Nobody likes donkey work.
This is clearly true, the poor old donkey, mule & jackass often gets his/her name applied to the so-called ‘grunt work’ that goes on inside organisations where the dullest tasks have to be carried out.
The only saving grace in the current age of automation and programmable autonomous control is that the dullest tasks are often the most repeatable, definable and automate-able.
It doesn’t take much insight to work out why MuleSoft is so-named i.e. the company’s core technology proposition hinges around a promise to take the mule-work out of cloud-based software integration with specific competancies in API management and automation intelligence.
Mulesoft is known for its Anypoint Platform with unified functions that centralise around integration, API management and automation – but today (after an acquisition that was completed in 2018), the company is also now known for its now-expansive integration with the Salesforce platform.
In Real Life (IRL)
Introductory expositions dealt with then, the Computer Weekly Developer Network team has this month headed to MuleSoft Connect New York City 2022 for an In Real Life (IRL) technical conference experience.
Salesforce used MuleSoft Connect 2022 to introduce the next generation of MuleSoft as it now positions this technology platform as a unified solution for automation, integration and API management. MuleSoft exists to automate any workflow, so that any technical or non-technical team can adapt to change.
The core product announcement details are noted here – this story concentrates on the keynote delivered at the conference itself with a selection of lives notes and commentary.
The keynote itself was delivered by Brent Hayward, CEO & GM, MuleSoft; Bret Taylor, co-CEO, Salesforce; and Stephen Hsu, SVP of product, MuleSoft.
Psychological safety factor
An initial keynote session focused on workplace psychologies with a specialist speaker who focused on the differences between givers, takers, agreeable and disagreeable people types.
The people who can tell you straight that a hybrid plan is not going to work and actually operate in the workplace like ‘canaries in a coalmine’ are the honest and agreeable givers that we all need to seek out in the workplace.
A culture of rethinking where ‘psychological safety’ exists enables people to be able to speak out without fear… and this a workplace environment where an organisation is able to avoid risks that could harm the business.
MuleSoft CEO & GM Brent Hayward took the stage to a warm welcome – after all, the world of In Real Life (IRL) conferences are only just back on our planet.
“We’re going to set you up with success by hearing from our customers and showcasing our latest product line of products,” he said.
Miguel Martinz, MuleSoft practice lead and solutions architect joined Hayward on stage to explain how passionate he is about the diverse community of people that the organisation works with.
“We are able to impact MuleSoft’s product roadmap with our meet-ups,” said Martinez, suggesting that the product-focused community engagements that the company holds are really quite hands-on practical experiences.
Pushing forward with the parent organisation element of this keynote, Bret Taylor, co-CEO, Salesforce took the stage to talk about how the organisation regards MuleSoft to be at the heart of what Salesforce does today – it connects the back office, through the middle office to the front office to build automated workflows that will directly drive efficiency.
Reusable building blocks
Handing over to MuleSoft head of product Stephen Hsu, the session moved towards talking about the genesis of how MuleSoft came about i.e. to enable IT teams to be able to take advantage of reusable building blocks, rather than having to build best of breed from scratch every time.
“With the new MuleSoft, you can automate anything. But automation has to work in an end-to-end style,” said Hsu, before explaining how business teams need to be brought into the process so that integrations can be directed to build automations that truly work.
The new MuleSoft RPA is designed to give customers the power of bots even over legacy systems too old for the application of APIs. Hsu detailed more of the MuleSoft Composer technology proposition and how it works in-line with Salesforce Flow, the company’s low-code process automation technology.
Extended sections of this keynote focused on combating API sprawl and working directly with the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform to be achieve a more fluid operational experience with unlocked data and automated workflows.
Building for reuse and automation
With the subject of combatting complexity so prevalent in this keynote presentation, the speakers gravitated around messages that explained how MuleSoft exists to help organisations combat not just API sprawl, but also tools sprawl, process sprawl and all other forms of enterprise software sprawl (such as the sprawls associated with shadow IT, where the sprawl happens in places that are initially out of sight) with a unified platform approach to integration for automation.
MuleSoft does have the term ‘soft’ inside it in and it does exist in Salesforce’s ‘no software’ software universe… but we do know that no software in these terms simply means no on-premises software where cloud alternatives exist.
Pigs might not yet fly, but we do have mules in the cloud, which is arguably a tougher act to pull off. Let’s get a nosebag.