Let’s explore the beneﬁts, challenges and best practices in the migration journey from Mule 3 to Mule 4.
MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™ is a leading application network platform that allows organizations to create hybrid applications to connect apps, data, and devices through an API-led connectivity. The Anypoint Platform is a single uniﬁed solution for iPaaS and full lifecycle API management, across both on-premises and in the cloud.
Between its last major release (Mule 3.0) in 2010 and its current state, MuleSoft has evolved considerably. From being just an API-led Integration platform to playing a broader and bigger role that can aid in assisting legacy modernization, implementing secure SaaS integrations, and providing full API lifecycle management. MuleSoft now allows organizations to implement and allow its IT Department to integrate, connect and build its enterprise solutions in innovative new ways.
The next-gen Mule 4 platform oﬀers a much broader range of new and improved features focussed on enhancing the capabilities of the platform along with developer experience.
Why migrate to Mule 4?
MuleSoft, in its journey from 3.0 to 4.x, is trying to bring customers, business and developers together, and help them innovate. With Mule 4, MuleSoft is oﬀering several features to make integration easy, because of which many enterprises have already started adopting Mule 4.
The following improved features is now a part of Mule 4:
Better application configurability
Seamless access to data
When is the time to migrate from Mule 3 to 4?
Before initiating the migration process from Mule 3 to Mule 4, it is important to check if the organization is ready for the upcoming changes.
Here are some important points to consider in an organization’s decision-making process:
How comfortable are the Development and Support teams in using Mule 4?
Are they fully aware of the components that have to be changed in Mule 4 in comparison to Mule 3?
What is the organization strategy to support all currently running MuleSoft versions along with Mule 4?
Since Mule 3 support will be expiring in 2021, would the organization consider that as an important consideration and migrate to Mule 4 now?
Does the organization want to upgrade all applications to Mule 4?
Mule 3 to Mule 4 Migration Methodologies
For businesses to achieve a seamless and secured migration, here are some key measures that organizations need to take prior to the migration process:
A. Rationalization of existing Mule 3 implementation
For most organizations, existing Mule 3 implementation would have matured over a period of time and might have been customized by multiple solution integrators. Often there is a need to rationalize the existing integrations in order to support a smooth migration. Integration rationalization can help businesses in their integration landscape, and improve LOB management capabilities and delivery of mission-critical business services.
Organizations often face a ‘migration bubble’ which is an increase in IT costs due to the migration. However, migration to a more improved and feature rich application brings long term value in the form of increased productivity, greater scalability and operational efficiency, which results in cost savings in the long term.
B. Choosing the right options
The two important migration strategies to consider are a) As-is Migration or b) Re-Architecture.
As-Is Migration: This strategy involves rebuilding the application as-is on the new platform. Here, implementation is done with very little modiﬁcation in logic. This approach ensures a quick and easy migration journey, as outcomes are achieved with minimal disruption and eﬀort. However, the platform may not be able to deliver the latest features and beneﬁts, which can lead to core optimization. Note that organizations may leverage the MuleSoft-provided migration utility, which can help to a certain extent.
Re-Architecture: This strategy involves making major changes in the application during the integration and implementation cycle. This is a more difficult and complex approach in comparison to as-is migration. Organizations need to ensure that there is no impact on external behaviour of the middleware layer while implementing such changes.
The organization has to choose between as-is or re-architecture, depending on the following factors:
A well-planned migration strategy will result in a modern and robust platform that meets business needs for agility and saves cost while aligning to the product roadmap.
Security is paramount in any implementation. When an organization decides to migrate to a new platform, it provides an opportunity to relook and re-think the security implementations in data, applications and, infrastructure.
The key is to understand that there are multiple facets of API security and it is the responsibility of the migration implementers and consultants to understand the current implementation, identify gaps and address them across the 4 main stages of the journey:
When the migration from MuleSoft 3 to 4 is imminent, businesses have two options:
Delay and risk falling behind competitors OR
Grab the opportunity at the earliest and become an industry leader
Organizations need to ensure that the continuity of the services is maintained, costs are lowered and the need for migration is considered as an opportunity that ensures long-term beneﬁts.
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