Mule software connects with the cloud

Cloud services ramp up enterprise firewall software

The newly released version of the open-source ESB software Mule includes a set of connectors for linking into Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, Facebook and other cloud services, the company announced this week.

"The enterprise firewall is becoming blurred. You actually need to grab information from other sources," said Mule creator and MuleSoft Chief Technology Officer Ross Mason in an introductory video about the release. "What Mule 3 provides is an easy way to do this through the usual Mule constructs."

Version 3 of the Mule community edition includes a set of Java classes that "allow you to connect through a [Mule] workflow or even through Java programming," Mason said. The company will also set up a repository where outside developers could contribute additional connectors, which Mason said should not be difficult for developers to write.

As a lightweight Java-based ESB, Mule allows an organization to create and connect a set of services across a network. MuleSoft, which offers a commercially supported version of the software, claims that Mule is the most widely used open-source ESB, with more than 2,500 enterprise users, including DHL and Honeywell.

In addition to providing Java connectors to popular cloud services, the new edition includes other tools that should help administrators connect their Mule implementations to external services. This will be the first version to support REST (Representational State Transfer), a Web-based approach to interacting with an application over a network.

The software will also work with the AJAX browser programming model, which could eliminate the need for heavyweight server-side infrastructure in favor of having the user work directly with the data source itself, the company said. Support is also included for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and the JSON (Javascript Object Notation) data-sharing techniques as well.

In addition to these cloud-friendly features, the new Mule also has a revamped message workflow configuration interface, as well as a collection of configuration patterns that could be used for a quick deployment. This version also features the ability for services to be changed while running without affecting other running services.

While Mule version 3 is backward compatible to the last production edition, version 2.2, some upgrades may be tricky depending on the current working configuration, the company warned. For instance, the Web services module has been considerably revamped and might need careful review before being pressed into service in existing implementations, Mason wrote in a blog post introducing the software.

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