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Migrating API Policies

This version of Mule reached its End of Life on May 2, 2023, when Extended Support ended.

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.

In Mule 4, policies underwent major changes. A full explanation of them is available in Custom Policy General Reference (Nov 2017)

Defining Policy Behavior

In 3.x, the logic inside a particular policy is split in two blocks, one that is executed before the next policy or flow, the other executed after it.

Mule 3 Example
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<policy online="false"

        <mule:set-payload value="(pre)"/>

        <mule:set-payload value="(post)"/>

        <api-platform-gw:api-pointcut apiName="sampleApi" apiVersion="1.0.0"/>


In Mule 4, policies are no longer separated in a before and after block. They now work as a flow with an explicit jump to the next policy or flow that has to be defined in it.

Same behavior can be achieved in Mule 4 with the following config:

Mule 4 Example
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<mule xmlns:xsi=""

    <http-policy:proxy name="policy-deployment">
        <http-policy:source propagateMessageTransformations="true">

            <set-payload value="(pre)"/>


            <set-payload value="(post)"/>


A few things to notice:

  • Logic is placed in the same block. Injecting behavior before the flow can be achieved just by putting logic before the execute-next element. To injecting behavior after the flow, you put logic after that element.

  • propagateMessageTransformations attribute in the http-policy:source element: Starting in Mule 4, changes to the Mule message (payload or attributes) before executing the flow are not propagated to it by default. To enable this, propagateMessageTransformations has to be set to true.

  • pointcut elements are no longer defined in the policy config file. Now, they are resolved by the API Gateway when policies are fetched from API Manager.

Endpoint and App pointcut elements are no longer available, and there is no replacement to them.

Uploading Policy Template to Exchange

In 3.x, once the policy is defined, the result is an XML file that has to be uploaded to API Manager.

In Mule 4, once the policy behavior is defined, the policy has to be packaged into a policy template JAR and uploaded to Exchange to make it available in API Manager.

  1. How to create a Maven project to generate the policy template JAR is explained in the Packaging a Custom Policy article.

  2. How to upload the JAR to Exchange is explained in the Uploading a Custom Policy to Exchange article.

Just like before, once the policy template JAR is in Exchange, it will appear in API Manager for APIs that belong to the same organization where the JAR was uploaded.

Perform a Policy Migration

To perform a policy migration, this example uses the Mule Migration Assistant (MMA), an open source project on GitHub. The procedure requires that you meet the Prerequisites for the tool. For complete user documentation on MMA, see Migration to Mule 4 (on GitHub).

The MMA command for migrating policies differs from the typical command-line options (on GitHub) for migrating a Mule app in one important way:

  • MMA expects the -projectBasePath to have both the policy XML and YAML files in the same directory. The following example assumes that policy files are under src/main/policy.

Command-line Invocation:
$ java -jar mule-migration-assistant-runner-0.5.1.jar \
 -projectBasePath /Users/me/AnypointStudio/workspace-studio/my-mule3-policy/src/main/policy \
 -muleVersion 4.1.5 \
 -destinationProjectBasePath /Users/me/my-dir/my-migrated-policy

Note that the MMA creates the directory for the migrated project through the -destinationProjectBasePath option. The my-migrated-policy must not exist before you invoke the command. If you point to a folder that exists already, the migration fails with an error like this: Exception: Destination folder already exists.

When the migrator runs successfully, you see a message like this:

Successful Migration
Executing migration...
Total time: 11.335 s
Migration report:

After migration completes successfully, the destination folder contains:

  • A policy POM file.

  • The policy YAML file, renamed to the artifactId value found in the POM file.

  • The report directory containing the Mule Migration Report (on GitHub) (summary.html). Note that the same information provided in the report can be found as comments in the policy XML file.

  • The mule-artifact.json file, with a minMuleVersion value that matches the -muleVersion value set in the MMA command.

  • The src directory, which contains the migrated content.

The src directory contains directories main and test. Inside main, the mule directory contains the policy XML file, renamed to template.xml. At the same level as the mule directory, MMA might create a resources directory that contains DataWeave files or other files that the migrated policy needs. The test directory contains test configuration files.

After a successful migration, you need to modify the POM file as explained in POM Migration. Once the POM file has the correct organization ID, you can compile with mvn clean install. If the compilation is successful, you can upload the migrated policy to Exchange using maven clean deploy. You can find a more detailed explanation of uploading a custom policy in Uploading a Custom Policy to Exchange.

POM Migration

The POM file migration modifies the file to include the elements necessary for uploading the custom policy to Exchange.

After the migration:

Replace the {orgId} value in the <groupId/> and <exchange.url/> elements with the organization ID found in Anypoint Platform.

For more information on how to obtain the organization ID, see Uploading a Custom Policy to Exchange.

By default, the Exchange URL is set to the production environment.



Note that for the EU version of the URL, you need to set the URL manually after the migration:

  • URL template for EU:{orgId}/maven

If the MMA does not find a POM file for the policy, MMA will create a new POM file. In this file, the artifactId for the policy will be the name of the parent directory for the policy XML file. For example, for a policy in src/main/mytestpolicy/policy.xml, the artifactId is mytestpolicy.

Dependency and Plugin Versions

Dependency and plugin versions are set by default by the MMA, and you can change manually, as needed.

Un-Migrated Elements

Several elements are not migrated from Mule 3 to Mule 4:

Element Reason


Unable to recreate the behavior in Mule 4.


Resource and API pointcuts are resolved by the Mule runtime engine automatically. App and Endpoint pointcuts do not have an equivalent in Mule 4.


The behavior is resolved by the Mule runtime engine automatically.

For each of these elements, the child elements are removed, as well.

Elements Migrated to Other Structures

The throttling element fixed-time-frame-algorithm is migrated to the Rate Limit format if multiple rate-limit elements are found as child elements of the delay-response element.

In addition, because Throttling SLA policy is no longer supported, if a delay-response element is found as a child of a sla-based-algorithm element, the policy is migrated to Rate Limit SLA format.

Common Migration Issues

If policy files are not found during the migration, the MMA prints a message like this one:

Unsuccessful Migration
Executing migration...
Total time: 3.008 s
Exception: Cannot read mule project. Is it a Mule Studio project? Cannot read mule project. Is it a Mule Studio project?


POM Migration Issues

If the MMA does not find the POM model for the policy, the MMA will either generate the model from an existing POM in Mule 3, or if there is no Mule 3 POM, the MMA will create the model. If MMA uses an existing POM, any incorrect POM definition that the MMA encounters will cause POM model creation process to fail. For information about a POM model failure, you need to check for any preceding error messages regarding MMA steps on modifying the POM model.

YAML Migration Issues

The following issues can occur:

Case Reason

Error editing YAML

Use stack trace in the MMA for more information.

Multiple YAMLs found

MMA expects only one YAML file in the project base path, which is interpreted as the policy YAML. If you need more than one YAML in the project, the extra YAML files must be stored in another directory.

No YAML found

MMA expects a YAML file in the project base path when migration starts. If none is found, it is possible that a separate error occurred earlier in the migration process.

Threat Protection Migration Issues

The following issues can occur:

Case Reason

Could not determine if policy is XML or JSON threat protection type

In threat protection policies, the elements xml-policy and json-policy determine which type of threat protection to migrate. Only one of them must be present. If none are present, the error message will appear in the migration report.

Element structure could not be found

In threat protection policies, the xml-policy element needs to have child element, structure.

Element values could not be found

In threat protection policies, the xml-policy element needs to have child element, values.

Client Id Enforcement Migration Issue

The following issue is possible:

Case Reason

Client Id Enforcement invalid migration element

If the basicAuthEnabled attribute in the validate-client element is absent or equal to false, MMA expects clientSecret or clientId attributes to be present in the validate-client element.

Spring Limitations

You must perform a manual migration of your Spring Beans even though MMA migrates spring:bean elements in Mule 3 policies to a template-beans.xml file in the resources directory and even though it adds to the custom policy a spring-module:config element that references template-beans.xml. Declaring the beans in a policy is unsupported in Mule 4 and causes the policy to fail to deploy.

Known Issues

Known issues for MMA are:

  • Policies that have policy YAML files with the .yml extension are not detected.

  • Policy YAML files are not autocompleted with mandatory fields.

  • mule:processor element is not migrated.

  • byte-array-to-string-transformer element is not migrated.

  • expression-component element is not migrated.

  • mulexml:object-to-xml-transformer element is not migrated.

  • The migrated element ee:transform does not add a schema location URI.

  • DataWeave expressions that start with an underscore are not quoted, which causes the policy to fail.