|RED HAT FUSE||MULESOFT MULE
|Core integration technology||Camel, the defacto standard for defining integration solutions||Proprietary|
|Includes Red Hat® AMQ, a multiprotocol messaging platform with support for JMS, AMQP, MQTT, and more with multilanguage client support||Separate licensing may be required for integration messaging|
|Clustering||Robust technology for reliable and consistent definition, deployment, and management of clustering environments using either text-based or graphical user interface tools; no fixed limit on cluster size||Graphical environment for clustering management but lacking advanced productivity and consistency features like profiles; size of cluster is limited to eight server instances|
|Cloud||Consistent cloud environment for public, private, and hybrid clouds using Red Hat OpenShift that leverages open technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes||Public cloud offering only; limited use of container technology for on-premise installation|
|Access to software for evaluation and development||All Red Hat Middleware products available for subscription, easily downloadable for evaluation and development||Limited trial period for full functionality|
|Pricing||Available to the public; positive ROI data based on research by IDC available||No public pricing available|
|Technology source||Open source||Limited open source; significant functionality only covered by commercial agreement|
This competitive review compares system integration technology from Red Hat and MuleSoft. The comparison focuses on the features of Red Hat Fuse 6.2 and MuleSoft ESB Mule Enterprise 3.8 that allow messages to be received, processed, and delivered to target systems. The way in which each product accomplishes these tasks varies, and in the case of integration patterns, varies significantly.
Seeing the greater differences between Red Hat and MuleSoft technologies for system integration requires a broader perspective. Red Hat Fuse includes AMQ for messaging, while MuleSoft requires that third-party messaging products be licensed separately. In production environments, reliability, manageability, and scalability differences are important to understand. For cloud deployments, Red Hat offers consistent private, public, and hybrid cloud capabilities, which differ significantly from MuleSoft.
Beyond product features and capabilities, Red Hat makes it easy to acquire fully functional products for evaluation and developer use. This open nature extends to Red Hat’s subscription pricing, rather than licensing. Red Hat’s pricing model was evaluated by IDC and was determined to provide customers a compelling ROI.
Finally, no discussion of how Red Hat compares to other companies would be complete without talking about open source. Open source is core to all Red Hat products and offers distinct advantages over competitors like MuleSoft. Rather than true open source, MuleSoft arguably offers open core technology, where all source code is not available to the general public.
Enterprises need to integrate their systems and applications to share data between them. Without this ability, the effectiveness of any given system is realized only by users of that system. When integrated, systems can exchange data and increase the cumulative value of that data throughout the enterprise.
Unfortunately, most commercial application software does not offer prebuilt system integrations. Those that do may only integrate systems from the same vendor. Application integration is a large and common enough challenge for enterprises that several software companies offer products that include integration technology in their product portfolios.
Multiple issues can complicate systems integration. However, open standards can help simplify interoperability, as they commonly use messages formatted using one or more open standards for inter-system communication. But for messages to get from point to point, a messaging system is needed—ideally, a platform that can communicate using multiple protocols with a choice of synchronous and asynchronous messaging. The more communications protocols supported by the messaging platform, the better.
For communication endpoints, application programming interface (API) management can help dictate the formats of messages and what action they will take when accessed.
Systems receiving integration messages must be reliable and scalable. Received messages are processed in a logical sequence, often requiring the transformation of messages from one format to another. Applying business rules can help assure that message payloads are properly formatted and routed to their proper destinations. Data possibly needs to be added to messages, thereby enriching the content when passed to other systems. Business processes may execute to coordinate activities across systems and even integrate human tasks. To assure data consistency and integrity, integrations may require cross-system coordinated (XA) transactions.
Ultimately, for every message received, one or more messages must go out to systems being integrated using a predetermined messaging protocol.
Messaging technology is a core system integration often referred to as an enterprise service bus (ESB).
Red Hat Fuse core capabilities can be complemented by multiple Red Hat Middleware products. For example, Red Hat Data Virtualization provides access to disparate data formats and sources without the need for data replication—saving storage space and eliminating potential replica sync issues. Red Hat Data Grid can cache data in memory that might be too time-consuming to repeatedly retrieve due to performance bottlenecks at systems of record. Red Hat Decision Manager provides business rules that can help validate message payloads and make complex routing or decisions based on message payload data. When business processes must be consistently executed as a result of integration messages, Red Hat Process Automation Manager supports business process definition and execution based on Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0.