Choosing the right integration software is a complex and delicate matter. Your enterprise, quite literally, depends on it. Developers and IT teams have to juggle between multiple tools and interfaces. This can quickly turn into an ‘unable to see the forest for the trees’-situation. Enter: The middleware integration platform. Your integration platform acts like connective tissue between applications, data, and users.
But which one do you choose? What suits your enterprise challenges, and what flexibility do you require to pivot in an ever-changing landscape? There are many options out there but here we’ll narrow the scope to the Ali vs Frazier of middleware: WSO2 vs Mulesoft. WSO2 and Mulesoft are technology vendors that provide solid open-source integration platforms. Both help enterprises connect data, applications and devices across on-premises and cloud computing environments. Two great options for your integration needs. But in this comparison we’ll look at some of the key differences and indicators to assess which API-first integration platform is best for your enterprise.
Category 1: Integration and Deployment
Mulesoft vs WSO2, whichever middleware platform is your preferred choice, what it simply has to do well is allow for multiple deployment options. The fewer the options the more significant the challenges you face in an increasing API-first landscape. Integration platforms that offer more agility, fast time-to-market and therefore lower complexity and cost, are ahead of the curve.
MuleSoft works well as an integration-Platform-as-a-Service solution, where the management plane runs within the Mule-hosted cloud, and the Mule runtime is on the cloud or on-premises. However, any deployment choice that needs full access to management and runtime components becomes harder to manage with added complexity—not to mention leading to significant increase in costs. WSO2 offers a fully managed iPaaS solution with Connext Platform. In addition, WSO2 supports cloud, on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployment approaches without any additional complexity or cost since the runtimes and management components can run anywhere within the user’s control.
Category 2: Pricing
Anyone would argue that in a multi-million dollar enterprise, the IT architecture has to be both equipped to handle any task and at the same time be as cost-efficient as possible. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is always under a spotlight, especially when it comes to integration software and platforms. And WSO2 is a solid choice when it comes to choosing your integration solution based on price. WSO2’s transparent, simple cost model allows most IT projects to start without spending a fortune to just prove the technology. It offers the full feature set from the beginning. The open-source version comes with the same capabilities as the supported version that is accessible through the paid WSO2 Subscription.
This subscription comes with the following benefits when compared with Mule: A simple pricing model, based on CPU cores and/or transaction volumes that charge customers only for production workloads while providing three pre-production environments free of charge. Enterprise connectors are included in the subscription. On-premises, IaaS deployment options are available without additional cost.
Furthermore, WSO2’s built-in features for API reuse and monetization allow enterprises to build successful IT projects that also provide the opportunity to generate income.
Category 3: Service & Support
Service & Support can be divided into three categories: timeliness of vendor response, quality of technical support, quality of peer user community. When looking at historical data assessed by Gartner, Mulesoft is a winner across all three categories. A reason behind this is the backing of its customer-oriented mother company: Salesforce. This has undoubtedly created a strong set of support structures. However, when we zoom in on the past 12 months, WSO2 has made significant strides and is actually ahead in all categories. For a fully managed and serviced integration-Platform-as-a-Service, as WSO2’s Top Partner, Yenlo offers 24/7 managed WSO2 cloud solutions.
Category 4: Security
According to Gartner, by 2022, API security abuses will be the most-frequent attack vector for enterprise data breaches. With the increased use of APIs and therefore data exchange between different parties, it’s easy to see that APIs are a popular target for hackers. Mulesoft’s Anypoint Security provides advanced defense for APIs and integration. This in-house built solution certainly adheres to all security measures. WSO2 has a similar security built in its platform, and in addition to that has partnered with PingIntelligence, a leading API security vendor. With PingIntelligence, WSO2’s platform is protected from; credential stuffing attacks, Layer 7 DDoS attacks, accounts being taken over, or even rogue insiders exfiltrating data. To even further strengthen your data security, you can also opt for the 42Crunch API security platform, to be added as a standalone solution or as part of Yenlo’s Connext Platform. The 42Crunch solution lets you describe security as code as part of your OpenAPI specification files, allowing you to entirely automate the API security process, from the very beginning of the API lifecycle.
Category 5: Credentials
Not to be dismissed: how do the two fare in the eyes of the experts? Forrester Research creates technology research reports and provides advisory services. They are one of the most influential advisory firms in the world. Their Q3 2020, Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions report evaluated the 15 most significant integration vendors across 26 criteria. Mulesoft landed in the Strong Performers category with a decent strategy and a strong current offering. WSO2 was cited as a Leader and placed in the best category with a strong strategy and strong current offering.
Final Verdict: WSO2 vs Mulesoft
Though Mulesoft has the support and training advantages from Salesforce, on many accounts WSO2 proves to have made significant strides over the past years that deem a better fit for future-focused, service-oriented enterprises. When it comes to something as crucial as TCO, WSO2 vs Mule is not even a fair fight. With its customizable subscription, and its open-source completely free standard version: WSO2 API Manager is a clear winner. Add to this the possibility of integrating with a platform like Yenlo’s Connext Platform, that highlights the best of WSO2, combined with usability and flexibility in a cloud-first, API-first, open-source, approach. This strategic anticipation of the future of technology networks and the ongoing need for interoperability completes the homerun for WSO2.
|Integration & deployment|
|Ease of deployment||✓||✓|
|Multiple deployment options||✓||✓|
|Quality of end-user training||X||X|
|Availability of 3rd party resources||✓|
|API Reuse and Monetization options||✓||X|
|Service and support|
|Timeliness of vendor support||✓||X|
|Quality of technical support||✓||X|
|Quality of peer user community||✓||X|
|In-platform security manager||✓||✓|
|Extended security through external provider||✓||X|