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Mule Heads to the Clouds With New Open Source ESB Release

Mule 3.0 enterprise service bus loads up on new integration capabilities for cloud and REST.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) (DEFINE:ESB) is a technology that performs a critical role in SOA (DEFINE:SOA) architectures, enabling data and message integration.

With the open source Mule 3.0 release this week, software vendor MuleSoft is aiming to expand the usability of its ESB with new REST (DEFINE:REST) and cloud integration capabilities. [login]

"We've been seeing a shift in how enterprises integrate and use data sources and this has been driven by the rise of cloud applications," Ross Mason CTO and founder of MuleSoft, told InternetNews.com. "Mule 3.0 is the next generation jump of where ESBs are going in order to serve the new enterprise."

One of the key areas of improvement in Mule 3.0 over previous Mule ESB releases is in the area of REST Web Services support. Mason noted that Mule has had some degree of REST support since at least the Mule 2.0 release but now REST is more deeply integrated.

"What we've done in Mule 3.0 is to make REST really accessible and easy to work with," Mason said. "We've added support for surrounding technologies like JSON (DEFINE:JSON) data formats and object bindings as well as authentication schemes like Oauth."

Mason noted that with the JSON capabilities in Mule 3.0, developers can bind Java objects to JSON data, which is a more natural way for Java developers to use JSON data. He added that Mule 3.0 also includes pattern-based configuration to create RESTful services for easier service creation.

In terms of cloud integration, Mule 3.0 has a technology called cloud connectors which are intended to help accelerate cloud platform integration with the ESB.

"Cloud connectors provide out-of-the-box connectivity for popular SaaS and social media platforms, things like Amazon, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn -- there are about 15 connectors in total now," Mason said.

Mason added that the cloud connectors include support for AJAX and JavaScript integration.

"This now allows you to publish events from the browser to the ESB as well as consume events from the ESB directly, which means you can get real time events directly from your ESB infrastructure," Mason said. "Typically the way people do this today is they go via an app server first. Now with this integration you can cut out a network hop to get real time information."

Mule 3.0 enterprise release

The open source Mule 3.0 release is a precursor to a commercial Mule 3.0 enterprise release that will follow in the coming months. Mason noted that Mule 3.0 enterprise will include additional features around the Mule management console.

"In Mule 3.0 enterprise, you'll be able to discover and manage groups of servers, deploy groups of applications and have a fully audited environment of everything you have deployed in the management console," Mason said.

Mason added that the Mule 3.0 enterprise features will leverage new deployment capabilities inside of the core Mule 3.0 community edition. The new deployment capabilities include the ability to provision or de-provision services at runtime providing higher levels of uptime.

Moving forward, Mason is working on new tooling technology for Mule to help developers. He noted that in 2011 a new product called Mule Studio is set to debut which will provide a lightweight tooling environment for the Mule ESB.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.
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