MuleSoft vs DreamFactory

What is MuleSoft?

MuleSoft claims to be “the most widely used integration platform for connecting SaaS & enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise.” The company’s flagship product is the Anypoint Platform, an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solution that makes it easier to connect your enterprise data, software, and systems.

Finding objective information about MuleSoft isn’t easy, especially if you’re looking for MuleSoft alternatives. In this article, we’ll discuss what we believe is the best MuleSoft alternative: DreamFactory. By the end of this MuleSoft comparison, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right choice for your business.

The Best MuleSoft Alternative: DreamFactory

DreamFactory is an API management solution for mobile, web, and IoT applications, whether in the cloud or on-premise. The DreamFactory “API as a service” platform can instantly generate clean, beautiful REST APIs, without users having to write a single line of code.

Here are the main differences between MuleSoft and DreamFactory:

  • DreamFactory is simpler to use than MuleSoft, thanks to its no-code interface.
  • DreamFactory is cheaper than MuleSoft.
  • DreamFactory receives slightly better reviews than MuleSoft, although both are excellent.
  • Both MuleSoft and DreamFactory are powerful and feature-rich solutions that differ slightly in their capabilities.

MuleSoft vs. DreamFactory: Features

How do DreamFactory features stack up against MuleSoft? The answer might surprise you.

Despite being a fraction of the cost, DreamFactory offers functionality that’s just as powerful as MuleSoft features. Both MuleSoft and DreamFactory users enjoy access to a rich array of features, including:

  • Service creation: DreamFactory's streamlined interface allows you to create new database APIs in less than 3 minutes. How easy is it? Check out this video.
  • API key management: DreamFactory automatically generates and manages your platform API keys. You're free to create as many keys as you please, and you can revoke them anytime.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC): DreamFactory supports robust RBAC capabilities. You can limit users to specific endpoints and methods through the point-and-click administrative interface.
  • Data transformation: DreamFactory's scripting feature ensures that business logic can be attached to any endpoint. This allows you to transform, obfuscate, and remove data prior to the payload being forwarded on to the destination client.
  • Data mapping: DreamFactory's Data Mesh feature allows you to merge data hailing from multiple databases into a single API response. This tool is database- and location-agnostic—for example, you could merge data from a MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server database. See it in action.
  • Data caching: DreamFactory supports multiple caching solutions, including Redis and Memcached. You can configure services to cache API responses for any desired period of time.
  • Transaction support: DreamFactory supports the ability to both continue and rollback the update of multiple records in a single API call.
  • API analytics: DreamFactory integrates with the powerful Elastic Stack platform, so you can create amazing dashboards highlighting all aspects of your API behaviors.
  • API limiting: DreamFactory's point-and-click API limiting feature allows you to define granular limits according to API, role, endpoint, and user. You can even apply verb-specific limits—for instance, allowing 1,000 GET calls but only 100 POST calls within a specified time period.
  • High availability: It's possible to run DreamFactory in high-availability environments, as well as horizontally and vertically scale the platform to suit any load requirement.

Of course, MuleSoft features aren’t identical to DreamFactory.

MuleSoft, unlike DreamFactory, offers an enterprise service bus (ESB), a useful tool for weaving together multiple data formats and communication protocols (such as SMTP, IIOP, and MQ/JMS). However, ESBs are increasingly falling by the wayside in favor of more modern iPaaS and API management solutions, so many companies will find this unnecessary.

In addition, MuleSoft and DreamFactory differ in terms of the technologies they support. MuleSoft includes support for a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Groovy, and Ruby. DreamFactory, on the other hand, supports Node.js, PHP, Python (versions 2 and 3), and V8Js.

MuleSoft vs. DreamFactory: Reviews

Both MuleSoft and DreamFactory have received high marks from users.

At the business software review site G2, MuleSoft currently has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. MuleSoft has been named a G2 “Leader” for winter 2020 in the field of iPaaS software.

G2 reviewer and software consultant Kevin K. praises MuleSoft, writing: "I like how the web services, RAML, API management, and cloud functionalities are all seamlessly connected. It works together very nicely and doesn't feel disjointed or messy." However, he adds that MuleSoft’s learning curve "is a bit steep, especially for people new to this type of programming model. Some of the documentation is also outdated or poorly written and not very helpful."

Meanwhile, DreamFactory currently enjoys a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars at G2. Thanks to these strong reviews, DreamFactory is a G2 “High Performer” for winter 2020 in the field of API management software.

Reviewer Mark A. writes enthusiastically about DreamFactory on G2, calling it the “fastest and easiest API management tool my department has ever used. We used DreamFactory to build the REST APIs we needed for a series of projects, and were able to save tens of thousands on the developer hours it would have taken otherwise. The UI is also very easy, and made our particular use case involving turning SOAP services to REST a dream.”

MuleSoft vs. DreamFactory: Pricing

The price of MuleSoft vs. DreamFactory is also a predominant concern for many businesses. For many users, the cheaper price of DreamFactory will be a selling point in this MuleSoft comparison.

DreamFactory pricing starts at $499 per month and is available in three tiers: small business, professional, and enterprise. Higher tiers include advanced features such as an unlimited number of API calls, additional connectors, and use across multiple organizations and environments.

MuleSoft pricing is more opaque, since the company does not provide explicit pricing information on its website. Like DreamFactory, the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform comes in three tiers: gold, platinum, and titanium.

However, there are several indications that MuleSoft is a relatively expensive product for the field of iPaaS software.

On the G2 website, for example, MuleSoft is estimated to be 44 percent more expensive than the average small business iPaaS product, and 30 percent more expensive than the average enterprise iPaaS product, based on user reviews.

G2 reviewer and cloud architect Rinki S. agrees with this assessment, writing: “The cost of MuleSoft API Portal is higher comparatively, and it’s a complex tool to learn for beginners.”

DreamFactory: The Best MuleSoft Alternative

If you need an iPaaS platform that’s truly a "kitchen sink" solution, MuleSoft may be the best choice for you. MuleSoft is jam-packed full of features and capabilities that can help integrate your various SaaS and enterprise applications.

For most situations, however, MuleSoft will be more than overkill. The higher price and greater complexity of MuleSoft have caused many companies to switch to a high-quality and lower-priced MuleSoft alternative, such as DreamFactory.

Want to test DreamFactory out for yourself? Schedule a meeting with our team for a 14-day free trial of the DreamFactory platform.

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