You may have heard of it, may have even read about it, but how much do you know about MuleSoft? Sure, Salesforce purchased this integration platform back in May of 2018 for a whopping $6.5 billion, the news was everywhere. For those unfamiliar of MuleSoft’s capability, this may have posed some questions. What is MuleSoft, why did Salesforce buy it, and what does that mean for you and your business? Let’s dive in:
What is MuleSoft?
MuleSoft is an integration platform that changes the thinking about how integrations should work. An integration is the process of syncing two disparate systems together, Salesforce and Exchange for example. Typically, when these two systems need to talk to each other a point-to-point integration is configured so Salesforce and Exchange are in direct communication, often with a connector or built-in Salesforce functionality. That’s fine when you only need to integrate one system into your Salesforce instance, but happens when you have multiple systems?
When multiple systems are in play and need to be integrated, not only with Salesforce, but amongst themselves, it can become cumbersome managing an exponential number of point-to-point integrations. Cue, MuleSoft. Instances such as this are the entire premise of why MuleSoft was developed. MuleSoft’s whole integration philosophy addresses these difficult-to-manage integrations by replacing the point-to-point integrations with flexible and reusable APIs.
This methodology is coined by MuleSoft as API-Led-Connectivity. It is a methodical way of connecting data to applications through reusable and purposeful APIs. This is done by breaking APIs into layers of connectivity at the system level, process level, and experience level. Another way of putting it is thinking of APIs as products meant for a specific use. This allows for complete reusability across your integration network saving your development teams time and frustration.
Why did Salesforce buy it?
Anyone who has worked with Salesforce can speak to the ever growing suite of tools becoming available. MuleSoft is just another tool to add to that list. While not necessarily specific to the Salesforce platform, MuleSoft presents a strategic way for businesses to tackle real frustrations that come with maintaining integrations between multiple systems.
What does that mean for your business?
This all sounds great, but how does this affect your business, if at all? In sort, it probably doesn’t immediately. But the growing number tools and cloud-based applications coming available to generate efficiencies and success in your business will continue to grow with your business. As IT demands grow, often times faster than IT capacity, MuleSoft presents a unique solution to growing your business’ IT capability with existing resources.
Smaller businesses with only a few integrations may not see the ROI with investing in a tool such as MuleSoft, but smaller businesses may benefit more to prevent reworking their entire integration network. Larger businesses with a growing number of on-prem systems and cloud applications at their disposal may find rethinking their integration strategy in an API-Led-Connectivity way beneficial.