Mule ESB Review

Easy to implement and supports platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac

What is our primary use case?

I'm a consultant in a bank in Kuwait. I suggest good products for companies that are seeking my advice.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the important features of Mule ESB as an enterprise architect is that it should be scalable. It should be customizable for different kinds of clients. 

For client A, we need only two products. For client B, I need to group one and three. The product must be customizable for each. 

The product should be able to identify who is calling and what the components are. We need to return them to the calling point. Mule ESB covers most of these requirements.

Last month, the Guardian had a post saying that Mule is one of the best products for enterprise applications.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Mule ESB is data transformation, i.e. our interacting with different systems and orchestrating for our business needs. 

For example, a customer has liabilities in loans and credit cards, maybe some other mortgages, like four liabilities which are split into four systems. 

I need to expose an API that can tune the data from four systems and expose it into one single API. For that, I have to call our services and complex security policies.

Mule ESB loads complex web service security policies. Sometimes, we have some FLAC files or maybe some messaging services. We need to consume those components and expose them as an API, which is nothing but some adjacent format, i.e. a REST API.

What needs improvement?

Technically, there are mainly two API standards. One we call SOAP and the other one is the REST API. SOAP is nothing but fully external. It's very old, but huge complex enterprise companies are still using SOAP-based web services. In the mobile smartphone era, most of the hand-held devices are using REST APIs. 

Mule ESB is more into the latest REST APIs, not much into the SOAP web services. Developing is all about web services and not easy with Mule. That is one of the disadvantages of Mule. In next-gen products, Mule is in a good position.

Normally, if you're declaring a parameter or a variable, you can have visibility until it's not operating the variable. As an architect, programmer, or developer, you know when it's available. Graphically, that's not been available until this tool appeared.

It is this kind of enhancement that I'm looking for from MuleSoft. Two weeks ago or a month back, they had a big release. With this package, they are saying that APIs are your products. 

You can sell your API to different organizations and the developers can register on their portal. It's available this fall. These are the best features I am looking for now. 

My product is an API. I need to market it through the internet. I can have my portal with all of the tools built-in. This kind of feature I didn't see with the competitors currently in the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Mule ESB for around one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Mule ESB is very stable. I didn't face any issues. Recently I got a new version. I faced some other components issues, but not critical, i.e. easy to identify and rectify.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I moved from Mule 4.1 to 4.2 and it was really easy if you are migrating only one or two applications. It's very fast. I'm doing some experiments on my workspace for around 20-25 applications. 

I'm opening all of my applications in one shot, and it is scaling for me. I didn't update them as a bulk application. I worked by importing them one by one and it was fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not into any official technical support. Their forum is pretty good and it's very active, but I cannot assure you that you will get a response within a day or two.

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

WebMethod is very expensive, but their support is awesome. I closely work with the operating technical support team. For retrieving the code from our bank, they are working with us very closely. Sometimes they are flying over here for conducting demos. 

Especially in the Middle East, MuleSoft is not doing like that. They are not doing much marketing in the industry. Maybe they are more focusing on South America or Asia. I'm not seeing much in the Middle East.

How was the initial setup?

Mule ESB is one of the best. It is easy to use and setup. You just need to install their Anypoint Studio. It's very safe for all this. It's in a good rank just for the setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Oracle, AG webMethods, and Red Hat OpenShift. The final one was MuleSoft. I'm very impressed with MuleSoft because of the pricing and license.

You have to implement several components. Sometimes, according to your needs, you have to buy several licenses for each component. Those are the things we compared.

What other advice do I have?

My opinion is that Mule ESB depends on the business and the continuity of their enrollment. If you are a system that has not much left to repair, then your products and your APIs are assets within your organization. 

Here in the bank, we are facing different kinds of issues when we are integrating different systems:

  • We are communicating with different card carriers like Mastercard and Visa. 
  • Their standards are different according to the client requirements, i.e. exactly what kind of card they're looking for.
  • They can get the products according to their requirements as well as their budget. 

I would rate Mule ESB with 7.5 or 8 out of 10. 

  1. It's really easy to implement.
  2. It's supporting our platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  3. The performance.
  4. It's free.

I'm looking for an API platform that supports the whole technology as well as the next-gen. 

Mule ESB is lacking for self-support, self-training, and documentation. The documentation of the product is less because they're selling the training.

You have to enroll for the training, then you'll get the full documentation. If you're an advanced user, you will not get much information from the public documentation.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Mule 4.2
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarVishnuMK

Thanks for your detailed information. This will definitely help me to make a decision between webMethods and MuleESB.