Blogger: Chris Haddad
Distilling a sixteen page report (3400+ words) down to a short headline and 655 words takes considerable skill. Master distiller Rich Seeley recently wrote a SearchSOA.com article that featured Burton Group’s Mule ESB product profile report, “Mule ESB: A Polished-Metal Ride”. While the Burton Group report is well balanced and mostly positive on Mule, Rich’s news article starts out with a tone that negatively taints the article’s perspective. For example, Rich compared Mule ESB to a Toyota Corolla, which is a vehicle known as an economy choice rather than a high performance race car. In my conversation describing a ‘polished metal ride’, I probably should have mentioned to Rich my first car comparison choice. I would favorably compare Mule ESB to a Porsche 911; a car with a die-hard cult following of racing enthusiasts and a relatively affordable and adaptable compared to the exotic and expensive Ferrari mentioned as the top end choice in Rich’s article.
Rich does an excellent job quoting report content, and distills a few highlights. The sidebar details a key observation, “To effectively adopt Mule, teams should contain Java-centric and middleware-savvy development experts”. In fairness to Mule ESB, MuleSource is making improvements to their development tooling in order to lower the bar to developing services and mediation nodes. We will watch and report on their progress.
Mule ESB is a capable Enterprise Service Bus product, and I think the article’s title, “Mule ESB needs more SOA capability”, is a negative stretch on the core thesis in the report. I would state “Mule ESB needs more ecosystem compatibility” in order to reach the next level of adopting within companies. But my title isn’t as provocative!
The bottom line assessment in the report mentions seven constraints which will influence Mule ESB’s fit into your SOA infrastructure landscape. I encourage you to read the full report. If you aren't a Burton Group subscriber, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A synopsis of our current bottom-line assessment: If you want a lightweight, integration-centric ESB, you appreciate open source, and you have reasonably sophisticated developers, you’ll probably like Mule. If you’re looking for a solution with a lot more bells and whistles and integration with third-party SOA infrastructure components, you should look elsewhere. Keep a close watch on MuleSource products; they hired a top-gun team, are rapidly closing the feature/function gap, and are a good strategic bet based on current feature breadth, mindshare, and future innovations.