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Introduction to Mule 4 Connectors

Standard Support for Mule 4.1 ended on November 2, 2020, and this version of Mule will reach its End of Life on November 2, 2022, when Extended Support ends.

Deployments of new applications to CloudHub that use this version of Mule are no longer allowed. Only in-place updates to applications are permitted.

MuleSoft recommends that you upgrade to the latest version of Mule 4 that is in Standard Support so that your applications run with the latest fixes and security enhancements.

A connector is software you can use to connect software systems, such as connecting your Salesforce customer relations management software to human resources software or to data from a legacy system. MuleSoft provides a wide range of connectors you can add to your Anypoint Studio or Design Center projects. Anypoint Exchange provides examples and templates you can use to jumpstart your software development with predefined connector code that helps you solve complex use cases.

Differences Between Mule 3 and Mule 4 Connectors

Mule 3 offered two ways of connecting to systems: transports and connectors. Transports used the concept of inbound and outbound endpoints to send data. Connectors used the concept of operations to invoke systems, for example, <http:request> or <db:select>.

In Mule 3, MuleSoft started to replace some of these transports through the new HTTP and Database connectors. Mule 4 completes this change by completely standardizing the approach so that all connectivity is built as connectors. This change improves the consistency and usability of connectors, and it enables more powerful connectors.

Independent Release Cycles for Core Connectors and Modules

Another big difference is how the connectors are shipped and released. In Mule 3, a number of connectors/transports were part of the Mule Runtime distribution (for example, File, Ftp, Sftp, HTTP, Database, JMS, XML, Validations, and so on). To get fixes and enhancements to any of these connectors, it was necessary to wait for the next Mule Runtime release. Meanwhile, other connectors (typically the SaaS connectors) were shipped and released independently (for example, Salesforce, Workday, ServiceNow, SAP, and so on).

Mule 4 standardizes the latest model. The Mule 4 distribution ships with no connectors or modules. Instead, each application includes the modules it needs. This approach has the following advantages:

  • Faster innovation in core modules/connectors because all connectors have their own release cycle. New features and bug fixes can become available without the need to wait for the next Mule Runtime release.

  • Ability for different apps to use different versions of the same module. This allows for easier adoption of new releases without the need to run a full regression on applications that don’t require the upgrade.

  • Consistent approach.

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