MuleSoft Anypoint Platform for APIs - Crowd Release

October 25, 2017
blog author


Digital Consulting Architect - API, SaaS and Mobile

The largest update yet to the Anypoint Platform, by way of the Crowd release, has arrived. Its launch precedes Anypoint Runtime 4, which is currently in beta testing, so effectively the Crowd update may likely be the last major update for the Anypoint 3.x based-runtime.

The main purpose of the release, as suggested by the name, facilitates collaboration of broad audiences throughout the integration and API lifecycle. The Anypoint Platform tools have been enhanced, with the inclusion of the new Flow Designer features in Design Centre for functional architects and business analysts who understand the process logic but are not tasked with the detailed technical implementation. Flow Designer allows trigger events to be defined (such as Scheduler or Amazon SQS event received), which will initiate the flow.

Integration connectors (such as Amazon S3 and Database), components (such as Logger) and flow control (like Choice and Foreach) are selected from a pallet and added to the flow, where they can be configured and input and output data types specified. DataWeave Transformer is also provided for a powerful graphical data mapper and transformation capability. Further information is available here

The other principle change includes promoting reuse best practice at all levels. This is delivered by means of a major upgrade to Anypoint Exchange 2.0, supporting fragments for use in composite design. This permits pervasive reuse and standardisation during design using API fractional components, from pagination to security, from request schema data types to response examples. API Fragment types include Trait, Resource Type, Library, Data Type, User Documentation, Example, Annotation Type and Security Scheme.

The online changes to Anypoint platform have been available since September 2017. The upgrades were done in waves and most existing accounts have been upgraded. An easy way to tell if an Anypoint Platform account has been upgraded is to press the create button in Design Centre’s Projects view. If the list contains 3 items, namely Mule Application, API Specification and API Fragment the account is using Anypoint Crowd, otherwise it is not. Some free accounts have not been upgraded but this can be resolved by making a new account.

Anypoint Studio version 6.3.0 is required to implement with Anypoint Runtime 3.8.5 – but is not yet supported in the Anypoint Studio 7.x.x for Anypoint Runtime 4.x.x beta. Studio can directly connect to the Anypoint Crowd online Platform by means of configuring the user account’s client_id and client_secret in Preferences | Anypoint Studio | Anypoint Platform for APIs | Client Credentials. This is especially useful for configuring API Kit Router by way of dynamic lists derived from Anypoint Platform artefacts. Anypoint Studio also supports creating a new projects directly from Exchange 2.0 shared templates and examples.

Other updates include a reworked API Console, which is quite capable and better depicts nested RESTful HTTP resources. The API Console provides details of the RAML API definition including the HTTP methods supported for the different HTTP resources along with all properties. Properties includes name, data-type, description and default and example values. The request url is editable, allowing for varied freehand testing. The console provides visibility and fine grained control over building the HTTP request with access to HTTP headers, body and query string parameters.

Streamlined workflow allows API Fragments and API Specifications to be published directly to Exchange from the Design Centre. Portals still need to be created manually for each version but hopefully the option to copy previous version baseline for incremental updates will soon be provided. These Exchange published artefacts are then available to the test of the organisation and can be easily included as dependencies.

These dependencies are drawn into the artefact at the time of addition, meaning that subsequent updates to the dependency will not be reflected in the artefact until it is re-added. This makes sense in that changes should result in a new version and ensures an unexpected change to a dependency will not invalidate all the tested consumers of the dependency. Traceability of dependencies to consuming artefacts is not yet available.

That this update touches the entire product toolset demonstrates MuleSoft’s clear intent to cater for the needs of a growing user base and innovate in delivering the industry-leading best-practice integration experience for all audiences.