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How to choose an efficient Middleware to suite your system integration needs?

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From the technical center of excellence of Massil Technologies, our technology leader Srini writes on how you can choose an efficient Middleware for your integration needs based on our expertise of having integrated complex IT scenarios. This blog is a part of series of blogs being authored and published by Massil Technologies for the benefit of the IT community globally.

The dependability on applications is increasing day by day, which makes it essential to ensure that your Middleware is very much in place. Middleware is a software that is placed and operates between an operating system and the application that runs on it. It is a hidden translation layer that facilitates communication and data management for various applications, which is also referred to as plumbing. Middleware’s job is to establish contact between two applications so that data and databases can be exchanged. In a way, middleware helps users to execute requests on the web browser or any dynamic web pages.

Some examples of middleware comprise database middleware, application server middleware, web middleware, and transaction-processing monitors. It also enables security authentication, transaction management, queuing the messages, and managing the directories. It can be further used for distributed processing that takes place in real time.

What is an ESB?

Referred to as Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is primarily an architecture with a set of rules that enable integration of various application across an infrastructure that resembles a bus. Fundamentally, ESB products help users to build these kinds of architecture with the multiple capabilities that they bring. ESB architecture functions in a way to enable each application to communicate with the bus. This disintegrates systems from one another and allows them to communicate without many interdependencies.

Choosing an ESB platform/tool   

There are Proprietary as well as Open Source tools in the market for ESB implementation. However, the tool should be considered based on Usability, Maintainability, Community support, Enterprise support, Functionality, Flexibility, Scalability, and cost. Many organizations prefer Open Source tools for its intrinsic benefits. A case in point is Mule, the runtime engine of any point Platform, which is known for being a lightweight Java-based enterprise service bus (ESB) and an integration platform enables developers to integrate applications together and exchange data in a much faster and seamless manner.

Irrespective of the various technologies leveraged by an application, Mule enables easy connection. It can be deployed anywhere and can connect and coordinate events on a real-time basis. Some of the key features of MuleSoft are:

  • It is Lightweight

Mule is a lightweight integration platform that is loaded with distribution weighing at 40MB with a modular design to reduce the footprint. It’s not only about the size; it is light regarding costs that enable changes to the current integrations and the heavy lifting that is needed for making changes. It further offers modularization and super-speed hot deployment with a configuration model that enables easy to re-order and added functionalities.

  • Accessibility and easy learning

As with any Open Source tool, Mule can be easily comprehended by Java developers or any developer with experience in Maven, Eclipse, JUnit, and Spring. It uses an XML configuration model for defining logic and custom code that can be written in various languages such as Java, Groovy, JavaScript, Ruby or Python. The MuleStudio can further enable new developers to accelerate their efforts in a graphical development environment.

  • Massive Scalability

It is exciting and resourceful to know that Mule has been designed for horizontal scaling on commodity hardware. Its runtime can efficiently be embedded into an application with application servers such as Tomcat, JBoss or WAS or directly in your application. This a massive feature, as it implies that you can create recurring unit tests for integration on a developer’s laptop on a continuous basis.

  • It is built for the Cloud

CloudHub is an integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that helps you to get up and running in very less time. It is a multi-loaded and scalable platform with as many as 150+ SaaS connectivity points, Social Media and infrastructure services with ability to connect to on-premise applications. Moreover, there is no need to build any new capabilities to operate on this platform. This makes it developer-friendly.

In Conclusion:

While we speak at length about open source ESB tools such as Mule, there is a very strong reason why enterprises are choosing Open Source over Proprietary tools. Though Licensed tools offer ease and reliability, Open Source enables more experimentation and innovation which is Community-driven. It’s not just a product you can choose and implement, but it is a product/tool that enables more experimentation. In this case, MuleSoft is being leveraged by enterprises, as it understands the ESB architecture and brings value to the overall process. At the end it is the business value that counts while choosing a tool for a kind of implementation.

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