Docker Inc. and Salesforce/MuleSoft announced today a partnership through which legacy applications that have been containerized using the Docker Enterprise platform can be integrated with other applications via the MuleSoft AnyPoint integration platform. As part of this initiative Docker Inc. also disclosed today that Salesforce Ventures has made an investment in the company.
Betty Junod, vice president of product and partner marketing for Docker Inc., says legacy applications that have been moved into a Docker container gain access to application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it much easier to integrate them with other applications that have become part of the MuleSoft application network.
Any new applications created in Docker now also can be automatically secured, accessed and discovered via the Anypoint Platform. Salesforce/MuleSoft and Docker are also pledging to deliver a set of resources, including automation tools, blueprints and starter packs, for customers and partners to containerize applications.
Patrick Chanezon, a member of the technical staff at Salesforce/MuleSoft, says once an application is moved into a container most organizations over time will transform elements of what is now a monolithic application into a series of microservices. Each of those microservices would then be accessed using APIs on the Anypoint Platform, he says. An AnyPoint Studio tool can be employed to define API contracts in a way that decouples microservices from the entities that consume a containerized service built by another team using Docker Desktop development tools, adds Chanezon.
Docker containers also make it possible for IT organizations to move those applications on to a more modern IT infrastructure. Once an application has been moved into a container, it becomes much easier to move that application to either a public cloud or a new class of servers that doesn’t require developers to refactor that application to run on different virtual machines.
Providing the tools and expertise needed to modernize legacy applications is now core to the Docker Inc. business model built around open source technologies. Earlier this month Docker Inc. launched a Windows Server Application Migration service aimed at Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 applications—a move that followed the launch of its Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) service initiative last year. The alliance with Salesforce/MuleSoft extends those services now into the realm of application integration. To facilitate those migrations, Docker Inc. added a Docker Application Converter to its portfolio that is only available via a services engagement.
Integration of legacy applications has become a major challenge within most enterprise IT organizations as they transform into digital businesses. As part of that transformation process, organizations are trying to extend the value of their existing investments in applications by turning them into services that can be programmatically invoked by other applications.
Salesforce/MuleSoft, by allying with Docker Inc., is hoping that as each of those services gets exposed via an API the number of integrations occurring on its platforms will exponentially increase.
Not every organization will need external help to achieve that goal using Docker containers. But Docker Inc. is clearly betting that many organizations will need that help at a time when Docker expertise is in short supply.