Mule ESB Review

You can write business logic as a workflow.

What is most valuable?

  • Writing your complex business logic as a simple workflow which can be understood by not so technical people
  • Hot deployment of those workflows, which helps in automation and self-learning/healing.
  • Provides a variety of connectors: SalesForce, Twitter, SAP, Facebook, and WebService consumer. Most of them come for free with the Community Edition.
  • Async/concurrent execution of services within a flow
  • Logging

How has it helped my organization?

We had to design a complex diagnostic and analysis tool that catered to different ERPs. For example, connecting to different types of data sources and listening from different types of services (over Web and FTP).

Business services for diagnostics should be modified by admin/functional people and applications should be updated on-the-fly without any down time.

The Mule runtime engine served the purpose and we developed a drag-and-drop workflow designer (web app) that is built on top of Mule to make it easy for admins to create and edit services.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using Mule ESB for 18 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did have scalability issues. It demanded more RAM at times, when there were a larger number of requests while listening over FTP. This is the case with any web container.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am a Community Edition user, so I can’t comment about the enterprise support by Mule. However, you will not get an immediate response for your queries in any of the technical forums.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not use any ESB earlier, but this is the best Community Edition ESB available in the market. However, we abused it as a workflow engine.

How was the initial setup?

To get an initial setup is straightforward.

  1. Write a simple HTTP-based listener workflow.
  2. Print whatever you send in a context path in a browser.
  3. Dump it in a standalone runtime.
  4. Start it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would advise using the Community Edition if you are developing an application as an additional service to a customer or a non-critical Tier-2 application. You can do this without support.

Apart from support and a few additional connectors, the enterprise edition is not so different from CE.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not part of choosing this solution.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t abuse it. Be clear if you want a Mule application to solely solve your business problems, or if you want it as an add-on to solve a few problems that your main application can’t solve.

You may get into scalability issues if you are not clear about this basic difference.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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