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Modules Connectivity Framework

Connected modules (connectors) are the most common type of module. They provide a connection between a Mule flow and an external resource. Configure these connections with the ConnectionProvider in a connectivity framework to create, disconnect, and describe the connection for Mule runtime engine to handle. For more information about how to use connections, refer to Using Connections.

Declaring a Connection Provider

To declare a new ConnectionProvider you should create a new class that implements the ConnectionProvider interface. The ConnectionProvider interface is a typed interface that receives one type argument that indicates the class of the instances that the ConnectionProvider handles.

This example declares a MyConnectionProvider class that implements the ConnectionProvider interface:

public class MyConnectionProvider implements ConnectionProvider<MyConnection> {

  private String password;

  public MyConnection connect() throws ConnectionException {
    return new MyConnection(password);

  public void disconnect(MyConnection connection) {

  public ConnectionValidationResult validate(MyConnection connection) {
    return connection.isValid() ?
      ConnectionValidationResult.success() :
      ConnectionValidationResult.failure("Connection is not valid", new InvalidConnectionException());
Each defined ConnectionProvider must be instantiable, public, and have a default constructor.

Other components (such as an operation or source) that require access to the connection will gain access to the connection through instances of the MyConnection class.

The above example contains a @Parameter and these methods: connect(), disconnect(), and validate(). The next sections describe each of them.

Connection Provider Parameters

Like any other Module element, a ConnectionProvider can have @Parameters. Each ConnectionProvider @Parameters must be a configurable element that is required to instantiate the actual connection, in the connect() method.

Common @Parameters that are required by more than one operation must not be part of the ConnectionProvider. That’s a common case for Configurations @Parameter. See @Parameter section.


The connect() method is in charge of instantiating the actual connections with all the configured parameters. It’s very important to know that the returned connection is expected to be ready to use.

The returned connection does not need to implement an interface or contract. It doesn’t necessarily reference the socket connection. It can simply be a client or something of that sort.


The disconnect(Connection) method receives a live connection and disposes it, freeing all it’s allocated resources.


As mentioned above, the connect() method in the ConnectionProvider must return a valid, fully functional connection. Because connections might become stale while sitting idle, the ConnectionProvider provides the validate(Connection) method. This method is invoked to check the connection before using it.

If the validation fails, the connection will be invalidated and a new one will be taken.

Connection Validation Result

The validate(Connection) method will return an object of type ConnectionValidationResult, which can result in two types: a ConnectionValidationResult.success() or a ConnectionValidationResult.failure().

When a failure() is returned, a descriptive message and a failing Exception (which provides context about why the connection is invalid) should be provided to the new failure(). Optionally, an ErrorType can be provided to add the error handling capabilities.

  • failure(String, Exception)

  • failure(String, ErrorType, Exception)

Adding a Connection Provider

Each ConnectionProvider is bound to a Configuration that can have none, one, or more than one ConnectionProvider.

To add a ConnectionProvider implementation to a Module Configuration, you need to use a @ConnectionProviders annotation. This annotation declares each ConnectionProvider that a Module defines. It can be used at the @Extension or @Configuration level.

If an extension contains more than one ConnectionProvider, you need to use the @Alias to provide each with a significant name. By convention, the name of that connection provider adds the `-connection suffix to the provided name.

Example of a ConnectionProvider declared at @Extension level:

public class MyModule {

  private String someParameter;

  public String getSomeParameter() {
    return someParameter;

Example of the XML for this config with the example MyConnectionProvider:

<xyz:config name="a-xyz-config" someParameter="value">
    <xyz:connection password="aVeryDifficultPassword"/>

Connection Management

You can specify a few connection management strategies for a ConnectionProvider.

Pooling Strategy

The connections are pooled. A cache of connections is maintained so that they can be reused when future requests require one.

This is useful when connections are expensive to create or when concurrent access to a connection instance is not supported.

For this pooling strategy, a pooling profile configuration is automatically added to the connection. The following table shows the default values for the pooling profile of type Use default connection pool configuration:

Name Default Value

Max Active


Max Idle


Max Wait


Exhausted Action


Initialisation Policy


Min Eviction Millis


Eviction Check Interval Millis


You can enable pooling connection management by implementing the PoolingConnectionProvider interface.

Refer to Pooling Profiles for more information.

Cached Strategy

For each configuration instance, a connection is established and cached so that one specific configuration always gets the same connection. The connection is maintained until the configuration itself is stopped.

You can enable cached connection management by implementing the CachedConnectionProvider interface.

Refer to Caching for more information.

No Strategy

The runtime adds no additional infrastructure similar to the pooling cases. The ConnectionProvider is responsible for providing the totality of the connection-handling behavior. An operation that requires a connection calls the connect() method each time it needs a connection, and it destroys the connection once the operation is complete.

Implementing the ConnectionProvider interface means no strategy.

Using Connections

Using connections in Operations and Sources is quite different, see: