Why MuleSoft Anypoint Platform and serverless computing (AWS Lambda) are better together

Unleash the power of your application network and Serverless Computing to transform, innovate and stay ahead of your competition.

The transition to SaaS application adoption and cloud computing continues to accelerate for both “old” server based and “new” serverless technologies. We are starting to see that all organizations are moving toward a “serverless first” approach, similar to past movements such as “cloud first” and “cloud native.”  

This serverless first mantra brings with it a “don’t lift and shift — transform” mindset. Encouraging business to deliver on the challenging business outcomes of remaining competitive, become more productive, and undergo incremental transformation

Serverless and SaaS are simply growing into the de-facto standard for delivering business software.  

How did we get to the serverless cloud?

Businesses were first consuming server-based technologies as a service on the cloud, which has since evolved to cloud serverless computing. The backbone of AWS serverless computing is AWS Lambda which supports over a dozen programming languages, and although there are containers and servers under the covers, it does not require any internal software management. 

AWS Lambda was introduced by Amazon in 2014, and it was the first public cloud infrastructure vendor to offer abstract serverless computing. Though Microsoft (Azure Functions), Google (Cloud Functions), and Oracle (Compute Cloud Service) soon followed suit, the focus of this post is AWS Lambda and Anypoint Platform given how neatly they complement each other and their on-going leadership and relentless innovation in respective technologies.While AWS was launching and evolving AWS Lambda, MuleSoft was pioneering integration platform as a service (iPaaS, a form of SaaS), API lifecycle management, and low-code integration as a SaaS for accelerated delivery, innovation, and citizen integrators (aka citizen developers).  Most recently MuleSoft has been promoted a “clicks not code” approach as more organizations look to empower their employees outside of IT to unlock data and create connected customer experiences. The trend toward low-code integration is only growing. If you are still programming in five or ten years time it will be with either JavaScript or Python, and that is a big “if” with the further future pervasiveness of low code.

So why bring MuleSoft and AWS together? 

Software as a service is fundamentally API-driven and needs to be consumed as a service, which is why AWS Lambda and the MuleSoft API-led approach are so compatible.   MuleSoft is the only vendor in Gartner’s leadership positions in both the API Lifecycle Management and Integration (iPaaS) magic quadrants, while AWS is the leader in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) quadrant.  This is a best of breed combination that can be leveraged for many compelling innovative and transformational use cases.  Let’s dive into a little bit more detail of the benefits of both platforms before we get to an example to illustrate in part 2 of this blog.

Why MuleSoft Anypoint Platform?

Accelerated delivery and innovation: MuleSoft’s mission is to take the “donkey work” out of integration and help organizations innovate faster. You can read widely about how that is achieved via speed of delivery, actionable visibility, resilient ops, secure by design, future proof architecture, a long list of out-of-the-box connectors, intentional self-service, etc.

Widely used: MuleSoft provides the most widely used integration platform (Mule ESB & CloudHub) for connecting SaaS & enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise, with over 175,000 developers and leading companies in almost every industry depending on it.  

Advanced API and integration platform: It is recognized as the most advanced enterprise platform for designing, developing, and managing APIs and integrations. 

Unified technology: Uniquely built as a single solution, Anypoint Platform can be deployed anywhere to reliably address both small-scale and mission-critical use cases. 

Hybrid and multi-cloud support: Anypoint Platform enables a “write once, deploy anywhere” approach to integration assets. This is a crucial foundation for a multi-cloud (AWS/Azure/Google) strategy without being dependent on any one of them, and still supporting any on-premise solutions.  

Why serverless and AWS?

Simplicity and resilience: AWS Lambda comes as a compute service that allows users to run code without provisioning or managing the infrastructure behind it. It removes the complexity of the technology stack and provides enterprise-grade uptime corresponding SLAs.

Pay per request billing model: Users do not pay for idle computing time, unlike most legacy server-based technology deployments, which can significantly impact your bottom line.  

An extensive and growing number of widely used AWS services: There’s more to leverage than just AWS Lambda; there are now a large number of services that are available to use, from Alexa to AI to Glacier, that can be leveraged via APIs using MuleSoft’s AWS Connectors.  These assets can all be exposed through Anypoint Platform as part of your enterprise’s application network.

Why not just use the AWS API gateway?

The AWS API gateway, in reality, is more API proxy with some basic functionalities, that apart from exposing APIs does not enable many more capabilities, management or foster speed of delivery and reuse. It is by no means “a mature enterprise-grade API Gateway” and does not currently rank in Gartner’s API Lifecycle Management magic quadrant. Additionally, rolling your own integrations and API’s around it can be a disaster long term leading to point-to-point interfaces and point-integration solutions. If you aren’t looking toward implementing SaaS/iPaaS and low-code tools, then it’s likely you are mostly just contributing to your organization’s technical debt.

Stay tuned for our next post when we look at a real-world use case around Smart Metering in the electricity industry in Australia and winning combination of MuleSoft and AWS Lambda that fosters innovation at speed at a compelling price point. 

For more information on MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, API Community Manager, and API-led connectivity, download our white paper. 



We'd love to hear your opinion on this post


6 Responses to “Why MuleSoft Anypoint Platform and serverless computing (AWS Lambda) are better together”

  1. Looking forward for the next post 🙂

  2. Peter, Thanks for the wonderful article. Can you please explain with an example how both(Mule and AWS Lambda) can be leveraged together?

  3. Thanks for sharing. The wonderful combination of Anypoint Platform with AWS Lambda. Eagerly waiting for business use cases.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments, and I will get cracking on the follow-up installment with the specific use case in utilities. Use cases are many and varied especially in larger enterprises that have complex landscapes and integration needs, and are leveraging AWS in particular with a “serverless first” approach, we are only really at the start of API-led integration and serverless computing revolution.

  5. Hello Peter,

    At our company, we are planning to approach the same path. Do you mind sharing your results?

  6. Thanks for sharing Peter. I think serverless seems like obvious option to many, but still not as many as we might think.