Recognizing the wealth of investments that enterprise IT organizations have made in Microsoft platforms, MuleSoft today announced it is extending the level of integration it provides to a much broader array of Microsoft products and technologies.
Ross Mason, vice president of product strategy for MuleSoft (parent company of ProgrammableWeb), says connectors now included in the MuleSoft Anypoint Integration make it much simpler for other applications to access, for example, Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server and Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications.
Mason says that MuleSoft Anypoint is designed to enable Microsoft .NET developers to use their existing methods and assemblies to access other applications and data sources, even to the point of being able to customize Mule application logic and debug code from within the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.
Other features include support for SOAP web services and ASP.NET web APIs commonly used in Microsoft environments, alongside interoperability with Microsoft queueing technologies.
At a time when there exists a vast array of applications written in programming languages other than Microsoft .NET, Mason says IT organizations with major commitments to Microsoft now recognize they need an integration strategy in and out of the cloud. The new capabilities that MuleSoft is adding to MuleSoft Anypoint are designed to provide those capabilities within the context of a private cloud that can be deployed on premises or in a third-party hosting service. MuleSoft will extend the same Microsoft integration capabilities to its cloud integration service in the near future, Mason says.
The challenge that most IT organizations with a major investment in Microsoft now routinely face, he adds, is that they need access to integration tools that support both legacy web services protocols such as SOAP and more modern RESTful APIs.
In general, Mason says that RESTful APIs are supplanting previous generations of integration formats because they are fundamentally designed to be more accessible to developers. Previously, too much of the focus in integration was on governance versus providing a format that developers could easily discover and use. Going forward, many of the governance mechanisms developed for other integration architectures will need to be applied to RESTful APIs. The challenge is finding ways to accomplish that goal without sacrificing the accessibility that makes RESTful APIs so popular with developers.
None of that means, however, that other integration formats are going to disappear. Mason says that RESTful APIs, for example, don’t lend themselves to event-driven applications, and within the enterprise SOAP is still widely used to connect internal applications.
The result, he says, is a need for a single point of integration that can support the integration format that best suits the task at hand.