infrastructure
Now, if I am to briefly point out some of MuleSoft Anypoint Platform's biggest advantages:
- it enables you/your team to deploy your application on cloud with utmost ease
- it enables your team of developers to easily put together some truly complex orchestration flows: all it takes is some drag & drop on the user-friendly dashboard
- the containers that it provides and its conveniently simple, user-friendly graphics can only streamline developers' workflow even more
- it supports interaction with other platforms via web or REST services
- it complies with all major connection and data representation standards
- it enables simple and fast APIs exposure
And by far one of the biggest edge that Mulesoft has over its competitors:
It's an integration platform that enables different existing apps and systems to connect with each other, acting as a bridge transporting data back and forth between them; and this data flow takes place within your enterprise or across the internet
Mule ESB still is one of the most easily (and widely) integrated applications.
And now, it would be only fair to point out some of MuleSoft's limitations, as well, right?
- it is particularly suitable for complex integration scenarios (since it supports Java code, as well)
- in short: you'll need to consider having an experienced Mulesoft developer (with some Java background) in your team
- you might want to be able to interact with MuleSoft support right from the design environment (which is not yet possible)
- when it comes to dataweave mapping, you'll need to ensure, yourself, that all the fields are mapped, by inserting the right names; you can't rely on some sort of control mechanism to double check that for you instead
- structuring a process hierarchy is not exactly “piece of cake”, since you'll have to set up flows and sub-flows in the very same XML configuration files
Apigee: One of The Most Popular MuleSoft Alternatives
And what makes it such a popular alternative (and implicitly one of MuleSoft's biggest competitors) is the fact that almost all components can be scaled horizontally!
But there's more! More reasons why many companies choose Apigee over MuleSoft when looking for the best integration software to “power” their own integration scenarios:
- it provides very good documentation (plus a blog), covering all the details of the most “popular” failures and valuable advice on error handling
- it empowers new users to get started right away, with very little guidance needed: they get to develop a Proxy and APIs right away
- a conveniently easy to use console
Another “rival” that the Anypoint Platform needs to share its worldwide fame with!
Here are some of the strong points that make Tibco BusinessWorks the no.1 choice for plenty of enterprises looking to seamlessly and effectively interconnect all their systems:
- it comes “packed” with lots of integration options: you get to test and to troubleshoot the whole process within the designer, you can write (a file activity), then automate a process in just a few hours and to easily deploy it in the Tibco Administrator
- it's conveniently easy to monitor
- it handles data manipulation and integration of heterogeneous systems remarkably
- it makes transforming and analyzing data, as well as managing error cases, ideally quick and simple
- you get to enable communication between multiple different systems without the need to set up custom APIs
- short time to market
- it supports legacy system integration
- it supports REST services development
What is JitterBit's edge over Mulesoft? What convinced me to add it to this list of “MuleSoft alternatives”?
It's easy to use! It's a simple way for enterprises to connect all their apps, devices and critical data that they need to get “flowing” for running their business!
"Simplicity" and "ease of use" are the 2 keywords to describe this integration solution.
And here are some more reasons why JitterBit's on this list:
- it's easily customizable
- it's built to connect a lot of different sources and targets in the “data flow” circuit (SQL DB, Salesforce, CSV, iSeries, IBM)
- it enables your team to set up operations (and to apply changes to, when needed) quick and easy, so you can leverage your entire infrastructure within minutes
- not only that it sync data collected from multiple different systems, but it uses multiple data formats, as well (both for intake and output), which takes the burden of writing custom ETL scrips off your back
- no steep learning curve
How can Zapier here, one of the Mulesoft alternatives, meet your integration needs?
It empowers you to automate tasks performed between other online services: Gmail, Salesforce, Basecamp, 249 etc.
And here's how Zapier's “arsenal” of features and functionalities looks like; the ones that you get to tap into for connecting and automating all your apps nice and easy:
- automated & connect applications
- automated workflows
- easy automation
- developer platform
- fast build processes
You sure aren't nickel and dimed in choices when it comes to data integration tools!
Informatica Cloud Data Integration is yet another full-featured, complex solution to consider:
- it comes with all the capabilities needed for connecting all your on-premise/cloud applications and make them share data
- no matter what type of apps, since it supports NetSuite integration, Eloqua, Salesforce, Workday, Marketo, SAP, Oracle
- it enables you to extract data from your ERP systems, to transform it and then to “inject” it into your operational data stores
As its name “divulges”: it's Oracle's cloud-based integration platform that we're putting into the spotlight here!
Similar to the Mule app since it, too, provides a data environment in exchange, Oracle ICS's “job” could be summarized as follows:
It provides a user-friendly web-based interface which makes possible for “citizen integrators” to peform basic mapping between the interconnected (cloud) applications.
But the 2 key features that turn it into one of the Mulesoft alternatives are:
- unlike Mule, Oracle provides an enterprise information integration, too (EII)
- it provides several different adapters, suitable for a wide range of cloud-based business applications
Practically, with just a few clicks, you can set up a connection to the Oracle Sales Cloud, SAP, RightNow, Salesforce, Oracle E-Business Suite and the list can go on...
And now to mention just a few more of Oracle's strengths:
- it's easy to use (and I've just mentioned here its user-friendly web-based UI)
- it takes just a few clicks to access your integration platform; no need to bring your own servers or software to the table
MuleSoft vs Dell Boomi
Not only that it “spoils” its users with an easy to use UI, drag and drop convenience for creating new processes and excellent support, but there's a whole “pile” of other features that make Dell Boomi one of the Mulesoft alternatives:
- it provides a multi-purpose PaaS
- integration cloud
- cloud-to-cloud integration
- B2B integration
- multiple tenant platform
- SaaS-to-SaaS integration
Furthermore, if I were to highlight its biggest strengths, I'd pick up 3 main benefits that you can reap from choosing it as your integration solution:
- getting a simple integration up and running will only take you about a couple of hours
- great visual interface that will speed up most of your team's tasks
- you get out-of-the-box connectors to Taleo, Salesforce, plus many other popular SAAS
But (for there is, indeed, a “but”) there are also 2 discouraging drawbacks that I have to point out to you:
- the XML split does cause some irritating issues
- it's overly “picky” when it comes to the data format and the data type that it accepts
Now, if I am to sum up this “MuleSoft vs Dell Boomi” comparison in just one succinct, yet complete phrase, it would have to be the following:
While Dell Boomi's geared at providing you with comprehensive solutions for cloud integration, Mulesoft's “specialized” in API-based integration.
This is the key difference between the two integration solutions!
Determine and evaluate your integration needs first! It all boils down to this...
And that way before you jump to weighting each one of these integration technologies' strengths and limitations!
For it's only after you've defined your needs that you should start looking for the software capable to meet them.