Middelware is software that provides services to applications beyond those available from the operating system. It typically includes a series of connected programs that manage specific tasks for the software. This can include data retrieval, message delivery, authentication, and other common tasks.
Middelware is a necessary part of enterprise and cloud computing architectures. It provides solutions to problems not handled by the platform’s operating system, and it’s usually operating system agnostic.
Middelware often consists of adapters, bridges, brokers, managers, service buses, routers, gateways, and virtual enterprises. It’s often been described as the “glue” that binds a system together. It’s also used to flatten hardware heterogeneity in networks, providing a consistent set of services and protocols for applications to run on multiple operating systems.
Middelware is specifically targeted to solve many of the problems of moving data between dissimilar systems and databases. It can also provide the services required to authenticate users, integrate software with hardware, or shuttle responses between servers and users.
The most common types of middleware are based on the client/server model, and include web servers, application servers, and database servers. Application servers provide services like transactions, caching, messaging, and security, while database servers provide access to systems and data stores. Web servers provide an interface to web applications, and process requests from users.
Middelware is essential for a wide range of applications in the modern digital world, and its use has become increasingly important as more and more data is stored and transmitted over networks on a daily basis. As a result, businesses must take a holistic approach to their data storage and retrieval needs, and turn to middleware solutions to help them bridge the gap between disparate systems and processes.