Businesses increasingly rely on integration solutions for insights from different databases, apps, and legacy systems. As a result, the Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) market is rapidly expanding.
This article explores MuleSoft Anypoint and webMethods – two of the world’s most powerful integration platforms. We analyze their advantages and shortcomings in connecting applications, integrating multiple systems, and ensuring rapid access. These platforms stand out because they seamlessly connect cloud and on-premise data sources. But what exactly are they, how do they work, and what differentiates them?
Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
What Is MuleSoft?
MuleSoft Anypoint is an integration platform for connecting data, applications, and devices across various environments. It allows API developers to create, build, deploy, and manage APIs, integrations, and workflows that connect on-premise and cloud-based SaaS or enterprise systems. This unified approach combines iPaaS, ESB, and API management design and publishing to eliminate vendor lock-in.
Anypoint’s core components lay the groundwork for smooth application network operation. Such features are the Design Center, Anypoint Exchange, pre-built Connectors, Code Builder, Management Center, Anypoint Studio, and Anypoint Management Center.
Anypoint’s key features are the Anypoint Visualizer, Monitoring, and Partner Manager for B2B message exchange via APIs and EDI formats. MuleSoft Composer allows for code-free application and data connections, while MuleSoft RPA automates and accelerates business processes, reducing human error.
MuleSoft, a global integration leader, is committed to open standards, design-first methodology, and cloud-native application development. Most industries utilize the platform, as APIs are critical for enterprise integration. Its over 200 pre-built connectors allow seamless application and system integration, and its XML SDK and Java SDK make it easier to create custom connectors.
MuleSoft API Manager’s built-in policies include rate limiting, spike control, and security. The platform supports various architectural styles, such as microservices, domain-driven design, and API-led connectivity, which enables API design and development with little or no code.
MuleSoft’s deployment options include CloudHub, CloudHub 2.0, Customer Hosted (On-premise), Hybrid, and Runtime Fabric Manager (based on Kubernetes). The Anypoint Monitoring service provides valuable metrics and insights for real-time API monitoring. The platform API and CLI significantly simplify MuleSoft integration with CI/CD pipelines and source control systems.
MuleSoft’s advanced capabilities and vision are ideal for organizations seeking an API-led integration strategy.
What Is webMethods?
webMethods is a Software AG integration platform that connects various services and improves communication between systems and applications. It functions as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), providing a communication layer for enterprise applications, SaaS applications, and APIs. webMethods’ flexible integration capabilities allow it to adapt to various enterprise architectures, including microservices and unified runtime. It provides over 600 ready-to-use connectors for seamless integration with most worldwide systems.
API management is among webMethods’ key features. It provides an API gateway for managing APIs throughout their lifecycle and includes version control, monitoring, security, and other features.
The webMethods platform also provides B2B functionality with a document management system for transmitting and tracking business documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices. webMethods.io B2B is built on the industry-leading webMethods Trading Networks and enables businesses to exchange B2B documents in the cloud while avoiding infrastructure challenges and costs.
webMethods is a powerful Super Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that combines ESB, data integration, API management, and B2B gateway capabilities. It enables file transfers of any size via the cloud, providing privacy and security. The platform allows businesses to securely manage and expose APIs to third-party developers, partners, and customers for web, mobile, and IoT applications. webMethods enables the creation of new business models and enriches ecosystems by managing APIs throughout their lifecycle.
In a nutshell, webMethods offers businesses a centralized hub for integrating various technologies, automating workflows, and lowering operational costs. Its robust features make it appealing for companies looking to modernize their IT infrastructure and ensure seamless connectivity.
MuleSoft vs webMethods: Comparison
Let’s delve into the pros and cons of Mulesoft and SoftwareAG webMethods. You can find a detailed analysis of their distinct capabilities and features below.
- API-led Connectivity Approach
MuleSoft prioritizes API-led integration and robotic process automation (RPA). It excels at integrating both legacy and cloud-based applications, acting as an IPaaS that supports fusion teams. The end goal is to evolve into an automation fabric supported by APIs, event-driven architecture, and AI-enhanced user experience.
- Robust Analytics Features
MuleSoft functionality allows businesses to track performance and identify areas for improvement. With real-time visibility into application performance, they can quickly address bottlenecks or issues and take corrective action before they affect operations. In addition, the platform’s advanced security measures ensure that sensitive data is always protected.
- Service Partnerships
Of the platforms evaluated by Forrester, MuleSoft is among the platforms with the most distinguished service partnerships.
- API Creation
The platform includes powerful API creation tools, a comprehensive API designer, and tight integration with iPaaS and API management. MuleSoft’s API management strengths are highlighted by its API governance product, improved API design features, GraphQL support, and advanced Anypoint Flex Gateway for protecting non-Mulesoft APIs.
- Industry-focused Model
MuleSoft aligns its sales process with an industry-focused model, allowing prospects to understand how the platform meets their needs.
- Frequent Updates
MuleSoft keeps its platform up-to-date through frequent updates, including bug fixes and security patches, all executed seamlessly through zero-downtime rolling upgrades.
- Geographic Presence
The platform has sales and support centers in Europe, America, and Asia-Pacific. Its network of over 500 system integration partners also contributes to wide coverage.
- Flexibility and Scalability
MuleSoft efficiently handles increased loads, making it ideal for growing businesses. Such scalability ensures consistency of performance regardless of growing system demands.
- Multiple Connectors
Mulesoft boasts numerous connectors for seamless integration with the likes of Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, and AWS. This will undoubtedly suit companies looking to upgrade legacy systems without sacrificing functionality and seeking integration solutions that enhance ROI and operational efficiency.
- IDC Integration Software Leader
Mulesoft leads in the IDC Integration Software Category, securing the top spot in Market Share by Revenue.
- Industry Recognition
Mulesoft has an impressive track record, having been named an 8-time Leader in the Magic Quadrant for iPaaS, a 7-time Leader in Full Life Cycle API Management, and a visionary for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) by Gartner. Mulesoft is also a 3-time Forrester Leader in iPaaS and a Leader in API Management Solutions Waves.
- Some companies express concerns about MuleSoft’s cost structure and the high initial costs and core voltage-based metering. The good news is that MuleSoft is about to launch a consumption-based pricing model to make it more accessible for smaller businesses.
- Reference customers express a preference for a usage-based pricing structure.
- Users who combine MuleSoft Composer, MuleSoft RPA, and MuleSoft Anypoint Platform get comprehensive features for modern iPaaS needs. However, there have been reports about connectivity issues with Composer without Anypoint, but MuleSoft is already actively addressing these.
Software AG webMethods.io Benefits
- Visionary Approach
Software AG focuses on business transformation, APIs, event-driven architecture, and various integration approaches.
- User-friendly Workflow Automation
The webMethods.io iPaaS offers user-friendly workflow automation with advanced orchestration and mapping features. Unlike cloud-only solutions, webMethods supports efficient integration of both on-premise and cloud systems, ensuring a secure and seamless experience across a wide range of connectors and applications.
- Easy to Use
webMethods.io offers guided integration for both professionals and non-professionals, as well as potent testing and debugging tools.
webMethods’ extensive connectors and expertise in B2B integration and Managed File Transfer (MFT) make it well-suited for scenarios like citizen integration and modernizing monolithic architectures.
- Product Portfolio
webMethods.io offers comprehensive integration capabilities, supplemented by ARIS Cloud for process automation and Cumulocity for IoT use cases.
- Geographic Strategy
The platform provides biweekly updates across multiple data centers and private cloud services, aggressively expanding its geographic footprint.
- webMethods API Management
webMethods API management’s strength lies in design and implementation, versioning, governance, security, and microservices support.
- Industry Recognition
In the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for API Management, Software AG received recognition as a Leader for the sixth consecutive year. Software AG’s webMethods.io iPaaS also achieved a Leader status in The Forrester Wave™: iPaaS, Q3 2023. Finally, it was categorized as a Visionary in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant for iPaaS.
Software AG webMethods.io Shortcomings
- Many webMethods.io users have expressed a need for improved DevOps support.
- Software AG offers fewer hosting regions than most platforms.
- Users have rated Customer Experience below average and cite various areas for improvement, such as support response times, logging, and monitoring.
- Aside from its existing client base, Software AG has relatively low brand awareness.
- The majority acquisition by Silver Lake and then IBM’s recent acquisition of webMethods and StreamSets from Software AG on December 12, 2023, prompt prospective customers to monitor any strategic changes during this transition.
In a nutshell, as accomplished as both platforms are, MuleSoft is undoubtedly the premium solution. It is cost-effective, boasts user-friendly features and pre-built connectors, creates a unified customer view, and automates processes. Its flawless functionalities and strong service partnerships make it ideal for complex integration projects and API-led integration strategies.