April 3, 2013
Cloud an on-premise integration vendor MuleSoft (more on them here) is today announcing a massive funding round and also the launch of a new integration platform that it believes will solve the issues that organizations face in their attempt to integrate disparate services. The tl:dr version of the announcement is that it is not only focused on the usual job of integrating different cloud and on-premise applications, but is in fact looking to be much more of a global hub for any data source – across applications, data sources and APIs. The company is announcing some different pieces of technology: Anypoint Platform, Anypoint API Manager, APIkit and Anypoint Service Registry
MuleSoft rightly points out that APIs have created a kind of common language for the way enterprises will work into the future. The number of open APIs available is rapidly increasing and alongside these open APIs, there are a plethora of enterprise applications and data sources that, regardless whether they are on-premise or off, need to be connected to other applications. MuleSoft is betting that organizations will look to integration vendors to provide a broad platform that covers both what we consider integration to be today (give me a plug in to connect salesforce to NetSuite for example) but also that covers integration of a more distributed nature (let me connect these sensors with this analytics dashboard alongside our back office ERP system).
The platform is built as an integrated set of individual products. Users can utilize the bits of the platform that are of relevance to them, but also give themselves a roadmap in terms of their future technological direction. The different functional pieces are:
- Anypoint technology – enables point-to-point integration,
- CloudHub – A so-called integration platform as a service (iPaaS), offering the ability for enterprises to integrate SaaS applications with each other or to on-premise applications, as well as allowing SaaS providers to build and offer packaged integration applications that automate business processes across applications
- Mule ESB – An integration platform for connecting enterprise applications on-premise and to the cloud, eliminating the need for custom point-to-point integration code
- Anypoint Connectors – Out-of-the-box connectivity to hundreds of enterprise and SaaS applications
- API Solution – Built on top of the CloudHub iPaaS, this is a solution for designing, building, publishing, securing, managing and monetizing internal services and external APIs, as well as engaging the developer community around APIs:
- APIkit – New open source API design toolkit that helps developers generate consistent APIs that adhere to best practices, eliminating uncertainty and friction in creating new APIs
- Anypoint Service Registry – Announcing general availability today, a service registry and the easiest way for enterprises to govern and manage all of their internal services and APIs, both on-premise and in the cloud offering visibility, enforcement and lifecycle control
- API Manager – Newly released as beta today, a cloud-based API management cloud service allows enterprises to connect with business partners and create new revenue channels through a secure and scalable API strategy
- APIhub – A public repository and community for APIs, which allows developers and enterprises to discover and use over 13,000 APIs, and enables API providers to publish and document APIs, engaging the developer community on an open, collaborative platform
- Unified development experience – Designed to offer away to build integration applications, for deployment either on-premise or in the cloud
- Mule Studio – Graphical design environment for creating integration flows, making any developer into an integration developer
- Anypoint DataMapper – Graphical data mapping and transformation, enabling point-and-click data integration for SaaS and on-premise applications
- Anypoint Connector DevKit – Developer toolkit that allows developers to build Anypoint Connectors from any API in hours or days, not weeks
That’s a whole heap of technology and a fair few buzzwords to boot, but despite all that, MuleSoft is onto something here. Innovation in the future is going to rely on not only applications talking to each other but also the ability to interface between a plethora of different data sources and applications themselves. APIs are creating that connectivity and a broad based integration platform that includes both integration as we’ve always thought of it, alongside the mechanics to build and run a broad API suite, is a compelling proposition – as the number of possible endpoints increases – enterprises will increasingly look to deliver a consistent way to combine the different elements of those endpoints – to this end, MuleSoft is positioning itself smartly to compete in the new look enterprise.
Apparently investors agree with this perspective since the second piece of news today is that MuleSoft has raised an additional $37M, led by NEA. This round brings MuleSoft’s funding to date to a massive $81M and includes such luminaries as salesforce.com (a new investor), Hummer Winblad, Morgenthaler, Lightspeed, SAP Ventures and Bay Partners According to the company, the funds will be used to fuel the company’s aggressive growth plans across both SaaS and enterprise parts of the business – which means we’re going to see a lot more enterprise sales folks pitching MuleSoft to blue chip customers.
Integration is one of the areas I’m picking for massive growth over the next few years – an integration play that is well positioned to capture the growth in connected sensors and devices is placing itself strongly to become a force to be reckoned with – MuleSoft will be one to watch moving forwards.