JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Flow is a new powerful way of creating message flows in Mule.

Mule 3 Interview

Jessica Thornsby
Flow-is-a-new-powerful-way-of-creating-message-flows-in-Mule

JAXenter speakers to Ross Mason, founder of the open source Mule project and CTO of MuleSoft, about the recently-released Mule 3.

  • Ross Mason

    Prior to founding MuleSource (now MuleSoft), Ross Mason was Chief Executive Officer of SymphonySoft Limited, an EU-based company providing services and support for large-scale integration projects. Previously, Ross was Lead Architect for RaboBank and played a key role in developing one of the first large-scale ESB implementations in 2002. He has also worked with NatWest Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS. Ross founded the open source Mule project in 2003. Frustrated by integration “donkey work,” he set out to create a new platform that emphasized ease of development and re-use of components. He started the Mule project to bring a modern approach, one of assembly, rather than repetitive coding, to developers worldwide. Ross holds a BS (Hons) in Computer Science from Bristol, UK.

  • Ross Mason

    Prior to founding MuleSource (now MuleSoft), Ross Mason was Chief Executive Officer of SymphonySoft Limited, an EU-based company providing services and support for large-scale integration projects. Previously, Ross was Lead Architect for RaboBank and played a key role in developing one of the first large-scale ESB implementations in 2002. He has also worked with NatWest Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS. Ross founded the open source Mule project in 2003. Frustrated by integration “donkey work,” he set out to create a new platform that emphasized ease of development and re-use of components. He started the Mule project to bring a modern approach, one of assembly, rather than repetitive coding, to developers worldwide. Ross holds a BS (Hons) in Computer Science from Bristol, UK.

Mule 3 introduces many new features, including cloud functionality, a brand new way of creating message flows, and pattern-based configuration. JAXenter spoke to CTO of MuleSoft, Ross Mason about the benefits these new features will bring to Mule users…..

JAXenter: Can you explain the Mule Cloud Connect capabilities, introduced in Mule 3?

Ross Mason: Cloud connect is all about embracing the wealth of cloud/SaaS/Social Media applications that continue to impact our lives. We increasingly see the need for applications to interact with these services, creating rich connected applications.

Mule Cloud Connect is a set of capabilities that enable developers to integrate enterprise data and applications seamlessly with SaaS and cloud-based web applications, including:

- *Cloud connectors* – out-of-the-box connectors for popular cloud, SaaS, and Web 2.0 providers (e.g., Amazon Web Services and Facebook), as well as an easy way for users to create their own cloud connectors.

- *Native REST support* – allows users to publish JAX-RS and consume RESTful services easily and seamlessly using Mule 3.

- Data Bindings – new capabilities that allow XML and JSON data formats to be easily consumed and automatically bound to Java objects.

- *AJAX/JavaScript integration* – enables developers to access enterprise data directly from a browser-based application as well as trigger ESB actions from their JavaScript application. This makes integrating Mule services with JavaScript frameworks like MooTools, ExtJS, JQuery, Dojo, etc really easy.

- *ATOM and RSS* – New features for consuming and creating feeds. This allows users to react to feeds as they are updated and create feeds from events in Mule.

- *JSON Support* – Mule 3 introduces JSON data handling. As well as adding JSON transformers, JSON data can automatically be marshaled into Java objects and back to JSON.

JAXenter: Mule 3 also introduces a new way of creating message flows. Can you explain how this works?

Ross Mason: Flow is a new powerful way of creating message flows in Mule. Many people struggle with the rigid nature of the service model in Mule because they don’t naturally think in terms of services. Flow allows developers to create message flows the way they think about solving the problem, reducing the learning curve.

JAXenter: What are the benefits of pattern-based configuration, over Enterprise Integration Patterns?

Ross Mason: Patterns have always been at the core of Mule. The now well-known Enterprise Integration Patterns were first implemented by Mule back in 2004. Mule 3 sets a new level of pattern support by introducing Pattern-based configuration. These new patterns provide larger building blocks for performing common tasks such as publishing REST or Web Services, creating transactional bridges and configuring Web Service proxies.

JAXenter: At the release announcement, the architecture changes introduced in Mule 3 are described as opening up “new possibilities for the platform.” Can you give us a few examples of these new possibilities?

Ross Mason: They open up the door for configurations closer to the way users solves integration problems like Flow Based Configuration and Pattern Based Configuration. Most importantly it is the foundation for Mule Tooling(currently in development)an Eclipse based tool, that allows to graphically create Message Flow with a drag and drop user experience.

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