A month ago I stumbled upon the open source project ‘Saddle‘. According to themselves:
“Saddle is an extension of the Mule enterprise service bus (ESB). It allows the graphical configuration, administration and monitoring of the mule system. Furthermore, it eases the message handling and extends the connectivity of the Mule ESB. “
In my opinion the most important feature it offers is the graphical designer for the Mule configuration files. This is what I am missing the most right now. And I must say, since I have been using Mule for some years now I now know my way around in the XML configurations, but I remember the first months it took me quite some effort to get these configurations right. And of course a diagram is much easier to read instead of crawling through XML files.
So I downloaded the stuff and started to play with it. And indeed, the graphical designer looks very promising, although it took some time before I found out you had to use the right mouse button to create a connector between two objects ;-). Here is an impression of the graphical interface:
I also ran into some rather major issues but some of them are currently solved in the latest version, which tells me the project is currently under rather heavy development. I would suggest to try it for yourself. You can get the latest version here and build it yourself (in Netbeans, which is another big plus). Documentation can be found here.
Besides the graphical interface Saddle offers a lot more, according to the documentation. One of the things they offer is ‘aggregating messages from different sources‘.
Another important feature may be the possibility to convert your Mule ESB 2.2 config to a 3.x config, but I haven’t checked this feature on usability. I will give the project some time to improve and certainly will have another look in some months to check if the tool is mature enough to use it in a production environment.