MuleSoft, the company behind the Mule enterprise services bus, announced today that version 3.1 of the bus is available. The release makes it easier for developers to integrate external services into the internal fabric created by an ESB.

Ross Mason, CTO and founder of MuleSoft, said that Mule 3.0 had introduced the concept of cloud connectors, which were bits of code that could bring external services safely behind the firewall for use by developers. Initial cloud connectors for services from Google, and Twitter were made available with version 3.0, said Mason.

For version 3.1, the Mule team focused on making it easier for developers to create their own connectors, Mason said. Along the way, the team managed to build Java libraries that could be used to connect these services to any type of enterprise application, regardless of whether or not it uses Mule.

“We spent a fair bit of time refining the connector model and building a development kit so partners and community members can build these things quicker,” said Mason.

“We built a community around these connectors. Some of the work we did was to make them more generic so they didn’t rely on Mule themselves. There’s now a generic repository for anyone using a JVM language to use these connectors in their applications.”

With connectors completed, Mason said the Mule 3.1 team turned its attention to orchestration. Modern applications, built on services, require better orchestration within the ESB, he said.

“There was a much greater need for more orchestration capabilities in the ESB to actually use these new style applications. The rise of these new applications is changing the way people approach integration. The data types are buried. It becomes much easier to orchestrate between systems. But it’s not actually that easy because many frameworks have a process-heavy approach, and ESBs have an event-driven approach. We introduced new orchestration capabilities to make it easier to orchestrate multiple services and combine the results without any coding.”