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The technologically-driven civilization of the 21st century lays a special emphasis on staying in touch. With smartphones and computers on 24/7, people are expected to be available at any time of day in case they are urgently needed by their bosses, colleagues, customers, friends, or family members. 

The same is true of devices we utilize. Ideally, a gadget and all the software that dwells in it should be able to reach out and play well with any other app systems, or databanks its owner fancies. But with an exponential number of endpoints to be connected, this ideal often becomes wishful thinking and compelling demand for digitally-reliant businesses. Mulesoft is a second-to-none instrument to provide such comprehensive integration and connection across programs, channels, gadgets, and departments. What is Mulesoft, and how can it help in such endeavors? 

Mulesoft: A High-Tech Solution to Connectivity Challenges

Salesforce is an acknowledged leader among CRM platforms and a must-have for any modern business (be it online or brick-and-mortar) with far-reaching aspirations. Trying to keep abreast of technological progress, its creators have come up with cloud and IoT solutions as well as streamlined integration of Salesforce with other business software.

Recently, the vendor has considered the facilitation of connectivity to make the Mulesoft platform a part of the Salesforce family. Its name derives from the donkey-like toil that connectivity and integration efforts are considered to be. Another reading of the name invokes the broad hybrid capabilities enabled by Mulesoft architecture, hinting at the hybrid origin of the brand name animal, which is an offspring of a horse and a donkey. 

What are the major Mulesoft use cases? It is honed to build, manage, and test APIs—application programming interfaces responsible for the connection of software run by various devices. This piece of code allows secure communication between two apps. 

How does an API work? When you click an app’s icon on the screen of your smartphone or computer, the application checks whether there is an internet connection and then sends its data to the server. The latter interprets them, takes the required actions, and sends the data back to your gadget in a readable format. So, in fact, an API acts like a messenger that hands over the user’s requests to the system, and when it responds, the user is notified. Alongside the core connection use cases of Mulesoft APIs, they can have some more complex functions like processing the extracted data to be presented on different gadgets (from desktops to wearables).

The Mulesoft platform has a wide array of predefined APIs tailored to fit various types of apps and systems. While cloud facilities have their own system APIs, thus simplifying the task of Mulesoft, legacy solutions can’t do without them to connect to more modern software. The harness of this technology brings weighty benefits that Mulesoft extends to its users.

Mulesoft Assets Scrutinized

What Mulesoft is

As numerous Mulesoft case studies manifest, onboarding of this API-orchestrated connectivity system yields three major boons to customer-oriented organizations.

1. Reduction of Operational Costs

Mulesoft’s API-based architecture presupposes the creation and utilization of each integration as a reusable building unit. Naturally, such multiple usage opportunities drastically cut down on related costs. For instance, Employee Benefits Management Services (EBSM), as a third-party administrator of health plans, had a daily routine of creating up to 80,000 files that were then dispatched to customers. Prior to the adoption of Mulesoft, this was done manually, resulting in a protracted and awkward procedure that resulted in numerous errors. The implementation of Salesforce’s brainchild led to the creation of an electronic data interchange that formed a single view of all data to be securely sent to various organizations. Such innovation decreased operational costs by 40% and significantly streamlined insurance claim management.

2. Performance Spike

A Mulesoft case study reported by HSBC serves as a vivid example of this perk. Being a provider of banking services, the company needed a solution that would extract relevant data from legacy systems and apps to be later utilized in launching a long roster of projects. Mulesoft facilitated data mining, which allowed their IT force to launch new functionality twice a month vs. the previous once a quarter. This 75% rise in productivity radically improved the organization’s competitiveness.

3. Improved Time-to-Market

ASICS was about to initiate its ecommerce platform that would bind numerous systems across brands, locations, and channels that this sportswear company operates. What ASICS needed was comprehensive access to customer data, order status, pricing, inventory, and other hard information vital for its functioning. The initial roadmap envisaged a 10-week build time for such a solution but the high reusability of Mulesoft’s email API that was developed first allowed them to reduce this period to one month and start reaping revenue on short notice. 

On average, Mulesoft users claim that their ROI equaled almost $5.5 for each dollar spent, with a four-fold increase in the number of launched projects. Let’s have a closer look at Mulesoft features that enable such spectacular indices.

Zooming in on Mulesoft’s Components

What are the key elements of Mulesoft’s architecture?

Anypoint Design Center

This unit provides a syntax-grounded ecosystem to design, document, save, test, and reuse APIs. Employing its Open API Specification (OAS) interface, you can also build connectors and display integration flows. Its machine-readable design specifications are quite foolproof and can be easily understood by people with a minimal technical background. Other functions of the tool include data mapping, real-time collaborative prototyping, connection with any framework, and app testing and deployment. 

A special perk worth mentioning here is the ability to work in RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML for short) as a vendor-neutral API language that is one of the most widespread coding systems used for this purpose.

Anypoint Exchange

Being a collection of pre-built resources, the unit serves both as a library and a collaborative hub where you can share reusable assets, templates, and APIs (either open or private). 

Anypoint Connectors

As it is clear from the name, these ingredients of Mulesoft’s architecture help developers to link the pre-configured connectors to the endpoints they need. If the boxed connectors don’t suit you, you can build your own ones leveraging Anypoint Connector DevKit.

Anypoint Runtime Manager

Once you connect all backend services and a single integration platform, you will be able to control the entire batch of APIs from one virtual place (with performance-triggered alerts) and keep an eye on data sources. Anypoint Runtime Manager allows you to do just that. The tool also enables user management, traffic monitoring and analysis, and application connection control. 

Anypoint Monitoring

While dealing with APIs, it is crucial to track their performance in real-time across all integrations. With this feature, you can map dependencies, identify issues, conduct root-cause checks, and access data from historical logs. In this way, addressing problems, errors, and system failures once they crop up and digging into their causes is quick and easy.

Anypoint Analytics

As an entrepreneur, you can understand where you excel and where you underperform only by looking at the key performance metrics. The indices furnished by this unit comprise business data, such as transaction information and service level agreement performance (SLA), as well as technical parameters such as API usage. Having such numbers at your fingertips, you can fine-tune or even overhaul various aspects of your organization’s workflow and/or step-up customer service.

Anypoint Enterprise Security

Any IT system accessible from numerous devices, endpoints, and users is at security risk by default. Once compromised, it can be exploited by cybercriminals who will inflict financial and reputational damage upon both the organization and its clients. Mulesoft has a collection of items to strengthen the security of data exchange and restrict application access.

Flow Designer

If you are a novice in the industry and the Mulesoft feature overview described above is all Greek to you, this tool is just what you need. With its straightforward web-based interface, auto-populated reusable assets, drag-and-drop functionality, and a roster of input and output data, you will be able to take the first steps as a DIY integration specialist. The preview feature will be greatly instrumental in your rookie endeavors, allowing you to see in real-time what transformation is going to happen next. 

While embarking on the integration journey with Mulesoft, you should first decide upon the scenario you will follow. 

Foundational Types of Integration Use Cases

What Mulesoft is

Your integration undertaking can proceed in several ways.

Data Aggregation 

Dossiers from multiple sources come to be hoarded in a single database (data warehouse or data lake) to be accessed from one dashboard for further analysis and processing. More often than not, this integration type accompanies hydrating the cloud. Such a procedure will enable getting insights into the company’s workflow as well as building a 360° view of the customer.

Data Processing and Orchestration 

Once the data from various sources is brought together, its correct understanding may be hindered unless you see its context. Data orchestration performed for a certain industry or business domain ensures its semantic clarity, thus streamlining, say, customer account activation, employee hiring procedure, etc. 

Bulk Data Relocation 

This scenario can be employed when delays in presenting information are acceptable. Typically, updates are implemented as nightly reconciliations of data or periodic batch migration of numbers related to payments, shipping, transactions, etc., that are accumulated during a stipulated period. 

Data Synchronization Across Multiple Applications 

Different departments often need the same data to be leveraged for their shop floor processes. This integration type aims to grant access to it from different endpoints and make sure the information stays relevant during its lifecycle through regular updates. Such updates should be implemented simultaneously in all applications that work with the data in question.

Externalized Data Sharing 

The necessary part of any organization’s routine is business interaction with numerous partners. Naturally, you have to exchange data with all these suppliers, contractors, and government agencies that rely on different IT environments, platforms, and applications. Only by connecting to them can you purchase raw materials, share invoices, comply with regulations, pay taxes, and run dozens of other errands that are bread-and-butter for all enterprises.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Data Transfer 

In both cases, a stakeholder submits a request for certain data. But in the former instance, any further workflow processes are suspended (because there is a mission-critical dependency between the requested data and the actions it triggers), whereas in the latter case, the information receiver can perform their duties. 

Most common examples of synchronous data transfers are searches for historical sales or customer information, checking mobile phone SIM card balances, or getting access to a patient’s prescription before finding the medicine they need. Asynchronous data transfers can also be seen in sending promotional or advertising messages to clients or processing insurance claims.

Streaming Data Ingestion

What Mulesoft is

In the age of the Internet of Things, devices can send data in real-time to endpoints without human interference. By accumulating and analyzing sensor data, user click indices, or vehicle performance parameters, personnel can take immediately as well as elaborately planned data-driven decisions aimed at accident prevention or improving the company’s efficiency. 

UI Integrations and Mashups 

Data integration is leveraged not only for AI consumption. Humans also need it consolidated and visualized in one format and location. This use case can be seen implemented in portals, dashboards, public websites, and mobile apps.

Evidently, each integration type requires a special approach, tech stack, and implementation strategy, so the DIY method we spoke about isn’t what you should opt for; rather, you should aim to get an effective integration that will function seamlessly. NIX United, as a seasoned developing company with qualified experts on its staff, can handle any end-to-end integration project, yielding top-notch results at a competitive price.

Summing It Up

The ability to exchange data is vital for organizations and individuals in our profoundly digitalized world. The Mulesoft platform is a superb API-driven solution that can provide limitless connection and integration opportunities across various devices and technologies to let businesses essentially facilitate their workflow activities, optimize expenditures, and enhance overall efficiency.

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