15 Sep, 2020 | 3 min read

Five Reasons Why WSO2 is Better Than Mule

  • Chanaka Fernando
  • Director of Solutions Architecture - WSO2

The Salesforce layoffs are just the latest uncertainty surrounding MuleSoft. Already customers have been facing its demand to migrate from Mule 3 to 4 without the automation tools in place to facilitate this effort. Moreover, the migration is creating backward compatibility issues around messaging events, data transformation, and error handling, to name a few.

With an expensive MuleSoft migration one of the few certainties ahead, now is the time to re-evaluate whether it’s still the best platform for your needs. The following are five reasons why WSO2 is better positioned than MuleSoft to meet the current and future demands of today’s digitally driven enterprises.

1. Support for cloud-native, future-proof deployments

Enterprise platforms have been going through major transformations within the past few years. Most of those initiatives revolve around efficient resource utilization, cost reduction, higher performance, and lower management overhead to name a few. If your middleware platform can only support a few deployment options, you face significant challenges when unsupported options become part of wider organization-level initiatives. API management and integration software that supports a multitude of deployment choices, with lower complexity and cost, becomes invaluable in such situations.

  • MuleSoft’s solution is designed to work well as an iPaaS platform, where the management plane runs within the Mule-hosted cloud, and the Mule runtime can run on the cloud or on-premises.
  • Any deployment choice that requires full access to management and runtime components becomes complex and harder to manage—and often leads to significant additional costs.
  • WSO2 supports full-cloud, on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployment approaches without any additional complexity or cost since the runtimes and management components can run anywhere within the user’s full control.

At the same time, most enterprises have started to embrace the advantages of containers over virtual machines. This demands that every application running in an enterprise environment be cloud-native, utilizing the advantages of both containers and cloud platforms. WSO2 started building cloud-native versions of its API management and integration software well before the term cloud-native was introduced and has continually improved the product stack to further optimize it for cloud environments.

  • The Micro-Gateway and Micro-Integrator runtimes are designed for container platforms, with quick startup times and a reduced memory footprint.
  • Our software works with Docker, Kubernetes, and other container-based platforms to easily deploy in any environment.
  • The software also comes with Kubernetes operators built for tighter integration with the Kubernetes ecosystem directly from the runtimes.

2. Lower TCO fits most organizations’ IT budgets to start digital transformation efforts

Obtaining budget approval for million-dollar investments in new IT initiatives aimed at replacing old technology platforms can be hard to justify. That’s because most of these initiatives—such as API programs, digital transformation projects, and hybrid integration projects—can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to show ROI. Instead, most enterprises find it easier to start with a small budget and then grow with time once the returns are visible to business leaders and the entire organization.

Even if you are already paying millions of dollars for an existing Mule deployment, there will be extra upfront licensing costs to support new initiatives. By contrast, even as a MuleSoft customer, you can start a POC with WSO2 without any cost and show the cost-benefit you get with WSO2 over both the short and long term.

WSO2’s transparent, simple cost model allows most IT projects to get started without spending a fortune to just prove the technology. It offers the full feature set from the beginning, as our open-source version comes with the same capabilities as the supported version that is accessible through WSO2 Subscription. This subscription comes with the following benefits when compared with Mule.

  • A simple pricing model is based on CPU cores and/or transaction volumes that charge customers only for production workloads while providing three pre-production environments free of charge.
  • Enterprise connectors are included in the subscription without any additional cost.
  • On-premises, IaaS deployment options are available without any additional cost.

WSO2’s platform also enables organizations to more cost-effectively build an integrated API ecosystem. This factor is becoming increasingly critical as more enterprises recognize that APIs are the products of the 21st century, and as such require an integrated API supply chain.

WSO2’s platform offers three main components: API Manager, Enterprise Integrator, and Identity Server. These have been built on a single codebase, with unique features related to each domain. This one common platform approach can significantly lower TCO and time compared with Mule’s offering, which relies on third-party tools for security and API monetization. Here are some other advantages:

  • WSO2 delivers a single platform with three pillars for digital transformation.
  • It’s easier to onboard developers onto WSO2’s platform, which is built on a single codebase (Carbon).
  • WSO2 is the only platform with industry-leading technology in all three areas.

3. Increase business ROI with a reusable platform that comes with API monetization support

Most API projects and digital transformation efforts are IT-driven. Having the right level of business involvement from the beginning of these projects makes it easier to align them with business goals. A platform that promotes the reusability of services and APIs increases ROI in multiple ways, including cost reductions, improved time to market, and new business opportunities. In addition, some APIs can be monetized to drive revenue or internal cross-billing directly from the platform.

WSO2’s built-in features for API reuse and monetization allow enterprises to build successful IT projects that won’t shut down after some time due to a lack of business value.

  • A feature-rich developer portal allows internal as well as external API consumers to reuse APIs rather than rebuild.
  • Increased reuse results in reduced time to market.
  • Teams can implement projects that had previously stalled or were difficult to start.
  • API monetization allows organizations to generate revenue directly from APIs

4. Advanced API security with artificial intelligence (AI) support

With the increased use of APIs to expose business data, APIs have become common targets for malicious users or hackers. Providing static policy-based security for APIs is insufficient, so it needs to be augmented by advanced security capabilities based on modern technologies like AI. WSO2 has partnered with PingIntelligence, a leading API security vendor, to provide API security mechanisms that prevent the following:

  • Credential stuffing attacks on login systems.
  • Layer 7 DDoS attacks that scrape data and disrupt API services.
  • Taking over accounts using stolen cookies, tokens, or API keys.
  • Rogue insiders exfiltrating data in small amounts over extended periods of time.

5. Support for modern development practices

With enterprise data becoming the most valuable asset, processing data in real-time is becoming a major requirement. Technologies such as Kafka have become central to building event-driven architectures that support real-time data processing. WSO2’s streaming integration component integrates well with event brokers like Kafka and adds great value to event-driven architectures with advanced stream processing capabilities, such as filtering, cleansing, transformation, and aggregation, among others. Here are some of the key capabilities of the streaming integration component.

  • Integration with event sources like Kafka, NATS, databases, and files to process events in real-time and publish results to target systems.
  • The ability to connect with 60+ event sources and target systems in real-time.
  • Real-time ETL and streaming data integration support with change data capture (CDC) to process large files.

Increased demand for information access from consumers has led enterprise architects to go beyond traditional HTTP-based services and build more efficient, high-performant services with protocols such as gRPC, graphQL, and WebSocket. These modern protocols are becoming increasingly popular in microservices teams, and supporting these protocols is one of the key requirements of an API management and integration platform.

WebSocket allows developers to build real-time, streaming APIs that can provide data as changes are happening at the back end. GraphQL lets users request the data from APIs based on their needs rather than getting data that the system needs to expose via a static API. gRPC allows developers to build platform-independent, high-performant client-server interactions using a data-centered approach with protocol buffers. WSO2 supports the ability to integrate with these protocols seamlessly.

  • Advanced security for GraphQL endpoints.
  • The ability to build streaming APIs with WebSocket.
  • Functionality to integrate with modern microservices over gRPC.

Enterprise middleware products, such as the enterprise service bus (ESB) and application server, were designed to run for several months (even years) without much change. Often, the teams that managed these solutions had the same mindset of being reluctant to change. With the widespread adoption of APIs and the introduction of microservices, teams now expect to have the ability to adopt changes frequently.

A great enterprise platform is a connected ecosystem that consists of backend legacy services, microservices, integration platforms, API platforms, etc. When it comes to automating the platform, the entire ecosystem should support automation tools and be capable of becoming a part of a larger CI/CD pipeline. WSO2’s platform provides excellent support for automation tools and to build an integrated pipeline.

  • We provide resources for Puppet, Ansible, Terraform, and several other configuration management and automation technologies.
  • An integrated CI/CD pipeline is based on the GitOps concept, where changing code or the configuration results in executing the same automated pipeline.
  • Support for deployment into major IaaS providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP is handled through automation scripts.

In the midst of today’s global uncertainty, organizations need technology providers that can provide a clear and cost-effective path to meeting their current and future digital business demands. WSO2 uniquely provides an open, cost-effective, and secure cloud-native API management and integration platform optimized for the modern apps and services behind enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives.

Isn’t it time to learn more?

Additional Resources:

[1] https://wso2.com/solutions/mule-anypoint-migration/

[2] https://wso2.com/resources/analyst-reports/the-forrester-wave-api-management-solutions-q3-2020/


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