There are a number of data bus solutions. Mule ESB is a distinctive one, and it deserves special attention. It is an open-source tool, but its quality, functionality and reliability are as high as in enterprise-class systems. Mule ESB is a powerful framework allowing for the implementation of ESB architecture.
Why Mule ESB?
By using it you can create a scalable data bus which supports multiple integrated applications that you can connect using a variety of communication protocols. Integrated applications can be end-points here, for example, via Web services, databases, JMS, e-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP), TCP/UDP sockets, FTP, HTTP, file system or XMP protocol.
Data exchange may also be carried out by different types. The flexibility of Mule ESB provides room for the integration of various components. The fact that the solution has been designed using proven design standards, e.g. SEDA (Staged Event Driven Architecture) to enable efficient data processing at high server load is also an advantage.
In addition, Mule ESB has a number of features enabling the automation of work and advanced configuration. These include:
– Data transformers
– Automatic message queuing
– Automatic creating and maintaining of component pools enabling parallel message processing
– Extended message routing options
– Extended message filtering
Mule ESB is a tool with an established strong market position. It is available for free (Community) and as a paid version (Enterprise). But do not be discouraged by the free access to the Mule ESB Community solution, because it is a very high-end tool offering a wide range of features in spite of not having to be paid for.
More demanding customers, particularly those expecting some additional, advanced features and fast and extensive technical support by the manufacturer, can choose the Mule ESB Enterprise solution. It has additional advanced features in addition to support, including: configuration and management streamlining tools (e.g. DataMapper), tools for additional analysis and statistics, additional controlling tools, more enhanced security features and additional ready-made connectors (e.g. SAP Connector). When making the decision, you can check out the general comparison of both versions.
The vendor also enables change from the Community version to Enterprise, because the latter is based on the former, expanding it by additional elements.
An example of Mule ESB usage (Source: www.mulesoft.org)
In a few words
Given the growth of the enterprise and the scale of deployment of new applications or entire systems, it is worthwhile to seriously consider the implementation of a data bus. This translates to lower maintenance and implementation costs of new systems, streamlines the data flow and reduces the risk of errors. The ESB bus also provides great opportunities for integration with various entities and dynamic expansion.
However, do not implement the data bus rashly and without consideration, because it becomes one of the most important elements of the entire architecture.
Data buses in the form of Mule ESB have been used successfully in implementations by Grupa Unity at large companies which rationally consider their actions and think forward. Conscientious clients, such as Leroy Merlin, Volkswagen Group Polska or TADO appreciated the advantage of the medium, which consolidates the flow of information between their many advanced systems.
System Analyst at Unity Group, graduate of Computer Science at Wroclaw University of Technology. His academic interests always revolved around business information systems. Advocate of consistency and usability, Piotr specialises in analysis and design of dedicated applications. Privately, an automotive and new technologies enthusiast.