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MuleSoft is a platform designed to make it easier to connect the various elements of your enterprise system. It is an Enterprise System Bus (ESB), providing a centralized service to enable and facilitate communication with all system applications and data. In keeping with the cloud-based technology transformation, MuleSoft can connect both your on-premises applications and data, as well as the ones hosted in the cloud. 

API visibility 

The success of an enterprise API platform depends on discoverability and clarity of documentation. This clarity begins when an API is designed. Mulesoft's Design Center uses open-source design languages to build the API: RAML and OAS. These specifications provide listings of endpoints, protocols, requirements, and expected responses. Once the design is published to Exchange, authorized users can review the API and experiment with it using a mocking service, which allows verifying that inputs and responses are correct for the API. This stage is critical since potential design issues are best resolved before implementation.

Developers can then use the RAML specifications to implement the API. Since Anypoint Studio can generate a scaffold implementation of the API based on the RAML, developers only need to build the business logic. With the API complete and documented in Exchange, the API is now available for use across the enterprise. Users of the API now have clear documentation for the API. From initial design to implementation, the API design can be fully visible providing clarity for all stakeholders. 

Security  

MuleSoft can also make it easier to secure your various integrations. Within Anypoint Studio, mandatory security policies can be created which ensure that all APIs will comply with the business' desired security requirements.  Those policies can restrict user access as well as ingress and egress traffic. In addition, because the entire system is integrated via Anypoint Studio, your business' security team can view what applications are being accessed and by whom. 

API reusability 

MuleSoft's software platform has a suite of tools designed to minimize the time and effort required to make connections. Its API Designer is for creating an interface for interacting with an existing service, indicating what types of information can be sent to or received from the service. Once the API is created, it can be reused by others within the business to interact with the service. There is even the ability to make the API publicly available. Either way, once an API is created, it is hosted as an asset within Exchange.  

Exchange is a directory for discovering assets to easily connect to existing APIs, third-party services, and data integrations (such as Amazon S3, Salesforce, and PayPal). The connections to third-party services it calls "Connectors". By having a centralized directory of pre-built APIs and Connectors, creating integrations can be more efficient, eliminating the need to write new code when a component already exists within Exchange. 

Anypoint Studio, Mulesoft's tool for building APIs, also focuses on reusability.  Instead of writing an application using a language like JavaScript, Anypoint Studio allows the developer to visually connect pre-existing components together to form applications. Each component only requires configuration.  For example, the "employee" endpoint below is constructed using several components.  This "flow" listens for a hit on a port and protocol and passes the information received to a web service.  When the service responds, an event is logged and the result is passed back to the caller. 

An example of a Mulesoft flow

In conclusion, Mulesoft's features are designed to work together to save time and money. 

First, since Anypoint Studio uses a graphical interface, much of the heavy lifting to build an API isn't necessary. No need to write code to parse requests or files. No need to write code to interface with databases. No need to write code to interface with specialized services. Just use the pre-built components in Anypoint Studio. 

Second, writing code from scratch means long-term maintenance costs.  Once the software is written, it needs to be maintained: tested, monitored, and updated. Anypoint Studio helps users to "offload" much of that work and cost to MuleSoft since they are responsible for most of the code. Some maintenance will still be required, but the workload is lessened. 

Third, MuleSoft has done the work required to integrate custom APIs with established services. Instead of researching and developing custom solutions to integrate with services, MuleSoft provides a wide range of integrations within the platform.  Thus, integrating with an established service is just a matter of configuration. 

Whether MuleSoft will save you money will depend in large part on the degree to which you leverage its services. The more systems you have integrated with, and the extent to which you are able to reuse components, the more likely you will save financially.