Table of Contents
- Data Integration
- What is MuleSoft?
- Best MuleSoft Alternatives
The need for businesses to integrate data has gained momentum in the recent era of data lakes, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and online business.
However, pulling data from various sources has become a cumbersome task for growing enterprises. Thankfully, there is no shortage of companies that seek to solve this problem with ETL, ERP, SaaS, PaaS, and iPaaS systems.
In the expanse of potential solutions, it’s comforting to know that you chose the best solution for the company. Unfortunately, to choose the best solution, you need a complete picture of the landscape, which isn’t easy to get.
This article hopes to present a list of enterprise data integration alternatives to a common iPaaS provider, MuleSoft. Hopefully, this article helps to complete and expand your choices of other potential solutions or confirms your current direction with the provider you have.
What is MuleSoft?
MuleSoft presents itself as an integration platform for connecting SaaS & enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise1. Truthfully, it’s difficult to pin MuleSoft down to that description alone. Apart from offering integration technologies with codeless solutions, the company targets API customers that hope to design, connect, and manage their API ecosystem.
Therefore, alternatives to the software could be different API management tools, pre-built connector solutions, or industry-specific software.
Advantages of MuleSoft
Mulesoft boasts an impressive customer list namedropping organizations like Airbnb, Netflix, Intuit, Verizon, and AirBus. Additionally, their solutions stretch a wide range of industries that need to connect the data of disparate systems.
The platform has been recognized as a leader in industry reports for2:
- Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).
- Full Lifecycle API Management.
And a commissioned study by Forrester in 2019 found “for every $1 you spend with MuleSoft today, you get back $5.45 in return over three years.”3
Finally, Mulesoft’s Anypoint Platform has reputable reviews on Capterra that are generally positive. The platform has a 4.4/5 star rating with over 500 reviews.
Critiques of MuleSoft
One of the most common complaints with companies offering services similar to MuleSoft is pricing. A reviewer on Capterra, although leaving a positive review, stated, “It’s starting to price out small to mid-level customers.”4
This theme is common across other review sites5 as well. The issue of pricing isn’t necessarily a problem with the product. For example, a new—and fully functional—MacBook Pro may seem completely overpriced compared to a Chromebook if you’re a college student. The crux is whether you maximize everything that’s priced into the product.
Similarly, people in the industry have a sense of the services they pay for and average out the value. A more savvy or curious architect or DevOps engineer may start to think; we can do the same thing with Product B that I’m doing with Product A for less.
In the next section of the article, we’ll list some of the best MuleSoft alternatives and discuss their services, products, and software.
Best MuleSoft Alternatives
RapidAPI offers a platform for finding, connecting, and managing APIs across different environments, teams, and applications. The technology can analyze network exchanges, track API calls across internal/external providers, and provides solutions to common API management components.
RapidAPI for Teams and Enterprise offers an alternative to MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. The companies API management services allow organizations to design, expose, secure, test, document and monetize APIs.
APIs are increasing in diversity, and platforms have sought to support more than just the typical REST API. RapidAPI supports APIs using REST, GraphQL and recently launched beta support for Kafka topics.
“Boomi’s cloud-native platform enables enterprises to streamline business processes and is essential for driving digital transformation”
TPG Capital partner, Nehal Raj
In May of 2021, Dell sold Boomi to Francisco Partners And TPG Capital.
Dell wasn’t offloading Boomi because of failures. Quite the opposite. They were able to sell the technology because of its success. Neha Gupta, a contributor at nasdaq.com, wrote, “Boomi has grown to become a pioneer in fueling intelligent data use. Its cloud solutions make it easy for organizations to connect application processes and people across various locations and devices.”
Despite the positive tones circulating the sale, the product was not without criticism. A developer6 may be displeased with the XML split and the opinion the technology enforces for data formats and types.
Boomi offers a similar product set to MuleSoft, considering their data integration hub, drag-n-dop low code integrations, and API management platform.
Informatica offers a cloud-native data integration platform for enterprises looking to sync data across multiple departments, partners, and products.
Like Boomi, Informatica has a comparative product offering to MuleSoft, given they both are defined as iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service). The platform hopes to deliver:
- AI analytics and insight
- Multi-and-hybrid cloud support
- Low code and no code experiences
The platform has a series of partners that help integrate customer data, and Informatica provides an API management platform with a portal, gateway, monitoring, and analytics.
Apigee is one of the companies that can be an alternative as an API management platform and data integration solution. As previously mentioned, as an alternative to Azure API management, the software product comes in a few different forms7.
Apigee offers an orchestration of APIs and integration opportunities for internal and external facing APIs. The platform’s services tend to compare more to RapidAPI, mentioned at the top of the list, than to a system like Informatica. This is due to the increased focus on the integration of APIs and microservices.
The caveat to offering Apigee as an alternative is the coupling with Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The connectivity between the two services may be a positive for your organization. Still, unless you’re solely focusing on API management, you’ll enlist the help of GCP to integrate other data sources.
Browse Apigee Alternatives
Next, let’s discuss LeadsBridge as an alternative. LeadsBridge offers “over 380 integrations and tailor-made solutions […]”8 The platform aims at connecting data across sales, marketing, and CRM solutions. Compared to other alternatives, this platform does not focus on API management or connecting entire enterprise systems.
LeadsBridge makes the case as an alternative to MuleSoft “connectors”. These are no to low code integrations used to automate data transfer across popular third-party or in-house applications. With LeadsBridge, you can connect:
- Google Suite Products
Also, the platform touts GDPR, PCI, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn compliance.
In the same fashion as LeadsBridge, Zapier offers an alternative to MuleSoft Connectors by automating integration workflows and data transfer between applications. Some enterprises may have complex data integrations with more expertise required to connect IoT devices and legacy systems. Conversely, other organizations may use popular business software that can take advantage of popular integrations.
Zapier offers a series of easy-to-use integrations, often utilizing product-specific APIs behind the scenes that focus on marketing, sales, and custom relationship management.
To reiterate, alternatives like Zapier and LeadsBridge do not have the full data integration toolset that iPaaS systems offer. However, they do expand a chunk of iPaaS offerings that could better match your organization.
Workato is another iPaaS organization looking to connect, transform, and aggregate data across a companies departments. The platform has over 1,000 SaaS, database, and ERP integration connectors9.
With Workato, users can use API-based and UI-based tools to automate actions. Also, you can:
- Set event-based triggers
- Enable auto-scaling
- Monitor data in real-time
Based on research by Gartner10, users were much more likely to recommend Workato—compared to MuleSoft—and give the company a 5-star review. Like MuleSoft, the company has pre-build solutions for connecting common third-party systems and a customizable data hub for definable models.
Lastly, Celigo offers an alternative to MuleSoft as a next-generation iPaaS. The company uses its integrator.io platform to manage data interactions across a business architecture.
Celigo users can utilize prebuilt integrations, select connectors, or set up custom integrations. Furthermore, on the dashboard, you can:
- build workflows
- transform data
- View errors
- Process triggers
- View API interactions
- Configure security, compliance, and governance
You might be thinking that this alternative is exactly what you are hoping to find. However, if the price for MuleSoft was prohibitive, you may register the same complaint about Celigo. Therefore, before diving too deep into the solution, you can check out the pricing plans on their website.
Summary: MuleSoft vs. RapidAPI Enterprise Hub vs. Apigee vs. Boomi vs. Informatica vs. LeadsBridge vs. Zapier vs. Workato vs. Celigo
|MuleSoft||RapidAPI Enterprise Hub||Apigee||Boomi||Informatica||LeadsBridge||Zapier||Workato||Celigo|
|API Support||REST, SOAP, HTTP||GraphQL, REST, SOAP||GraphQL, REST, SOAP||REST, SOAP||REST, SOAP||N/A||N/A||REST, SOAP**||REST|
|Hosting Options||On-premises & Cloud||Cloud & On-premises||Cloud & On-premises||Cloud & On-premises||Cloud||Cloud||Cloud||Cloud||Cloud|
|Custom Data Integrations||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Monitoring & Analytics||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free Trial or Free Plan||30-day trial||Teams & Testing have free plans. Marketplace access is free.||60-day trial||30-day trial||30-day trial with select product||7-day trial||100 tasks/mo. free.||Contact Workato for trial options||Free edition. Contact Celigo for more details.|
|Pricing Model||Complex. See product subscription plans.||Contact RapidAPI for Enterprise Hub pricing||Evaluation, Standard, Enterprise with increasing environments and API calls||Boomi has a limited Base plan followed by Pro and Enterprise Plus plans||IPU usage (software capacity) Contact Informatica for details||“Leads”/mo. starting at $29 going up to $699+ for Business||Based on “Zaps”, update time, and users. Starter, Professional, and Company plans||Business or Product plans. Contact Workato for a quote.||Starter plan starts at $7,200/yr. and go es up to Enterprise at $72k/yr.|
**Unclear whether full support is available
What is MuleSoft?
MuleSoft is an integration platform for connecting SaaS & enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise.
Is MuleSoft SaaS or Paas?
MuleSoft is typically not defined as SaaS or PaaS. Instead, it's referred to as iPaaS.
What is iPaaS?
iPaaS stands for Integration Platform as a Service. Common iPaaS providers include MuleSoft, Boomi, Celigo, and Informatica.
What is an alternative to MuleSoft?
Common MuleSoft alternative include: RapidAPI, Boomi, Informatica, Apigee, LeadsBridge, Zapier, Workato, and Celigo.
What are the advantages of MuleSoft?
MuleSoft is an established integration platform with an integration hub for custom software. It's trusted by many companies around the world and has been recognized as an industry leader by multiple reporting industries.
What are the disadvantages of MuleSoft?
MuleSoft if often considered overpriced for the features it provides for small and mid-level organizations.
1 This description is taken from the meta description tag on the homepage of their website, Accessed 11 June 2021.
2 “MuleSoft Recognized as a Leader.” MuleSoft, www.mulesoft.com/lp/reports/gartner-magic-quadrant-leader. Accessed 11 June 2021.
3 “Forrester TEI Finds That You Get Back $5.45 for Every $1 Spent with MuleSoft.” MuleSoft, www.mulesoft.com/lp/reports/integration-total-economic-impact. Accessed 12 June 2021.
4 “Anypoint Platform Verified Review.” Www.capterra.com, www.capterra.com/p/130185/Anypoint-Platform/reviews/1669858/. Accessed 12 June 2021.
5 IT Central Station. https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/mule-anypoint-platform-pros-and-cons, Accessed 12 June 2021.
6 OPTASY. “Mulesoft Alternatives: 7 Other Integration Solutions You Might Want to Consider.” Medium, 4 Feb. 2020, medium.com/@OPTASY.com/mulesoft-alternatives-7-other-integration-solutions-you-might-want-to-consider-9b30af45d020. Accessed 12 June 2021.
7 Retz, Jarrett. “Top 8+ Best Microsoft Azure Alternatives (API Management) | RapidAPI.” The Last Call – RapidAPI Blog, 9 June 2021, rapidapi.com/blog/microsoft-azure-api-management-alternatives/. Accessed 12 June 2021.
8 “LeadsBridge | the Reliable Integration Platform.” Leadsbridge.com, leadsbridge.com/. Accessed 12 June 2021.
9 “Workato — a Single Digital Platform for Thousands of Use Cases. | Workato.” Workato, www.workato.com/platform. Accessed 12 June 2021.
10 “MuleSoft vs. Workato: Gartner Peer Insights 2021.” Gartner, www.gartner.com/reviews/market/enterprise-integration-platform-as-a-service/compare/mulesoft-vs-workato. Accessed 12 June 2021.